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Returning to School as an Internationally Trained Professional

Posted by: Gavin Au-Yeung Date: August 10, 2020 Category: Blog

Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) have plenty of skills which can be useful in the Canadian workforce. However, many skilled professionals with credentials from outside of Canada can face difficulties when returning to their career. A main reason for this is because some Canadian employers may not recognize foreign credentials. As a result, it is very common for ITPs to return to school in order to continue their career in Canada.

Continue reading for more information on what ITPs should prepare before enrolling to a Canadian school or training program.

Related blog: Five Things to Consider as an Adult Learner

Foreign Credential Assessment

ITPs already have credentials from their country of origin. It is highly recommended that ITPs get their academic credentials evaluated by a recognized organization. An evaluation of your foreign credentials will compare your academic accomplishments to the Canadian standards. The report will help schools, employers, licensing boards, or other institutions gain a better understanding of your education and academic history.

World Education Services (WES) is one of the most well-known credential evaluation services. Please visit their website for more information on the credential evaluation process.

Employment and Training Programs

Returning to school does not need to mean enrolling in a four-year university program. Many alternatives, such as employment and training programs, are available for ITPs to upgrade and build upon current qualifications. For example, a bridging program would target individuals with prior education or experience in specific occupations so that the can connect gaps in knowledge or skill to become more employable. Some programs may even be target newcomers and ITPs specifically. Some of these programs provided by Alberta and Saskatchewan can be found on their government websites.

Mentorship and Internship programs

Returning to school is a great chance for you to become more marketable in the Canadian workforce. For example, many universities will have mentorship or internship programs which allow their students to connect with professionals and gain working experience. Mentorship programs allow students to connect with established professionals who can offer advice and guidance. On the other hand, internship programs place students into the real workplace so that they can gain Canadian working experience. These programs are extremely beneficial to ITPs who are trying to break into the Canadian workforce.

Canadian Language Skills

If you have come from a country where English (or French) is not the primary language, you may need to provide language proficiency test scores in order to attend a school in Canada. Generally speaking, schools will ask for language test results if your first language is not English and if your most recent time in full-time education have not been in the English language school system. Criteria may be different from school to school, so we recommend you check with your desired school.

Some examples of recognized language tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). The Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) is available for those who wish to take the language test in French. The language tests consider the four language abilities: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The results from your language are valid for two years. Afterwards, you will need to retake the test if required to prove language capabilities.


Prospective students should do their research about the fees associated with returning to school. The average tuition fee for Canadian universities is about $6,500 per year. In addition, it is helpful to think about other fees associated with returning to school. For example, required equipment and supplies, books, transportation expenses, and much more. For ITPs looking for employment, it is also important to consider fees associated with assessments, regulatory bodies, and union membership. It is recommended that students research financial assistance, such as loans and grants, which may be offered to students.

How Career Loans Can Help

Career Loans is here to help ITPs living in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is a free program which help ITPs continue their career in Canada. You will have the chance to discuss your career goals and receive guidance from our expert counsellors. Furthermore, clients are eligible to take a micro loan of up to $15,000. This loan can be used to help pay for tuition, examinations, or other fees which are required to get you back into the workplace.

Learn more about the program and register today by visiting us at

PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

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Career Loans provides career counselling and micro loans to Internationally Trained Individuals in regulated and non-regulated occupations and trades, who are looking to return to their chosen profession.

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PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

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