Best 5 Community Colleges in Vancouver for International Students in 2023



Although post-pandemic international travel has yet to return to its full capacity, the number of students going abroad for education has reached an all-time high. As per the statistics shared by the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), a record 6,48,678 Indian students went abroad to study in 2022!

However, a university education can sometimes be really expensive and many may not be able to afford to spend thousands of dollars to avail a degree. This is where community colleges can help international students.

Community colleges are the alternatives that most international students who are looking to study abroad should consider in case they have financial issues or want to get certified fairly quickly. Community colleges are generally more affordable, have smaller class sizes, are more universally accessible, and are way more flexible than regular university programs.

Canada has been a popular study abroad destination for many international students – especially among young Indians. The number of Indian students studying in Canada has been increasing steadily in recent years, with over 60,000 students migrating to the country just in the first half of 2022!

Therefore, it is only right that we explore some of the best community colleges across the various provinces of Canada that students can study at instead of top universities in Canada. So today, we begin by looking at some of the most popular Community Colleges in Vancouver for international students to visit in 2023!


Why study at community colleges in Vancouver?


Vancouver is one of Canada’s most prominent student cities with many educational institutions and student-friendly establishments. It is known to be one of the Canada’s most densely populated cities and is renowned for its ethnically diverse population. Vancouver is one of the best places to live in Canada for students!
Vancouver offers several advantages to international students including,

  • High quality of education
  • Low cost of living coupled with high standard of life
  • Diverse and multicultural environment
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Strong economy
  • It has a zero-tolerance policy against crimes and discrimination, making it a very safe city for students from various cultural and ethical backgrounds
  • Modern facilities and equipment
  • Vancouver is a hub for innovation and technological advancement
  • Large number of post graduate employment opportunities. It is easy to avail work permits post a diploma or a degree.
  • The city is committed to a sustainable and green future
  • Remarkable student life
  • Canadian healthcare system is great for international students who stay in Vancouver

Community colleges vs universities in Vancouver: What are the differences?

Community colleges and universities in Vancouver (or any part of the world, for that matter) are both post-secondary educational institutions, but they differ in a number of key ways.

One of the main differences between the two is the level of education they offer. Community colleges typically offer vocational and technical education and training and some basic college-level coursework, such as associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Conversely, universities typically offer undergraduate and graduate programs, leading to degrees such as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate.

Another key difference is the cost of attendance. Community colleges tend to have lower tuition fees than universities and are more affordable for students. Also, Community colleges are generally more accessible for students as they have open admission policies and less rigorous entrance requirements than universities.

Another difference is the type of program offerings: community colleges usually focus on vocational and technical programs, and are more hands-on and geared towards immediate job placement, while universities tend to focus on academic and theoretical study, and research, and offer a more diverse range of programs.

Lastly, universities tend to have a greater emphasis on research, and faculty members often have to be active researchers and engage in publishing and scholarly work, while in community colleges, the focus is more on teaching and providing students with practical skills and knowledge that they will be able to apply in the workforce.

What are the best community colleges in Vancouver for International Students?


Community colleges in Vancouver encourage students from all over the world to apply and be a part of their academic community.
Today we discuss a few of the best community colleges in Vancouver for international students.

1. Vancouver Community College

The Vancouver Community College is situated in the centre of Vancouver city. Founded in 1965, it is the oldest and largest community college in British Columbia. VCC is the first government-accredited public post-secondary college in the Canadian province.

The college has two campuses, Broadway and Downtown. The VCC Broadway campus is located at 1155 East Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, while the VCC Downtown campus is located at 250 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia,

More information about the college is available at www.vcc.ca.

Why is it good to study here?

The college is known for its diverse range of programs and its commitment to student success. It offers over 130 programs, including certificates, diplomas, and degrees, with a focus on vocational and technical training.

The college imparts training in French and English languages. VCC offers online, part time and full time on campus courses to those students who are interested in studying at the college. The college offers several services for students, including child care, disability services, career guidance and others.

Fees & Scholarship options

Tuition is charged by the college for the provision of a course or program. The average tuition fee at the college is around CAD 38,635. The tuition fee for each program can be checked here. International application fee CAD 145.
Some of the popular financial aid/scholarship options offered at VCC include

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria for admission to VCC includes,

  • The applicant must be 17 years of age by the time the program start date
  • English entrance requirements (CAEL, IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge Assessment)
  • Program-specific admission criteria that can be confirmed here.

The average duration of the different programs offered at the college is approximately 2 years.

Courses offered & admission process

The college offers a variety of courses across several areas including,

  • Apprenticeship training
  • Baking and Culinary arts
  • Business management
  • Hair and esthetics
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality management and others.

Popular programs includes,

The admissions process at VCC includes,

  • Complete an Application at vcc.ca/apply
  • Submit documents (high school equivalencies, English test scores, transfer credits, educational transcripts)
  • Pay commitment fee and register
  • Pay for classes
  • Defer or withdraw admission

2. Langara College

Langara College is a community college located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It offers a wide range of programs and courses, including vocational and technical education and training and basic college-level coursework.

Why is it good to study here?

Community colleges like Langara typically provide a more accessible and affordable form of post-secondary education to students, with lower tuition fees than universities and a focus on workforce development and career training.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee depends on the program that the applicant chooses. For example, Applied Science For Engineering diploma’s tuition fee is around CAD 3399/per trimester. The tuition fee for a diploma in Biology is around CAD 3,440.96/per trimester. The tuition fee for Nutrition & Food Service, BBA Transfer Diploma is around CAD 3,347.58/per trimester.
The average tuition fee at the college is around CAD 10,500 a year.
Some of the available scholarships at the Langara College is,

Apart from this, there are several department scholarships available for applicants. Some of them include,

Apart from these, there are several scholarships offered by various departments including Athletics, Continuing studies, Indigenous, Nursing, Social Science & Community. Langara college also has bursaries that are offered by category.

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria to Langara college varies with respect to the programs that applicants choose. However, the general admission requirements are as follows,

  • English language proficiency test scores (IELTS/TOEFL/Duoligo English Test/LPI)
  • Successful completion of a BC secondary program (Grade 12) or the equivalent;
  • Must be at least 19 years of age before the first day of attendance
  • Must have completed ABE (Adult Basic Education) or GED (General Educational Development) program

The college encourages university transfer and has the highest number of student transfers to BC universities than any other colleges of the province.  Students are assessed for eligibility to receive transfer credit as part of the admission process.
The average duration of most courses at the Langara college is around 2 years. Certificate programs may run for lesser duration.

Courses offered & admission process

Some of the popular courses offered at the Langara college include,

  • Applied Science For Engineering diploma
  • Diploma in Biology
  • Diploma in Chemistry
  • Diploma in Computer Science
  • Diploma in Film Arts
  • Diploma in Journalism
  • Diploma in Nursing
  • Diploma in Kinesiology
  • Diploma in Criminology
  • Nutrition & Food Service, BBA Transfer Diploma
  • Diploma in Accounting

The admission process involves the following steps.

  • Choose a program from the list of programs offered at Langara
  • Check the admission requirements
  • Apply on Education Planner BC  or contact admissions@langara.ca
  • Submit all necessary documents (Official transcripts/marksheets/academic records that show all the subjects taken and grades obtained for the last two years of secondary school or high school studies)
  • Receive offer
  • Accept offer – Students confirm acceptance of the College’s Offer of Admission by paying the International Student Deposit*, which includes a CAD 1500 non-refundable and non-transferable Commitment Fee.

3. Douglas College


Douglas College is a community college located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Douglas College has multiple campuses, including one in New Westminster, and the other one in Coquitlam.

Why is it good to study here?

Douglas College has over 100 undergraduate and post-degree programs to choose from! Douglas is an applied academic institution that combines the academic fundamentals of a university along with the employer-ready skills that are imparted by a college.

Fees & Scholarship options

The average tuition fee at Douglas College is approximately CAD 7,640.40 per semester (12 credits). It is around CAD 19,101 for 12 months (30 credits).
Some of the available scholarships include,

  • Douglas International Education Regional Entrance Award
  • Dr. Guangwei Ouyang International Education Entrance Scholarship
  • Douglas College International Returning Student Scholarship
  • Continuing student Global Citizenship Dean Award

Eligibility and Duration

The general eligibility criteria at Douglas College includes,

  • For Undergraduate (diploma programs, associate degree and bachelor degree)
    • High school graduation
    • Must be a minimum of 19 years of age by the end of the first month of studies
    • Minimum overall grade average of 60% (or equivalent) in the final year of high school
    • Minimum final grade of “C” or 60% (or equivalent) in Grade 11 Mathematics or equivalent for most programs
  • For Post-Degree and Post-Baccalaureate programs:
    • Graduation from a recognized degree granting post-secondary institution with a minimum 3-year bachelor degree
    • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 60% (or equivalent) during the bachelor degree program
  • English Language Proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/Duolingo/CAEL/LPI)
  • Must be a minimum of 17 years of age by the end of the first month of studies
  • In order to be eligible for institutional transfer within Canada, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required
  • Specialized programs may have additional requirements apart from the ones mentioned above

The average duration of the programs offered at Douglas College is around 2 years.

Courses offered & admission process

Some of the popular courses offered at the Douglas College include,
Associate of Science degrees in,

Associate of art degrees in,

Business, Engineering and Computing Science University Transfer

The application process includes,

4. Cornerstone International Community College

Cornerstone International Community College of Canada is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based public university.

Why is it good to study here?

The Canadian government has accredited the technical and management diploma programs. These can open up academic and professional opportunities in Vancouver that can help students to build a career from scratch. The college also successfully brings together the multicultural environment of Canada.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee for the various programs offered at the Cornerstone International Community College is between CAD 1,635 to CAD 28,800.
The college offers Cornerstone College Scholarship for deserving students. One can apply for the scholarship by filling out the college’s online application form.

Eligibility and Duration

The general eligibility criteria to be considered for admission into Cornerstone International Community College includes,

  • Must have complete high school or equivalent
  • Must be above 18 years of age
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/English 12 or others)

The duration of some of the programs offered at Cornerstone International Community College is around 2 years. However, there are a few courses that are offered for one year.

Courses offered & admission process

Some of the popular programs offered at Cornerstone International Community college include,

  • UI/UX Design diploma
  • Networks and System solutions specialist diploma
  • Hospitality management diploma

The admission process at the Cornerstone International Community College includes,

  • Filling the online application form
  • Preparing the required documents
  • Submission of all relevant documents
  • Completing the placement tests that can help to gauge one’s English proficiency.

5. North Island College

North Island College (NIC) is a community college located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The college has campuses across various cities such as Courtenay, Campbell River, Port Hardy and Port Alberni. NIC offers a wide range of programs for undergraduate and post graduates.

Why is it good to study here?

The college provides programs across several sectors, including, trades, health care, business, social sciences, and technology, as well as access and distance education programs, making education more accessible for people living in remote areas.

Fees & Scholarship options

Tuition fees for courses vary from CAD 300 to CAD 490 per 3-credit course. Total costs for students vary depending on the program. The average estimated cost for tuition is around CAD 14,045.40. International students will also have to pay an non-refundable amount of CAD 100 towards application fees.
Scholarship options include,

  • BC Hydro Scholarship
  • Calista Fleming Memorial Scholarship
  • Dr. Neil Murphy Entrance Scholarship
  • Lyle Wesley Scholarship
  • Alma VanDusen Bursary – Vancouver Foundation

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria for admission at NIC includes,

  • Applicant must have graduated from secondary school or equivalent
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Proof of permission to study in Canada as an international student

Applicants may check the requirements of each program at individual program page
Most courses offered at NIC last between one to four years.

Courses offered & admission process

Some of the popular courses offered at the North Island College include,

The admission process includes,

  • Check requirements for admission
  • Apply through Education Planner BC (EPBC).
  • Activate myNIC account
  • Submission of transcripts
  • Applying for financial assistance
  • Qualify for the program one has applied for
  • Get invited
  • Pay deposit
  • Pay tuition post several background checks

Conclusion

Community colleges offer vocational and technical programs that prepare students for specific careers. They also provide a pathway for students to transfer to 4-year universities after completing their associate degree.

Community colleges are a worthwhile investment for international students since they provide the necessary professional training to students in very less time, thereby ensuring that all applicants find employment as quickly as possible post graduation.

Community colleges offer a more affordable and accessible education than four-year universities, Community colleges also provide a pathway for students to transfer to 4-year universities after completing their associate degree.

Date added
14.01.2023

Filed under:

Global Ed

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