In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization, all pilots must demonstrate speaking and listening comprehension in English.  Transport Canada’s Aviation-Language Proficiency Test, as well as description of the required standards, are described at the following link:  ALPT.  Because Transport Canada requires that the ALPT be administered face-to-face in Canada with a designated examiner, International students must make special effort to ensure they meet the requirements of this examination before they commit time, energy, and month to pilot training.

In order to assist International students in establishing early English language proficiency feedback, and to enable Canadian Aviation College to make its own determination of language skills, the school administers its own English proficiency test free of charge.  While the Canadian Aviation College Academy English proficiency test is not the same as Transport Canada’s ALPT, it is administered by Flight Instructors and must be successfully completed by all Canadian Aviation College students for whom English is a second language prior to completing their fifth flight lesson.

International students seeking feedback on their English proficiency skills prior to making application for a Canadian student visa may take the test over the telephone.  Student who wish to do the telephone test must have access to a stable telephone line, and access to Canadian Aviation College’s website while the test is administered.  The test will require approximately five minutes to administer.  It is suggested that students contact Office Administration, in advance via email to arrange a date and time for the telephone test, but students may attempt to contact the school directly during the hours of 9:00am through 3pm, Canadian Pacific Time, and a Flight Instructor may be free to administer the test at that time.

With respect to time-line, you should know that the Private Pilot Licence—pursued on a full-time basis—normally requires four weeks to six weeks to complete, and the Commercial Pilot Licence requires an additional six to eight months. To complete these licences along these time-lines, International Students will have to fly daily. The same programs will take a year or more if the training pace is less than full-time.

While completion of the Commercial Pilot Licence requires the longest time, the Multi-engine Rating and the Instrument Rating are the shortest—the Multi-engine Rating requires only about three weeks, and the Instrument Rating is just a little longer—about four weeks.

Students can pursue their ground studies as independent students (moving through the training one-on-one with a Flight Instructor), or they can join the full-time 12-Month Professional Pilot Program where, upon completion, student are qualified as Commercial Pilots with Multi-engine and Instrument Ratings.  The 8-month course is based on flight training in the morning and ground school in the afternoon, and students are going at it 5 days a week.
It would be great if we could predict with accuracy just how long (and therefore how much money) the Private Pilot Licence will take, but unfortunately, student performance varies considerably, and we cannot recommend students for flight tests until they meet the standards established by Transport Canada.  Full-time students, however, usually complete their Private Pilot Licence at or near the minimum hours required—they are at it daily, and they get good really fast.  Please read the Private Pilot Licence course outline carefully regarding this.  In contrast, the Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-engine Rating, and Instrument Rating are reasonably predictable with respect to costs, as student proficiency, at this higher level, does not vary greatly.

All students are advised to keep “cash in reserve” just in case of need for additional pilot proficiency training, especially for the Private Pilot Program. Becoming a pilot is a process of reaching the standards of proficiency and knowledge required by Transport Canada and the ICAO, and is not a matter of simply “accumulating flight time.” Student pilots do not need the additional pressure of financial worries as they complete their training.

Also, note that students are responsible for the costs of housing and food during training; the “housing” costs estimate provided below is based on what appears to be the average cost of home stay at the date indicated

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

Our international student qualify to work off campus up to 20 hours per week while completing their studies, subject to the following conditions:

  1. They work during regular academic sessions or full-time during scheduled breaks;
  2. They have valid study permits,
  3. They are full-time students.
Canada has a public health care system for Canadian residents.  Each Province and Territory has a mandatory health insurance plan for its eligible residents. International Students who will reside in British Columbia for over six months on a study permit are deemed to be ‘temporary residents’ of BC, and are eligible to enrol for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).  Eligible students should apply for MSP immediately after arriving in BC.  Information about MSP and the MSP application form can be obtained the following government website:
Important Note!: MSP has a three month waiting period before newly arrived BC residents can be covered.  Therefore, International students must have private health insurance in place prior to arrival in Canada, and for a minimum of three months to cover the MSP waiting period.  As there are certain types of medical expenses that MSP does not cover (such as ambulance services, prescription drugs,  medical supplies, etc.) international students may want to buy private health insurance for the duration of their stay in Canada to supplement their MSP coverage.

We suggest Canadian Aviation College students purchase private medical insurance from David Cummings Insurance Services Ltd.this company provides private medical insurance to international students who attend public universities and colleges, as well as private schools in British Columbia, and they are a reputable firm. The cost of medical insurance for international students is $2.00 per day, with the minimum premium being $60.  To initiate medical insurance, Canadian Aviation College will help our student purchase private medical insurance before arriving Canada.

Medical Insurance for International Students

Step 1: Before coming to Canada:
Buy Private Medical Insurance from David Cummings Insurance Services Ltd.

The cost of $2.00 per day is quoted by David Cummings Insurance Services Ltd. for a comprehensive hospital and medical insurance program packaged specifically for international students studying in Canada. The plan covers emergency medical care for unexpected incidents of sickness or accident.  The full details of coverage are in the policy wording available to download below.

Please note:  the plan does not cover accident or sickness resulting from flight training, or any air travel other than as a passenger in a commercial aircraft licensed to carry passengers for hire.

Step 2: After arrival in British Columbia:
Apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) by submitting the MSP application form and required documents to the BC Ministry of Health, or at a Service Canada office.  Visit the MSP website for information and to print the enrolment form: