When it comes to moving to another country to study or to study and work, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Choosing a country to start a new life abroad is a significant decision, and each country offers its own unique advantages. It is entirely understandable that this is a big move, even if it is just for a short course.
Students have to get used to a new culture, weather, language, and so many other aspects that are really important to check before making a decision. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, Canada has become a popular destination for international students due to several compelling reasons:
Canada is renowned for its excellent education system. Many Canadian universities consistently rank among the top institutions globally, providing a wide range of programs and courses to suit various academic interests.
Welcoming and Inclusive Culture
Canada is known for its friendly and inclusive society. The country values diversity, making it a welcoming place for students from all around the world. You can expect a multicultural environment that fosters understanding and respect for different cultures.
Safety and Stability
Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Its low crime rates and stable political environment ensure a secure living and studying environment for international students.
While studying in Canada, you may have opportunities to work part-time on or off-campus, which can help you support yourself financially and gain valuable work experience. After graduation, Canada also offers various pathways for international students to obtain work permits and stay in the country to work.
Compared to other popular study-abroad destinations, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, Canada often offers more affordable tuition fees and living costs, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious students.
Post-Graduation Immigration Options
Canada has a well-established pathway for international students to transition into permanent residency if they wish to continue living and working in the country after completing their studies. The Canadian government recognizes the value international students bring to the country’s economy and society.
Stunning Natural Beauty
Canada is known for its breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders, providing a unique backdrop for your study abroad experience. From stunning national parks to picturesque cities, there’s plenty to explore during your time off.
High Quality of Life
Canada consistently ranks high on global quality of life indices. Its healthcare system, public services, and overall standard of living contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable experience for international students.
Canada is home to numerous research institutions and cutting-edge facilities, offering opportunities for students to engage in groundbreaking research across various fields.
Canada’s experience is really complete in terms of culture, geography, and history. The country also has a rich Indigenous heritage and diverse wildlife, including bears, whales, moose, and bald eagles, as well as opportunities for winter sports and festivals such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. For social and historical aspects, there are a lot of options to get to know, such as the vibrant cities of Toronto and Vancouver, where you may find a mix of cultural, artistic, and culinary experiences.
Vancouver, a lively city on Canada’s west coast, offers a blend of stunning natural surroundings and urban attractions, like Stanley Park’s scenic trails, Granville Island’s public market, the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, historic Gastown, the Vancouver Aquarium, and outdoor activities on Grouse Mountain. Vancouver provides a variety of experiences for visitors to enjoy as well.
Your decision should consider your personal preferences, academic goals, financial situation, and desired lifestyle. It’s essential to research various countries and universities to find the best fit for your educational journey abroad. For those who are really willing to have a pleasant and vibrant international experience by living, studying, and working, Canada is your call.
In Vancouver, when joining CICCC, you have the possibility to choose how to spend your time at a place you can call “home”.
The stay of our students is an important part of the international experience, so we at CICCC help them find the best option that suits their style of living. There is a short list below of the types of available stays in Vancouver:
Homestays: Homestays involve living with a Canadian host family. This option provides an opportunity to experience Canadian culture firsthand and improve language skills. Homestays typically include a private bedroom, meals, and some level of support from the host family.
We can assist you with homestay arrangements through various homestay partners, or you may prefer to live independently in shared accommodation. Follow the links below to find the best homestay accommodations:
Off-Campus Rental Apartments: Renting an apartment or a room in Vancouver is a popular choice for international students. There are apartments ranging from studios to multiple-bedroom units. Sharing an apartment with roommates can help reduce costs. Websites, local listings, and student housing services can assist in finding off-campus rentals.
Student Residences: Some privately owned student residences cater specifically to international students. These residences often provide furnished rooms or apartments with shared common areas, study spaces, and amenities such as gyms or laundry facilities. They may also offer additional support services.
Temporary Accommodation: When first arriving in Vancouver, international students may need temporary accommodation while searching for a more permanent option. This can include staying in hotels, hostels, or short-term rental apartments.
Students who make all their own travel arrangements can contact a local accommodation agency to tailor their accommodations to their needs and preferences. The links below show you the best-shared accommodations:
When considering accommodation options, it’s important to think about factors such as location, proximity to your institution, budget, lifestyle preferences, and any specific needs the student may have. It’s recommended to start searching and applying for accommodations well in advance to secure a suitable place to live.
Where is Cornerstone College located?
The official name of Cornerstone College is “Cornerstone International Community College of Canada,” and it has two campuses located in the centre of Vancouver, British Columbia, on the West Coast of Canada. Cornerstone College is a private institution that has been in the education industry for 40 years.
Where can I find references for Cornerstone Colleges?
There are two helpful websites. The first one is the federal government’s website, which compiles a list of colleges and universities across Canada where registered individuals can obtain a student permit. The federal government assigns a registration number, or Designated Learning Institution (DLI), to each institution. Remember to use the drop-down menu to search for British Columbia and then type “Cornerstone” to find the college’s DLI. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-institutions-list.asp
The second website is the government of the province of British Columbia:
What programs does Cornerstone offer?
