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What is a cégep, anyway? It’s an acronym from the French term Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel, which means General and professional teaching college. In Quebec, Canada, it’s a public school that provides the first level of post-secondary education. All of the pre-university and technical programs offered by cégeps are recognized by a government-sanctioned diploma: the Diploma of College Studies (DSC), better known by its French name and acronym, Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC).
If the program you want to do is offered in twenty different cégeps, how do you decide which school is the best fit for you? Here are a few elements to consider.
While cégep is a Québécois word, post-secondary technical education is taught around the world.
Cégeps primarily offer two types of education:
After completing either type of cégep program, students obtain a Diploma of College Studies (DCS or DEC from the French Diplôme d’études collégiales), which is a government-sanctioned degree.
In Canada, university studies are divided into three levels:
In Quebec’s cégeps, the academic year begins around mid-August and ends at the end of May. The academic calendar is usually made up of two semesters:
Our network brings together 48 cégeps, including some with that have several campuses or a specific vocational school (for example École du meuble et de l’ébénisterie (furniture and carpentry school) and École nationale de l’aerotechnique (National aviation technology school). Be sure to read the information sheet for each school – it’s there to help you make an informed choice.
Depending on your citizenship and place of residence, you may have access to tuition exemptions, merit scholarships, or financial aide in partnership with your region of origin. In cégep, international students must pay tuition fees every semester. Tuition fees vary depending on programs of study
Depending on your citizenship and place of residence, you may have access to tuition exemptions, merit scholarships, or financial aide in partnership with your region of origin.
This program allows students in a technical program (DEC) to be exempt from additional costs charged to international students.
To submit your application, you must be accepted to or enrolled at a cégep; the international student advisor at your cégep can provide the application form.
Ce programme permet à des étudiants internationaux (inscrits à une formation technique menant à un diplôme d’études collégiales) d’être exemptés des droits de scolarité supplémentaires exigibles.
Pour soumettre votre candidature, vous devez être admis ou inscrit dans un cégep et c’est le répondant du cégep qui vous fournira le formulaire de candidature.
To be accepted to a cégep, you must have passed eleven years of study in your country of origin. Certain cégep programs have prerequisites, that is, subjects or courses you need to have studied and passed. The information page about each program of study will tell you what these prerequisites are.
No, there is no age limit to submit an application in a cégep.
There are three different admission services; each cégep is represented by the service for its geographical region: SRAM (Service régional d’admission du Montréal métropolitain), SRACQ (Service régional d’admission au collégial de Québec) et SRASL (Service régional de l’admission des cégeps du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean). You must complete your application on the website of the admission service that processes applications for the cégep you wish to attend. To find out, please fill out the short form above.
For the fall semester beginning in August, submit your application before February 1st.
For the winter semester beginning in January, submit your application before September 1st.
Before you can request a study permit, you must have applied to and been accepted into one of the programs of study offered by our cégeps. You are responsible for completing the following immigration procedures to be able to come to Quebec to study. IMPORTANT: Plan up to five months to complete all of the required procedures.
When studying in Quebec, you may choose to live in a student residence or in private accommodations off-campus.
Under certain conditions, you could be eligible to work on your cégep’s campus, to work off-campus, or to have a paid or unpaid internship as a part of your Quebec study program. To learn what conditions apply, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Cégeps offer placement services to help you in your job search.
À titre d’étudiant international, vous devez obligatoirement détenir une assurance valide pour la durée de votre séjour, car le gouvernement du Canada n’assume pas les frais médicaux des étudiants étrangers*. Selon votre pays d’origine, différentes options s’offrent à vous.
As an international student, you have access to more than 125 programs (technical and pre-university) offered in nearly 48 schools across Quebec. Explore the many possibilities and find the perfect program for you from our expansive offering!
Souhaitez-vous intégrer le marché du travail le plus rapidement possible? La formation technique est la solution pour vous. Après trois ans (pour la majorité des programmes), vous serez qualifié pour occuper un poste d’entrée dans votre domaine d’études.
Souhaitez-vous aller à l’université? La formation préuniversitaire (durée de 2 ans) est le meilleur choix.
The total duration of your study program varies according to its type:
Do you want to be accepted at a cégep where the language of instruction is not your own native language? You should know that many options are available for you to perfect your French or English.
Hundreds of students from around the world come here for professional or observation internships, thanks to the international mobility agreements our cégeps have signed. These internships allow students to acquire or perfect the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen professions. It is also possible to study for a semester and do an internship afterwards. The cégeps facilitate the administrative process and guide international students through their choices of internship, classes and accommodation.
In order to prepare for a short period of study in a cégep (internship or study), you must first contact your institution’s international relations office to find out whether there is an existing collaboration agreement with our cégeps. You will then be able to communicate directly with the cégep of your choice.
Cégeps also offer short programs, so called because they take 6 to 18 months to complete. Their exact length varies depending on the program and the school.
Usually, the students who choose short technical training are adults who have already acquired work experience or who have completed other training in the past. For them, the short program often consists of courses to bring up their skill level, and requires specific prerequisites.
The diploma granted upon successful completion of a short program is the Attestation of Collegial Studies (ACS), also known by its French name, Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC).