Welcoming International Students

As an international student, you will feel welcome and well supported at Focus College. We’ll be your home away from home

International Students Get Total Support

You might be a bit nervous about traveling to a new country to live and study – that’s totally normal. We want you to know that you will always feel at home at Focus College. All of our students are very important members of our school community, and we will do everything we can to ensure that you feel safe, comfortable, and very welcome here.

And whether you choose a program at our Kelowna campus or Surrey campus, one thing is certain: British Columbia, Canada is an amazing place to study! There are too many reasons to share, but here’s a taste:

  • If you study at the Kelowna campus, you can enjoy water sports on Okanagan Lake, hike on any of the scenic trails in the area, and tour the vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine regions here in Canada.
  • In the winter, there are many mountains for skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or you can simply enjoy the snowy beauty from somewhere warm, maybe even next to a campfire!
  • If you study in Surrey, you’ll always be so close to Vancouver, a vibrant, multicultural city with delicious food, lots of opportunities for entertainment, and more of that BC natural beauty in places like Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain.
  • You could take a weekend road trip to Whistler any time of year to play in the mountains, or you could jump on a ferry to Vancouver Island to spend a day or two in Victoria, BC’s capital city.

You would never run out of exciting things to do as a student in British Columbia. Think about the new friends you’ll make and the enjoyment of getting out to have fun together when you’re not studying!

How Do You Make This All Happen?

If you are thinking of applying to study at Focus College, and you do not live in Canada, please read below for all the important details regarding the admissions process for international students.

  1. Apply for your area of study at Focus college. Your agent will help you complete your online application.
  2. Your application must include the following items:
    • Your first and second choices for a program of study
    • Education documents such as report cards and/or certificates
    • A copy of your passport biodata and photo pages
    • A copy of your official IELTS score
    • $200 CDN application fee
  3. We will send you a conditional acceptance letter within 3 to 5 days from the date we receive your full application, which must include all required documents and fees.
  4. Once you meet all the requirements outlined in your conditional offer, your confirmation of acceptance will be issued and sent to you.
  5. You can apply for your Canadian student visa once you receive your confirmation of acceptance from Focus College.
  6. As soon as your visa is approved, please send us a copy of the approval by email.
  7. If your visa is refused, please send us a copy of the refusal letter by email. We require that visa refusal letter to process your refund. Refunds are issued within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving and verifying the letter.

Living in Canada

You’ll want to find a great place to live while you enjoy life in British Columbia and train for a rewarding future. 

Focus College may support our international students in their search for accommodation during their educational stay with us. To support us in a successful search for housing, please inform us at least 6-8 weeks in advance of your travel to Canada.

Before Obtaining Housing

Focus College recommends that you wait until you receive your acceptance confirmation letter before starting your search for accommodations.

Focus College may assist our students by providing resources to help find accommodation prior to their arrival to Canada.

Housing is subject to availability and the sooner we know about your arrival the sooner we can assist you with resources so that your search to find housing is simplified.

Cost of Living in Canada

The following information is provided by the Government of Canada.
Your life in Canada will be different than in your home country. You may have to take a job with lower pay while you upgrade your skills or get experience working here. That means your financial status could change. Even if you earn a higher salary in Canada than you were earning in your home country, the cost of living in Canada may be higher than you’re used to. Household expenses can take up to half your take-home pay in Canada. These expenses include the cost of your: home, heating and other utilities, food, clothing, health insurance, and transportation
Your home will cost the most
Most Canadians spend 35% to 50% of their income on housing and utilities. This includes the cost of renting your home or paying your mortgage (a mortgage is a long-term loan.) It also includes the often-high cost of heating your home and paying for electricity, telephone service and water.
If you rent
Many newcomers choose to rent an apartment on a monthly basis. Rental costs vary across cities and across Canada. They usually cost less outside large cities. You will likely pay at least $350 a month to rent a room. You can pay at least $2,000 a month to rent a larger apartment or a large house. An immigrant-serving organization where you plan to settle can help you find a home that you can afford.
Health insurance
Some provincial and territorial health programs may not cover some newcomers for the first three months they are in Canada. Check with the ministry of health in your province or territory as soon as you arrive in Canada to see if you will need to buy extra health insurance.
Basic expenses
Food will be a basic expense. Costs will depend on the size of your family. This cost can double if you often eat in restaurants or choose to buy specialty items. Clothing expenses may be less than 10% of your take-home pay. You may spend a lot more if you buy your clothing at designer stores. Second-hand shops sell used clothing and furniture at very low cost.
Many Canadian families have one or more cars. Canadians either buy their cars new or used or they lease them, which is a form of rental. Make sure you think of all the costs before you decide to buy or lease a car. For example, when you own a car you will have to pay to keep it working well, for gas, monthly loan payments, registration and insurance. When you lease a car you will sign a contract to have the car for a set period of time. You will pay the same costs as you do when you own a car. Many Canadians use public transportation, walk or bike.
Car insurance
It is the law that all cars must be insured and registered with your provincial or territorial government. Car insurance can be expensive, but it protects you and other drivers in case of an accident. In most provinces, you can find more information by contacting the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Be ready for occasional expenses
Living in Canada, you will find that every now and then you have to make payments for occasional expenses. Some examples: buying prescription medicine (not covered by health insurance), school supplies, and long-distance calls to friends and family in your home country

What it's like to be an international student at Focus College

Working as an International Student

Interested in working while you study in Canada at Focus College? Get all the information right here

Who Is Qualified to Work?

To work as an international student in Canada you will need to comply with the following terms:

  • As a full-time international student, you can work off-campus without a work permit
  • You can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions
  • You can work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays or spring break

You must:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • Be a full-time student
  • Be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution at the post-secondary level (Focus College is a Designated Learning Institution)
  • Be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a certificate, diploma or degree. The program needs to be at least 6 months in duration

Important Information

  • You must stop working on the day you no longer meet the eligibility requirements listed above (e.g., if you are no longer a full-time student during an academic session).
  • To work in Canada you must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You will receive your SIN the same day you apply for it.
  • To get a SIN, visit the Service Canada Office in Kelowna or Surrey with only ONE of these documents:
    • A study permit that states you “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada
    • A study permit and a “confirmation to work off-campus” letter issued by the IRCC prior to February 6, 2015
    • A work permit (e.g., co-op, post-graduation, or spouse/partner work permit)
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Focus College response to Covid-19

Updated March 16, 2020

Due to the current pandemic and the desire to protect the health of our students, Focus College is taking measures which incorporate social isolation.

For current students:

We are suspending our Advanced Diploma and Office Manager courses for the week of March 16-20th, to allow for temporary distance learning to be set up. If any students do not have access to a computer from home, we request that they notify the college immediately. Further information on how courses will be delivered will be available as the week goes on. Please monitor your student email for further information throughout the week.


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