International Student Applicants:

Please review the following information prior to submitting your application to Columbia College.

Please be informed that while Columbia College is a designated institution recognized by Immigration Canada and can accept students under Canada’s International Student Framework agreement, our graduates are unable to obtain a Post-Graduate Workplace Permit at this time. This is based on the current eligibility requirement that excludes graduates from private post-secondary institutions. As a result, Columbia College is currently in discussions with government stakeholders to remove this constraint for our international graduates. During this process, Columbia College’s international students should consider what their goals are following their education to determine the best institution and program accordingly.

Thank you very much for your interest in Columbia College.

Application Requirements & College Information

Individuals wishing to enter Canada as International Students at Columbia College must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be accepted by Columbia College into one of our programs (and be in possession of the necessary documentation attesting to that acceptance).
  • You are required to have a Study Permit.
  • Depending on country of origin, you may be required to have an Immigration Medical Examination. The Canadian Embassy or Consulate will instruct you if required.
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a Police Security Clearance.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.
  • You must possess a valid passport.

All students are expected to attend the College’s General Welcome orientation as well as the Program Orientation to help prepare them for success in their program. 

The General Welcome orientation covers the following topics:

  • Connecting with your Student accounts
  • How to access your 365 tools and Course pages (grades, activities, etc.)
  • Academic Integrity Resources for Success
  • Student Wellness
  • Documents and Forms
  • Student Appeal Process and Code of Conduct
  • Review of College Student Support Services

The Program orientations cover topics relating to each program and may include information about:

  • Scheduling and textbook pickup
  • Program specific policies and procedures
  • Practicum Frequently Asked Questions
  • Introduction to Program support and admin stafF

International Students are invited to attend a separate International Student orientation that covers the following topics:

  • International Welcome:
    • Introduce international students to the campus community
    • Facilitate interactions with student services teams and other international students
    • Provide information about cultural adjustment and coping strategies
  • Living Essentials:
    • Banking: How to open a bank account in Canada
    • Transportation: Understanding public transportation options in Calgary
    • Health and Safety: Information on health insurance, emergency services, and safety precautions
    • Shopping: Where to buy essentials and groceries
  • Local Culture:
    • Common expressions
    • Local food
    • Customs and traditions: Highlight local customs, holidays, and social norms
  • Student Life:
    • Social Events
    • Networking Opportunities
    • Extracurricular activities around Calgary
    • Self-assessment tools and available resources relating to adjusting to a new Country

To learn more about Columbia’s Academic Regulations, please visit our Academic Regulations and General Program Information page.

  • Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $125 is required to process your application. The application fee covers your entry assessment. To apply online, please click here.
  • Registration Fee: A non-refundable Student Registration fee of $500.00 is required upon acceptance to the program; this fee will be credited to the student’s tuition upon commencement of the program. The remaining tuition and fees are to be paid in full by the first day of classes. International students are not eligible for Alberta Government Student Finance Board financial assistance. Applicants from other countries who require financial aid should contact officials of their own government to determine if they qualify for aid from the Government of Canada under the Canadian International Development Agency. A student will be required to fill out a Student Enrollment Contract.

Please refer to the Student Contract of Enrollment form for details of tuition refund policy. This form is also available from a Student Admission Advisor. Refunds will be issued directly to the registrant by cheque. However, when a sponsor is identified, refunds will be issued directly to that sponsor. Fees paid by Visa ® or MasterCard ® will be credited to the original account used.

Columbia College is required to notify Canada Immigration of all withdrawals or changes in status. If a student decides to withdraw his or her application prior to entering Canada, the student must return both the original letter of acceptance and the original letter from Immigration.

Please note the following as outlined on the Student Contract of Enrollment form:

  • If I wish to withdraw from this program and terminate the contract, I must provide written notice to the institution in a way that I can verify the date the notice was delivered to the Institution. The contract is considered terminated on the date that the written notice is received by the Institution. I am aware that the Institution may also terminate my enrolment in this program by providing written notice to me. The contract is considered terminated on the date that the written notice is received by me.
  • If I am receiving student financial assistance, I will notify my funding source of my withdrawal or the termination of this contract.
  • I have reviewed the excerpts of the Private Vocational Training Regulation as attached to this contract, and I understand the Regulation with respect to the retention and repayment of fees (i.e. registration fees and tuition refunds) in the case where this contract is terminated. I understand that if I terminate this contract on or before the 4th business day after signing this contract,
    the Institution must refund any tuition or other fee (ie. the registration fee) paid by me or on my behalf.

