Hockey, maple syrup, and denim tuxedos aside, Canada is a shelter for students from all over the world seeking an education. However, there are many other attractions for those choosing to study there.
Why Study in Canada
Canada is the second-largest country in the world by size, just behind Russia, and has a population density of 4 inhabitants per square kilometer, which is lower than India’s staggering 416 people per square kilometer.
Canada has 96 universities, most of which are highly hospitable to international students, spread out over its urban and rural locations. One unique feature of Canada is that it has two official languages, English in most of the west and French in Quebec in the east. You probably already know this. Canada is the place to go if you want to extend your horizons as an ESL or FSL student!
If you don’t mind the miserable winters, that is. Like everywhere else in the world, the local population reflects its surroundings. Canadians and international students equally embrace what others may find to be a burden as a source of purity, generosity, and exceptional standards for higher education, from the rough mountain peaks of British Columbia to the massive underground malls connected to subway stations.
It’s well known that Canadians are a friendly lot. The country is always on the cutting edge of social structures and technology, making it very accommodating to the open-minded mentality of students studying abroad, in addition to the abundance of incentives for international students to study in Canada.
If you’re considering studying abroad in Canada, you may start by aiming your darts at Vancouver, Toronto, and Montréal. Toronto and Vancouver are ranked 13th and 17th, respectively, in the QS Best Student Cities 2018 list, with Montréal coming in at number four!
However, the areas in between are home to some of the nation’s most well-known colleges abroad. So you might prefer to study outside of the three major cities depending on your subject of study, preferred location, and level of tolerance for the cold.
Out of the 96 universities in Canada, 26 are ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2021.
The top 10 are as follows:
- Queen’s University
- University of Calgary
- Western University
- University of Waterloo
- Université de Montréal
- McMaster University
- University of Alberta
- University of British Columbia
- McGill University
- University of Toronto
If there weren’t a vast variety of courses to choose from, including courses in business and finance, media and journalism, agricultural science, and computer science and IT, Canada wouldn’t be home to around 572,000 international students each year. You’ll undoubtedly discover the ideal degree for you!
Additionally, there are approximately 150 colleges in Canada that provide certificates and short courses. You might come across one that precisely suits your goals. Even though the application process for a student visa will be the same, you might be able to save some money on tuition overall.
Although certain postgraduate programs start earlier or later, the Canadian academic year typically starts in September. Make careful to verify!
a publicly funded, well-regarded research institution in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Join a group that is developing answers to the problems facing the globe.
One of the top 20 public institutions in the world is frequently regarded as a global hub for research and education.
Popular Courses in Canada
You will have the skills and credentials needed to pursue a profession in your chosen sector or to continue your education for a Master’s or Ph.D. in Canada if you get a Bachelor’s degree.
Regarding the classes you can select within your field of study, the degree structure for undergraduate programs adopts a more open stance. Upon completion of each course, students receive a specific number of credits.
The department that the student is studying in offers a variety of courses that the student can select from. This differs from, for example, the French degree system, where the institute determines which courses must be taken each semester.
Acceptance into the majority of universities is quite competitive. You will have to take a test to prove your English competence if it is not your first language. Any proof of secondary school success (GPA, volunteering, student clubs, etc.) will increase your chances of being accepted!
The majority of nations provide Bachelor’s programs that may be finished in three years, but Canada (and the US) only admitted students with a four-year Bachelor’s degree into their Master’s programs, Up until the last few years. However, there is a significant growth in the number of international students who want to study in Canada (11% more since 2017), and universities are now accepting three-year bachelor’s degrees as a requirement for master’s programs.
Most Master’s programs are one to two years long and offer either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MSc). You can also select a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Engineering (MEng), or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) if you want to narrow down your postgraduate degree even further.
For a Master’s degree, you need to budget between CA$13,000 and CA$20,500 annually.
A fantastic Post-Graduation Work Permit Programme (PGWPP) is in place in Canada to further encourage international students to find employment after completing graduate school. 90% of Canadians who stay put after completing a postgraduate program land a job within six months!
Do you want to advance your postgraduate studies? Finding the best Ph.D. program in Canada will have a number of advantages, whether you have already finished your Master’s degree elsewhere or are still working towards it.
Again, compared to its southern neighbor in North America, Australia, and the UK, Canada offers more affordable doctoral tuition to international students. In their doctoral programs, some Canadian universities are lowering or even eliminating additional costs for foreign students.
In Canada, there are currently close to 200,000 international students pursuing PhDs, which can take three to six years to finish.
