Section 19 International Students
In this section, International students will find relevant information on admission requirements, immigration regulations, tuition fees, scholarships and bursaries, the health insurance plan, as well as regulations on working in Canada. The International Students Office (ISO), Student and Enrolment Services, has developed support services to promote the adjustment of International students to life and study in Canada.
It is essential that International students submit their immigration documents and/or passport as soon as possible (see Section 19.2 Procedures and Immigration Documentation Required for the University for further details). Documents can be submitted either to the International Students Office or the Birks Student Service Centre or uploaded directly through the Concordia Portal by the student.
Immigration regulations cited in Section 19 International Students are valid at the time of this writing. For further information, students should contact the Canadian consulate/embassy in their country.
Section 19.1 Admission Requirements
Section 19.1.1 Admission Requirements
Concordia welcomes applications for admission from well‑qualified students from other countries. In general, students are expected to have completed the level of education required for university admission in their home country. The school-leaving subjects taken by the candidate should normally be appropriate for the degree program to which application has been made. Some programs have additional requirements, e.g. audition, interview, portfolio. Since entry to many programs is limited, the satisfaction of minimum requirements does not guarantee entry to the University.
Depending on their educational background, applicants are considered for entry to three-year (90 credits) or four-year (120 credits) degree programs. In the case of the BEng, BA (Early Childhood and Elementary Education), BEd (TESL), BSc in Athletic Therapy, and BFA (Specialization in Art Education), the program requires four to five years.
Advanced Level and Advanced Subsidiary Examinations
The minimum admission requirements are two A-level examinations plus three appropriate GCSE/IGCSE examinations.
An average grade of “C” or better in Advanced-level subjects is expected. In the case of certain quota programs where enrolment is limited, candidates will have to present higher grades in order to compete successfully for places at the University. Two appropriate AS (Advanced Subsidiary) Levels may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced Level for the purpose of satisfying the general entrance requirements of the University.
Students who have not written Advanced‑level examinations but who have high grades in at least five appropriate GCSE subjects plus one full year of formal schooling beyond the GCSE level in a suitable academic program in a recognized school or college, may be considered for admission to an undergraduate program requiring the completion of 120 credits (four years). In the case of the BEng, BA (Early Childhood and Elementary Education), BEd (TESL), BSc in Athletic Therapy, and BFA (Specialization in Art Education), the program would require four to five years.
High school graduates with strong grades from accredited schools who have followed an academic program designed for university entrance may apply for admission to an undergraduate program requiring the completion of 120 credits (four years). In the case of the BEng, BA (Early Childhood and Elementary Education), BEd (TESL), BSc in Athletic Therapy, and BFA (Specialization in Art Education), the program requires four to five years. A General Education Diploma (GED) is not recognized as meeting the requirements for admission to a degree program.
Applicants are required to have a better-than-average school record. While no set pattern of courses in high school is required, all applicants are expected to have taken four units of English. Those applying for admission to Science or Engineering must include three or four units in mathematics and two in the sciences. At least three units of appropriate mathematics are recommended for admission to the John Molson School of Business.
Although not required for admission, letters of recommendation from school guidance counsellors and the results of aptitude and achievement tests (SAT, ACT) are helpful additions to an application.
Students who have passed Advanced Placement examinations in appropriate subjects with a grade of “3” or better may be awarded transfer credits.
Students who have completed the requirements for the Baccalauréat with satisfactory results may be considered for admission to an undergraduate program requiring the completion of 90 credits (three years), or 120 credits (four years) for the BA (Early Childhood and Elementary Education), BEd (TESL), BSc in Athletic Therapy, and BFA (Specialization in Art Education).
The number of credits required for the BEng varies according to the option chosen and to the previous preparation of the student, but is usually no fewer than 119.
In cases where the Baccalauréat specialization (serie) followed does not fully satisfy the entrance course requirements for the degree program sought, the student, if admitted, will have to include the designated prerequisites as part of the first‑year program. In some instances, the prerequisites must be taken in addition to the undergraduate program.
