Study in Canada [Ultimate 2020 Guide for Indian Students]


A multicultural environment, world-renowned academic institutions, simplified visa and immigration policies and economical tuition fees and living costs, Canada has it all! As one of the G-7 countries, the Canadian government has strived to spend immensely in improving the education sector. With its academic institutions equipped with hi-tech and state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities, pursuing a Masters in Canada/diploma courses in Canada/ other degree programs will be of great benefit! 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 which will shed light on Canada’s major universities, admission process as well as the visa procedures for international students.

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.

Plentiful Scholarships

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.

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.

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. 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 international students aspiring to study in Canada is that it is amongst the top 10 safest 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 international students, and many provide their own safety apps.

Intakes in Canada

Before applying to any university in Canada, you should first check the course availability based on the intakes. Details pertaining to the study intakes have been tabulated below.

Courses Intake Period Deadlines
Undergraduate/Postgraduate Courses [Universities] Fall Intake – September

Winter Intake – January

December – March

September – November

Colleges January



August – September

January – February

February – April

Study in Canada: Application Process

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 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 the 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.

Requirements to Study in Canada

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 need 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).

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 will vary based on the level of education and university. 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).

Components Details Cost of Studying in Canada [Yearly] Yearly Expenses [In Indian Rupee]
Tuition Fees College/Vocational Training

Bachelor Level Programs

Master Level Courses

PhD Courses

CAD 2,000 – CAD 19,000

CAD 1,800 – CAD 20,000

CAD 2,000 – CAD 18,000

CAD 2,000 – CAD 17,000

Rs 1,09,000 – Rs 10,29,000

Rs 97,000 – Rs 10,82,000

Rs 1,09,000 – Rs 9,80,000

Rs 1,09,000 – Rs 9,20,000

Accommodation On-campus

Off-campus [Private Accommodation]

Varies from one university to another

CAD 400 – CAD 3,000

Rs 21,000 – Rs 1,62,000

Travel Public Transport CAD 80 – CAD 110

Note: These are monthly expenses

Rs 4,000 – Rs 5,000

Note: These are approximate costs and can vary based on the city you live in and the CAD to INR conversion rates.

How to Get a Study Permit for 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 permits for international students. The application fee is CAD $150 [Rs 8,000 approximately]. Furthermore, 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. The eligibility criteria are similar to the student direct stream, however, it can take a little longer for the screening of applications.
Documents required for issuance of Canadian Study Permit
  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Valid Passport
  • Transcripts/Marksheets
  • School Leaving Certificate
  • Evidence of GIC Purchase
  • Scholarship/Funding Details [If Applicable]
  • Proof of your English or French Proficiency Test
  • Student Questionnaire
  • Medical Test for Canada Student Visa
  • Family Information Form
  • IT Records of you/parents [Last 2 years]
  • Use Representative Form (IMM 5476)

Work While Studying in Canada

International students possessing a valid student permit and enrolled in a designated learning institution, in full-time programs 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 continue their studies.

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.
  • 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.

Post-Graduation Work Permit [PGWP] in Canada

After getting your final semester marks, you will have 180 days to apply for a PGWP. The application fee is $155 CAD [Rs 8,300 approximately]. Furthermore, your application will take around 89 days to process through the online route and 139, if applied offline.

PGWP Validity

Course Duration PGWP Validity
Up to 8 months Cannot apply for a PGWP
Between 8 months-2 years Validity same as the program duration
More than 2 years 3 years
Upon completing more than 1 program It equals the combined length of programs, however, each course should be 8 months long. 

What are On-campus and Off-campus Jobs for International Students in Canada?

The Canadian government has allowed international 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.

In this type of 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

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)

Top Universities in Canada

While making your plans to study in Canada, it is important to research thoroughly 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
McGill University 42  3
McMaster University 72  4
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
Western University 201–250  =8
Dalhousie University 251–300  =11
University Laval 251–300  =11
Queen’s University 251–300  =11
Simon Fraser University 251–300  =11
University of Manitoba 351–400  15

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. It boasts itself of being a research-intensive university and offers around 700 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate programs spread across diverse specialisations of Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Computer Science, Life Science, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Engineering, 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

McGill University

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 studying 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 centers, 55 departments, and spread across 14 faculties, the university has curated a unique range of interdisciplinary programs such as Bachelor of Arts in Dance/ 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.

Western University

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. 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 has its roots in this university. 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 a member of the 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.

Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Be it for undergraduate programs or scholarships in Canada for masters, those wanting to study in Canada will find plenty of opportunities to fund their education. 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

FAQs About Studying in Canada

Which are the most in-demand courses to study in Canada? 

Some of the in-demand courses in Canada that are based on the most in-demand jobs are:
1. Vocational or College Instructor
2. Licensed Practical Nurse  
3. Business Management Consultant
4. Software Engineer/ Designer
5. Industrial Electrician
6. Aerospace Engineer
7. Pharmacist
8. Aircraft Pilot
9. Psychologist
10. Construction Estimator 
11. Registered Nurse

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. Those who graduate from one of the designated learning institutions are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, i.e. PGWP. Here is our blog which lists down the jobs in Canada with Work Permit for you to consider.

What is the minimum account balance required for Canadian Student Visa?

To study in Canada, you have to give proof of funds. Currently, the minimum bank balance which you need to have is CAD 10,000 [Rs 5,40,000]. Furthermore, to study in Quebec, you need to have a minimum of CAD 11,000 [Rs 5,96,000]

What is the minimum IELTS score required to study in Canada? 

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. 

Are medical examinations required to study in Canada? 

A medical examination is necessary for those planning to join public service courses or job opportunities. 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.

Which exams are necessary to study in Canada? 

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. 

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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.

  1. Hi, Study abroad is Dream for Many Students, Canada is one of the finest places to study for Indian Students, this pandemic has affected them, i hope everything will get cleared soon Global Tree.
    Thax for sharing the valuable info.

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