A multicultural environment, world-renowned academic institutions, simplified visa and immigration policies and economical tuition fees and living costs, Canada has it all! Ranked amongst the G-7 countries, the Canadian government has strived to spend immensely on bettering the education sector. With its colleges and universities equipped with hi-tech and state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities, a degree or diploma earned in Canada is globally recognized. These are some of the key reasons why it is becoming a choicest study destination alongside the likes of the US and the UK. If you have been aspiring to study in Canada but are unsure about where to begin, here is a comprehensive guide giving you a glance into the country’s student-friendly environment, major universities, admission process as well as the visa procedures for international students.
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Why Study in Canada?
Offering a colossal number of perks for International students, there are an array of reasons which make Canada an ideal destination to pursue higher studies in your chosen field of interest. So, let’s first explore why Canada is becoming a hotspot for those wanting to study abroad!
Top-Ranked Academic Institutions
The most prominent feature that can convince you to study in Canada is that it is home to some of the internationally renowned universities around the world. As a matter of fact, the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2020 featured around 30 universities in Canada amongst the best ones in the world. Further, these institutions are also eminent for bringing globally accomplished faculty members as well as encouraging international relations with universities and colleges across the globe.
Earn and Learn at the Same Time
Opting for higher education in a foreign country can prove to be a burden on your pockets! But here you can avail the chance to work either on-campus or off-campus when you study in Canada. To pursue any of these opportunities, your study permit must indicate that you are allowed to work on-campus or off-campus. Also, the Canadian government has allowed foreign students to work for 20 hours in a week along with specifying different requirements for on-campus and off-campus opportunities which we have detailed in the coming sections.
To make it an enticing experience to study in Canada, there are a multitude of financial aid schemes that one can avail. To begin with, you can choose from governmental, non-governmental and university-specific scholarships offered to students at different levels of education, ranging from graduate to postgraduate and postdoctoral. In order to cater to students from across the globe, the Canadian government has dedicated sections to its prospective scholarships which you can also check out to find a suitable funding scheme! You can also read our blog on Scholarships in Canada for Masters which delves deeper into the financial aid offered for those aspiring to study their postgraduate degree in the country.
Internationally Acclaimed Education System
Canada Education System has been globally ranked at #3 in the best countries for Education by US News in 2020. Emphasising the values of a multicultural environment, the country whole-heartedly welcomes people from every culture and when it comes to higher studies, programs are both English and French-taught to cater to students around the world. To study in Canada is to witness an educational apparatus that is diverse and multidimensional while also flexible and accessible to students of all ages.
Affordable Studying & Living Costs
It has been observed that the incurred costs to study in Canada are relatively affordable than opting for the US or the UK. Without compromising with the quality of education in any way, the country avails a varied range of financial aid schemes and scholarships to help foreign students find the right funding for their studies here. Further, to make it more simplified, the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC) has also curated an online tool where prospective aspirants can estimate the tuition costs as well as living expenses as per their chosen academic institutions.
One of the significant factors that have made this destination a popular option with many foreign students aspiring to study in Canada is that it is amongst the top 10 peaceful countries in the world as per the Global Peace Index 2019. Each of the university campuses around the country has a special body to ensure the safety of local as well as foreign students and many provide their own safety apps. Further, the government exhibits utmost concern from health to security, every measure is taken into consideration to make the students feel safe while pursuing their education in the country.
Study in Canada: Application Process & Essential Documents
To begin with the admission process, one needs to follow certain step-by-step procedure to ensure that you don’t miss anything while sending your application. The following pointers elaborate upon the major steps you should keep in mind while planning to study in Canada.
- Find a Suitable Course and University: Thoroughly Research about the available diploma and degree programs in your field of interest as well as the universities offering them. Canada is globally famous for its prospective courses in varied specialisations, be it Science, Technology, Humanities or Commerce.
- Get the Paperwork Ready: Applying to study in Canada can be a lengthy procedure and it’s important to start your application as early as possible. Some of the basic application essentials include transcripts and marksheets for your academic records, language proficiency scores (IELTS Score for Canada), letter of motivation, letters of recommendation (LOR), Statement of Profit (SOP), amongst others. We have also given a rundown of different documents you need in the next section.
- Familiarize yourself with Admission Requirements: Once you have selected the right course, check its admission requirements given on the university’s official website. Some of the prominent things you need to ensure are academic-related specifications, criteria related to work experience, information about the intake, etc.
- Filling the Application Form & Submission: Major universities in Canada conduct the application procedure through an online medium where the candidates need to fill their personal and academic details, submit the necessary documents as well as the required application fee. Make sure that you carefully add all your details and go through them once again before final submission.
- Gear Up for Visa Application: Once your candidature has been successfully accepted by the university, you can start preparing your visa application. It generally needs around 60 days as well as demands many documents, so it becomes important that you commence your visa application as early as you can. Take a look at the elaborated procedure for student permit provided in the next section.
Application Essentials & Documents Required
Now that you are familiarized with the application procedure you need to go through to study in Canada, make sure that you have the following essentials by your side while sending your application:
- An updated CV (if required)
- Transcripts or Marksheet of your previous degree or diploma
- Statement of Purpose (SOP) & Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
- English Proficiency Tests Like IELTS, C1 Advanced, or TOEFL. If you are applying for a French-taught program, you need to submit French Proficiency Tests Like TCF, TEF, DELF, and DALF.
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to study in Canada.
- If you are applying for a Masters in Canada or PhD program, you might be needed to provide two letters of academic reference with previous letters of employment. And if you haven’t studied in Canada before, you will also need an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment).
How To Get Study Permit in Canada?
If you are planning to study in a foreign country, you will need a student visa. In order to obtain a Canada visa for Indians, one needs to apply to the Citizen and Immigration (CIC) which is the main concerned authority for obtaining student permit for internationals. In order to apply for a student permit, there are two ways: either through the regular study permit application procedure or through the student direct stream.
For Indian students, the best way is to apply through the student direct stream in which one needs to register online at the official website of the CIC, submit biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and then wait for at least 20 days for the verification and result.
On the other hand, the regular study permit application procedure is a traditional method in which one can either apply online or on paper, eligibility criteria is similar to the student direct stream while it can take a little longer for screening of applications.
The process for attaining a study permit in Canada is as follows:
|Step 1||Get your acceptance letter from the university|
|Step 2||Pay tuition fee and keep the receipt for the submission|
|Step 3||Purchase your GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) |
from any bank like SBI Canada, ICI, CIBC, etc.
|Step 4||Take a medical examination approved by the Canadian|
government. Keep the receipt for the submission.
|Step 5||To lodge your visa application, you must have these documents:|
Family Information Form
Photocopy of an original valid passport
Visa Application Form
Use Representative Form (IMM 5476)
Proof of your English or French Proficiency Test
Evidence of GIC Purchase
Receipt of Tuition Fee
Medical Test for Canada Student Visa
|Step 6||Now, wait for the outcome.|
Cost Of Studying in Canada
The total cost of studying in Canada is mainly constituted of different factors such as the chosen course, the city of study, accommodation, etc. Moreover, for the best colleges in Canada, the tuition costs can be more than CAD 35,000 (INR 18,84,000). Also, aspirants can inquire about the cost of studying in the country through an online tool provided by the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC).
Delving deeper into the cost calculation to study in Canada, the living expenses can depend on either taking in-house accommodation at your college or getting a room or apartment at rent. If you are planning to live on your own, the cost may range around CAD 5,000 (INR 2,67,000) to CAD 10,000 (INR 5,39,000) for a year. While, if you are studying in major cities such as Toronto or Montreal, the rent prices can be even higher. For travelling expenses, students using public transports such as subways, buses and trains can expect to spend monthly costs of somewhere between CAD 80 (INR 4,300) to CAD 110 (INR 6,000) per month.
Scholarships in Canada for International Students
For those wanting to study in Canada, there are a multitude of scholarships for Indian Students to study abroad to choose from. Some of the key scholarships available for higher studies in Canada are:
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program
- Ontario Trillium Scholarship
- National Research Council of Canada (NRCC)
- Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
- Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship
- Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Don’t Forget to Check Out: Scholarship in Canada for Masters
Top Universities in Canada
While making your plans to study in Canada, it is important to research thoroughly about the top academic institutions and their prospective offerings in your chosen field of interest. Take a look at the following table in which we have compiled the rankings of top universities in Canada as per THE World University Rankings 2020:
|Name of the University||Global Rank||Country Rank|
|University of Toronto||18||1|
|The University of British Columbia||34||2|
|University of Montreal||85||5|
|University of Alberta||=136||6|
|University of Ottawa||=141||7|
|University of Calgary||201–250||=8|
|University of Waterloo||201–250||=8|
|Simon Fraser University||251–300||=11|
|University of Manitoba||351–400||15|
Now, let’s delve deeper into some of these major academic institutions in Canada:
University of Toronto
Amongst the leading academic institutions to study in Canada, the University of Toronto has a glorious legacy of more than 100 years as it was established way back in 1827. It boasts itself of being a research-intensive university with a strive to invent and innovate and provides around 700 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate programs spread across diverse specialisations of Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Engineering, Education, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Architecture, amongst others. It also offers a wide range of second-entry professional courses in varied fields of Medical Science and Law to name a few. Check out our blog to know the complete list of University of Toronto Courses.
Must Read: University of Toronto Acceptance Rate
As a well-known higher learning institution of Canada, McGill University was established by the royal charter in 1821. With its name derived from a Montreal merchant James McGill, it is acclaimed across the globe for its teaching excellence and contribution to research. It is the sole Canadian member in the World Economic Forum’s GULF. It offers an array of diploma and degree program in over 280 domains of study and is popular for its course offerings in Engineering, Management, Science, Arts and Medicine. To study in Canada at McGill University, you can apply for a plethora of entry-based and merit-based scholarships and financial aid schemes availed by the institutions.
University of Calgary
Another renowned institution you can consider to study in Canada is the University of Calgary which is a public research-based university located in the northwest quadrant of the country. Constituted of 85 research centres, 55 departments and spread across 14 faculties, the university has curated a unique range of interdisciplinary programs such as BA Dance/BA Kinesiology, Global Energy Executive MBA, Law and Society degree, Sustainable Energy Development program amongst others. Further, it offers over 240 degree and diploma courses in diverse fields of study including, Medicine, Engineering, Environmental Design, Social Work, Law, Science, Nursing, etc.
Established in 1878 by Bishop Hellmuth, the Western University began with only four faculties and now has expanded into a total of 12 spread across Arts & Humanities, Education, Business, Medicine, Social Sciences, and Engineering, amongst others. It is also a research-intensive university to study in Canada and is home to many famed inventions like Insulin by Sir Frederick Banting as well as the first cobalt bomb created by Ivan Smith’s team to treat cancer in 1951. Providing more than 400 specialisations, it offers undergraduate, postgraduate and second-entry courses in American Cultural Studies, Applied Statistics, Accounting, Biochemistry, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Data Sciences, Health Studies, Film Studies, Geography, to name a few.
University of Waterloo
Situated in the technology hub of the country, the University of Waterloo is prominently a member of U-15 which represents the top 15 Canadian research universities. It is known to promote gender equality as well as student diversity in order to ensure excellence and equity in education standards. Providing over 100 undergraduate and 190 postgraduate courses in different disciplines like Applied Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Cultural and Language Studies, Economics, Fine Arts, History and various others.
Must Read: Top 10 Colleges In Canada
FAQS About Studying in Canada
1. What documents do you need to study in Canada?
When you are preparing to move abroad for your education, you need to have a list of documents ready for your application and subsequent relocation to the country. To study in Canada, you will require certain documents like Identity Proof, Valid Passport, Letter of Acceptance (from the university you have taken admission in), Statement of Purpose, Letters of Reference, academic records, proof of sufficient funds, Immigration Medical Examination certificate (IME), English Proficiency exam scores, Letter of Explanation, Custodian Declaration (for minors) etc.
2. How long is the Study in Canada student permit valid?
The validity of student permit for study in Canada depends on numerous factors, such as:
- If any institute of Canada asks you to complete a prerequisite course before you are accepted to study in Canada, your study permit grants you time up to the completion of the course and an extra year as a bonus. After you are accepted to the desired university, you have to apply to extend your stay in the country.
- In case you weren’t able to complete your studies in the duration of your study permit, you need to apply to extend your stay in Canada.
- If you complete your studies before your study permit expires, the permit becomes inadmissible 90 days after you complete your studies.
3. Which are the most in-demand courses to study in Canada?
All the courses to study in Canada have their own USP and requirement for every industry. With globalisation on the rise, the need for professional candidates who possess knowledge as well as experience is increasing too. There are numerous options one can explore in terms of job opportunities. Most of the in-demand courses mostly depend on the most in-demand jobs in Canada. We have listed down some of the in-demand courses in Canada that are based on the most in-demand jobs in Canada:
- Vocational or College Instructor
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Business Management Consultant
- Software Engineer/ Designer
- Industrial Electrician
- Aerospace Engineer
- Aircraft Pilot
- Construction Estimator
- Registered Nurse
4. What is the minimum IELTS score required to study in Canada?
The IELTS score is an essential part of your study in Canada admission process. You need to be aware of the minimum score required by the CLB, i.e. Canadian Language Benchmark. The candidates are tested on their English language skills and proficiency based on the national standards. In case you are applying for a student visa, you need to score a minimum aggregate of 6 and a minimum of 5.5 in each section of the IELTS paper, for all the undergraduate degrees offered to study in Canada. For postgraduate degrees, you need to score a minimum of 6 in all the four sections and a minimum aggregate of 6.5.
5. Why should I study in Canada?
With the rise of globalisation, Canada has risen up to the challenge and is offering relevant courses, it is home to top-notch universities. The fact that English is one of the national languages of Canada, makes survival and communication in Canada a lot easier. The universities to study in Canada are quite focused on research and have acquired praise from around the world for the same. With a culturally diverse and a safe environment for all, choosing to study in Canada is definitely a worthy decision in your academic and professional journey.
Q6. Which exams are necessary to study in Canada?
When planning to study in Canada, you need to keep all the essential requirements in your mind before coming to an informed decision. The basic admission examinations such as the SAT, GRE or GMAT are technical examinations and basic determinants for the course pathway to study in Canada. Language proficiency exams like IELTS and TOEFL are also necessary to help the university understand whether you can survive in a predominantly English speaking country like Canada. However, individual course admission requirements may differ based on the college or universities.
7. Is it easier for international students to get a job after studying in Canada?
With friendly immigration rules and regulations, finding a job after completing your studies in Canada is an easy task as compared to other countries. Countries like UK, USA, etc. that are included in the most popular destination for study abroad, might not have as easy rules regarding job opportunities after completion of studies as Canada. Those who graduate from one of the designated learning institutions are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, i.e. PGWP.
Check Out: Jobs in Canada with Work Permit
8. What are the other requirements for international students to study in Canada?
There are numerous requirements when you are planning to study in Canada. Apart from basic examinations like the GRE, GMAT or SAT, you also need your TOEFL or IELTS score as a test of your understanding of the English Language. Apart from this, you are also required to submit a Statement of Purpose, an admission essay describing your strengths, weaknesses, your career objectives as well as your expectations from the institute and the quality or speciality that you will be bringing into the institution. Reference letters, certificates authenticating your extracurricular activities and other proofs of the different skills you possess, will definitely add to your profile and can potentially actualise your dream to study in Canada.
9. Are you allowed to work while you continue to Study in Canada?
There are rules and regulations that allow international students to work while they continue to study in Canada. International students possessing a valid student permit and enrolled in a designated learning institution, full time is allowed to work while they continue to study in Canada. These international students are allowed to work for about 20 hours a week. For off-campus work, the student needs to have authorization from the visa office and printed on the study permit. In case the student does not meet the eligibility criteria, they will no longer be allowed to work while they continuing their studies.
10. Are medical examinations required to study in Canada?
A medical examination is necessary for those planning to join public service courses or job opportunities. Hence, it is your visa officer who determines if a medical examination is required or not. A medical examination might be compulsory in case you are planning to pursue certain kinds of courses in which case the university will specify the same or planning to take up a job that requires a medical examination. In this scenario, the medical examination will be conducted before issuing a visa for Canada. For courses that last 6 months or less, do not require a medical examination of any kind.
11. What are on-campus and off-campus jobs for international students in Canada?
The Canadian government has allowed foreign students to work for 20 hours a week while pursuing their education in the country. Further, one can choose from on-campus or off-campus jobs and if you are an international student it is important your study permit must indicate that you are allowed to work.
On-Campus: In this type of a job, you’re allowed to work for your school, faculty member, your own business, and a student organization without a work permit. But as a post-secondary international student, you’re only permitted to work if you have:
- A full-time post-secondary student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
- A valid study permit
- A Social Insurance Number
Off-Campus: In such a job, you’re allowed to work outside your school to explore part-time opportunities like a tutor, waiter, or in any other temporary positions, but you’re allowed to work only when you have:
- A valid study permit that indicates you’re allowed to work off-campus,
- Enrolled at a DLI (Designated Learning Institute),
- Studying a 6-month program that leads to a degree, certificate or diploma.
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Here is a list of related blogs you can explore to know more about studying in Canada:
- Study in Canada After 12th
- Study in Canada After 10th
- SOP to Study in Canada
- MBBS in Canada
- 2 Years PG Diploma Courses in Canada
- SPP Colleges in Canada
- Non SPP Colleges in Canada
- Bachelors in Canada
- PGDM in Canada
- IELTS 6 Band Universities in Canada for Masters
- MBA Without Work Experience in Canada
- PG Diploma vs Masters in Canada
- Eligibility for MBA in Canada
Canada being a welcoming and economical study destination for international students is certainly the current favourite study abroad option for many students around the globe. To ensure you get selected in one of the top universities to study in Canada, it’s highly imperative to have your application stand out. Call Leverage Edu today and take the first step towards successfully studying in Canada.