Candidates who complete the full IB Diploma and who obtain a minimum total of 26 points, may be considered for admission to the three-year (90 credits) programs of study (four years of study in the BEng, BA [Early Childhood and Elementary Education], BEd [TESL], BSc in Athletic Therapy, and BFA [Specialization in Art Education]). Minimum scores in prerequisite subjects as well as a higher overall average may be required for competitive programs. Students who have not completed the full IB Diploma program but have IB Certificates in individual Higher Level subjects may be eligible for credit.
Candidates applying from other countries who have completed the level of education required for university admission in their home country will be considered for admission provided that better-than-average grades have been attained. In most cases, a specific minimum overall standard is required. More specific information with respect to admission requirements can be found by visiting the University’s website: concordia.ca.
Transfers from Post-Secondary Institutions
Transfers from post-secondary institutions are referred to Section 13.3.4 Transfers from Other Post-Secondary Institutions.
Section 19.1.2 Language Proficiency
The language of instruction at Concordia University is English. For information regarding the language proficiency requirement, refer to Section 13.4 Language Proficiency.
Section 19.2 Procedures and Immigration Documentation Required for the University
All persons, other than Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, who wish to pursue their studies in the province of Quebec, must obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and a Study Permit.
For further information on Immigration Quebec, see the following link:
For further information on Immigration Canada, see the following link:
19.2.2 Studying for Six Months or Less
Studying for Six Months or Less
Students whose program of study is six months or less in duration have the option of studying in Canada without having to apply for a CAQ or Study Permit provided they complete their studies within the authorized period of their stay in Canada.
Regulation 188(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations reads as follows:
A foreign national may study in Canada without a study permit:
c) if the duration of their course or program of studies is six months or less and will be completed within the period for their stay authorized upon entry into Canada.
Most refugee claimants cannot take advantage of the exemption from the required Study Permit. For further information on the Study Permit requirements for refugees and protected persons, see the following link:
19.2.3 Immigration Documentation Required
Immigration Documentation Required
International students who will be studying in a program for six months or more are required to provide a copy of their CAQ and Study Permit to the International Students Office when they first register at Concordia and thereafter every time they renew their immigration documents.
International students who will be studying for six months or less are required to submit copies of their passport pages showing the passport number, the dates of issuance and expiry, name and date of birth, and the stamp made by Canadian authorities on their most recent entry into Canada.
These directives are in accordance with the funding regulations of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur which requires that all International students registered at a university in Quebec have in their permanent file a copy of their Quebec Acceptance Certificate, their Study Permit, proof of valid health insurance (see Section 19.5 International Student Health and Accident Insurance) and, for persons studying six months or less, a copy of the appropriate passport pages.
International students are required to provide the appropriate documentation before the DNE deadline of their first term at Concordia and thereafter every time they renew their immigration documents.
Failure to comply with this regulation could result in the cancellation of the student’s registration.
Section 19.3 Tuition and Other Fees for International Students
Tuition and Other Fees for International Students
The University reserves the right to modify the published scale of tuition and other student fees without prior notice.
The fees, payable to the University for the regular session of two terms commencing in September and concluding in April, range from $24,358 to $29,248 for a full‑time student. This amount includes tuition fees for 30 credits; compulsory fees which include student services, recreation and athletics, technology infrastructure, copyright and association and activity fees; administration fee; registration fees; and the health insurance premium. This estimate does not include the cost of textbooks or living expenses.
Please refer to the Tuition and Fees website at concordia.ca/admissions/tuition-and-fees for information concerning the payment of tuition and fees.
Exemptions from Differential Fees
Certain International students may be eligible to pay the same fees as Quebec residents or Canadian citizens. Students who qualify for an exemption from the differential fees for International students, pay tuition and other fees at the same rate as the Canadian, Quebec resident student (including tuition and compulsory fees for 30 credits, and the International students health insurance fee).
