1. Letter of Acceptance
  2. Passport
  3. Study Permit
  4. IELTS / TOEFL Scores
  5. Official Transcripts

At the top of your Letter of Acceptance, you will see a note that indicates your designated Orientation day.

On the day of your assigned Orientation day, be in your residence lobby at 6:45AM to board the school bus. Check with residence staff as times may vary slightly due to traffic conditions on the road.

No. A fixed number of students have been assigned for the day. We will not be able to make any changes to your designated Orientation day.

Yes, parents are welcome to join the Orientation.

Parents will have the opportunity to meet with various Columbia Staff including the Executive Director, Principal, Residence Manager, etc. Schedule for parents is available at the Academic Office.

On the next school day, student must report to the Academic Office for registration.

We will look for an open spot for you. Go and see any staff in Residence or School, who will assist you by calling Ms. Marina at (905)572-7883 x2805 in Room 163.

8AM    The Orientation will begin

10AM After this time, students will be marked absent. Students will need to arrange another day to complete their Orientation. Students will need to ask staff to arrange another day for their Orientation.

Yes, students who have been tested are still required to attend the entire Orientation. They will have a modified schedule.

Yes, it is very important for all students to attend both days of Orientation. On Day 2, students will choose their courses with the Guidance Counsellors.

If you forget your Letter of Acceptance, please see one of the Orientation staff members once you arrive to the gym.

Students can request language support during the time of registration.

Registration can only be confirmed upon receipt of all complete documents.

Even though students may have completed English studies in their home country or English diagnostic test may have placed them at the Grade 12 level, the Ontario English curriculum is very heavily based on English literature which is something students may not be familiar with. Grade 12 English is the only course in Grade 12 that is required by all university/college programs and required to graduate; therefore, it is very important that students are successful in the course. If a student has not taken English literature before, we highly recommend they build their familiarity and foundation in Grade 11 English first before pursuing the very critical Grade 12 English course.

Student who are not good at math are encouraged to improve their foundations if they are determined to pursue a math related program. If not, there are many options within the field of social science. (Please refer to the “Programs” list under “University Admissions”)

All students must write an English and Math diagnostic test prior to registration at CIC. These are the tools that we use to effectively determine a student’s optimal placement in the Ontario curriculum.

We find many of our students are interested in pursuing Engineering or Science related programs in university. These programs are very competitive and require high grades in subjects like Chemistry and Physics. Science curriculums vary significantly around the world. We recommend students take a Science Diagnostic Test to make sure that they feel comfortable with all the content needed to be successful going directly into Grade 12 Science courses. Having to repeat courses can have a negative impact on university applications, as well as student morale; so we want to make sure students are set up for success from the beginning.

No. Unfortunately, students only have one chance to take a diagnostic test.

We first advise students to consider their strengths and weaknesses in terms of academics (math, science etc.) and interests. Guidance Counsellors offer career assessment tools and workshops that will help students narrow down their pathway and discover options. (Please see “General Requirements for University Programs” for more information to help you plan)

Although many high schools around the world teach courses in the field of Computer Science, the curriculums vary significantly; for this reason we do not feel that we can grant an EQV for Grade 11 Computer Science in most cases. The Ontario Computer Science course is very heavily based on Java programming, which we find is not typical in most other countries.

Students must present all transcripts and certificates at time of registration for review. A certificate may be accepted as a prerequisite for an art course.

Generally a student chooses the courses specific to Program of Study (PoS) in Grade 11.

During the regular Fall/Winter semesters a full time student takes 4 courses. Each period is 80 minutes long, making for a complete day with a period break for lunch and allowing to complete school at 4:00pm. This also provides students with adequate time to be successful in each course and manage their time. Currently, we are operating on a new schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students take 2 classes each with an hour and a half synchronous learning and an hour a half independent learning. We also encourage students to be involved in after school activities and community service to gain a holistic education and have a positive, well-rounded experience here at CIC.

This is a course that is mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education for attainment of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. (Please see “Graduation Requirements” for more information)

Yes. Textbooks are assigned to each class and are available at the College Store for students to buy. The book list will be available at the College Store. Students need to know the courses they are enrolled before going to the College Store to buy books.

