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Frequently Asked Questions - International Students

The following is a list of frequently asked questions about our program. If you can't find the answer to your question, don't hesitate to contact our Admissions Department.

Are scholarships available to international students?


Yes. All students admitted into the MDM program may be eligible for scholarships.

For more information, visit Scholarship Opportunities.

As an international student, how do I pay the student application fee?


All fees must be paid through Simon Fraser University. Methods of payment are available at students.sfu.ca/fees/howtopay.html.

As an international student, will I be able to work during my studies?


As an international student you may work on campus without a work permit, but please note that opportunities are very limited.

You may obtain what is called an Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP). With an OCWP, you can only work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Please also bear in mind that with your school load, we do not recommend that you work for more than 12 hours a week. 

You are also eligible to work after graduation in a field related to Digital Media. To do so, you will need to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Can International students apply to the program?


Yes! The MDM Program attracts the best and brightest applicants from around the world. Currently, more than half of our student population is from a country outside of Canada. As all applicants need to provide proof of citizenship to the MDM Admissions Office, international students are asked to submit a photocopy of their passport.

Do international students need health insurance?


As you will be residing in British Columbia for more than three months, you are required by law to enroll in the Medical Service Plan (MSP) and pay premiums directly to this plan. the plan is $37.50/month. Starting in January 2020 it will be $75/month. You should apply as soon as you arrive. Go to www.health.gov.bc.ca/insurance/bcresidents.html. There is a three-month waiting period, during which you are automatically enrolled in a private plan through registration as a full-time graduate student at Simon Fraser University, until your MSP activates. The fees for the private plan are included in your tuition.

After the initial three-month waiting period, the MSP covers the cost of basic medical care within Canada, including most physician and hospital services. MSP does not cover basic dental care, prescription drugs, or routine vision care (eye examinations, corrective lenses, etc.). CDM’s student health plan will cover a portion or all of these expenses.

Does the MDM program offer on-campus housing?


Yes, on-campus housing became available in our new building September 2012, with three floors (76 units) of student designated rental housing. The furnished studio apartments include heat, electricity, and high speed internet. Find out more about the apartments and see photos on the CDM apartments page.

How much does it cost to live in Vancouver?


For living expenses in Vancouver, you will need to factor in accommodation, food, insurance and spending money. Accommodation options include living on campus at the CDM apartments or off-campus in an apartment or basement suite. The CDM apartments are an affordable option whereas the costs off-campus are higher and can range from $1,200 - $2,000 per month. You will have to estimate your food costs, but $400-$1000 per month should be sufficient. You will also be required to have basic medical insurance which is about $37.50 per month. 

Tuition costs include a computer and access to all required hardware and software, custom course material and group activities. Student fees include an all-access transit pass, extended medical and dental insurance, as well as access to SFU's recreation facilities.

Go to Tuition & Fees to see an estimated breakdown of expenses that a student will need to complete the entire MDM program.


I am an international student. Do I need a study permit?


International students must have a valid study permit issued by Canadian authorities before entering Canada to study. Such applicants must demonstrate ability to pay the tuition fees and have sufficient means to be financially independent while in Canada. Read more about Study Permits and Temporary Resident Visas.

Will I be able to work in Canada after I graduate from the MDM program?


International MDM graduates are eligible to obtain a post-graduate employment work permit valid for a period ranging from one to three years after graduation. This work permit allows them to work in Canada. Students do not need to secure employment before applying.

What if my language score is too low?


If you don't meet the English Language Proficiency requirements, you can enroll in Pre-MDM, a 2 semester program designed to help students whose second language is English prepare for entry into the Master of Digital Media program. Learn more.