If you are in Canada and are curious about flying a helicopter, we offer an hour long introductory lesson for those who are interested in trying their hand at the controls for the first time. See details of our introductory flights here.
Choosing the right program
The right program for you depends on what your intentions after acquiring the helicopter license are. Great Lakes Helicopter offers three courses for the international student (click on the links for more information):
Private Pilot License Training – If you are interested in flying recreationally and intend to stay in Canada for up to 6 months with a tourist visa, have a look at this program.
Commercial Pilot License Training – Would you like a career as a professional helicopter pilot? As a Great Lakes Helicopter’s student, you can apply for a student visa with a duration of 8 months and enjoy the benefit of being a student in Canada, including working part-time and extending your visa. If you don’t want to apply for the student visa, you can start the lessons using you tourist visa until it expires. Get all the information you need about this program.
Conestoga College Diploma Program – This is a 2 year Ontario College Diploma (not a certificate) offered in combination with Conestoga College. It is the best option if you would like to immigrate to Canada. The student visa is valid for 2 years and you are eligible to apply for 2 more years of Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). With the combination of the Ontario College Diploma and the work experience, you will add more points to your Express Entry immigration process to become a Permanent Resident of Canada.
International Student Requirements
- Be 18 years of age
- Proficient in the English language, both written and oral *see minimum requirements below
- Obtain a Transport Canada Category 1 Medical; see the list of certified Transport Canada approved Aviation Medical Examiners
- Copy of your passport, approved Student Visa, and your high school credential or its equivalency.
- Have Health Insurance for the duration of your studies (included in the Conestoga College Program)
- $500.00 deposit, $100.00 due with application, remaining $400.00 due upon getting your visa
- Application form completed
*Minimum English score:
TOEFL: Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper based) or 80 (internet based with no test below 20)-TOEFL code 9212
IELTS: Academic IELTS with an overall minimum score of 6.0 (with no single test score below 5.5)
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment): Overall band score of 50
International Student Application Process
- Fill out and submit the Flight School’s Application Form
- Submit a $100.00 CAD partial fee for the deposit. (check out the payment options)
- We will then send you the “Foreign Student Letter of Acceptance” that is recognized by immigration Canada; you may then proceed with the Study Visa Application.
- Upon acceptance for a Study Visa, please forward the remaining $400.00 CAD, and confirmation and proof of study visa from the Embassy.
For further assistance with admittance and arranging travel and accommodations to our Waterloo Location, please send an e-mail to our International Students Department.
Foreign Pilot Licence Holders
Transport Canada will grant credits to foreign pilot licence holders providing the foreign licence originates from a country that is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
To obtain these credits, the applicants should be able to provide Transport Canada with a log book of their flight experience for review. We suggest registering your log book at your Civil Aviation Authority.