You are eligible for a three-year work permit after receiving your Ph.D., which may potentially result in citizenship or permanent residency.
Postdoctoral researchers, often known as postdoctoral fellows (PDFs), are individuals who decide to stay in academia after earning their PhDs. Although most colleges offer their own internal fellowship programs, there are numerous other agencies that can assist in matching PDFs with organizations or institutions.
International Student and Exchanges
Studying abroad is not only affordable (you will continue to pay the tuition in your home country), but it also gives you the chance to travel without having to make a significant financial commitment. Imagine deciding it was too cold to spend four years at a Canadian institution. Are the folks excessively hospitable?
Universities in Canada may have exclusive connections with your existing or future universities in your home country. 220 exchange partnerships are available via Queen’s University in more than 40 nations. Across the globe, the University of Victoria has more than 300 partnerships.
If you haven’t already guessed, studying in Canada is typically far less expensive for overseas students than studying in the UK, US, and Australia!
Depending on the university, costs might vary greatly, but generally speaking, undergraduate programs cost between CA$20,000 – $30,000 each year. While executive MBA programs often cost more (CA$30,000/year), postgraduate programs have a tendency to be slightly cheaper (about CA$16,000/year).
The fact that some regions in Canada provide international students with health insurance for free is another significant benefit of studying there! What the health insurance specifically covers should be verified in this case, as it differs greatly between provinces.
When applying for your student visa, you must make your own arrangements if the province where you will be attending school does not offer free health insurance.
Remember that timing is crucial whether you choose to buy health insurance or apply for free health insurance! Once you land in Canada, some coverage no longer applies. Check this out in your investigation, please.
Funding to Study in Canada
Paying for higher education can be very challenging even though the course costs for international students may seem like pocket money in comparison to other nations. You’ll probably be applying for programs to assist offset part of the expense unless you have a money tree in your backyard.
Universities in Canada provide a wide variety of their own scholarships, ranging from highly specialized specialty fields of study to academic and athletic achievements. It’s a good idea to do extensive research on domestic organizations that provide study-abroad scholarships.
As with any money grab, there is typically a lot of competition. Apply as early and to as many positions as you can, and think of methods to stand out.
The Top 10 Scholarships in Canada for International Students are listed below.
Getting a job on or off campus is a great way to supplement some of your spending money, even though the application for a student visa needs you to show that you’ll have enough money for the duration of your studies WITHOUT work. You are allowed to work 20 hours per week throughout semesters as a full-time student in Canada and full-time during winter and summer breaks. Wow!
Without a student visa, you can study in Canada for up to six months. But if you wanted to work, you would need the appropriate permit to do so.
When requesting a study permit, the following papers must be submitted:
- Proof of Acceptance – The acceptance letter you got from your university
- Proof of Identity – a valid passport will serve this purpose.
- Proof of Sufficient Funds: CA$10,000 each year plus $833 per extra month.
The application process is considerably simpler than in most other nations, and it costs CA$150.
A letter of justification is also a smart move. This could speed up the approval process because it will make the visa officer more aware of your goals and obligations as a visitor to Canada.
Start your application here if you’ve already been admitted to a Canadian university.
How to Apply to Study in Canada
Applications differ according to the university but generally speaking, you must demonstrate your language skills, produce transcripts from any prior education, demonstrate your financial stability, and demonstrate that you have health insurance. One of the most important things you can do to avoid future problems is to make sure you meet all the standards for the institution you want to apply to.
Most universities need you to declare your major when you apply. Do not worry if you are unsure of what this might be. Universities in Canada often allow students to switch their majors at any time.
Schools that are permitted to welcome foreign students by a province or territorial authority are known as Designated Learning Institutes. Make sure the school you are applying to is on this list twice.
If you want to start your studies in September, you must apply no later than March. Make sure to study the school you want to apply to as some have varying deadlines!
Courses at Canadian universities will be taught in either English or French because Canada is a bilingual country.
You will need to take a language competence test even if you are a native speaker of English or French. IELTS is accepted whenever you apply to a university that speaks English. TEF is the most widely approved and utilized language test for French.
Typically, fees are in the $100 range.
Comparison to UK Qualifications
As previously said, Canada has substantially lower tuition fees. Additionally, the cost of living is somewhat lower.
It’s up to you to choose whatever institution you want to attend, even though most individuals place a high value on cost. Internationally renowned universities can be found all throughout the world, including Canada and the UK. Choose the appropriate one for your situation.
In the QS World University Rankings 2021, the UK still has more universities than Canada, but Canada is quickly overtaking the UK as the most popular destination for international students.