New students have 5 school days to add or change a course.

No. Every student’s timetable is unique and classes are determined by schedule and availability.

Students without a lunch period should see a Guidance Counsellor for either a change in timetable or a “special lunch” permission.

Guidance Counsellors are assigned according to student’s family name.

Students are encouraged to connect with their Guidance Counsellor as often as they need. Students can email their counsellor, drop by their office, or request an appointment.

Guidance Counsellors help students with educational issues, academic support, and personal and social issues.

Columbia International College offers academic support through teachers and tutors. Students are encouraged to meet with their Guidance Counsellor to seek academic support.

If a student fails a compulsory course, they will need to repeat it in order to graduate. Failure of a course does not grant credit towards the required 30 credits for the diploma. A student can retake a course to upgrade their result. There will be no additional credit granted towards diploma for repeated courses when students earn a credit but choose to upgrade their mark. All courses appear on the transcript and all courses are disclosed to universities and colleges when applying. Repeated courses may have a negative impact on applications.

May is the ideal time to graduate and have the most opportunity to be accepted to all universities and programs for September.

Community services hours are a mandatory requirement set by the Ontario Ministry of Education for all Ontario high school students. Students will not receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) without completing the required hours. Community service will help students to develop character, become an active global citizen, as well as feel a sense of pride and contribution to the community; but also can be an asset to university supplementary applications and scholarship applications.

Student Development helps students organize and plan their community service requirement.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. All students across the province write this test on the same date, usually in late March each year.

It depends on the country. In Canada, Colleges usually refer to Community Colleges where students go to learn skills specific to an industry (Eg. Animation, Fashion Design, Radio Broadcasting) or to study trades (Eg. Electrician, Plumber, Machinist, or other specific trade). Colleges also offer many other programs such as Bachelor Degrees and certificates. For example, university graduates can study at a college in order to upgrade their skills. (Eg. If you have completed a university degree, you can go to college to study a post-graduate program in Human Resources Management.)

In the US, there are two types of colleges:

1) “Community College” which usually offers two year programs toward a diploma or an associate’s degree. You can refer to these as 2-year colleges.
2) “College” which usually refers to a 4-year bachelor’s degree granting institution. Students can either do an associate’s degree then transfer to a college or they can go directly to the 4-year institution. You can refer to these as 4-year colleges.

An undergraduate degree is the degree you will apply to from high school. You must complete an  undergraduate degree first. Normally you cannot enter a graduate program (a Master Degree or professional  Degree) until you have completed an undergraduate degree. Please refer to the information under What these academic terms and definitions mean?

Undergraduate Degree: It’s the first degree you can complete at the university level. It’s commonly called Bachelor’s degree, and may be further classified as honors or general (see below). You apply to it from high school.

Honours Degree: It’s typically completed in four years of full-time study and often focuses on a particular discipline. It provides the widest range of options, should you wish to pursue post-graduate studies. You must declare a major prior to graduation. For example: Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (in Accounting), or Honours Bachelor of Arts (in Canadian History).

General Degree: It’s typically completed in four years of full-time study and often involves a more generalized study of a broadly defined area. You will be grant “general” degrees like Bachelor of Arts. A few universities may offer three years program, and if you’ve chosen it, you are limiting your options for further university studies or professional studies. You should always apply to a four year undergraduate degree. Speak with your UP counsellor if you are unsure.

Professional Degree: It usually refers to those programs you cannot apply directly from high school including: Dentistry, Law, Medicine etc. It requires some university preparation for admissions.

Graduate Degree: It can be completed after an undergraduate degree. It involves additional study in a particular area of interest, and may include research or the completion of a thesis. You cannot apply directly from high school. It’s called a Master Degree or PHD or Doctorate Degree.

A Major is your primary area of study within a degree. It involves intensive focus on a specific discipline. For example, you could be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History.

A Minor is an optional secondary area of study that is related to or different from your major. It provides an introductory level of education about a single discipline. It is not mandatory and selected after you begin your university studies. It counts toward your overall degree. For example, you study History as your major but with Music as your minor. Universities may allow you to study two majors (double major) or more than one minor.

