Centennial College facilities are currently closed and the College has moved to Teaching at a Distance. Please continue to visit our website for regular updates.

International Education Frequently Asked Questions

International Education Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: March 24, 2020, 2:13 PM

The novel coronavirus pandemic has hit student mobility hard. International students from all over the world are impacted by the travel restrictions by many countries to contain its spread. 

Centennial College continues to develop solutions for international students to pursue their post-secondary studies. This global health crisis doesn’t have to stop your study abroad plans.

The risk of contracting the virus in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada, remains low at this time. Based on well-researched pandemic models, now is the time to contribute to socially responsible health practices of social distancing and containment. Canada’s excellent public health system is prepared.

Canada, Ontario, and the City of Toronto have put comprehensive plans in place. The Canadian border has closed to all international travellers, and Toronto’s bars and tourist attractions have complied with the Ontario government’s directive to close, and restaurants are providing food by delivery or pick up only. Public schools and colleges and universities have temporarily closed and are transitioning to online learning.

 

How are students being supported?

Classes have been suspended from March 16 – 22 and campuses and learning sites, including our libraries and labs, are closed. Beginning on Monday, March 23, Centennial College faculty are “teaching at a distance” with online courses until further notice from our public health officials. Centennial staff are providing teleworking operations and virtual student services such as tutoring, success advising, counselling, accessibility services, admissions and immigration advising.

For international students in Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) have confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.

We know that challenges like these can be stressful for members of our community. The International Student Advising team is providing virtual services to students while the college is offering classes online. Current international students can contact sage@centennialcollege.ca for individual assistance. Students experiencing distress have the following 24/7 resources available to them:

Good2Talk Helpline: 1-866-925-5454
International Student Helpline: 1-844-451-9700
International Student Online Support

 

Will new students be taught via distance education?

Under the March 14, 2020 Travel Health Advisory issued by the government of Canada, all travellers from outside Canada must be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving here. However, starting online studies upon arrival or from your home country may be an alternate option to consider.

Centennial College is preparing online program offerings for both the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters and will be announcing available programs in the near future. This will allow students who are unable to travel in the coming months to start their studies through Centennial College or Suzhou Centennial College while in their home country. After the online semester, if they obtain a visa, students can transfer to Centennial College campuses in Toronto once the borders reopen, or continue studies online.

If the Canadian border remains closed, an alternate study abroad plan may involve distance education that allows you to start your academic progress and get a head start during the pandemic. Virtual student services such as success advising, tutoring, counselling, and immigration advising will also be available.

Students who prefer to wait to start their studies or whose programs are not available through online offerings may defer their start date to the next available intake for their program. International students who pay their first-semester tuition fees will automatically secure a seat in the next intake, but all accepted students are welcome to request a deferred offer letter for September 2020.

 

Are you still accepting applications? 

As difficult as it may be to think about the future right now, it is important that you hold onto your dreams and ambitions. Centennial College is still accepting applications and processing offer letters for May 2020 and September 2020 intakes. Apply online. We will be with you every step of the way!

Students who can meet Centennial’s English proficiency requirements are invited to apply for a direct offer as usual. Regular test score requirements will apply. Since English testing services have been suspended in some regions, Centennial College is offering an additional testing option.

To support students and reduce barriers to studying abroad during the pandemic, Centennial College’s English Assessment Test is now available as an admissions test for the May 2020 and September 2020 intakes. Students unable to meet regular English proficiency requirements can apply for a conditional offer, and we will provide instructions on how to book your online English Assessment test.

We want you to know that Centennial College is deeply committed to helping you achieve your learning and career goals. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves, to help provide clarity and guidance as you strive to keep planning your education during this challenging time.

Stay safe and help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Check our Frequently Asked Questions page for updates.

 

When is the last date to arrive for the May 2020 semester?

As soon as we have the answer to this question about semester dates, we will let all students know via email, website, myCentennial, eCentennial, and social media. "Teaching at a distance" will last until (at least) April 5, when we will reassess our situation. We hope to resume normal functions on April 6 to the extent possible, but it will be dependent on the public health context of COVID-19 at the time.

The last date to register and start attending classes is one week past the official start date. Keep in mind, under the Travel Health Advisory issued by the government of Canada, all travelers from outside Canada must be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving here. However, starting your studies online may be an option to consider upon arrival. For international students in Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) have confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.

Please consider when booking travel to ensure your travel arrangements are refundable should you become ill or need to adjust your travel plans. We recommend you do not pay for accommodation until the Canadian border reopens to international travelers unless you can defer your payment in case you decide to postpone your arrival in Canada and start date at Centennial College.

 

IELTS testing is currently suspended in my region. How can I meet the English requirements?

