International Students

CityU couldn’t call itself a global university if international students weren’t a huge part of who we are. More than 300 students from around the world attend CityU in greater Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.

If you’re an international student who’s interested in pursuing your education in CityU in Canada, please contact one of our student advisors at   We’ll answer your questions, assist with the application process and, once you’re on campus, help with your studies.

Who is considered an international student?

The population of Canada is divided in three main categories: citizens, permanent residents also known as landed immigrants and temporary residents. Temporary residents are legally in Canada for temporary needs, including foreign workers, tourists and international students. In other words students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada are considered international students; this includes US citizens without a dual citizenship (Student Permit, Work Permit, Temporary visa or any other type of Visa).

What programs are open to international students?

Due to visa regulations, CityU in Canada only accepts international students into our full-time academic degree programs at our Vancouver, BC location. At this time, these include:

International students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment in order to preserve their study permit visa.

City University offers a series of programs for international students at the Seattle, Washington, USA site. Please contact the International Admission Office in Seattle for additional information about your options:

How to apply?

If you are interested in applying to our full-time academic degree programs at our Vancouver, BC location, there are two applications you must submit

  1. International Application Form
  2. Supplemental Application Form (Depending on what program you are interested in)

Academic and English Proficiency Requirements

The academic requirements for international students are the same as for domestic students seeking to enroll in our programs.  However, individuals whose prior coursework degree was earned outside CityU’s recognized English-speaking countries (Canada, USA, UK, NZ, Australia, Ireland) are required to  submit official proof of English proficiency (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL, CAEL, etc.) as indicated below. For more detail about CityU’s English proficiency policies, click here.

Standardized Test Undergraduate Programs Graduate Programs
iTEP Plus 4 4.5
TOEFL iBT 76 87
University of Cambridge ESOL Exams FCE First Certificate in English CAE Certificate in Advanced English
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)  Band 6.0 Band 6.5
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) Overall 60; Writing 60  Overall 70; Writing 70
PTE (Pearson Test of English) 51 59
The EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency EIKEN Grade Pre-1 EIKEN Grade 1
WEST-B (Washington Educator Basic Skills Test) OSPI passing scores on Reading & Writing Sections N/A
ELS ELS Level 109 Intensive Program ELS Level 112 Intensive Program


Acceptance process and study permits

If you are admitted into one of our full-time programs, you will receive a conditional letter of acceptance pending the verification of your application information with the registrar’s office.   This conditional letter cannot be used for immigration purposes.   You will be issued a separate acceptance letter after the Registrar’s Office has verified the transcript credentials and you have met all of the additional terms pertaining to international admissions that can be submitted with your application for a study permit.

International students are responsible for applying for and securing their own study permit from the Canadian Federal government.

Study Permit: A Study Permit is a document issue by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that allowing an international student to study in Canada for a limited time.

Before your arrival:

  • Get your acceptance letter after submitting all required documents.
  • Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) – (except for citizens of visa exempt countries)
  • Apply for a Study Permit

After your arrival:

  • Submit a copy of your Study Permit to your CityU advisor as soon as you arrive in Canada. . Remember that you must maintain your student permit and obtain work authorization when applicable to remain legally in the country..
  • You might need to extend your Study Permit; click here for additional information about the process.
  • Only students who have carried a full-time load for at least six months will quality for study permits; click here for additional information.

After graduation:

  • Some students  decide to stay in Canada after graduation. International students who complete their degrees from City University may qualify for up to three years post graduation work permits. Click here for additional information about the process.

For information on how to apply for a Canadian study permit, please click here.

Please allow ample time for immigration processing as international students are not allowed to attend classes without the appropriate Study Permit. 

Medical Insurance for International students

All international students are required to present proof that they have medical insurance in effect at the time of enrollment. If you have insurance, please submit this form.

Alternately, the International Student Office Advisors can provide details concerning a health insurance plan made available through City University in cooperation with a private insurance company.

International students are eligible for provincially subsidized health care.

Effective September 1, 2019, a health fee will be implemented for international students.

The health fee will apply to international post-secondary students at the rate of:

  • CAD $37.50 per month, per student, from September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019; and
  • CAD $75.00 per month, per student, effective January 1, 2020, coinciding with the elimination of MSP premiums.

For information on how to apply, please visit these sites.


Tuition fees and schedule

International students and domestic students pay the same base tuition at CityU in Canada.  Download our tuition fee schedule for the current school year HERE.

Housing Options

Student Residences

Global Education City (GEC) is a student residence located in Vancouver. They offer student hotels as well as serviced apartments.

Their mandate is to “offer access to, and provide, safe, secure and comfortable accommodations to foreign and domestic students, thereby helping to give them a positive, meaningful experience while they live and study in Vancouver, BC, Canada.”  Residence halls are open to students of any institution and have a variety of choices or room types.  Several locations which are accessible by transit.  Students are able to sign a contract for as little as 8 weeks up or plan to stay their whole degree.  Visit their website for more information.


If you are looking for a place to live until you settle down in a long-term apartment, there are plenty of hotels near CityU. Most hotels offer a shuttle from the airport or taxi service.

The YWCA Hotel Vancouver is safe and affordable option in Downtown Vancouver

Student Residences

If you are looking for a student orientated housing option, Global Education City (GEC) is a student residence located in Vancouver. They offer student hotels as well as serviced apartments.


Airbnb has many short and long term options for students.  Visit their site to investigate your options.


If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to hotels, hostels would be a good compromise if you don’t mind sharing a room with other people.  Visit this website for more information.


Another alternative is homestays.  You live with a family of your c choice and meals are often provided.  This method of living offers the chance to live like a local and experience what life is really like in that place. For more information, visit Vancouver’s homestay website. 

Additional Information

For more information regarding:

  • Visa
  • Airport
  • Public Transportation
  • Banking
  • Cost of Living
  • City of Vancouver

Please visit our International Student Resources page.