FAQ: The College of the North Atlantic - Qatar

The College of the North Atlantic in Qatar (CNA-Q) is a technical college near Education City in Doha, Qatar. Begun in 2001 through a deal signed between the College of the North Atlantic in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada and the Qatari Government, the CNA-Q is designed to educate future generations of Qataris after Qatari State Secondary Education.

What programs of study are offered?

CNA-Q offers programs in health sciences, business, engineering, information technology, security, and technical preparatory studies. All courses are taught according to the Canadian curriculum and in the English language. Consequently, half the staff at CNA-Q is dedicated to teaching the English language as a consequence. Healthcare programs offered include: Dental Assistant, Emergency Medical Science, Food Safety and Inspection, Occupational Health and Safety, Public Health, Medical Radiography Technology, Pharmacy Technician, Pre-Nursing, and Respiratory Therapy.

Are programs the same length as in North America?

The curriculum is based on the Canadian community college model, which dictates two-year programs. However, due to the need for additional English courses, CNA-Q students generally take three to four years to complete their degree.

Where are CNA-Q students from?

Approximately 80% of CNA-Q students are citizens or permanent residents of Qatar. The remaining 20% generally come from neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Where is CNA-Q faculty from?

The CNA-Q recruits their faculty primarily from Canada. However, native Qataris are hired as TAs or classroom helpers.

What are the minimum requirements for admission?

Most programs at the CNA-Q prefer one English credit, one Academic or Advanced Mathematics credit, and two Science credits. All these credits must be obtained from a Qatari State Secondary School and must be a passing grade. If these requirements are preventing a Qatari from admittance, Qatari nationals are allowed to take catch-up courses or they can apply as a mature student, where the requirements are flexible.

Once completed, can CNA-Q students work/study in North America?

The curriculum at CNA-Q is the same as the curriculum at its Canadian counterparts. Therefore, CNA-Q graduates are groomed to write the Canadian licensing exams. Furthermore, after graduation, CNA-Q students are encouraged to apply to specific universities in the UK and Canada. Even if the student becomes licensed in, e.g., Canada, if the student is not a citizen of the country in question, or a landed immigrant in the country in question, a visa would be necessary to work.

If accepted to a program at CNA-Q, where do students gain their work experience?

All students in their final year at college must pass a specialized course, which aims to integrate the students' academic studies with practical work experience. Students find work placements within Qatar with the help of a Work Term Coordinator from the college.

When each year do the programs start?

There are three semesters available at CNA-Q: the first semester begins in the fall; the second begins in the winter; and the third begins in the spring. The months of July and August are reserved for vacation.

What are the annual tuition costs?

One full academic year at CNA-Q, composed of two semesters, costs QR20,000 or US$5,492.

Is there financial aid for students?

Most Qatari students are employees of the Qatari State or a Qatari corporation and are paid to attend CNA-Q. Qataris are also eligible for various scholarships. Non-Qataris are generally required to pay their own way, unless sponsored externally.

Is there health insurance for international students?

All residents of Qatar are provided with national health coverage by the State. International students who have received their Residence Permit are eligible to obtain a National Health Card and receive free medical care.

What are the approximate housing costs, on or off campus?

The campus has residences, which can each house 170 students. Male and female students have access to segregated cafeterias, student lounges, and recreational areas. Common areas include public lobbies, cafes, libraries, classrooms, laboratories, and courtyards.

How does a CNA-Q-hopeful apply?

Hopeful applicants must complete an online application form and include their official Secondary School transcript, photocopies of their passport, a copy of their Qatari National Identification Card, and an application processing fee of QR100 (US$27.46).

International students must obtain a Residency Permit ID Number in order to apply to CNA-Q. To obtain the number, they must send a Qatar-approved transcript and letter of permission to the Qatar Ministry of the Interior. They are then required to sit English and Math placement tests.

For more information, visit CNA-Q's website.


Information is subject to change. Always check with the school for the most up-to-date information about requirements, programs, and costs.

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