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Frequently Asked Questions - Admissions

What kinds of programs are available at Columbia College?

Columbia College's University Transfer and Associate Degree Programs offer first and second year university courses for transfer to major universities across Canada and the United States. The college also offers High School and University Preparatory Programs which allow for direct entry to a university in Canada, and language classes for students who need to improve their English.

What do I need to enter the college? Do I need to write TOEFL or IELTS?

High school transcripts are normally used as a basis for admission. Please look to ---hyperlink to admissions—for information about specific academic requirements. Generally speaking, there is no minimum English level required for admission to an academic program, but all new students need to prove their language ability before registering and starting classes. TOEFL, IELTS, and other external tests are accepted, but not strictly necessary, as Columbia College also offers its own assessment test (called the LWA) and may also place a student according to other courses taken (such as high school English). Students shown to have a lower level of English will be scheduled for non-credit English classes before or during their academic studies at Columbia College. For more information please see English Requirements.

How about transferring to university after Columbia College, do I need to prove my English again at the target university?

No, once you have completed the English classes required for a particular program, you do not need to prove your English again.

Do I need to show my high school transcripts again as well?

Normally a student who has done more than 24 credits with Columbia College will not need to show high school transcripts to their target university. Instead, the grades and courses done at the college will inform this decision.

What universities can I transfer to, after attending Columbia College?

Columbia College is a member of the BC Transfer System which means that inside the province of BC, all universities and other post-secondary schools have agreed to accept courses from Columbia College. Because it is closely aligned with these programs, Columbia College has consistently been one of the top three providers of international students to the University of British Columbia (UBC). Columbia College also sends large numbers of students to Simon Fraser University (SFU), Vancouver's other major university, and the University of Victoria (UVic). Universities outside of BC will have their own standards regarding admission, and it will be up to their discretion which courses and programs might be transferable.

How long are college programs?

College programs typically range between one and two years. Students can transfer to certain university programs after just 24 credits, the equivalent of about two semesters of study. Other programs may require longer. Some students may also need more time to obtain the required GPA (Grade Point Average) to enter specific university programs. Associate Degrees require about 60 credits, or approximately two years of study.

Can credits obtained from an Associate Degrees also be transferred to university?

Yes. Most universities accept all 60 credits from an Associate Degree, particularly if they are in the same subject area.

Where is the school located?

The school is located just east of Downtown Vancouver, in a custom-designed facility, close to transit, shops, the ocean, and fantastic recreational and entertainment amenities.

What kinds of clubs, sports, and recreational activities can I do?

The College regularly organizes external trips and major events such as our semesterly welcome party, these are in addition to the range of student interest and sports clubs which offer weekly opportunities to meet other students and pursue a range of athletic and intellectual interests during your time studying in the Vancouver. As well as meeting other students, the clubs offer a great opportunity to experience Vancouver and its surroundings within a fun supportive community, whether that involves Dragon Boating on False Creek, reviewing a restaurant for the CC Gazette student paper or one of our regular College volunteering trips, all of which build your skills and preparation for progressing onwards to higher study and employment.

How big are the classes? What is the study environment like?

The classes at Columbia College average about 18 students, with no more than 25 students per class. This ensures students get the individualized attention they need, while allowing for small group interaction. Compared to some bigger universities, which may have hundreds of students in a single class, this environment is much more student focused, allowing people to get to know each other and support each other. Typically the school has about 1000 students, so its environment is perfect for those who are new to Canada and need the support that a small community of staff and students can offer effectively.

What kind of accommodation does Columbia College offer?

Columbia College offers homestay accommodation with Canadian families. This helps immerse new international students in the local culture and gives them support and insight about Canada.

How will I pay for my studies? Can I work in Canada while I study at Columbia College?

Fees at Columbia College are much lower than international fees at BC universities. Students are allowed to work part time after completing the initial six months of study in Canada, which will help offset some of the monthly living expenses. Rules regarding work in Canada are overseen by CIC, please see Work Permit.