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Bow Valley College



Since 1965, Bow Valley College has been a student-centred community college helping students to achieve their career goals. It offers an affordable education with a graduate employment rate of 88%.

Bow Valley College is located in Calgary, Canada. It's an ethnically diverse urban city close to the country's famous Rocky Mountains. It has regularly been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world (Economist Intelligence Unit). Calgary also offers one of the lowest costs of living among cities in North America. Campus life is vibrant and full of useful facilities and services. High-tech academic equipment supports learning, and the college organizes events to help international students easily settle into student life.

Students from all over the world choose from our first-rate programs to get quality education and work experience that prepare them to be job-ready in one or two years. After graduating, they can choose to enter the workforce or earn a degree through the university transfer scheme.

Study options cover a wide variety of career choices, suited for in-demand industries such as health, business and technology. Non-native English speakers can improve their language skills as part of Calgary's largest English language learning program. There are more than 90 programs to pick from, where many include invaluable work experience. Program content is designed with input from industry partners, ensuring that students graduate with the skills employers need.

Each year, over 2,350 international students learn at Bow Valley College, where they are strongly supported by the dedicated international support services. There are scholarships available specifically to help eligible international students.

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What's new

What's new

COVID-19 update

Bow Valley College is actively responding to the pandemic and making sure that the College community is safe. It's working hard to provide the best possible online learning environment, so students can learn remotely and safely. The College follows government advice and regularly shares updated information to keep everyone informed.

International students and non-native English speakers who are applying to Bow Valley College can now submit a Duolingo Language Test as proof of English language proficiency. This is because many language testing centres around the world are currently closed.

Pharmacy Technician's State-of-the-Art Lab

Bow Valley College has a realistic community pharmacy, complete with a counter to drop off and pick up prescriptions, and shelves with over the counter products. Instructors put students through real-life scenarios. Students now can train in a simulated workspace using real medications and technology. The equipment and facilities in the lab are designed to mirror real pharmacy settings with a designated ante room, clean room as well as certified sterile production hoods.

This is one of many developments demonstrating how Bow Valley College is committed to advancing teaching through the latest technology.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Bow Valley College is home to over 600 faculty and staff members, who collectively speak over 50 languages. Professors provide high-quality instruction in small classes where teaching is interactive, personalized and engaging. Esteemed scholars and field experts regularly visit the College to give guest lectures.

Teaching is informed by global industry and sector trends. Courses include work experience so that students graduate with necessary skills for the professional world. To support this, career mentoring programs are being launched across the College.

University transfers

For those looking to gain credits towards a degree and transfer to a four-year institution, Bow Valley College provides an education which suitably prepares them for their next two years of learning. Students can begin their studies with lower fees, and then transfer to another college or university. It's a great chance to build experience before completing a degree program. Bow Valley College has transfer agreements in place with several prestigious institutions in Canada.

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Department structure

Department structure

Students can study an affordable academic upgrading course or for a diploma or certificate. Bow Valley College teaches a variety of disciplines across specialized schools and programs. This includes:

Chiu School of Business

Work-integrated learning opportunities mean students leave with valuable skill sets and experiences in the business sector.

School of Community Studies

Students learn how to support children and youth through community-focused programs.

School of Creative Technologies

Courses provide the skills needed for creative and exciting careers in the technology sectors.

School of Health and Wellness

Students can learn how to make a difference in others' lives through hands-on practice needed for any health career.

School of Global Access

Non-native English speakers can develop their abilities through intensive language courses. Upon completion of the International English Language Learning (ELL) course, students have wider options available for further study.

Bow Valley College is also home to the School of Foundational Learning and School of Continuing Learning.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Instruction at Bow Valley College is primarily in Canadian English, so non-native speakers are required to have a good standard of English for admission. For most programs, they'll need a minimum score in one of the following language tests, or equivalent:

  • IELTS Academic – 6 with no band lower than 6
  • TOEFL – 83
  • Pearson PTE Academic – 59–64
  • CLB – 8 in each skill

Students can also take Academic English 2 at the college, where they will need to achieve grade B- or higher.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many language test centers around the world are closed. The College is now accepting the Duolingo language test. For most programs, students will need a minimum score of between 95–100.

Requirements are slightly different for Health Care Aide and Pharmacy Technician programs. International students can check the specific requirements for the programs they are interested in.

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The College campuses are full of excellent facilities that support learning, such as computer labs, conference halls, studios and libraries. Tools are industry-standard, helping students train for real-world work.

Student life

The campuses also feature many services that offer students an easy and enjoyable experience. This includes:

  • Multi-faith space
  • Bookstore
  • Bookable study rooms
  • Food services, including healthy options, meals, snacks and drinks
  • Reasonably priced printing services
  • Accessible IT support
  • Affordable childcare

Bow Valley College organizes events and engagement activities over the year, as well as extra-curricular opportunities such as volunteering.


Bow Valley College is based in the centre of inner-city Calgary. It's close to shops, art galleries, museums, historic buildings and many different dining options. Prince's Island is nearby, which hosts exciting festivals and concerts throughout the year.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

The International Education Department has a number of awards in place to support international students. This includes entrance awards for new students, learner pathway awards for those moving to a different program, and in-course awards specific to certain courses. Values are typically:

  • Entrance awards – CAD 2,000
  • In-course awards – CAD 1,500
  • Academic awards – CAD 1,500
  • Learner Pathway awards – CAD 1,500
  • International Mobility awards – CAD 2,000
  • Internationalization Award of Excellence – CAD 2,250.

Scholarships recognize high-achieving students in a range of different areas, such as academic excellence, leadership, community engagement, volunteering and peer support.

To be considered for a scholarship, students must meet the specific eligibility requirements. The College has a scholarship and bursary portal, which can be filtered for international students.

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Average cost of living in Canada

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At Bow Valley College
A Day in the Life at Bow Valley College
At Bow Valley College
At Bow Valley College
Open Doors - Open Minds
At Bow Valley College
At Bow Valley College

Total average cost: $2004

  • $815
  • $815
  • $117
    Daily life
  • $257
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To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

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