Co-op and internships are opportunities where you can gain work experience and test out potential career  paths before you graduate. Most commonly, co-op is a full-time, paid work term that lasts anywhere from  four to sixteen months. Students will normally not be registered in classes during their co-op work term. An  internship is usually a part-time, unpaid placement that can either take place during school or over the breaks  from the regular school year. Some universities use the terms co-op and internship interchangeably.

Co-op lets you try different jobs by alternating terms in class with terms working for employers in your field of  study. By participating in co-op, you’ll graduate with:

∙ Tons of paid work experience that relates to what you’re studying

∙ An understanding of your strengths and skills

∙ Employer contacts in your field

∙ A better sense of your career goals

Generally, the entry requirements for a Co-op stream are higher than for a regular non-co-op program. If  your grades are strong enough then you should definitely consider applying to Co-op and/or Internships.  These opportunities can give you relevant work experience that can strengthen your resumé and help you  explore what you want in a career.

Computer Science tends to focus on mathematics and computation – the focus is on theory. Computer  Engineering will include the components of Computer Science but will have an emphasis on the design and  development of real-world computing devices and systems.

These are all professional designations. In order to be granted the ability to practice any of these you will  usually need to complete some undergraduate studies first. After the initial undergraduate studies you will  then apply for the professional program. Many students will choose to complete a 4-year degree before studying their professional program. There are other requirements too. Talk with your Counsellor if you have  more questions.

Most universities will allow you to study Nursing if you are an international student. However, as part of the  Nursing program, you will be required to get some work experience in clinic, hospital or community health centre. Generally, in order to be a practicing nurse in Ontario, you must either be a Canadian Citizen or a  Permanent Resident.

If you are not quite sure or have not decided what program/major you will study at university, this may be the  program for you. It is common that a student has not decided on an academic discipline for his/her major or  changes majors two to three times during their post-secondary years. Your selection of a Subject of Major  Interest for the first year program (Level I or year one program) does not commit you to a specific program in  future years.

Not all Canadian universities offer an Undeclared Program for first year students, but at many Canadian  universities, students entering first year normally complete a common first-year program and then select a  specific discipline (area of study) as they enter year two.

During the first year at university, through self-exploration, with the guidance from professors and academic  advisors, and while you settle into university life, you have the chance to uncover where your real interests  and opportunities for success are.

By starting with an undeclared year at university, it gives you the opportunity to test your areas of interest  before you decide on your major for your second year. Changing majors is a lot of work and sometimes not  possible leading to disappointment.

Transfers are usually possible. Your university grades will need to be strong. In general it is easier to transfer  within the same faculty because the prerequisites are often similar across programs. When you are  transferring to a different faculty there may be differences in prerequisites for certain courses which might  require you to add some semesters to your stay at the university. It is usually easier to transfer earlier in your  university career. You should speak with an advisor at your university to learn about your options.

It is often possible to transfer. It will depend on the regulations of the university you are transferring to, your  grades from your current university, and how much of the program you have already completed.

Universities will likely ask for a reason for the transfer. They will also want to see a detailed breakdown of  every course you have completed at the university level so they can consider whether they will grant credit  for your work. Transferring is not easy and it is not advised unless absolutely necessary.

Students must first apply to Arts and Science at University of Alberta. Within your first year of Arts and Science you will take the required courses to get into business for 2nd year. There is no direct entry to the business program at University of Alberta from high school.

GPA means Grade Point Average. Universities often request your GPA for admissions purposes. GPA is most  commonly reported on a scale from 1 to 4. For example, a GPA of 4.0 can be considered equal to the range of  90-100% on the percentage scale. Most Canadian institutions do not use a GPA scale. GPA is more commonly  used in the US.

GPA 3.7 – 4.0 2.7 – 3.5 1.7 – 2.3 0.7 – 1.3
Grade A-, A or A+ B-, B or B+ C-, C or C+ D-, D or D+
Percentage 80 % – 100 % 70% – 79% 60% – 69% 50% – 59%


Yes, you can repeat a grade 12 course to try to get a higher mark. For many universities, there is no negative  impact. The university will simply take the higher mark out of the two and add that one into your average.

