International Students

International Students

Before applying for admission to the Ottawa School of Art, international students should visit the web site for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for full details on eligibility and visa requirements.
This information can be found at
The Ottawa School of Art is proud of its tradition of welcoming students from all over the world to study in its programs.


1. International Student Tuition Fees
International students do not pay municipal property taxes or provincial or federal income tax and do not contribute to any level of government funding (i.e. tax base) that Canadian citizens do. As a result, OSA charges a modest international student surcharge of an additional $150 on the course tuition. The surcharge applies only to tuition fees.
If tuition for a course is $375 CDN, the international student surcharge is an additional $150 CDN, for a total tuition of $525 CDN before any supply, model or other fees are added. Supply, model and other fees are charged at the regular rate – there is no surcharge to international students on these fees.
Tuition fees for full time study in 2017-2018, will be $5,250 CDN per year (depending upon courses selected) with an additional $2,500 CDN for books and materials. International students can expect their annual tuition and course fees, including the surcharge, to be around $7,750 CDN.

2. Financial Assistance
OSA is a registered charitable organization and an alternative art school. As such, we have no funding from outside sources. At this time, we cannot offer bursaries or financial aid to our students. Scholarships and awards are available to students already enrolled in an OSA program – international students are eligible to apply for these awards. Information on these scholarship awards is available here.
There are other Canadian scholarships available for study in Canada. Contact the Ministry of Education in your home country for information. You may also order the free booklet “Awards for Study in Canada” from:
Canadian Bureau for International Education
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 5Z9
Phone: (613) 237-4820
Fax: (613) 237-1073
Web site:

3. Language of Study
All courses at OSA are given in English and students must have the ability to speak and understand English for their studies here to have real value. OSA does not, at this time, require students to pass a TOEFL exam to enter its programs, but they must be able to carry on a conversation at a complex level. Students who have difficulty speaking and understanding English are strongly advised to enroll in an English language course prior to beginning their studies at OSA. The School can provide some assistance in locating such training in the Ottawa area.

4. Living in Canada
In general, the cost of living in Ottawa, Canada is moderate in comparison with cities in other countries. For common goods and services you can expect to pay prices as listed in the examples below: $3.55 for City bus fare (one way) or $2.25 with a Presto card; Average restaurant meal: Lunch $12; Dinner $16; Movie $12. The approximate or average annual costs of living and study in Canada is roughly $16,000 CDN. This estimate includes tuition and living expenses but not travel from your country of origin. Please keep in mind that these are only estimated figures.

5. Housing
OSA is a small, inner-city institution. There is no housing associated with the school. International students coming to Ottawa to study are expected to make their own arrangements for housing. Whenever possible, OSA will provide assistance, but in-coming students must realize this assistance will be limited. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa can range between $900 and $1100 CAD per month. Currently, the vacancy rate is less than 1% and students can expect to pay in the middle to high end of this price range.

6. Winter Climate
International students coming from warm climates should come prepared to deal with Canada’s winter climate. Temperatures of -40°C are possible during the winter along with lots of snow, ice and wind. Students should budget for extra clothing in the spring as well as extra costs for heating their apartments. Students can expect to spend $400 to $650 CAD for proper winter clothing.

7. Health Insurance
International students are not eligible for coverage by Ontario or Québec health insurance plans. OSA has no medical insurance plans for international students at this time. As a result, they should purchase private health insurance for their stay in Canada. Officials at your nearest Canadian diplomatic post may be able to provide information on private health insurance services. International students must show proof of medical insurance when they register.

8. Working in Canada
Study permit holders in Canada may gain work experience by working off campus while completing their studies.

If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to:

  • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and
  • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

To qualify, you must:

  • have a valid study permit,
  • be a full-time student,
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level, and
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

Students should plan their finances very carefully and should not plan on earning money while in Canada. When you apply for your visa, you will have to demonstrate the ability to support yourself while you are studying in Canada.

9. Art Supplies
Art supplies are not provided in OSA classes (except for some studio supplies such as darkroom chemistry, etc.). Students are responsible for purchasing their own art supplies and should budget accordingly. Full time study will require a student to spend approximately $1,250 CDN per term (fall and winter) on art supplies, texts, etc.

10. Membership Fees
The Ottawa School of Art is a not-for-profit association and requires that all students become members when they take courses. The annual membership fee is $30 CDN (plus tax).

11. Application Fees
Students entering the Fine Arts Diploma Program or the Portfolio Certificate Program must pay a non-refundable $50 CDN (plus tax) application fee. This fee must accompany the student’s application form in order for it to be processed.

12. Student Cards
All Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate Program students enrolled in full-time studies are issued a photo identification card. The card can be used to obtain discounts on urban busses, some art supplies as well as student rates for admission to galleries, etc.
Applying for a Student Authorization Visa to Canada

Student authorization visas are normally only available for students studying on a full-time basis. In order to obtain a student authorization to study at OSA, students must follow these steps:


1. Make a formal application for admission to OSA
Complete the application form for the program you wish to enter.

2. After you have been accepted
The school will write a letter of acceptance indicating you have been accepted into a program of full-time study. The letter will also indicate the courses you will be taking, the course fees and the length of courses.

3. With the acceptance letter
Go to the Canadian embassy or consulate in your country and apply for your student authorization visa. You will have to demonstrate your ability to support yourself while you study in Canada. The cost of applying for the student authorization is $125 CDN. The staff there will process your visa.

4. Your visa
Once you have your visa you are free to enter Canada and begin your studies. Please note the time limit on your visa. If you need to stay in Canada to study past the date indicated, the school will assist you in requesting permission to extend your visa. You will have to apply to the Canadian immigration service for the extension on your visa. The cost of the extension application is $150 CDN.
It will take some time to complete these steps. Plan carefully and obtain your student authorization visa as early as possible. Give yourself several months to complete the process from start to finish.


for more resources, check out this link:


Right Menu Icon