Private Colleges: Study & Work

Posted on November 10, 2017

We often get questions about Canadian study and work program. This program was intended to provide international students with the opportunity to stay and work in Canada after finishing studying English as a second language at Canadian language schools. Unfortunately, as of June 1st 2014 this program exists no more.

But, as an alternative, you might be interested to know that you can still study and work, but through Canadian private (vocational) colleges and their co-op programs.

A private college is a privately funded educational institution that sets its own policies and goals. They tend to be generally smaller than public colleges and have a fewer selection of the programs you can choose from, but the price per semester is much lower than for public colleges, and as an international student of a private college you still will be able to work 20 hours per week during your studies and 40 hours per week on holidays. 

Usually, private colleges offer programs in business, hospitality, tourism and IT. The programs’ length, structure, and schedule can vary from one private college to another, but more often than not, they will include a co-op term.

A program that includes a co-op portion of the studies is called “co-op program” or “cooperative education program”. Such program allows you to apply concepts learned in class during a work term included in your program. Because of that additionally to your study permit, you will need to get a co-op work permit.

After graduating from co-op program, you will have not only a diploma or a certificate from the private college but also a real work experience in your field of study and a network of valuable contacts. All of these factors will contribute to helping you find a job more easily after graduation.

The only drawback is that in order to be accepted to the private colleges you will need to show a higher level of English language, than for example you had to show for study and work program at the language schools. But private colleges’ English language requirements are still much lower, than for public colleges. Usually, if your English language level is Intermediate you will be able to get an acceptance from the private college.

Contact us and find out more about how you can develop your English language skills while gaining valuable work experience!


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