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Columbia College



Columbia College is one of the longest established international college in Canada, having been founded in 1936. It is based in Vancouver, which is among the world’s safest, cleanest, and most spectacular cities.

Columbia College prepares international students to progress seamlessly to universities in British Columbia and other parts of Canada. It is among the top providers of international students to the University of British Columbia. Large numbers of its students also go on to Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and other universities in British Columbia.

Students can choose from first and second-year university level courses that lead to a Columbia College associate degree which are fully transferrable to universities in British Columbia. Columbia College also offers its students the English for Academic Purposes Program, which is accredited by Languages Canada and High School program which is certified by BC Ministry of Education. 

Owing to its trimester system, students are able to complete their study faster at the college.

Student voices

“It was Columbia College that motivated me to discover myself and realize my dream of becoming an engineer. I can’t be more grateful to my teachers and counsellors at CC who helped me reach UBC.”- Parampreet Singh (transferred to University of British Columbia from Columbia College)

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What’s new

What’s new

Columbia College recently launched a new, ambitious ‘Career Life Connections’ course into its high school syllabus. This course is centred on exploring professional learning, connecting to a student’s chosen field in preparation for a strong launch into their career, and essential networking exposure pre-graduation. The course culminates in a capstone research project in their chosen field of specialty which will be presented to a professional audience and demonstrate applied learning and the spirit of innovation. This course is specifically designed to enhance personal skills, academic achievement, strengthening of essential competencies and career planning. It is an ideal course for any student seeking to achieve their best, whether heading into post-secondary education or directly into the employment market.

The college continues to expand its well-known homestay program, an essential element of Columbia College’s offering to students and one that is particularly attractive to international students who are looking for an authentic Canadian experience and wish to further integrate into the local culture. The program has a consistently impressive turnover from students around the world and is a core element of the college’s approach to providing unique study abroad experiences.

Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Columbia college was established in 1936 and is renowned as the longest running international college in Canada, with a reputation for excellence. Every year thousands of students from both Canada and around the world attain respected Columbia College qualifications and go on to utilize them as springboards into outstanding university careers.

At the core of the college’s offering are highly experienced, long-serving faculty from a range of personal and academic backgrounds. These educators and trainers are committed to delivering outstanding education to all students at Columbia College and utilize community engagement to bring classroom learning into the real world.

Students at Columbia College are able to enjoy the benefits of small class sizes, allowing them to maximize the quality of their education and one-on-one time with academic specialists. In addition to this, every student at the college has free, unrestricted access to face-to-face tutoring services across a range of subjects including English, economics, math, and social sciences.

Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

For more than 80 years, Columbia College has been dedicated to delivering an outstanding learning environment where both traditional and non-traditional students are able to achieve excellent academic results. Alongside this is the college’s ongoing ambition to secure great employment prospects for all of its students through additional training and courses that are future-focused.

To support the graduate success of its students, the college also provides a dedicated Career Services team. This service can be accessed via appointment and offers all students a range of services to boost confidence and employment prospects, including:

  • Proofreading and improvements for resumes and cover letters
  • Workshops for networking, interviewing skills, job searching methods
  • Connecting employers from a number of industries with students
  • Helping students identify and understand their career goals
  • Mock interviews, LinkedIn profile workshops
  • Signposting to useful employment related resources
  • Other networking opportunities
Department structure

Department structure

The college offers a number of university level courses at first or second-year level which result in the achievement of a Columbia College Associate degree, a qualification that is valid for direct transfer to local universities. These associate degrees are valuable certificates in themselves, but can unlock admission to a third year at university, as well as enabling students to apply for a Canadian work permit which is valid for up to three years.

One of the great benefits of studying at Columbia College before making a university transfer is the significant saving in costs compared to a standard degree, as well as benefiting from the welcoming, more personalized environment of the college.

The college also provides programs of study for High School level which is accredited by British Columbia Ministry of Education. Students who undertake these programs at Columbia College will be ideally placed to excel in further academic pursuits during their time in Canada.

Students are also able to complete an English for academic purposes course, which is ideal for learners who have secured a place on a university program, but who do not satisfy the criteria for English language proficiency. It is also excellent for students looking to enhance their English in an academic environment before going on to further studies.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In order to study a university, transfer academic program or complete a high school program at the college, students must be able to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Specific program-level requirements
  • Demonstrate sufficient English ability
  • Have an age of 15 years or more when commencing study

Students who do not meet the minimum criteria for English language ability for their chosen program will be able to complete a program which blends academic study with coursework in English, or a specific Academic English course run by the college.

There is no minimum level of English proficiency that is required for entry onto a program of study at Columbia College, but English ability must be demonstrated prior to registration and the start of classes in any given year. Demonstration of English ability can be made through any of the following:

  • Completing the Language & Writing Assessment (LWA) upon arriving at Columbia College, before registering for class.
  • Provide evidence of minimum external standardized English test scores.
  • Provide evidence of minimum required scores in English 12 or Communications 12 in British Columbia.
  • Provide evidence of minimum required scores in first-year English taken at another college or at university in British Columbia, listed in the British Columbia Transfer Guide.
Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Columbia College offers a wide variety of awards and scholarships for its students, depending on their personal circumstances, backgrounds, or achievements. A range of scholarships offered by the college are available to international students and non-native English-speaking applicants. In order to be eligible to receive one of these scholarships, applicant will need to be studying a full-time course as a degree-seeking student in any semester that an application is made.

Further information on other scholarships and awards can be found on the college’s website.

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