Please note the following relating to your $500 registration fee:

The registration fee will be credited towards the tuition fee once the student commences the program. 

Cooling off period: If you decide to terminate the contract within four business days of signing, any paid registration fees will be fully refunded.

Refund of tuition – after training begins: Information relating to the refund calculations for the return of tuition after you have started your program can be found on your Student Contract of Enrollment form under the section Refund of tuition – after training begins. 

At Columbia College, we understand that being an international student can be both exciting and challenging. Adjusting to a new academic environment, culture, and language can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or concerns. We want you to feel supported throughout your journey, which is why we have established a robust Student Complaint and Dispute Resolution Process.

Why Is It Important?

    • Fairness and Equity: We believe in treating all students fairly and equitably. If you encounter any issues related to your studies, grades, or interactions with faculty and staff, our process ensures that your concerns are heard and addressed.
    • Quality of Experience: Your experience at Columbia College matters to us. By providing a clear avenue for resolving complaints, we aim to enhance the overall quality of your education and campus life.
    • Empowerment: We empower you to voice your concerns. Whether it’s about administrative processes, classroom dynamics, or any other matter, your feedback contributes to continuous improvement.

How It Works

    1. Informal Resolution: Start by discussing your concern with the relevant party (faculty, staff, or department). Often, issues can be resolved through open communication.
    2. Formal Complaint: If an informal resolution isn’t satisfactory, you can submit a formal complaint. Our dedicated team will guide you through the process.
    3. Investigation and Resolution: We investigate complaints thoroughly, ensuring confidentiality and impartiality. Resolutions may include mediation, adjustments, or policy changes.
    4. Appeals: If you disagree with the outcome, you have the right to appeal. Our process ensures transparency and fairness.

Your Voice Matters

We encourage you to use the Student Complaint and Dispute Resolution Process whenever needed. Your feedback helps us maintain a supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to our Student Services team. We’re here to listen and support you.

Welcome to Columbia College, where your success is our success!

To learn more about this process, please review the following documents:

Employee And Student Incident And Grievance Procedures Adm-P030

Student Appeal Policy (ADM-P177)


ICAS is the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada. Their services help potential immigrants and new Canadians assess the education they received outside of Canada. For more information, please visit their website at, or by calling toll-free 1-800-321-6021.

IQAS is the International Qualifications Assessment Service. IQAS was established by the Alberta Government to help individuals educated outside Canada to assess international documents and compare them to educational credentials in Canada. For more information, please visit their website at, or contact through their online contact form at

Columbia College does not currently require a ICAS/IQAS assessment as a mandatory admission requirement to apply and register for a Columbia College program.

Columbia College has a Student Services Department that is available to help students in a variety of ways. Please view the Student Services and Forms page for further details. You may also contact an International Student Advisor directly at

Applying to Columbia as an International Student

If you are applying to one of our credit programs, you can follow the steps below

  • English is the language of instruction at Columbia College. Applicants who have not received their formal education in Canada must submit official transcripts of marks in English for evaluation.
  • See the individual program of interest to learn more about the entrance English proficiency requirements.
Mail:Admissions Department
Columbia College
802 Manning Road NE
Calgary, AB Canada T2E 7N8
In Person:Main Office Building 802
Office hours are: Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Online:Click here to go to the Online Application

Important Note: International students need to use Columbia College’s Designated Learning Institution number 019391275502 on their applications.

There is a $125.00 non-refundable application fee in effect for international applicants. You will be required to submit your application fee in order for us to process your application. The application fee covers your assessment test (where applicable). Your application file must be fully complete to be considered for admission.


Following the submission of your application, applicants must:

  • Email or mail documentation that verifies that you meet the language requirements to the contact information below.
  • Upon receipt of your application and language verification, your Admission Advisor will contact you with the necessary information regarding the proctoring of your assessment test for entry into the program of your choice.
  • Once you have completed your assessment test, your Admission Advisor will contact you requesting further required documents.
  • If you are accepted into the program, you will receive a letter of acceptance. A $500.00 Student Registration fee is required upon acceptance to the program; this fee will be credited to the student’s tuition upon commencement of the program. The remaining tuition and fees are to be paid in full by the first day of classes

Preparing for the Columbia College Assessment

  • You will need to take the Columbia College Entry Assessment.
  • Your application fee covers the cost of your assessment.
  • Following the submission of your application, your International Student Advisor will provide you with information on how to initiate and complete your virtual Entry Assessment.