However, for some competitive universities, the rules are different. The University of Toronto will not accept  any repeated courses for Rotman Commerce or Engineering. For the rest of the programs at University of  Toronto, they may only take your first attempt mark as part of your average, especially if competition for your  program is strong that year. While recognizing that there may be valid reasons to repeat a course, the  University of Toronto reserves the right to give preference to students whose marks are the result of a single  attempt at each course.

The University of Waterloo will generally accept repeated courses but ask you to explain the reason for  repeating. However, Waterloo’s faculties of Engineering and Mathematics will likely deduct percentage points  from your overall average to compensate for the repeated courses.

Repeated courses may also negatively impact your chances for admission to competitive universities such as  University of British Columbia and McGill.

That means if you aim at these specific programs or universities, you’d better do every grade 12 course well  and achieve the highest mark you can for the first attempt because repeated marks will put you on a  disadvantage to compete with other students.

When calculating your admission average, universities will generally take the top 6 4U/M courses including  the required courses. If you are taking more than 6 courses, then the university can bump out a lower mark in  an elective course in favour of a higher one.

When calculating your admission average, universities will generally take the top 6 4U/M courses including  the required courses. If you are taking more than 6 courses, then the university can bump out a lower mark in  an elective course in favour of a higher one.

There are very few universities that will not require at least one 4U Math for a Business program. Even if a  university does not require math for admission, you will definitely be studying some Calculus and Statistics in  any real Business program. If you do not have a background in these topics you will be putting yourself at a  disadvantage. It is strongly recommended that you take Math if you are pursuing a Business program. If you  do not like Math or you are not achieving strong enough marks, you should consider choosing programs  under Social Sciences or Humanities which have less Math requirements or no Math requirements. Please  speak with your University Placement Counsellor for more information.

No, taking LKMDU will not negatively impact your admission chance as it is a recognized grade 12 university  preparatory level course. However, if you are applying to a competitive program, you will likely benefit more  from taking courses taught entirely in English and that are related to the program you want to study in  university. The Mandarin course may be an interesting option for you, but, for example, BAT4M (Accounting),  CIA4U (Economics), MDM4U (Data Management), BBB4M (International Business), or IDC4U (Marketing) may  be a better choice for a student interested in Business.

A supplementary application is an extra component that must be submitted in addition to the standard  university application. A supplementary application can be in the form of a portfolio, personal statement,  video statement, essay, short answers to several questions, or other documentation. The majority of  Canadian universities do not require supplementary applications, but many programs that are competitive  will require one (such as Engineering, Architecture, Business, Health Science, Design/Visual Arts and  Journalism at top universities.)

A portfolio is a collection of works created by you to show your skills and abilities in a certain subject. Portfolios are most commonly requested for programs that include a creative component. Eg. Design, Music, VisualArts/Fine Art, Drama, and Architecture.

A resumé is a formal document that lists and explains your education, work experience, and other relevant skills. Normally you will not need to submit a separate resumé with your applications in Canada, but a very few programs may require it.  Universities and colleges in the US will often ask or allow you to submit such supplements with your application.

If you are applying to universities in the US and/or UK, your application process begins in September of the  year prior to when you will begin your studies. For example, if you want to begin studies in September 2021 you will apply in September of 2020.

If you are applying to universities or colleges in Canada for September 2021 entry, your application will  normally begin in late November of 2020. If you are applying to universities or colleges in Canada for January  2021 admission, your application will normally begin in October of 2020.

Universities need a certain amount of time to consider the thousands of applicants who apply to them.  Deadlines are set so that the universities have time to consider all applications. As long as you complete your  application by the deadline, you will be equally considered for admission.

Be noted that the OUAC application deadline for Ontario universities for September 2021 admission will be on  January 15th, 2021. The deadlines vary for other Canadian universities outside of Ontario. Contact your  University Placement Counsellor for details.

