International Students

The college welcomes applications to our degree programs from international students. Many of our students come from outside Canada!  

Whether you’re considering applying, have recently been accepted, or are already studying with us, you’re in the right place to find information about the application process, health insurance, working in Quebec post-graduation, and much more. 

Please note that in January 2024, the Government of Canada announced a number of changes to immigration regulations for international students. This includes a two-year cap on the number of study permits for international students and prevents the spouses of students in undergraduate programs from obtaining work permits. These changes are still being implemented and we await further information on their impact on our programs. 

How to apply…

Due to the college’s historic relationship with McGill University, all students must apply to both McGill and the college. 

Ensure that you meet the admission prerequisites for the program to which you are applying. Please note, the college is not able to accept international applications to the diploma in ministry.

Check the application requirements for your program and assemble all the materials you will need (for example, for the Master of Divinity, you will need transcripts from previous post-secondary study, a 500-word personal statement, and two people willing to write you a letter of recommendation). 

Fill out the McGill application form and pay the application fee (currently $133.41).

Fill out the college application form. There is no fee to apply to the college. However, your application to a degree program at the college will not be complete until you submit your application and application fee to McGill.

I’ve been accepted, now what?

1. Please note that students must apply for all immigration documentation using the McGill letter of admission. 

2. College staff do not provide immigration advice. If you have specific questions, you may consult staff at McGill’s International Student Services by requesting an online consultation here.

3. International Student Services at McGill provides complete guides on how to apply for the required immigration paperwork. We encourage students to consult those resources here.

4. Applicants may also be advised to consult an immigration lawyer who can assist them in preparing their applications.

Ensure you have a valid passport. It is advisable to have a passport that will not expire during the duration of your program.

Apply for a study permit from the Government of Canada.

Depending on your situation, some students may need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization. Only U.S. Citizens and permanent residents are exempt from this requirement. Click here to find out more.

What about health insurance?

International students in Canada are required to have health insurance for the duration of their program. 

M.A., S.T.M., Ph.D., B.Th., and first two years of the M. Div.

You will receive health insurance through McGill while you are a student. The cost will be included in your student fees. 

Last Year of the M. Div. (In Ministry Year)

Students in the In Ministry Year are no longer enrolled at McGill. During this time you will still need to have health insurance, which can be purchased privately for about the same cost as the McGill plan. When it comes time to do this, please contact one of the faculty members at Dio so that they can help you out. 

What about housing?

There are many housing options available to you during your studies. The residence of The Presbyterian College is in downtown Montreal and right next to the college. You can also check out the McGill website to learn more about student housing. If you want to live off campus, Facebook groups such as Montreal Apartments, Roommates, Rooms for Rent and Sublets or McGill Off-Campus Housing are good places to start. Montreal’s great system of public transportation makes it possible to live in one of Montreal’s many neighbourhoods and have ready access to the college. There may also be other students at the college looking for roommates. If you are concerned about housing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so that we can help you find someone who has a room available.  

What about money?

Tuition Reduction for Ministry Candidates

As part of its commitment to sharing its rich resources with a global church, students preparing for ministry in certain provinces of the Anglican Communion are entitled to pay tuition and fees as if they were domestic students. In order to qualify for this category, students must provide a signed letter from a bishop in the Anglican Communion that indicates they are either a priest in good standing or are in preparation for ordained ministry. Please read the full policy for details.

As the college integrates United Church programming, we are committed to extending the same practice to people preparing for ministry in churches around the world that are in relationship with the United Church of Canada. While we update the policy, we will make these decisions individually. Please contact us if you think this applies to you.

McGill Work Study

McGill provides job opportunities for students who wish to work during their time as a student. All you need to be eligible is to be enrolled as a McGill student, have a valid work permit, and a valid social insurance number which you can apply for once you are a student. Click here to learn more about McGill’s work study program.

Scholarships and Bursaries

There are several ways to get financial aid for your studies, including applying for bursaries from the college, through your diocese, or from a variety of organisations that support theological education. Please see our financial aid page for more details.

I’ve graduated and want to work in Quebec. How can I make this happen?

Post-Graduation Work Permit

According to current regulations, students who complete the Bachelor of Theology program at McGill University are eligible for a post-graduation work permit from the Government of Quebec. The post-graduation work permit is valid for up to the same length as your program of study. Click here to learn more about eligibility and applying for the PGWP. 

French Classes

A knowledge of French is necessary in many workplaces in Quebec. The Government of Quebec offers free French classes for people wishing to settle in Quebec. Click here to learn more.