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Taking a Break from Studies

Find out if you can take a break from your studies and the types of breaks available to international students.

Scheduled Break

International students who are registered, eligible, continuing at Camosun College in an academic degree, diploma, or certificate program can take a "scheduled break" during the summer semester (May 1-August 31) if they meet certain criteria.

Eligible students

Students must meet all of the criteria to be eligible.

  • Students with a valid study permit, and
  • Students who have been studying full time at Camosun College, and
  • Students in academic programs at least 6 months in duration which lead to a degree, diploma or Certificate, and
  • Students whose academic credential has yet to be conferred by Camosun College, and
  • Students who will resume full-time academic studies in the following term at Camosun College, unless it will be your last term.

Note: If you are unsure of your eligibility, please go to the International Student Service Centre to inquire.

Non-eligible students

  • Students without a valid Study Permit
  • Students whose program of study is shorter than 6 months in duration; or
  • Students registered in up-grading or access programing (ESL), or
  • Students who have studied Part-time, unless it was during the scheduled break, or
  • Students in Continuing Education programs, or
  • Students taking the Camosun English Learning Adventures Course (CELA), or
  • Students in contract training programs, or
  • Students on Exchange, or
  • Students who have terminated their enrolment at Camosun College, or
  • Students who are enrolled in programs without scheduled breaks

If a program of study does not provide for a regularly scheduled break and a student creates their own break in a program, it is considered a leave from studies. Students who take a leave from their studies are not eligible to work on or off campus during a leave.

Non-scheduled Break

International students are allowed to take a break from their studies at Camosun College.

You can come back to your studies when you are ready. If you are away for less than a year, you should be able to simply pay the registration deposit, and register for courses on myCamosun. If you are away for longer than a year, you might have to go through the admission process to re-enter the College. The process is usually straight forward as we already have all of your information. The courses you completed will remain in your file. You can pick up where you left off as long as there are no changes to the curriculum.

However, what you need to be aware of is the immigration regulations. Although the rules don’t stop international students from taking a leave, there are consequences you need to be aware of. Here are some main points:

  • You cannot remain in Canada as a student if you are taking a non-scheduled break from studies longer than 150 days. If the break is longer than 150 days you must change your status to Visitor from Student while you are not studying and for the duration you want to stay in Canada beyond 150 days OR you must leave Canada. When you return to your studies you may be able to use your study permit if it has not expired yet. (Please double check with IRCC through the web form). If your study permit expires before you return to your studies you will need to apply for a new study permit.
  • You are not allowed to work off campus when you are not studying.
  • Are you considering to apply for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after completing your studies? One of the eligibility requirements for PGWP is that you maintain full-time student status throughout your studies. You may be able to explain why there is a gap in your studies when you are applying for PGWP. You must understand that the decision would be up to the Immigration Officer who is reviewing your file.

Please review IRCC website before making your decisions so that you have a clear understanding of the impact of taking a break.

Important Note: Please keep in mind that this information is valid if you are only taking a break. If you are quitting your studies and not coming back your study permit will automatically expire within 90 days.