For most programs there is no difference. However, there are a small number of universities and programs  that will likely not be able to accept June graduates. The following universities will have limited or no  availability for June Graduates while most other universities and programs are available to students who  graduate in June.

McGill University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of British Columbia, University of  Toronto, University of Waterloo (some programs), and Western University (main campus).

If you are graduating in May, most offers of admission will happen one to three weeks after your March  midterm grades are sent. Early admission from December to February is uncommon, unless you start G11 in  CIC or Canada, and satisfy all admission requirements (academic average, English language proficiency if  needed, supplementary application) before February. Offers are generally distributed throughout the period  from March to June.

If you are graduating in June, it is possible to get an offer as early as March, but most likely after the mid-term  of the June semester. But if you are taking a course in June that is required for your program, it is unlikely that  you will receive an early offer. In this case it is likely that you will not receive an offer until late June or later.  Speak with your counsellor if you are concerned.

If you are not eligible for the program you have applied for (average is descent, but lower than the required or  you do not have the required courses), sometimes a university may send you an alternate offer. This is an  offer to a program that is related to the one you applied for, but either has a lower average requirement or  one where you meet the course requirements.

Alternate offers can be a great option for students; both as insurance until you are able to boost your average  and ask for reconsideration for the program you applied to, or as a final option if your average does not  improve or there are no longer any available spots in the program to which you applied. Make sure to read the details and conditions closely and do research on this new program. You may find that you like this option  even better than your original choice!

Not all universities will do so to issue an alternate offer. Some only consider you for the programs you apply  to.

Postponing your admission is also called a deferral. Deferring your admission might be possible, but most  universities will need a valid reason. Often universities will only consider extenuating circumstances to be  valid. Examples of valid reasons include: health issues, the requirement to complete military service in your  country of citizenship, or other circumstances beyond your control. You need to make the request directly  with the university to get approval for the deferral.

Generally, ESL programs are expensive at university and can take up to 8 months or a year to complete. Some  ESL programs will not give you a conditional offer to your academic program until ESL is complete. Admission  to the program you have been accepted for may not be guaranteed after you complete ESL studies.

There are a few ESL programs that offer conditional admission to academic programs and are short in  duration, but only selected universities offer this type of program. Speak with your University Placement  Counsellor for clarification or more information.

If this is a concern for you, make sure you speak with an Admissions Officer in Ainsliewood Room 163 as soon  as possible. They are the people who can give you advice and assist you in your Study Permit renewal.

If you are in a full-time program, you may be able to work on-campus with only a Study Permit. In order to  work off-campus, you will likely need to apply for a Work Permit. You will need to visit your university website  and the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to get more details or visit the International Office or  Student Services Office in the university to get help.

An undergraduate calendar is the official listing of requirements for degree programs and courses offered by a  university. It also describes a university’s academic and administrative regulations, policies and procedures. It  is a great place to learn about what you will be studying in your program. You may need it when you register  courses online for your first year of university studies, and you can find it on the university website.

Often, universities use these words as synonyms. Scholarships, bursaries, and grants are amounts of money  given to students to help pay for tuition, and you don’t have to pay it back! Scholarships are normally awarded for scholastic and/or extra-curricular achievement and bursaries and grants are awarded on the  basis of financial need.

Tuition is an amount of money paid to a university/college so that you may hold a seat in your program and  attend classes. Tuition is paid in order to cover the costs associated with running the institution, such as  wages of administration and professors. Tuition is different at every institution. You will need to visit each  university/college website individually to check the tuition amounts for the current year.

Please note that residence fees (rent), meals and text books are not included in tuition. Student union  memberships and other mandatory fees (also known as ancillary fees) must also be paid in addition to tuition.  When you are researching tuition at your university/college, make sure to check whether ancillary fees are  included in the tuition reporting.

Some universities offer the chance to study your degree in French. Many Canadian universities offer this  opportunity. Some popular universities that have French immersion include: University of Alberta, York  University (Glendon Campus), and University of Ottawa, to name a few.

If you are French proficient or have your schooling back home in French and wish to apply to universities that  teach in French in Canada, come meet your University Placement Counsellor for assistance.