Study in Prince Edward Island

Last updated: 16 May 2022

Canada's smallest province has some substantial opportunities in higher education, particularly in trades and science. The only thing missing is you.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is located in the Maritimes region of Eastern Canada, known for its beautiful coastline and easy-going lifestyle. Around half the island's population lives in the provincial capital, Charlottetown, which is also home to the only university in the province.

University of PEI in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

The number of international students in PEI tripled over the period 2005–2015.

Got a question about studying in Prince Edward Island? Our comprehensive Studying in Prince Edward Island FAQ page has the answers. If your question is not included, please contact us today and submit your question.

Population

147,000

International Student Population

851 (2014 figures)

Location

A map of Canada with Prince Edward Island highlighted

Main Study Destination

Charlottetown

 

Studying in PEI: The Advantages

  • Lower tuition rates

    The University of Prince Edward Island has one of the lowest tuition rates across Canada, and the lowest in the Maritimes.

  • Mobility between institutions

    The University of Prince Edward Island adheres to the Pan-Canadian Protocol on the Transferability of University Credits, which states that all course work completed by transfer students during the first two years of university study in Canada (including the final year of studies in Quebec leading to a diploma of college studies and the university transfer courses offered by community colleges and university colleges in British Columbia and Alberta) will be recognized and fully credited for the purposes of granting a degree.

  • Incredible natural beauty

    Rolling hills, woods, sand beaches, ocean coves and the famous red soil have justifiably given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty.

 

Immigrate After Studying in PEI

  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program

    Through the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP), international students who graduate from a designated institution in PEI make obtain Canadian permanent resident status. The PEI PNP Labour Market Category has an employer-driven International Graduate Stream that provides opportunities for Prince Edward Island employers to hire a recent graduate from a recognized accredited Prince Edward Island university or college.

  • Atlantic International Graduate Program

    The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) allows international graduates of eligible educational institutions in Atlantic Canada to submit an application for permanent residence without first having to obtain work experience. The AIGP is part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), a new Canadian immigration venture for 2017 and beyond.

  • Express Entry

    Candidates for immigration to Canada through the federal Express Entry immigration selection system who have completed their education at a school in PEI may be awarded a significant number of points on account of their high level of education. Moreover, international graduates of Canadian educational institutions may have obtained important Canadian work experience, another highly valued factor under the Express Entry system.

 

Destination Schools in PEI

These institutions are featured due to their size, proximity to urban centres, and tradition for enrolling international students into their student bodies. Learn more about each school by clicking their titles below, which will take you to the relevant page on School Search.

University of Prince Edward Island

UPEI, the sole university on Prince Edward Island, has a comprehensive approach to undergraduate education. Graduate programs are also well-developed and funded. UPEI is also becoming increasingly well-known for many successful efforts at internationalization.

Signature programs: Education, Nutritional Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Computer Science

Location: Charlottetown

The University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Holland College

Holland College is renowned for its excellence in trades professions, with in internationally renowned culinary program marine training Institute. Both bring the school considerable acclaim and attract people both domestically and internationally.

Signature programs: The Culinary Institute of Canada, Marine Training Centre, Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology, Business, School of Performing Arts

Location: Charlottetown

Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

In order to apply for a Canadian study permit, prospective international students must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). As each institution may have different admission requirements and application processes, interested applicants may contact the desired institution(s) individually. Find out more about studying in Prince Edward Island.

PEI has one university — the University of Prince Edward Island, or UPEI. Yet it covers all bases, with faculties of arts, science, education, and veterinary medicine, and separate business and nursing schools. The university caters mostly to undergraduates, although successful graduate programs are also offered. UPEI is dedicated to student success: all first-year students in Bachelor programs take targeted courses to prepare for academic life. Students may choose between Writing Studies, Inquiry Studies, or University Studies.

  • Signature programs: Education, Nutritional Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Computer Science, Education
  • Holland College is the island’s English-language post-secondary college. Since its establishment in 1969, it has gained a reputation for its trades program. The college has 11 campuses and education centres, including renowned institutions such as the Culinary Institute of Canada and the Marine Training Institute.
    • Signature programs: The Culinary Institute of Canada, Marine Training Centre, Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology, Business, School of Performing Arts
  • Collège de l'Île (formerly known as Collège Acadie Î.P-É.) is a French-language college founded in 1994 Its main campus is in Wellington, PEI, with satellite centres in both DeBlois and Charlottetown. To better serve its students it also has an association with Holland College and the University of PEI. Students may enjoy a low teacher-student ratio and career-focused programming.
    • Signature programs: Practical Nursing, Youth Worker, Welding, Early Childhood Educator.
  • The Marine Training Institute and Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College draw students wishing to study maritime management and hospitality trades.
  • In addition to the above, many different study programs are available at PEI institutions.
  • Tuition for international students in PEI varies widely between colleges and universities, and between different study programs. Language school and graduate school tuition may differ significantly.
  • At the University of Prince Edward Island, international students may expect to pay from $10,000 to $65,000 per year, depending on the program. Tuition fees may be updated or changed annually.
  • At Holland College, international students may expect to pay from $6,701 to $22,040 per year, depending on the program. Tuition fees may be updated or changed annually.
  • At Collège de l'Île (formerly known as Collège Acadie Î.P-É.), international students may expect to pay from $6,000 to $7,750 per year, depending on the program. Tuition fees may be updated or changed annually.

