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6.6 Non-Canadian Students

Athabasca University welcomes non-Canadian students: students who do not hold Canadian citizenship or are not permanent residents of Canada. In the case of a dispute over an individual's status within Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations will apply. Refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website or phone 1.888.242.2100 for details.


6.6.1 Non-Canadian Students Studying in Canada

Non-Canadian students who are living temporarily in Canada and studying for a period of six months or less, may study with Athabasca University as unclassified students only. Students within this category who are applying to most Athabasca University programs must present a valid study authorization. This is because in most courses, Athabasca University students are required to attend an on-site invigilated exam.

Students who are in the process of applying for their study authorizations may register in courses but are expected to complete their courses within a six-month period. In order to be considered officially enrolled in an AU program and continue their studies (within Canada) beyond the six-month period, these students must present a copy of their valid study authorization to Athabasca University.

Non-Canadian students who have been issued a study authorization for the purpose of completing an AU program must maintain full-time status. Full-time status is defined as the successful completion of 2.25 credits every month or a minimum of 18 credits per year of enrolment. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be issued an extension to their study authorization period.

Unclassified students


Studying Outside Canada

All students studying outside of Canada must comply with the regulations governing the normal course contract period. Extensions beyond the normal course contract period in individualized study courses are available to all students. Refer to Section 6.16.

Overseas Students' Course Start Dates

Course start dates for students living overseas depend on the arrival of the course package. Overseas students (those living outside Canada or the continental United States) usually start their courses a month later than the regularly assigned individualized study course start dates. To reduce postal delays, Athabasca University will courier your course package but you must provide a street address (not a Post Office box address) and telephone number.


Athabasca University's toll-free telephone system applies to students located in Canada or the US. Overseas students are responsible for all long distance telephone charges to the University and their tutor.

If you are an overseas student who is interested in registering in a course that has an oral exam, be advised that the exam may be conducted by email, phone, or other methods which can be arranged between you and your tutor.  Students are responsible for all long distance telephone charges to the University and their tutor.

The evaluations section of the course syllabus will indicate whether the course has an oral quiz or examination.


Non-Canadian Evaluations

Students presenting non-Canadian/non-United States credentials for possible transfer credit to an Athabasca University program, must obtain an evaluation of post-secondary course work from an international assessment agency, for example, the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).

IQAS will assess each student's international educational documents and compare them to educational credentials in Canada. Athabasca University requires a description of course work evaluation from IQAS. Students must also submit copies of all foreign transcripts to Athabasca University.

If you elect not to use IQAS (or another comparable assessment service. Please see below.), you may not obtain any transfer credit for your course work towards an Athabasca University program. Upon request, the Office of the Registrar will forward you information and an application package to be returned to IQAS.

There are a number of other foreign credential evaluating services whose assessments will be accepted.

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 • Information effective Sept. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009.
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