Dear Mentor:

How do I change from US to Canada colleges mid-year?

I am a first semester student of MS in Environmental Engineering at the CSU [California State University], Fresno, California. I wish to pursue my spring semester in Canada. Please guide me. I am an international student.

A Semester in Canada, Fresno, California, USA

Dear A Semester in Canada:

Obtaining an international student visa for the US and Canada is similar in approach and philosophy, although the details differ somewhat. We are not sure why you wish to pursue studies for one single semester in Canada. If it is a part of an exchange program between two schools, then your exchange program coordinator is the best source of information and assistance. If, on the other hand, you wish to do it on your own for some other reason, then you have to proceed in a similar fashion as you did for your visa for the US.

You must obtain a letter of acceptance from the prospective school in Canada for full-time studies. Canadian schools do not issue any immigration documents, such as the I-20 (a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant F-1 student status in the US). On the basis of this letter of acceptance, you must apply for the student visa at the nearest Canadian consulate. You should be able to demonstrate your ability to finance your education and stay in Canada.

The international student advisor at your prospective school in Canada can offer you guidance and assistance.

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