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Vancouver Film School

Updated: October 24th, 2023

Canada has become an increasingly popular destination for international students seeking quality education and diverse cultural experiences. The country offers a wide range of study options, including renowned institutions that specialize in various fields. For aspiring filmmakers, Vancouver Film School in Canada stands out as a premier choice for pursuing their dreams. If you are considering studying film and becoming an international student in Canada, VFS is a great institution. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know about this prestigious film school.

Introduction to Vancouver Film School

Located in the vibrant city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Film School (VFS) is a leading institution in film and entertainment arts education. Established in 1987, VFS has built a global reputation for its immersive and hands-on learning approach, preparing students for successful careers in the film industry. The school offers a dynamic and supportive environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. There are 15 one-year courses, ranging from film and 3D visual animation to sound design.

Vancouver Film School Programs and Courses

Vancouver Film School offers various programs and courses catering to various aspects of filmmaking and entertainment arts. Whether you are interested in directing, screenwriting, cinematography, visual effects, animation, or sound design, VFS has a program tailored to your specific interests and career goals. The school offers one-year intensive and longer diploma programs, providing flexibility for students with different time commitments.

VFS programs are designed to be hands-on and project-based, allowing students to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical settings. Students work collaboratively on industry-standard projects, gaining valuable experience and building a professional portfolio. The curriculum is constantly updated to reflect the latest trends and advancements in the film industry, ensuring students have the skills and knowledge needed to stay ahead.

VFS Preparatory Programs

VFS has preparatory programs designed for students who wish to gain more experience in the arts. Each program will take your experience to new heights and build valuable skills. Students usually complete one of the preparatory offerings and then move on to one of the film school’s advanced programs. You’ll find the following preparatory programs at VFS:

  • Acting Essentials
  • English for Creative Arts
  • Foundation Visual Art & Design

VFS Advanced Production Programs

VFS’s selection of programs covers every area of the film and television industry, from the idea stage to post-production. So, whichever advanced program you choose, you are guaranteed access to guidance from an industry professional. Available advanced production programs are as follows:

  • 3D Animation & Visual Effects
  • Acting for Film & Television
  • Animation Concept Art
  • Classical Animation
  • Digital Design
  • Film Production
  • Game Design
  • Makeup Design for Film & Television
  • Programming for Games, Web & Mobile
  • Sound Design for Visual Media
  • VR/AR Design & Development
  • Writing for Film, Television & Games

VFS Part-time Online Courses

Vancouver Film School has a part-time, online learning platform called VFS Connect. Here, you’ll find short-track workshops and certificate courses, along with seasonal programs, in areas such as Film, 3D & VFX, Classical Animation, Game Design, Creative Tech, etc.

VFS short-track workshops run for four days and are ideal for exploring the creative industries. These workshops will provide you with an introduction to industry-standard software, including Adobe Suite, Unreal, and Unity.

VFS certificate courses, on the other hand, run for around eight weeks. A certificate course will help you build the portfolio required to apply to a full-time advanced program at VFS.

Why Study at the Vancouver Film School?

Studying at Vancouver Film School offers many benefits that set it apart from other institutions. Firstly, VFS boasts a faculty of industry professionals who bring real-world experience and expertise into the classroom. This ensures students receive practical and up-to-date knowledge relevant to the ever-evolving film industry. Additionally, VFS provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with the latest industry tools and technologies.

Another advantage of studying at VFS is its strong industry connections. The school has established partnerships with leading film production companies, studios, and agencies, providing students with valuable networking opportunities and potential pathways to internships and employment.

Perhaps the biggest drawcard for studying at this private entertainment arts school is the fact that it has been known to place its students in the biggest companies in the media industry like Disney, Dream Works, HBO, Google, Netflix, Pixar, EA Sports, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros Pictures.

Furthermore, VFS offers a comprehensive career development program that equips students with the necessary skills to succeed in the competitive film industry.

Admission Requirements for International Students

If you want to become an international student in Canada and aspire to study at Vancouver Film School, you must fulfill certain admission requirements.

Universal Requirements for VFS

All prospective students must tick the following boxes:

  • You must have completed high school
  • You must be over 19 years old
  • You must be able to provide at least two references
  • You must have a plan to pay for studies
  • You must have medical cover

VFS Requirements for International Students

If you don’t have Canadian permanent residency but want to study in Canada, you must meet the following VFS requirements:

  • You must obtain a Canadian Study Permit
  • You must prove that you are proficient in one or both of Canada’s official languages - English and French

Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Students

Studying abroad is a significant financial investment, but various scholarships and financial aid options are available to international students. You’ll find that VFS offers a range of scholarships and bursaries that recognize and support talented individuals. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, creative potential, and financial need. Additionally, there are external scholarships and funding opportunities that you can explore.

You should note that availability and eligibility criteria for scholarships may vary, so visit the official VFS website and explore the scholarship options specific to your program of interest. Also, consider other funding sources, such as government scholarships in your home country or educational loans, to ensure that you have a comprehensive financial plan in place.

How to Apply For a Canadian Study Permit

To apply for a Canadian study permit, you must have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian tertiary institution, proof of financial support, a valid passport, and proof of proficiency in English or French. Follow the steps below to apply.

Step 1: Check to See Whether You Qualify

You must first check your eligibility for a Canadian study permit. You must:

Step 2: Secure an Acceptance Letter

You must obtain an acceptance letter from a DLI in Canada.

Step 3: Get Your Documents Together

Gather important documents such as your passport, proof of funds, proof of acceptance, and other accompanying documents.

Step 4: Pay Required Fees

It will cost 150 CAD for a Canadian Study Permit. Once you have paid this, you can submit your application for processing.

Living and Studying in Vancouver

VFS is based in one of the most incredible cities in Canada, Vancouver. The city offers an exceptional quality of life, making it an ideal location for studying and pursuing your filmmaking dreams.

Known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture, and thriving arts scene, Vancouver provides a vibrant and inspiring backdrop for creative individuals. The city offers a wide range of recreational activities, from hiking and skiing in the nearby mountains to exploring the vibrant neighborhoods and enjoying the local cuisine.

Be sure to include the following on your Vancouver must-see list:

  • Tour de White Rock
  • The Rocky Mountains for sightseeing or hiking
  • Vancouver Aquarium
  • Playland Amusement Park
  • Stanley Park
  • Vancouver Seawall

Also take a look at free and affordable things to do in Vancouver.

Accommodation in Vancouver

If you are worried about finding accommodation in Vancouver when you start your course at Vancouver Film School, you’ll be relieved to know that the film schools helps students with finding a suitable place to stay. VFS has long-standing connections with landlords in Vancouver, which means that you’ll have access to accommodation at any budget. Options include on-campus housing, off-campus rentals, and homestays.


At What Point Do I Pay For Biometrics For My Canadian Study Permit?

Biometrics fees must be paid when submitting your Canadian Study Permit application. Failure to do this will result in IRCC processing delays.

Can International Students Work in Canada?

As an international student in Canada, you can work up to 20 hours per week.

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