We know you probably have a lot of questions, and we’re here to help! We’ve listed out some of our frequently asked questions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to contact a representative.

Pre Arrival

Do I need a visa for coming to Canada?

If you are studying for less than 6 months, you may need a Visitor’s visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on which country you are from.

If you are a foreign student and you are studying for more than 6 months, you will need to apply for a study permit prior to your arrival in Canada. IGK will provide you with the necessary documents to apply for your study visa.

In most cases, we highly recommend to apply for a study permit. Please check Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for more information.

Which documents do I need to bring upon arrival in Canada?

Depending on if you need a Visitor’s visa, an Electronic Travel Authorization, or a study permit, you will need to present the following documents upon arrival in Canada:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa or eTA confirmation
  • Letter of acceptance from IGK
  • Confirmation of accommodation
  • Return airline ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds

You will have to go through immigration and customs at your first point of entry into Canada (e.g. an airport where you have a layover when flying to your final destination). Make sure you have enough time to go through immigration during your layover.

When should I arrive in Canada?

We advise you to arrive in Canada 1-3 days in advance of your course start date. This will give you enough time to rest, settle in your accommodation, organize the first things, and adjust to your new life in Canada.

Courses typically start on a Monday, so it’s best to arrive between Friday and Sunday. Also, make sure to check with your accommodation about your move-in date.

How will I get from the airport to my accommodation?

If you request an airport transfer, a IGK representative will meet you at the airport. The representative will be holding up a sign with your name so please look out for this.

If you did not request an airport transfer, you can use a taxi service or commute to your desired location. For more information, please see: Pleasecheck this link

How much money should I bring with me?

This depends on how long you are going to stay in Canada and where you plan on living. For a student, the Canadian government recommends CAN$10,000 per year or CAN$833 per month (in addition to tuition).

Have a look at this website by the Canadian government for more information.

What are the living costs like in Canada?

This depends on where you will live in Canada and your personal preferences. It makes a big difference if you decide to stay in a shared room outside of Kelowna or choose a private room in a homestay in popular Kelowna.

Have a look at this website by the Canadian government for more information.

Do I need medical insurance?

All students are required to have medical coverage upon arrival in Canada. If you request IGK to arrange for medical insurance, you will be insured through a company called Study Insured.

If you have a study or work permit for more than 6 months, then you can apply for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) in British Columbia and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) in Ontario or Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) in Alberta.

Have a look at our Medical Care page for more information or contact an IGK representative.

In Canada

How can I commute between school and my accommodations?

International Gateway Language Academy and College Kelowna

We recommend you purchase a BC Transit Pass for Whistler depending on your commuting needs. For more information please visit the BC Transit website.

International Gateway Language Academy and College Calgary

We recommend you purchase a “Montly Pass”, which will give you access to Ctrain and buses. You have the option to get a monthly pass for more flexibility. For more information please visit the Calgary Transit website.

International Gateway Language Academy and College Toronto

We recommend you purchase the “Metro Pass” which will grant you access to subways, streetcars, and buses. For more information please visit the TTC website.

Is Canada a safe country?

In 2020, Canada has been ranked as the second safest country in the world (after Switzerland). Crime rates are low, police are trusted, emergency services are easy to contact and quick to respond. It is always recommended to apply some common sense when you travel (e.g., locking your valuables if you live in a shared room or apartment). During orientation, our IGK campus staff will also share information regarding your personal safety and security specific to the region you are living in.

How can I find a job?

Finding a job in Canada is fairly easy as long as you are open and flexible. Canada has several popular online job boards, where you can look for jobs. For example: Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, Canadian Job Bank, and WorkBC. IGK also has its own Future Series Jobs List as well as a co-op with local community business where you’ll be able to find new jobs every week.

As part of your Career Programs, you are invited to join three valuable job workshops, which focus on preparing your application documents and getting you ready for the Canadian job market.

Our Work Placement Coordinator is also happy to look at your resume and assist you in finding a paid job as soon as possible.

Do I have to pay sales tax in Canada?

When you go shopping in Canada, keep in mind that sales tax is always added to the price you see on the tag. The goods and services tax (GST) is a 5% federal tax you pay on most goods and services you purchase in Canada. In some provinces, the GST has been combined with the provincial sales tax to create the harmonized sales tax (HST). HST rates vary by province and range from 5% – 15%.

For example:

British Columbia has 7% PST (Provincial Sales Tax) + 5% GST (Goods and services tax) = 12% total tax

Ontario has 13% HST (Harmonized sales tax = GST + provincial sales tax)

You can find more information here.

Can I get a job while studying at IGK?

