Fast-track to Information

Out-of-Country / Out-of-Province

If you are one of the many students from around the world and across Canada who choose to study at Ontario colleges and universities, you will need to know how to choose an institution and program and obtain a student visa. The following websites are provided by the Ontario and Canadian governments:


If you are interested in learning a skilled trade, the Ontario government provides useful information on their Employment Ontario site.

If you are a certified apprentice and are interested in further education, some colleges have developed pathways from apprenticeship programs to college diploma programs. Check our Transfer Guide.

Internationally Educated Professionals

If you are one of the many recent immigrants to Canada with postsecondary credentials from another country, you may be experiencing difficulty in finding work in your profession or in having your credentials recognized. The government of Ontario funds many 'bridging' or 'gateway' programs to help internationally trained individuals meet Canadian practice standards in professions in Canada, especially those regulated by professional licensing bodies, such as engineering and nursing. Information on qualifying to work in Ontario is provided by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

English language proficiency is a common entrance requirement for these programs, and universities and colleges may offer language as well as cultural and workplace orientation courses.

The Accreditation Assistance Access Centre (AAAC) for Internationally Trained Professionals and Trades People is an Employment Assistance Service, sponsored by Social Enterprise for Canada. It is an Employment Ontario program funded in part by the Government of Canada and Social Enterprise for Canada. See the AAAC website for more information.

The Internationally Educated Professionals annual conference website offers useful information and links to help new immigrants navigate Canadian and Ontario academic and career paths. Find more information on the IEP website.

There are also many services offered by individual professional organizations and certifying bodies, such as the Professional Development Institute (PDI) sponsored by the Certified Management Accountants of OntarioDownload pdf File.

Applicants Without a High School Diploma

If you did not complete high school and are interested in postsecondary education, there are routes to help you prepare for and get accepted into a college or university program. Information on routes to a high school diploma is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

If you are considering getting a General Education Diploma (GED), you should be aware that the GED is generally recognized for entrance to college certificate and diploma programs but it is not accepted by Ontario universities for entrance to their programs.

If you are 19 or older, you can apply to publicly funded colleges in Ontario as a mature student and take a series of tests to evaluate your academic readiness for college. Most colleges also offer Academic Upgrading to help you develop needed academic skills. Visit the website of individual colleges and search for 'mature student admission' to find out your options.

Most universities also have an admission category for mature applicants, with different definitions and policies in place at each institution. Visit the individual university websites and search for 'mature student admission' for details.

You can apply to take courses through Open Learning at the University of Guelph without a high school diploma. If you are successful in the courses you take, you may apply to transfer to a degree program on the basis of your Open Learning record.

Ontario colleges also offer distance education courses that will help you apply to college through OntarioLearn.

Changing Careers

If you are interested in changing careers or are coming back to the workforce after a time away, you may need to build on your previous postsecondary experience or pursue a different program or credential. In either case, there are programs to help you. Visit the Government of Ontario website to find study options open to you.

Employment Ontario also offers assistance to workers who have been laid off, and who want to start a business or launch a new career. You can find more information on this program .

Ontario's Second Career program provides laid-off workers with skills training to help them find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario. Financial support is provided to help pay for tuition, books, instruction costs, transportation and a basic living allowance through a cost-sharing grant provided on the basis of financial need. Information on the Ontario Government's Second Career initiative, can be found on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Second Career website.