International students studying in Canada are required to purchase health insurance. Often, this is organized through the post-secondary institution. University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College, and Collège de l'Île (formerly known as Collège Acadie Î.P-É.) all offer student healthcare plans.

In order to apply for a study permit, a potential international student must show that he or she has $10,000 in addition to tuition fees to cover living expenses in PEI. This equates to $833 per month.

The below table shows an estimate of living expenses in PEI. Residence and meal plan prices for University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College are also provided in the below table. Collège de l'Île (formerly known as Collège Acadie Î.P-É.) does not offer student residence facilities.

FactorPer month (approx.)Per year (approx.)
Accommodation (single, off-campus)$600$7,200
Suite in UPEI residence (including meal plan price)$4,407 per semester - $5,443 per semester$8,814 per year (two semesters) - $10,886 per year (two semesters)
Room in Holland College residence$638 - $887$5,108 - $7,102 (September to April)
Food$250$3,000
Meal plan at UPEI$2,104 - $2,186 per semester (approx. three months)$4,208 - $4,372 per year (two semesters)
Clothing, miscellaneous$150$1,800
Recreation and entertainment$150$1,800
Transportation (Charlottetown price)$40$480
Phone bill$60$720
Internet$50$600
Utilities

$100

$1,200
Cost of living total (not including institution-specific costs above)$1,400$16,800

International students in PEI may have access to private loans on the same terms as Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Loans may be offered by banks, student organizations, or other groups. It is important to properly research loan options, and understand the interest and repayment plans, before committing to any contract.

Many organizations and institutions may offer scholarships or bursaries to international students studying in PEI. For more information, students are encouraged to contact the international student services department of their institution.

Graduate programs in particular often have funding options for students pursuing a Master’s or PhD program. It is important to contact the educational institution directly for more information.

  • Holland College offers a range of Engineering Technology programs, as well as Engineering-related Trades and Technology programs.
  • The University of Prince Edward Island does not have an Engineering faculty, however it has recently introduced a School of Sustainable Design Engineering.
  • Holland College has a dedicated Computer Studies department, offering a range of programs in information systems and networking technology.
  • The University of Prince Edward Island offers a Computer Science undergraduate degree through the Faculty of Science.
  • As a popular program across Canada, it is possible to study Nursing and related health programs in PEI’s three public post-secondary institutions:
  • University of Prince Edward Island offers a Bachelor and Master program in Nursing. Collège de l'Île (formerly known as Collège Acadie Î.P-É.) and Holland College both offer a Practical Nursing course.
  • Holland College also offers eight further health-related study programs, including Paramedicine and Dental Assisting.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. While careers in STEM fields are popular, there is no specific program entitled “STEM” in a PEI college or university. Prospective students are encouraged to research programs in their particular area of interest. Use the School Search tool to research programs in these fields.

  • Employment options for young people are encouraging in PEI, as the province is trying to attract more young workers to the region.
  • The Healthcare and Social Assistance sector is the major employer in the area, and employment in the Information, Culture and Recreation sector and the Agriculture sector is growing.

Graduates from a DLI in PEI may apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduating from an eligible study program.

The International Graduate Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) Labour Impact Category is an employer-driven stream that allows PEI employers to hire recent graduates from recognized accredited PEI universities and colleges. International graduates from an eligible PEI post-secondary institution may be eligible to apply if they have already been hired by a PEI employer for a skilled profession in their field of study.

International graduates may pursue an application for permanent residence through the federal Express Entry immigration system. Candidates for immigration to Canada who have completed their education at a school in PEI may be awarded points on account of their high level of education. Moreover, international graduates of Canadian educational institutions may have obtained important Canadian work experience, another highly valued factor under the Express Entry system.

PEI is a small island, and its climate is heavily influenced by the surrounding sea. Weather can change quickly from one day to the next. Temperatures are milder than other parts of Canada, reaching an average of -5 degrees Celsius in winter, and 20 degrees Celsius in summer. Summer and fall remain balmy as the surrounding ocean keeps the frost at bay until winter.

PEI has some of the lowest international tuition rates in Canada. For individuals looking for a sense of community and a small-town environment, PEI could be the perfect choice. Rolling hills, woods, sand beaches, ocean coves and the famous red soil have justifiably given Prince Edward Island a reputation as a province of outstanding natural beauty.

The University of Prince Edward Island adheres to the Pan-Canadian Protocol on the Transferability of University Credits, which states that all course work completed by transfer students during the first two years of university study in Canada (including the final year of studies in Quebec leading to a diploma of college studies and the university transfer courses offered by community colleges and university colleges in British Columbia and Alberta) will be recognized and fully credited for the purposes of granting a degree.

  • Charlottetown, the province’s capital city, is home to almost 35,000 people. The University of Prince Edward Island and some of Holland College’s campuses are located in Charlottetown.
  • The province’s second city is Summerside, the main municipality on the west side of the island. Four of Holland College’s campuses are located here.