For English language classes NO. In Canada, language classes (English, French or any other) do not grant the possibility of a work permit.

When you take part in one of our Career Programs, you can work full time or part-time during your study term. Also your Co-Operative (co-op) term will include a paid full-time work placement.

What is co-op?

The paid co-op work experience portion is an important part of the practical side of this program. This is where the student applies the theoretical lessons learned in our academic classes to the real world. It is designed to give the student experience in a Canadian work setting that supports the learning objectives of their class.

Over the course of the academic program, co-op students will take a four-week Job Search course. This course will run in the afternoon and prepare them for the co-op section. It will help students with researching employment opportunities, understanding their own strengths and weaknesses and building a professional image.

Throughout the academic and co-op portions of this program you will receive the support from our Co-Op Coordinator who will work with you to help find a suitable work opportunity and assist you to successfully complete the co-op portion of the program. At the end of the work experience, the student is required to come back to IGK and complete their two-week Capstone portion of this program before graduating.

How much money can I earn during my studies and during co-op?

The salary depends on the company, the type of job, and previous work experience and studies. Generally, the more education and professional experience that someone has, the higher the wage can be. Earning the minimum wage during the academic period, students typically make between $ 900 and $ 1,000 Canadian dollars per month. During the co-op period, students can earn between $ 1800 and $ 2000 Canadian dollars per month.

How does the IGK help students to find jobs?

Although finding employment for the co-op portion is student’s responsibility, IGK supports students in topics such as: writing a Canadian resume, preparation of cover letter, talking to employers, how to apply, etc.

In addition, we have monthly workshops about how job interviews are like, where to look for jobs and what the Canadian work culture is like. In the same way, we have a job bank because companies know that we always have students looking for jobs. IGK is often the connection between these companies and the students.

Can I work anywhere I want for my co-op?

No, jobs for the co-op need to be related to the program you are studying. Please talk with one of our advisors to see if a job could be used for a co-op.

How do I start my co-op?

Co-ops must be approved by IGK before you start. Please talk to Career Service for more information.

Can I work part time during Co-op semesters?

Yes, students can work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the whole program period.

How many hours am I supposed to work for my co-op?

Depending on your program, the co-op is either 300 hours, 500 hours, 750 hours or 1000 hours. To complete the co-op, students need at least 80% of their co-op hours.

What happens if I cannot find a co-op in time?

Please talk to Career Services as soon as possible. We can help create a plan for your specific situation.

Can my children go to public schools while I study at IGK?

In order 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 hrs per week). If you are coming with your spouse, he or she must also have a study or work permit of at least one year and a part-time job.

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:



What will my first day at IGK look like?

English Language Students

On your first day at school, you will be welcomed by our IGK staff and it is made sure that you have all the necessary documents. Afterward, you will take a 1-hour written Placement test (either online or in-person) and a short speaking assessment. Together with a representative of the IGK, you will go on a short neighborhood tour to get to know your surroundings. When you return to school, you will have your orientation with our Academic Manager. Your first class will start after the lunch break.

Career Program Students

On your first day at school, you will be welcomed by our IGK staff and it is made sure that you have all the necessary documents. You will also receive your “first-day package”. Together with our Work Placement Coordinator, you will go on a short neighborhood tour to get to know your surroundings and visit the local Services Canada office to receive your Social Insurance Number. When you return to school, you will have your orientation with our Academic Manager. Your first class will start the following Monday.

Where are IGK students from?

IGK is a multicultural school with students from over forty different countries spanning seven regions of the world. When choosing a course with IGK, you are destined to make friends from all over the world!

How many students on average are in each class?

For our Language programs, there is a maximum of 14 and an average of 10 students per class.

For our Career programs, the maximum is 22 and on average, there are 16 students per class.

Is there someone to talk to in my mother language?

IGK has native speakers for most common languages (e.g. English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, and German). Feel free to contact us if you need assistance in any of these languages.

Does IGK arrange social activities for after class?

Yes! You can browse our activity schedules per location or the activities section of our website. You can also speak to the Activity Coordinator if you want to sign up or participate in a more active role.

Can I take a vacation from studying?

Students must notify the Academic Manager in writing at least 2 weeks prior to the planned vacation. IGK allows students to take one vacation break (only if the enrolment period exceeds 12 weeks). The maximum vacation length is 2 weeks. There will be no refunds for the time missed in class.

Do I need medical insurance?

Yes, you will receive a certificate upon course completion. Please make sure to always keep up with your course work and don’t miss too many classes because attendance is also important.


International Gateway Language Academy and College - Kelowna

DLI Number:

+1 (250) 868-4827


International Gateway Language Academy and College - Calgary

DLI Number: