Study in Canada

Canada has ranked as one of the top ten places to live in the world for over twenty years, and the education system in Canada is among the best. Canada is an increasingly popular option for students who want the quality of a North American education at a less expensive cost than they might find in the US.

About Canada

Canada is a country located in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border.

Canada ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom and education. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s report on global education, Canada has the highest proportion of college graduates. The country is also renowned for some of the cleanest air and water on the planet.


Education system in Canada

Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and post-secondary. Within the provinces under the ministry of education, there are district school boards administering the educational programs.

Canada offers an interesting variety of college models: colleges, polytechnics, and cégeps (vocational schools). Canadian college and university graduates are highly-valued on the job market, and people who study there have been able to find great jobs in any field they're interested in.

Study Options

There are three academic intakes at the institutions in Canada: fall, winter and summer. Fall lasts from September to December, winter lasts from January to April and summer lasts from May to August. Though fall is the primary intake in most colleges, some colleges do offer a winter intake.

International students are advised to apply at the earliest, as scholarships and admissions get more and more competitive closer to the deadline. A typical application deadline would be 6 to 9 months before your session starts, and it can vary depending on each department and the subject of choice. Though deadlines are not flexible, except for diploma programmes, some institutions might accept students if seats are available.

Students can choose from a number of study programmes:

  • Certificate or diploma (One or two years)
  • Advanced diploma (Two or three years)
  • Undergraduate (three or four years)
  • Postgraduate (two years)
  • PhD (four or five years with dissertation)

How to apply to universities in Canada?

Each university in Canada has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. Some of the basic requirements you'll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor's degree),
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses,
  • A scan of your passport,
  • Your CV,
  • Test scores,
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding,
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3),
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples.

To qualify for a Canadian university

  • Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses

  • Improve your English through an English-language prep course: If you're attending a Bachelor's, Master's degree or Ph.D. in Canada, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures

English-language tests

To apply to study in Canada, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency. The certificates generally accepted by the universities in Canada are:

  • TOEFL
  • IELTS
  • CAE or CPE

Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Cost of study & living

Average tuition for Canadian citizens or permanent residents seeking to earn an undergraduate degree in their country is about 5000 CAD per year. The same students choosing to earn a graduate degree in Canada should expect to pay about 1000 CAD more annually than undergraduation tuition fees.

International students are required to pay higher fees than Canadian residents--nearly three times the amount, in fact. If you are an international student, shell out CAD 10,000–40,000 per year.

Annual living expenses will depend on the living location you prefer and the type of accommodation that suits you, i.e., private, homestay or on-campus accommodation. On average, students pay CAD 6,000–8,000 per year for their accommodation. Of course, the transport and other expenses should be factored in. And one more thing that you can’t avoid is a health insurance that costs CAD 600 (approx.) per year.

International students can work part time for 20 hours per week – generally the first six months on campus and off campus post this period. Some universities with more intensive courses allow their students to work for nearly 12 hours. International students can apply for work permit post their studies, which gives them the opportunity to work in the country for a three-year period.


Visa Requirements

Eligibility for Study Visas

To be eligible to obtain a Canadian study visa, students must prove they have been accepted by a college or university in Canada, show they can financially support themselves and pay tuition fees and present a clean record in regards to criminal history. Students may be asked to undergo a medical examination in some cases before a student visa is issued.

Entry Requirements for Higher Education in Canada

  • Meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, including leaving Canada at the end of your studies.
  • Proof of financial support.
  • If the duration of your studies in Canada will be less than a year, proof of financial support for the duration of your studies in Canada.
  • If the duration of your studies in Canada will be more than a year, proof of financial support for the first year of your studies in Canada.
  • Have no record of criminal activity. You may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate.
  • Medical examination to prove that you are in good health.

Scholarships

Both government and non-government scholarships are available for international students in Canada. These include:

Government scholarships

  • Canada graduate scholarships
  • NSERC postgraduate scholarships

Non-government scholarships

  • Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation scholarship
  • Trudeau scholarships and fellowships

Universities in Canada