We have nine study and work diplomas: Hospitality Management, Customer Relations, International Business Management, Digital Marketing, Advanced Digital Marketing, UI/UX Design, Web Development, Mobile App Development, and Network and System Solutions. We also have English as a Second Language programs.
Is it possible to work while studying English?
No. In Canada, language classes (English, French, or any other) do not grant the possibility of a work permit.
How is the admission process? How do I register for Cornerstone?
- The first step is to determine the program and the date you want to start the classes.
- Then you must complete the online application form and attach a copy of your passport.
- At the same time, we need to know your current level of English to decide if you meet the admission requirements for your chosen program.
- Once your level of English is considered adequate, we will send you an invoice so that you can proceed to make the first payment.
- Within 48 hours of receiving the payment, the College will send you a letter of acceptance.
- With the letter, you can start the second process, which is the application for a student and/or work permit at the nearest Canadian Embassy.
Does the college provide advice on the study permit application process?
We can guide you through the process by advising you on the type of permit you need, the processing time, and where to find the official information. If you tell us about your case, we can advise you and determine if you need legal representation.
How does the college help students find jobs?
The college provides support to students during their co-op period, helping them with tasks such as writing a Canadian resume, preparing cover letters, communicating with employers, and applying for jobs. CICCC also offers regular workshops on job interviews, job search strategies, and familiarizing students with the Canadian work culture. The college maintains a job bank, connecting companies with students seeking employment and serving as a valuable link between students and potential employers.
How much money can I earn during my studies and during co-op?
The salary depends on the company, the type of job, and your previous work experience and studies. Generally, the more education and professional experience someone has, the higher their wage can be. According to Glassdoor.ca, the average co-op student salary in Canada is CAD 78,458.00 per year or CAD 40.24 per hour. Entry-level positions start at CAD 43,412.00 per year, while most experienced workers make up to CAD 140,486.00 per year.
Is there any age limit to enroll at Cornerstone?
The minimum age to participate in the English programs is 16 years old; however, we do not have an age limit. At Cornerstone College, age is not a limitation if you want to learn English. For Diploma programs, the minimum age is 18 years old or a high school graduate. There is no age limit for our diploma programs either. We have had students in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and it has not been a limitation for them to learn.
What additional expenses should I be aware of?
- Accommodation costs depend a lot on the option you choose. On the Cornerstone website, you can find some suggestions here: https://ciccc.ca/homestay-shared-accommodation
- Three months of health insurance that you can arrange through the college cost around CAD 186.00 (considering that the month has 31 days). The price per day is CAD 2.00.
- The province’s health insurance costs CAD 75.00 per month. People who will be living in British Columbia for more than six months are eligible for provincial insurance. You can read more about health insurance here: https://ciccc.ca/medical-insurance-services-canada/
- The monthly transportation pass starts at CAD 105.00. The further the accommodation, the more expensive the monthly pass.
- Utilities are generally included in the monthly rent. You can spend around CAD 400.00 per month on meals if your accommodation option does not include them.
- Although we have had students traveling with spouses and children, it depends on each case, and the College cannot guarantee what type of extra costs you will have in these cases.
- Keep in mind that including family in your study permit application implies that you must demonstrate more savings to the Canadian government.
- Only public and private colleges or universities able to grant degrees (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate) can guarantee that you can obtain a permit for your spouse.
What happens if the Canadian government denies me a study permit?
If your study visa is denied, you can reapply for the study and/or work permit by improving the application. The Canadian government sends a letter stating why the visa was not approved. The College can send you a new letter of acceptance with an updated date (if applicable). You must send the College the visa refusal letter that the Embassy of Canada gives you. If you wish not to reapply for the study and/or work permit, you have the option of requesting a refund. In the same way, you must send us the visa refusal letter so that the accountant can calculate the refund. In general, the value of the application fee plus the CAD 80.00 administrative fee would be lost. All refunds are processed within 30 days of signing the refund calculation.
What happens after I complete my studies at Cornerstone?
These are three scenarios that generally apply to our students upon graduation:
1) Students enroll in other schools or universities to obtain a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree; it is recommended to be in a public institution because of the easy access to these institutions once the students are physically in Canada. After one or two years of studying and/or working in Canada, their level of English usually meets or exceeds the language requirements of public universities.
2) Students find a company or employer that decides to support them in their immigration application with the Canadian government.
3) Students return to their country of origin due to various reasons, such as having projects to fulfill, returning to their family, or simply because they decided not to settle in Vancouver or Canada.
How can I become a Permanent Resident of Canada?
Becoming a permanent resident of Canada is a complex topic. Generally, no academic program can guarantee permanent resident status to students because it depends on factors such as age, previous studies, work experience, proficiency in English and/or French, travel history, and if you have a job offer in Canada at the time of application, among other things.
You can visit this website to learn more about current immigration programs:
Can my children go to public schools while I study at Cornerstone?
For your minor dependents to access public school, you must have:
- A study permit for at least one year and a part-time job (20 hours per week).
- If you are coming with your spouse, he or she must also have a study or work permit for at least one year and a part-time job as well.
- They must also comply with registration dates and other guidelines established by each public school.
- We recommend that you read the information contained in the following link to learn more:
What is the minimum wage in Vancouver?
The minimum wage in the Province of British Columbia is CAD 16.75 per hour.