British Columbia’s teachers and institutions are ranked among the best in the world, and the cost of studying here is lower than in many other locations. But those aren’t the only reasons why thousands of international students come to B.C. each year. They also come to enjoy our high quality of life, beautiful surroundings, and our welcoming and safe communities.



When you have decided where you wish to study,  apply to the school for admission. Each institution has a different procedure, which is posted on their website. Review it carefully. If you have any questions, contact the institution directly and ask for help.

Get a Study Permit

Once you get your acceptance letter from the school,  apply for a Study Permit. You must have a Study Permit if you want to study in B.C. for more than six months long. Scholarships and Tuition. International students must prove that they have enough money to cover their tuition fees and living expenses. Students must pay tuition fees. You can contact your school directly, or look at its website for information on amounts and payment dates.  You might be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help with these costs, check the school website for this information too.

Get organized

When you arrive in Canada, you will need to show the following documents to the Canadian Border Services Officer:

  • Valid passport or travel document.
  • Letter of introduction from the visa office where your study permit was approved (this letter contains your permit reference number).
  • Valid temporary resident visa (if required).
  • Copy of the letter of acceptance from the post-secondary institution in British Columbia where you have been granted permission to study.
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in British Columbia.
  • Letters of reference or any other documents recommended by the visa office where you applied.


Parents send children here for a high quality education, and to learn English in safe, friendly communities.

British Columbia has exceptional elementary and secondary educational systems (known as Kindergarten-to-Grade 12), and our students rank among the best in the world. We offer short-term programs, specialized courses and long-term opportunities and a welcoming and supportive environment for international students. To help students succeed, we have created programs that integrate international students into the B.C. school system. For example, some schools provide support services for students whose first language is not English.

All levels of study include both academic and practical learning – such as math, science, English, and physical education. Career-focused training and first year university courses are offered to senior secondary students.

When students graduate from secondary school, they can go directly into the labour force, or enrol at a university or college for a Bachelors Degree, apprenticeship, vocational or technical training.

Study Permits for Minor Children Studying in B.C.

Minor children (under the age of 19 in B.C.) must apply for a study permit if they want to study in Canada.

Minor children who are accompanying their parents (who are working or studying) within Canada do not require a study permit. Children between the ages of five and 16 must attend school if they live in British Columbia. School is free for children who are residents of B.C. It is up to each individual school board to determine whether or not a child is a resident.


British Columbia is home to internationally recognized publicly funded universities, community colleges and technical institutes. There are a number of degree-granting private institutions and career training and English as Second Language (ESL) institutions in B.C. as well.

If you want to study in British Columbia, the first thing you must do is choose a school.  You also must decide which program you want to study. Once you’ve done this, you can apply for admission. If you are accepted into the school, you can apply for a Study Permit.

Choosing a school
There are three types of public post-secondary institutions operating in British Columbia:

  • A university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Some also offer courses and programs that can lead to a certificate or diploma. Many universities are known for their research in specialized academic areas. Some offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
  • A college offers courses and programs in trades, vocational, career technical and academic studies leading to certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and applied degrees. Some offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
  • An institute may offer credentials from certificates to degrees. Institutes are organized by career, vocational and technical specialties; they are available for a number of occupations.

In addition to public post-secondary schools, British Columbia has a number of degree-granting private institutions, private career training institutions, and private English as a Second Language (ESL) schools

Newsletter Sign Up

To get our free biweekly newsletter. Receive information about Latin American news in BC and in the world..