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British Columbia Institute of Technology

Updated: October 25th, 2023

British Columbia, recognizing that technology is at the forefront of influences driving economic development worldwide, pours its resources into making the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) as adaptable and attractive to international students as possible.

Whether you're interested in pursuing a career in applied and natural sciences, business and media, engineering, health sciences, trades, or upgrading, BCIT has tailored its programs to suit every possible student need.

Wondering what British Columbia’s premier polytechnic institute has to offer? Here is a compilation of all you need to know about the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)!

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

What is the British Columbia Institute of Technology

The BCIT is a polytechnic institution that was established in 1964. It is one of the leading post-secondary institutions in Canada and is known for its focus on applied education and research. BCIT has five main campuses which include:

  • Burnaby,
  • Down Vancouver,
  • Marine,
  • Aerospace Technology, and
  • Annacis Island.

The spread of BCIT campuses allows the institute to become accessible to a broader range of communities in British Columbia and be more efficient in its allocation of resources, as each campus focuses on a large area of learning.

BCIT is committed to providing practical, industry-focused education that equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for successful careers in various fields. BCIT offers a wide range of programs and courses designed to meet the needs of today's rapidly changing job market.

What Programs Does the BCIT Offer?

The list of programs available to international students at the BCIT is categorized under six faculties as outlined below with featured program examples.

Faculty Featured Program Examples
Applied and Natural Sciences Biomedical Engineering Technology; Environmental Engineering; Food Technology
Business and Media Accounting; Bachelor of Business Administration; Business Management
Computing and Information Technology Applied Computer Science; Computer Information Technology; Graphic Design
Engineering Architectural Science; Civil Engineering; Interior Design
Health Sciences Biomedical Engineering Technology; Environmental Public Health; Occupational Health and Safety
Trades Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician; Machinist Foundation; Cabinetmaker (Joiner) Foundation
Upgrading Programs Business Fundamentals; International Student Entry; Technology Entry (TE)

For the full list of programs, you can find it on BCIT’s pages on Regular Credential and Flexible Learning programs.

International Student Services

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)has an International Student Office (ISO) that provides accommodating services that make it easier for you to settle into campus life as an international student. Prominent services offered by the ISO include:

  • An International Orientation,
  • ISC Events,
  • International Peer Mentoring,
  • English Language Success Hub,
  • 1:1 Flexible Language Support,
  • Medical Insurance,
  • International letters of verification, and
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Why Study at the British Columbia Institute of Technology?

Why study at BCIT?

Among the major benefits you can receive while studying at the BCIT include:

Practical Education Aligned With Canada’s Labor Market

BCIT's approach to education is practical and hands-on. The institution offers over 300 programs designed to meet Canada's labor market needs. BCI has their developed curriculum in consultation with industry professionals, ensuring you acquire the skills and knowledge required to succeed in your chosen career. 

The institution's focus on practical education has earned it a reputation as one of Canada’s best polytechnic institutions, ranking in the top 15 of Course Compares best colleges in Canada for international students list.

Canadian and Global Industry Connections

BCIT has strong connections with Canadian and global industries. The institution's partnerships with industry leaders allow students to gain real-world experience through cooperative placements, internships, apprenticeships and applied research projects.

BCIT's industry connections also allow students access to cutting-edge technology and equipment, giving them a competitive edge in the job market. BCIT's industry partnerships also ensure that its curriculum remains relevant and up-to-date. Through the institute's Industry Services Team, prominent industry partners formed at the BCIT include:

Flexible Learning Options

If you can’t commit to full-time study but still want the benefits of technical and vocational education at BCIT, the institute offers flexible learning options that can cater to your needs. The institution's programs are offered full-time, part-time, and distance online learning education programs.

This flexibility allows you to balance your studies with work or other commitments. BCIT's distance education programs are delivered through its online learning platform, which provides students with access to

  • Course materials,
  • Assignments,
  • Discussion forums, and
  • Virtual interactive platforms.

Accommodating Campus Life

BCIT’s five main campuses () are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. These facilities provide cutting-edge amenities and technologies that you can use to further capitalize on your educational opportunities at BCIT. These facilities and amenities include:

  • Trade Learning Centers,
  • Test Centers,
  • Media Works, and
  • ehPod computer labs.

BCIT has on-campus student housing. It is located on the Burnaby Campus, adjacent to the campus recreation facilities and sports field. On-campus student housing at BCIT provides opportunities for you to share experiences with people from different backgrounds and become involved in campus life while achieving your academic goals.

Find out more about the accommodating student life in Canada.

Location in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is Canada’s third-largest city and the largest in British Columbia. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Canadian Rockies, which, for a closer look, you can access via national parks such as Yoho National Park, Kootenay National Park, or Mount Revelstoke National Park. If you want to have a nice night out with friends, the city has numerous entertainment districts, including:

  • Granville Street,
  • Yaletown,
  • Gastown,
  • Kitsilano,
  • Davie Village and,
  • Main Street.

Find out more about life in Vancouver.

How to Study in British Columbia?

If you are an international student interested in studying at the BCIT, you will need a study permit.

Canada Study Permit

A study permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allowing foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada.

Find out more about how to get a Canada study permit.

If you urgently need to move to British Columbia and begin your studies at BCIT as soon as possible, you can apply for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) if you’re eligible.

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

If you are a citizen of an eligible Asian, Latin American, or African nation, you can apply for the Student Direct Stream (SDS). The SDS is a streamlined visa processing program providing eligible international students with their study permit as fast as 20 Calender days.

Find out more about the Student Direct Stream.



Can I Apply to BCIT With my Midterm or Final Grade for the Required Course?

BCIT accepts applications with a midterm or final grades for the required course. However, it is important to note that your application will be considered incomplete until your final grades are received. Therefore, we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible and providing your final grades once they become available.

What is the Interview Process Like at BCIT?

BCIT may require an interview as part of the application process for certain programs. The interview may be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing. The interview aims to assess your suitability for the program and determine your ability to succeed in a demanding and fast-paced learning environment. It is important to prepare for the interview by researching the program and practicing your communication and problem-solving skills.

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