The following are among those exempted from paying differential fees who may pay the Quebec tuition rate:
- diplomats, consular personnel, accredited representatives or civil servants of a foreign country, the United Nations or one of its organizations, an intergovernmental organization to which Canada belongs, and any member of the staff of the above‑listed persons who are working in Canada in an official capacity and who have obtained an attestation issued by “le Protocole” (Gouvernement du Québec), 525 René‑Lévesque E., Quebec City, telephone: 418‑649‑2346. This attestation is valid for one academic year and must be renewed each year the student attends university;
- the spouse and unmarried children of the above‑listed persons;
- an International student whose spouse or parents hold certain work categories of work permits in Quebec. For further details and verification, please contact Quebec.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- a student who is registered at a university and who has come to Quebec as an exchange student, or as a student participating in a program of co‑operation agreed to by the Government of Quebec and which exempts the participants from paying differential fees;
- a student who is admitted to a Quebec university and whose country has a fee remission agreement with the Government of Quebec. The Government of Quebec has agreements for granting a limited number of exemptions from the differential fees for International students from the following countries: Algeria, Belgium (Flanders), Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, China (graduate students), Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Francophone University Agency, Gabon, Germany, Germany (Bavaria), Guinea, Haiti, India, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Korea, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Peru, Republic of Djibouti, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain (Catalonia), Togo, Tunisia, and Vietnam;
- Inquiries and applications for an exemption should be made directly to the students’ own Ministry of Education prior to leaving their home country. In some cases, when the person is in Canada, it may be possible to apply for an exemption at his or her embassy or consulate in Canada or in the United States;
- Graduate students who are French citizens or francophone citizens of Belgium (Wallonia);
- a student who is registered at a university and whose status as a permanent resident has been officially recognized by Immigration Canada. Should a student receive permanent resident status during the academic year, he or she should immediately present the official document to the Office of the Registrar, Room LB 185, to have his or her status changed and to inquire about a possible refund. For more information on refund policies and deadlines for submission of documents, please contact the Office of the Registrar. International students should present themselves at the International Students Office, GM Building, Room: 330, to request an exemption and possible refund from the International Student Health and Accident Insurance Plan;
- under certain conditions, students who have obtained Convention refugee status may be eligible for an exemption from the differential fees for International students. Depending on the documentation submitted, they may be eligible to pay either the Quebec tuition rate or the Canadian non‑Quebec rate. For information on deadlines for submission of documentation and on the specific documents required, please contact the Office of the Registrar;
- under certain conditions, International students holding certain categories of CSQ who are allowed to apply for permanent resident status from within Canada may be eligible to pay the Quebec tuition rate.
The following are exempted from paying differential fees and may pay the Canadian tuition rate:
- undergraduate students who are citizens of France (accord France‑Québec) or francophone citizens of Belgium (Wallonia) and a limited number of undergraduate international students from China (entente Chine‑Québec).
Section 19.4 Scholarships, Bursaries and Loans
Undergraduate Scholarship and Bursaries
Two types of awards are available to undergraduate students through the Financial Aid and Awards Office: scholarships and bursaries.
Entrance scholarships and entrance bursaries are available to newly admitted students entering university programs for the first time. In-course scholarships and in-course bursaries are available to returning students who have completed at least one year of studies at Concordia University. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement and in some cases, consideration is given to the involvement in university life or other non-academic criteria.
Bursaries are awarded based on financial need and acceptable academic standing, and sometimes additional criteria may apply. Students receiving tuition waivers from the University are not eligible to apply for entrance or in-course bursaries. For additional information on all undergraduate awards, consult the Financial Aid and Awards Office website.
U.S. Federal Student Aid
Concordia is recognized as a Title IV eligible foreign school by the U.S. Department of Education. American students studying at Concordia may be eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA) (full time: 12 credits or more or half time: 6 credits or more) in the form of a Direct Loan from the U.S. Department of Education. For further information on eligibility requirements and how to apply to the FSA program, consult the Financial Aid and Awards Office website.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Concordia is recognized as an eligible foreign school by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The Financial Aid and Awards Office helps students work with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in order to pursue studies at Concordia. Students should contact FAAO early so that it can guide them through the process. If they are newly admitted students, their first step is to make sure they have their Certificate of Eligibility and their program is eligible for funding.
