Part-time, in-class Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate (Mandarin Chinese/English)

Frequently asked questions about this program

Admission and application process

Q: Do I need a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certficate?

A: No. We'll use our own screening tests to assess your cultural understanding, language proficiency and translation skills.

Q: Can I study/prepare for the screening tests?

A: No. Our assessment tests are designed to let you spontaneously demonstrate your abilities. No study techniques would help you prepare for the tests.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: For the current application deadline, please visit our Program details page. Since space is limited, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Q: I don’t have a university degree. Should I apply?

A: We also consider other forms of post-secondary education from recognized universities and colleges. In some cases, we'll also consider an equivalent combination of educational and practical experience. If you are unsure about your qualifications, please contact us before applying.

Q: How soon will I receive an admission decision?

A: We typically make admissions decisions within four to six weeks of receiving application materials and completed screening tests.

Program-related questions

Q: Who is the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate for?

A: This certificate program is ideal for the following:
  • Professional interpreters and translators who would like to pursue certification
  • Anyone considering a career in professional interpretation and translation
  • Individuals interested in becoming certified court interpreters
  • People with a high level of bilingual fluency developed through formal education or interpretation-related work experience in legal settings

Q: Do you offer online legal interpretation and translation courses?

A: No, we do not currently offer online courses.

Q: Can I take individual courses?

A: No. Our legal interpretation and translation courses are available only to students who take the full Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate.

Q: How many students will be in my classes?

The maximum enrollment for each language-specific training class is 20 students, which will allow you to have more interaction with our instructors.

Q: Are there any textbooks required for the program?

A: There are no required textbooks. Our instructors custom-design course materials for this program based on their front-line experience in legal/court interpretation and translation and in creating court-interpreter-certification exams.

Q: Do you have a co-op program? Do you provide job-search assistance?

During your practicum placement, instructors will provide guidance and feedback and you'll gain first-hand knowledge of agencies and organizations that require professional services from legal interpreters and translators. We also invite our students to join our LinkedIn group and Facebook, where we share job opportunities, industry news and more.

Job demand and job market

Q: What kind of work can I get after I finish the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate?

A: Our graduates may work in various settings: law firms, businesses, government agencies, international organizations and specialized translation and interpretation agencies.

Sometimes, legal translators are self-employed and work for a variety of clients on assignments. They generally work by themselves from home or in their own offices. Court interpreters work mostly in court or in law firms. They may also find themselves accompanying law professionals to meetings and negotiation sessions in other settings.

Keep in mind that it takes time to establish a professional interpretation or translation career.

Q: How do I become a certified interpreter/translator after I complete this program?

A: The Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC) governs the certification process. It is a non-profit professional association and an affiliate of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), the umbrella organization for the provincial and territorial associations of translators across Canada. It is also a member of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). For information about becoming a certified legal/court interpreter/translator, please contact the STIBC directly.

Financial assistance

Q: Is this program eligible for funding through Canada Student Loans?

Unfortunately, this program is not eligible for student loans. If you are a Canadian citizen, you may be eligible for a grant. The Canadian government provides grants to Canadians with demonstrated financial need. You can find out more on the Government of Canada's Student Financial Assistance Page.

Accommodation and living expenses

Q: What kinds of housing options are available to me?

A: SFU does not have designated accommodations located on or near our downtown Vancouver campus. It is up to you to contact potential landlords and find suitable accommodation.

Many Canadian families welcome international students. Renting is another option open to students, but price, quality and availability vary. Rents are often quite high in downtown Vancouver, and apartments are not always available. Some students share accommodation to keep costs down, and most find housing that meets their needs and preferences.

The average cost of shared accommodation in Vancouver is C$600–$850 per month. The average cost of a suite or apartment is C$850–$1,500 per month. Prices can vary greatly according to location and time of year, so try to make all the necessary arrangements before you leave for Canada.


Q: Are students in the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate eligible for the U-Pass program?

A: The U-Pass program is available only to students taking regular credit courses at the university. Our program is non-credit, so our students do not pay Simon Fraser Student Society Fees or Student Activity Fees. As a result, they are not eligible for the U-Pass program.


Q: If I am accepted into your program, when do I have to pay my tuition?

A: When you are accepted into one of our programs, we will send you a letter of offer, which contains specific tuition payment details.

Q: What do the tuition fees include? Are there any additional costs?

A: Tuition fees include classroom instruction and materials in addition to field training arrangements. The tuition fees do not include general travel and living expenses while you study in Vancouver.

Q: Is there a different fee structure for international students?

A: No. Both international students and permanent residents/Canadian citizens pay the same tuition of C$7,950 for the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate.

Visas and study permits

Q: Do I need a study permit to take the Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate?

A: Yes. In general, foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. You must apply for a study permit before coming to take our ten-month certificate program. Ensure that you have a letter of admission from our program before you begin the application process.

Q: I am an international student. How do I apply for a study permit?

A: You can apply for the study permit at the Canadian visa office in your country, or, in specific cases, online with a formal letter of admission from our office, your passport, and proof of monetary funds available to you while studying in Canada. Some students may also need a medical exam.

Q: How will I receive a letter of offer/admission from your office?

A: Applicants who pass our assessment tests will receive a letter of offer via email. If you are an international student, you must pay your tuition in full before receiving a letter of admission, which you need to apply for a study permit.

Q: Do I need to purchase medical insurance?

A: Yes. Medical insurance is mandatory for all SFU students. You must purchase and provide proof of medical insurance coverage either before you arrive or on the first day of classes.
If you are an international student, we encourage you to apply for the B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) as soon as you arrive. You are responsible for applying for this plan.
Before you are covered by MSP, or if you are not covered by MSP, please visit Guard.Me to arrange for coverage. The cost for this plan is $1.45/day. You must purchase coverage for a minimum of 14 days but no more than 365 days. This coverage must last until you receive coverage from the B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Q: Are international students allowed to work after graduating from your program?

A: Always direct questions about your visa status and employment eligibility to Immigration Canada. You may find general information about the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Can't find an answer to your question? Ask us.