An international student guide to studying and working in Canada

BCIT is home to approximately 3,750 international students from almost 100 countries around the globe. Graduating from BCIT is more than a credential for international students. For many, it means returning home with a globally recognized education, being equipped with future-proof and relevant skills to support in-demand jobs, or the ability to pursue pathway to permanent residency.

Although studying abroad can be challenging, starting your academic journey at BCIT doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whatever goal you have, the BCIT International Student Centre is committed to ensuring that you have the support needed to succeed as an international student. Here are five resources to bookmark for your journeys at BCIT:

1. Selecting the right program

BCIT is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in British Columbia, Canada. A DLI is a post-secondary school approved by the government to host international students. For prospective international students, BCIT offers a wide selection of full-time and Flexible Learning programs.

Full-time programs are regular credential programs which are cohort-based and are delivered in a fixed course schedule each term. While some post-secondary offer 30 credits in an academic year, most full-time programs at BCIT offer 60 credits in the same amount of time. The BCIT curriculum allows students to fast-track their knowledge and expertise for job-readiness.

Flexible Learning programs are designed for course-by-course registration allowing students to start in one of the three intakes (winter, spring/summer, or fall). These programs provide the flexibility to suit students’ differing needs and schedules – such as those who are working part-time.

It is important to review which programs are open for international students, as this may impact your eligibility to obtain certain permits.

2. What to know about work and study permits

At BCIT, we encourage our students to have a work-integrated learning (WIL). In addition to working towards your credential, you have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience upon graduation.

To get started, international students will need to apply for a study permit before starting their selected program. The study permit is a legal document which allows students to stay in Canada for the duration of their studies.

Various WIL opportunities are available for BCIT students who are looking to gain professional experience conjointly with their studies and be job-ready upon graduation by working with notable industry partners. For international students, a co-op work permit is needed to participate in most work components.

3. Career development resources

At BCIT, preparing for your career is an important part of completing your studies. In addition to WIL opportunities, BCIT has various career development resources.

In partnership with Devant, BCIT provides direct access to employers hiring for positions all around Canada through the Devant Career Portal.

Many programs at BCIT also provide program-specific industry projects. For example, the Industry Sponsored Student Programs (ISSP) from the School of Computing and Academic Studies provide Computing students the opportunity to work on a real-world IT or software development project as part of their studies. Working closely with our industry sponsors, BCIT students gain valuable networking and industry experience.

Whether you are looking ahead to plan your dream career, are in need of a part-time job, or have already graduated and are currently job searching, check out BCIT Career Development and BCIT eJobs to learn more about the resources available to you.

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4. International Peer Mentoring, Student Orientation, and Weekly Events

BCIT knows that studying abroad is not an easy feat. As a BCIT student, you’ll have access to many resources to support your educational journey and life abroad. The International Peer Mentoring connects international students starting their first term with a mentor who will help them transition to life at BCIT.

For more in-depth questions, BCIT hosts a myriad of International Student Orientations. These orientations include both an online workshop series, and an in-person meet and greet social event at campus. New students are encouraged to look through our online International Student Guides. These guides are an essential part of student’s transition and overall orientation process. They can be accessed any time.

If you’re looking to meet new people, BCIT hosts weekly events that span from pre-arrival preparation and career focused workshops to social activities and health and well-being.

To help you feel confident in your studies, the English Language Success Hub offers free, online, asynchronous lessons to help students with their English language. The English Lounge  and 1:1 Flexible Language Support are also resources students can utilize to further improve their skills.

Whatever your need is, rest assured that there are resources available for you when you need it.

5. Student health and wellness resources

International students are the heart of the diverse and inclusive community at BCIT. To facilitate the all-encompassing needs of the community, BCIT Student Services offer various health and wellness services to ensure the wellbeing of our students and staff.

In furthering BCIT’s commitment to providing a respectful learning and working environment, the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) Office provides support to individuals with concerns of bullying, harassment, and discrimination through education, preventative guidance, and resolution assistance.

Be sure to also check out these resources:

Ready to be part of the BCIT community?

BCIT students are part of a powerful community of successful innovators, creators, and leaders working in countless industries in BC and around the globe. We are excited to have you join our community in making a meaningful impact.

Begin your studying abroad journey by contacting BCIT International.

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