Exemption from Higher Tuition Fees
The Government of Quebec has agreements for granting a limited number of exemptions from differential fees for International students from specific countries. Consult Section 19.3 Tuition and Other Fees for International Students for the list of countries and information.
Information on scholarships for International students from the Government of Canada can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s website: scholarships.gc.ca. Students are also encouraged to check with their home government for funding opportunities.
Funds are available at the International Students Office for short‑term emergency loans. Loans are issued to full‑time undergraduate and graduate students who need temporary emergency financial assistance. For further information on eligibility requirements and conditions, contact the coordinator, International Students Office, Room: GM 330, 514‑848‑2424, ext. 3514.
Section 19.5 International Student Health and Accident Insurance
International Student Health and Accident Insurance
Immigration Quebec services and the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur require that all International students be covered by a health insurance plan while studying and living in Quebec. To this end, Concordia University has negotiated a compulsory health and accident insurance plan for its International students. Health insurance fees are charged automatically when International students register for courses.
Check the International Students Office website at concordia.ca/offices/iso for the cost of coverage. Coverage is from September 1 until August 31 of the following year. Students who register in January pay a pro-rated premium for the eight-month period from January 1 until August 31 of the same year.
Only certain categories of International students are permitted to opt out of the Concordia Health Insurance Plan for International Students. These categories are listed below. Please note that Concordia University does not accept any other health insurance plan that the student might be carrying or maintaining while coming to Canada.
- Students who have a valid Quebec Medicare card / Carte d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Please note that students who are eligible for RAMQ coverage are not covered by the Concordia Health Insurance Plan for International Students regardless of when students submit the documents to the University.
- As a result of intergovernmental agreements, full-time students from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden who were covered under their government’s medical system before their arrival in Quebec, may be eligible for the Quebec medical benefits (called Quebec Medicare card or Carte d’assurance maladie du Québec). These students must apply for the Quebec Medicare card. Further information is available at the International Students Office.
- International students who receive a sponsorship (including group health insurance and tuition fees) from a sponsoring organization or government (such as CIDA, ICCS, CBIE, WUSC) must ensure that their sponsorship letter clearly mentions the group health insurance coverage as well as the duration of the policy. Please note that private health insurance plans are not accepted.
- Refugee claimants and Convention refugees who can show proof of medical coverage by the Canadian or Quebec Government.
- International students who become permanent residents of Canada. An exemption/adjustment will be based on the date the International Students Office receives the Record of Landing document.
Proof of above‑mentioned insurance is required in order to process an exemption. It must be presented in English or French indicating the period and amount of coverage available in Canada. This information is required by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur and must be in the Concordia student’s file for audits and reports. Applications for exemptions are processed in person at the International Students Office (ISO), GM Building, Room: 330. Applications must be processed every year.
Adjustments or cancellations will be based on the date the ISO receives a copy of the above-mentioned supporting documentation. Insurance plans are based on a monthly rate from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. As such, and in order for the student to obtain the fullest refund, the request for adjustments or cancellations should be made prior to the first day of the month.
Retroactive adjustments will only be considered and provided where supporting documents can prove that health insurance coverage has been maintained continuously from the beginning of the required insurance period. Where the supporting documents do not indicate health insurance coverage, the monthly fee charged will not be refunded. If a student has filed an insurance claim, the student can only receive a retroactive refund for the period (months) following the claim. Refunds are provided in the form of credit to the student’s university account.
Section 19.6 Working as Part of a Co‑op or Internship Program
Working as Part of a Co‑op or Internship Program
Some academic programs require that students complete a work term(s) in order to complete the degree requirements. International students who are enrolled in such programs must apply for a Co-op Work Permit. For further information, refer to: cic.gc.ca/English/study/work-coop.asp or visit the GM Building, Room: 330.
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