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Northern Lights College



Named after the Aurora Borealis natural phenomenon that is often visible from the main campus towns, Northern Lights College welcomes students from around the world to enjoy a high-quality education, with a range of two-year study programs to choose from.

This public institution of higher education is located in picturesque northern British Columbia, with campuses in the cities of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. Outside the classroom, students can take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities, such as camping, skiing, cricket, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and more.

A diverse range of programs and qualifications are available, including diplomas and associate degrees that are recognized by employers and businesses across Canada. Education is made affordable at Northern Lights College and the two-year study programs have some of the lowest fees in Canada.

International students are welcomed at NLC, with both Dawson Creek and Fort St. John offering a diverse and welcoming environment. These small towns are lively communities, providing all the necessary services and opportunities for a comfortable lifestyle, including many local businesses who frequently hire NLC's international students and recent graduates. NLC students can live in student housing on campus, or in private rental accommodation near campus, at a fraction of the cost of renting in Canada's major cities.

With affordable courses, great work opportunities and outstanding natural beauty, Northern Lights College is a top choice for students to live and study in Canada.

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What's new

What's new

Trades Programs

Northern Lights College has recently opened up many new trades programs for international students, including wind turbine technician, culinary arts, and cosmetology. These practical, hands-on programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of the local labour market, and so are ideal for students looking for programs that lead to great Canadian working careers. Furthermore, in 2022, NLC expects to launch a new Diploma in Trades and Technology, which will allow international students to study combinations of trades foundations, such as electrician, mechanic, welder, and oil and gas operator.

Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning

This new centre at NLC is dedicated to excellence in teaching and in student supports. Their first activity was the launch of new writing support services for NLC students, through membership in the WriteAway consortium.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Northern Lights College is a British Columbian public college and as such, the quality of teaching and the curriculum is guaranteed by BC's world-class higher education system. NLC offers official qualifications in the form of certificates, diplomas and associate degrees that are recognized by employers and further education institutions across Canada. Upon graduation, students are ready to enter the Canadian workforce, while others can opt to continue their studies by transferring into the third year of an undergraduate university degree.

Class sizes at Northern Lights College are small, which means that each student's education is more personal, with more time to ask questions and interact with professors. Any students struggling with their classes can get help from the Learning Support Specialists and can access one-on-one tutoring and extra workshops.

The college is recognized as a Centre of Excellence for British Columbia in the areas of oil and gas, clean energy, and aerospace. The quality of training and teaching at the college, along with NLC's efforts to align its program offerings with the local economy, helps NLC graduates to move directly into employment in local communities and across Canada.

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Department structure

Department structure

The program areas of Northern Lights College are:

  • Business management and technology

NLC offers a variety of programs in business, including accounting, as well a several post-degree diploma options.

  • Health sciences and human services

This area offers a range of study programs in nursing healthcare social work criminology and early childhood education.

  • Environmental stewardship

Study programs include archaeology, and land and water resources.

  • Science and technology

Students can gain a certificate in engineering, a post-degree diploma in IT management, or learn how to develop software as part of an interactive technologies and game design program.

  • Skilled trades

Students can earn credentials that will prepare them for work in a variety of skilled trades, including culinary arts, cosmetology, and aircraft maintenance.

  • University transfer

These associate degree programs are designed for students to continue their studies at a BC university after completion.

  • ESL

Students can improve their English skills in preparation to begin an academic or vocational program at NLC.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In order to study at Northern Lights College, students have to meet the entry requirements for their chosen program. As the range of academic programs varies from foundation courses and apprenticeships to certificates and diplomas, those entry requirements also differ, some require basic standards in English and Mathematics, while others will have course-specific qualification conditions.

All programs of study are taught in English and will require evidence of an English qualification. International students should aim to have an IELTS qualification with a score of 6.0 overall for most courses. Some trades programs accept students with a 5.5 overall. Other tests accepted by NLC include TOEFL iBT, CAEL, Pearson test of English, and Duolingo English test. Prospective students should consult with NLC as required test scores vary by program.

Any international students who do not have an English test qualification but wish to study at Northern Lights College can do so by joining the English as a Second Language program. Many programs allow for conditional entry to the academic or vocational program through an ESL pathway.

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Both the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John campuses have student housing that allows students to live moments from their classes, library, and campus facilities. The accommodation is also within close walking distance of other resources and businesses in the local community. Mixed apartment-style units are available for students who wish to live alone, with a small group, or with their family. Shared common facilities include a games room, exercise space, and laundry.

Each campus has its own library where students can access learning materials and computing equipment, as well as group study spaces. Services on offer also include low-cost printing and faxing, and support with citations and avoiding plagiarism in submissions.

International students living at Northern Lights College have the opportunity to try a number of outdoor sports including camping, horseback riding, cricket, and other intercultural activities. The college also has a renowned rodeo team for those who wish to learn this competitive sport.

Day-care facilities are available on campus for students with children.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

Employment rates for NLC graduates are amongst the best in the province of BC. Many students that complete their program at Northern Lights College go on to find full-time employment quickly, in the local area in northern British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada. All of NLC's programs are eligible for a postgraduate work permit, allowing students to apply to stay and work in Canada for up-to an additional three years.

Students can also decide to continue their education. Many of the courses offered by NLC are designed to lead into further study programs. NLC also offers additional workforce training and essential skills programs that will give students a competitive edge on entering the workforce. These short courses are available in topics such as workforce communications, professionalism in the workplace, first aid, and more.

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Average cost of living in Canada

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At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
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At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
At Northern Lights College
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Total average cost: $1993

  • $806
  • $814
  • $117
    Daily life
  • $256
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