Ontario College Information for International Students


It’s confusing, but the word “college” in Canada means something different than it does in many other English speaking countries. In Canada, a college tends to offer a different type of education compared to a university.

College programs focus on the development of technical skills and prepare students for specific career and employment opportunities. Programs range from profession degree qualifications to skilled trades with programs that may take months to other programs that take several years to complete. In short, there are an incredible number of college programs.

Find a College Program

Ontario has 26 different publically funded colleges that offer a wide range of programs in all fields of study:

  • Certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Degrees
  • Joint Degrees (with universities)
  • Co-op
  • Apprenticeships

“With close to 850 learning sites in 200 communities offering over 4500 programs across the province, Ontario college programs offer diversity unmatched in Canada. As the demands of the workplace have evolved, so have the types of credentials being offered by the colleges. Most colleges are currently offering a variety of program types to suit the needs of both students and employers.”  (www.ontariocolleges.ca/apply/program-types)

New Study Permit Regulations

New rules that take effect on June 1, 2014, make it easier for study permit holders to work off campus. Full-time students pursuing an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution will be:

eligible to work off campus without a work permit
allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks
able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting six months.
For more information: www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-changes.asp