Life as an international student in Prince George remains quite expensive.
According to figures released by UNBC, a full course load for an international undergraduate student heading into the 2022/23 academic year is roughly just under 24 thousand dollars – over four times as expensive as their domestic counterparts who pay only 58 hundred dollars.
However, UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne told Vista Radio they are working with the province to make life more affordable for international students.
“What we are doing now is working with the government on a new strategy with international students and what that means not only supporting them but also from a cost perspective.”
Payne is also cautiously optimistic international enrolment will spike again as the pandemic eases.
“So, we have recruiters at the international level that are sort of highlighting what UNBC has to offer at the undergraduate level and then at the graduate level when students are coming to us from other places, they are working with faculty work on their masters and graduate degrees.”
For UNBC, there were 230 undergraduate international students in the Fall 2021 semester and 241 undergraduate international students in the Winter 2022 semester.
In addition, there were 198 graduate international students in the Fall 2021 semester and 194 graduate international students in the Winter 2022 semester.
Additionally, UNBC’s international undergraduate applications are up 155 percent from the same time period last year while graduate-level applications are up 28 percent.
Shelley Carter-Rose is the Vice-President of Student Affairs at the College of New Caledonia.
She added international enrolment is down, but it’s due to the increasing difficulty in obtaining a visa and not a lack of interest.
“This is consistent across the country. The applications for visas have grown increasingly steady but in the last couple of months it’s just been exploding with requests and for them to be able to keep up and the process has been a challenge.”
Carter-Rose mentioned the cost of a university transfer course is $289 dollars for domestic students while for their international counterparts, it costs $418.
However, she added CNC remains one of the best cost-effective options for those attending college in our province.
“One thing you should know in terms of tuition across British Columbia, CNC and there is a ranking of the eleven colleges and we rank as one of the most cost-effective out of the eleven. We are ranked as the fourth most economic programs to be had. So, we are not on the high-end, we are not in the middle – we really are affordable for international students.”
In terms of international enrolment, new and returning students during the fall semester were 842. In January, that number dipped to 723 while the intersession portion of their academic calendar saw 536 international students.