To support students and reduce barriers to studying abroad during the pandemic, Centennial College’s English Assessment Test is now available as an admissions test for the May 2020 and September 2020 intakes. Students unable to meet regular English proficiency requirements can apply for a conditional offer, and we will provide instructions on how to book your online English Assessment test.

You can apply to Centennial online, and there is no application fee. However, it will cost CAD $90 to book the online admissions test. Successful candidates that enrol at Centennial will receive a $90 credit towards their tuition fees. The cost of the test is non-refundable, and this credit has no cash value.

After completing the English assessment test, you will receive an Individual Score Report. International applicants should then contact their International Admissions Assistant by email and attach their English assessment test score report to their application package.

To write your assessment online, all you need is a computer, web camera, and a high-speed internet connection. At the time of your assessment, a live online proctor will provide the necessary software to effectively proctor your test session remotely. After the session is complete, the proctor will remove any remote proctoring software from your computer.

To prepare for the assessment, we recommend you review the assessment format and complete the study materials relevant to the assessment(s) you will be writing.

Click here for information on how to write your assessment online.

Please note there is no in-person testing at this time.

 

What English assessment test placement level do I need for admission into my program?

English Proficiency test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL are not required for applicants that meet the minimum English Assessment Test placement level required for their program choice.

  • 141 meets the English requirements for Foundations programs
  • 160 or 170 meets the English requirements for Diploma (depending on the program*)
  • 160 meets the English requirements for Fast-Track programs
  • 160 meets the English requirements for Graduate Certificate (some exceptions**)
  • English Language Learning is available for students with a placement level below 141

*To find out if your Diploma program begins with level COMM 170/171 or COMM 160/161, please review the “Program Outline” tab on the online program outline

**Some Graduate Certificate programs offered at the Story Arts Centre require level COMM 171, including Professional Writing, Contemporary Journalism, Publishing – Book, Magazine and Electronic and Sports Journalism.

 

I did not get the placement level needed for my program. Can I retake the test?

Applicants are eligible to take Centennial’s English Assessment Test a maximum of twice, and the cost is $90 each time. A maximum credit of $90 will go towards the tuition of international students that enrol at Centennial College in the May 2020 and Fall 2020 intake.

Students requiring an admissions test should follow these instructions:

  1. Book your online appointment.
  2. Select: Register Online
  3. Select: Choose a group – Select: Centennial College Skills Assessment
  4. Select: Admissions – Select English Admissions Test (Online) ($90.00)
  5. Enter personal details and pay for your exam.

You will receive an email with instructions on how to arrange your Centennial College’s English Skills Admissions Assessment online

Students requiring placement testing will be notified via their my.centennialcollege account after April 21, 2020. If you have questions about your assessment test, please contact assessmentcentre@centennialcollege.ca for more information.

 

Can international students still apply?

As difficult as it may be to think about the future right now, it is important that you hold onto your dreams and ambitions. Centennial College is still accepting applications and processing offer letters for May 2020 and September 2020 intakes. Apply online. We will be with you every step of the way!

 

Can accepted international students still enrol?

On March 16, the government of Canada announced it would close its borders to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

We are hopeful that these measures will help control the situation, and perhaps the border will reopen in time to welcome international students with a valid study permit to Canada. If the border remains closed, an alternate study abroad plan may involve distance education. Centennial College is preparing online program offerings for both the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters and will be announcing available programs soon. Students who are unable to travel in the coming months may start their studies online while in their home country. After the online semester, if they obtain a visa, students can transfer to Centennial College campuses in Toronto once the borders reopen or continue studies online.

Students who prefer to wait to start their studies or whose programs are not available through online offerings may defer their start date to the next available intake for their program. International students who pay their first-semester tuition fees will automatically secure a seat in the next intake, but all accepted students are welcome to request a deferred offer letter for September 2020.

 

How can I defer my start date at Centennial College?

To request a deferred offer letter for September 2020, please contact the International Office at international@centennialcollege.ca and include your student number and country of residence for more information. You can also contact your International admissions assistant directly.

 

Which countries are unable to apply for May 2020?

While country borders are currently closed, we are processing applications trusting this situation will change as we move forward. International students from English speaking countries within Africa should apply for September 2020 because of a longer visa approval process. Students from Iran, Italy, and China should apply for September 2020 studies in Canada due to travel restrictions currently in place.

 

How might COVID-19 affect my study permit?

Whether you are seeking immigration advice or information on working in Canada, an international student advisor can help. If your study permit is due to expire before you complete your program, you will need to apply for an extension to be able to continue studying in Canada. 

International students can apply to extend their Study Permit online. If your study permit expires before April 6, 2020, email sage@centennialcollege.ca to connect with an international student advisor for guidance. To apply online for a study permit extension, you need to prepare required documents in an acceptable format (PDF, WORD or JPEG) and upload them from your MyCIC account. The Student Hub provides step-by-step guides to help you prepare your applications before getting them checked by an International Student Advisor. 

 

Will online classes affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) has confirmed that for international students in Canada, courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for a post-graduation work permit. We will continue to share new information on the Government of Canada’s response to the evolving pandemic situation as it is announced.

Check Canada.ca for updates.

 

Can I work full-time while classes are off? Is this considered an “official break?”

International students can work 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during scheduled breaks. At this time, the current situation is not considered a scheduled break at Centennial College. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not announced any changes related to eligibility to work. We recommend you do not pick up extra hours at this time. Based on well-researched pandemic models, now is the time to contribute to socially responsible health practices of social distancing. We will keep our community informed if IRRC announces further information.

Keep in mind, beginning March 23, classes are back in session, and Centennial College will be teaching at a distance with virtual services and teleworking operations.

 

Will the closure affect convocation?

With the COVID-19 pandemic moving quickly, we want to assure you that our team continues to consider the health and safety of our community while we plan our Convocation ceremonies. We know you must have questions and arrangements you need to resolve before you can finalize convocation planning for yourself, your family and friends.

We are working hard to clarify our plans for convocation and will update our webpage with more comprehensive information as decisions are made. For more information visit Coronavirus Flu Prevention.

 

What support is available through guard.me? *Updated

We have received numerous questions regarding guard.me policies and coverage for illnesses related to COVID-19.  You can find helpful COVID-19 resources from guard.me such as a Quick Reference Guide, Travelling to Canada FAQ, and useful links on the following webpage: www.guard.me/centennial

All registered international students at Centennial College are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan offered through guard.me. The health insurance policy provides coverage for emergency medical services that is valid all over the world, except your country of origin. 

If a student is diagnosed with an illness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, they are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.

Learn more about guard.me health insurance for international students at Centennial.

 

Can international students with a valid study permit travel to Canada? *New

On March 20, 2020, the Canadian Government announced that international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020 will be exempted from the current travel restrictions. Keep in mind, all individuals entering from abroad must isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. Those affected should not try to travel to Canada immediately. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) will announce when the exemptions are in place. Details are expected to be announced in the week of March 23.

Read more about the travel exemptions announced by the Government of Canada.

Please consider when booking travel to ensure your travel arrangements are refundable should you need to adjust your travel plans. Here’s a tip: avoid booking your flight through a third-party service, and book directly with airlines instead. Many third-party agencies will not provide refunds on booked flight.

 

Can I travel back to my home country while classes are online? *New

On March 20, 2020, the Canadian Government announced that international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020 will be exempted from the current travel restrictions.

However, since individual circumstances vary and things are changing rapidly, we advise that you connect with your International Student Advisor to discuss potential implications of leaving Canada. It may not be possible to get a return flight due to travel restrictions, and all travellers must self-isolate for 14 days once they return from travel outside the country. Keep in mind, your international student health insurance is valid everywhere in the world, except your country of origin.

Travelers who become ill may not have access to timely and appropriate health care or may face movement restrictions if local authorities impose control measures suddenly.

All registered international students at Centennial College are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan offered through guard.me. If a student is diagnosed with an illness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, they are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy. Read more about your guard.me insurance.

The risk of contracting the virus in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada, remains low at this time. Based on well-researched pandemic models, now is the time to contribute to socially responsible health practices of social distancing. The Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Click here for more travel advice.

Still thinking about travelling? If you do need to go abroad, be sure to first visit the Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories webpage.

 

Can I still apply for a study permit to study in Canada? *New

Yes, accepted international students can still apply for a study permit. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) strongly encourages that new applicants apply online for their study permit as they are experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in-person at Visa Application Centres (VAC’s). While travel restrictions at Canadian borders are currently in place, the Canadian government announced that no applications in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the next step (e.g. giving biometrics) due to COVID-19.

If your study permit is approved for May 2020 but you are unable to travel to Canada at that time, please check your Letter of Introduction (a letter issued by the Canadian government confirming your study permit approval) to verify your permit validity date. This is the date you need to enter Canada by.

Don’t forget to contact your International Admissions team to defer your program and to request an updated offer letter which you will need when you travel to Canada.

Centennial College is still accepting applications and processing offer letters for May 2020 and September 2020 intakes. Students who are unable to travel in the coming months may consider our online program offerings while in their home country. After the online semester, if they obtain a visa, students can transfer to Centennial College campuses in Toronto once the borders reopen, or continue studies online. Students who prefer to wait to start their studies or whose programs are not available through online offerings may defer their start date to the next available intake for their program.