Browse Programs & Courses

Explore the programs and courses we offer for international students.

Our Campus Culture

Check out what the culture is like at Columbia by selecting from the collections below:

Working in Canada, Insurance, and Additional Information

Working in Canada

If you plan to work in Canada, it is important to review your eligibility to work in Canada prior to choosing your School and Program to ensure that you choose the program that is right for you. Columbia College Admission Advisors are able to provide you with the general employment information of previous graduates (both domestic and international students combined), but as an international student, you are to contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada to provide you with work eligibility advice according to your specific circumstances.

It is also encouraged that you do research into the different employment opportunities where you would be interested in working to learn what immigration requirements and/or conditions they may have for employment in their company/field. As different employers may require different things, this can be valuable research for you in helping you identify opportunities following your graduation.

You may be eligible to work off-campus while completing your studies if you are:

  • currently a study permit holder
  • enrolled, full-time, in a designated post-secondary institution, and
  • studying an academic, vocational, or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate, which is at least 6 months in duration.

IMPORTANT: It is illegal to study and work in Canada without appropriate authorization. You must stop working on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements.

  • For more information about Post Graduate Work Permits please visit: or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • Please note that International Students attending programs at Columbia College are not currently eligible for Post Graduate Work Permits.
  • Please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for further information on eligibility and processing times for working during your program as well as after you graduate. If your goal is to work in Canada after you graduate, please do your due diligence to know what the requirements are and if you are eligible.
  • Understanding the requirements may help you better choose the right program (and school) for you before you begin your education in Canada.

Volunteer work is a great way to be actively involved in the community. It allows students to gain valuable experiences and also strengthens their resumes and enhances future employment opportunities.

Health Insurance and Medical Information

While Canada is famous for its free Canadian health care, the majority of these services are only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. For this reason, all international students attending school in Canada must arrange for health insurance for the duration of their study program.


Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers basic services such as visits to the doctor, lab costs and hospital costs. It is free of charge for Albertans (including international students). It does not cover dental care, eyeglasses or prescription medication. A supplementary healthcare plan may cover a portion of these costs if you have it.

International Students may be eligible for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage.

Students who have a 12-month study permit (valid for an Alberta educational institute) and who will reside in Alberta for 12 months or more are eligible for AHCIP coverage and should apply.

Students with study permits valid for less than 12 months, may be eligible for AHCIP coverage if their application is accompanied by a letter from the school confirming their enrollment and their intent to reside in Alberta for at least 12 months.

Students who transfer to an educational institute outside Alberta or move to another province or territory are no longer eligible for AHCIP coverage and must contact AHCIP to have it cancelled.

Learn how to apply for AHCIP coverage.

While students may be eligible for basic coverage under the AHCIP, it is advisable to purchase a private health insurance plan through an insurance company or agent in your home country or in Canada. Students should have arrangements made for  medical coverage before they come to Canada.

We do not recommend a particular plan or agent. We advise you to talk with two or three insurance agents and compare prices and services before making a decision on which plan to buy.

There are a number of tools and resources available for international students wishing to explore private insurance options offered within Canada:

Find Insurance: This tool, operated by the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance, is a public service tool listing 99% of insurance programs offered by Canadian life and health insurance companies.

Additional Information & Links

For further information, contact our International Student Office:

Columbia is responsible for the confidentiality of student records and following the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). No information about a student’s academic record will be released to a third party without written permission from that student, other than the approved exceptionalities outlined the applicable Alberta Government’s privacy laws. Records may be released to sponsors or civil authorities conducting an investigation. Columbia’s instructional and administrative personnel, who have legitimate interest in the academic record of a student and require such information, will be permitted access to the student’s records.

Each student has the right to review his/her academic file. When the original documents are shown, examination is only permitted under conditions which prevent alteration or mutilation. Original documents may not be removed from the file, but may be copied. Access fees may be charged for special information requests.

Academic transcripts from other institutions, criminal checks, or other admission documents will not be copied and/or returned to students. As Columbia College cannot verify that these documents have not been altered or corrected since their submission, students must request these documents from their original source. If students can show that they are not able to obtain their documents from their original source, a written request can be submitted to the Office of the Registrar through the form of an Information Request.

Please review the College’s documents pertaining to student records, privacy, and collection of information:

Please contact your advisor if you have additional questions.

Click here to read Columbia’s Human Rights and Diversity Policy.