Study in Canada: A Complete Guide for International Students (2021)

Study in Canada: A Complete Guide for International Students (2021)

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Karuna KarkiSat Apr 03 2021

Canada has become one of the most sought-after destinations for international students thanks to its world-class universities, safety factor, academic excellence, affordable tuition fees, rewarding courses, ample job opportunities, and a unique multicultural experience. 

Canadian degrees are revered throughout the planet. These degrees can get students ample skill sets thus making them qualified for a career in these competitive times. 

Be it engineering curriculum, nursing prospects, or management subjects, Canada has it all. However, many students are still unfamiliar with the great offerings of Canada. 

If you are one of those students, you might want to follow this article which acts as a beginner’s guide to study in Canada.

Why Study in Canada?

Getting out of the comfort zone and leaving one’s home country for the sake of future studies has become normal for quite some time. Ambitious and knowledge-hungry people are drawn to the opportunities to learn more. And, this is exactly what, further studies in Canada promises them. 

Below, we have laid out some reasons why students pick Canada for their future endeavors.

The education system in Canada

Canadian Education System covers research, thesis, and practical-workplace based skills. In addition to providing theoretical knowledge, it also prepares students for real-world problems and applications. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states that Canada is one of the 3 top countries to invest in public post-secondary education. 

Additionally, the education system is flexible and practical introducing several programs that students can pick from. 

  1. Ph.D./ Doctorate program (4 to 7 years in general)
  2. Master’s Degree program (1 to 2.5 years in general)
  3. Postgraduate degree program (diploma and certificates, 1 to 2 years in general)
  4. Bachelor Degree program (4 years in general)
  5. Diploma (General, 1 to 2 years, and Advanced diploma programs, 2 to 3 years in general)
  6. Certificate Level programs (up to 1 years in general)

Students can choose the educational programs as per their academic preference, affordability, and time. 

Globally recognized degrees

Educational institutes in Canada are devoted to delivering high-quality education to students. Students are tutored via on-site lectures, tutorials, and online mediums. Other than the technical knowledge revolving around a specific field, students also learn general management and leadership skills. 

Canadian degrees and graduates are just as revered as the US and European ones. As a result, Canadian degrees are globally acclaimed and will help you land a competent job anywhere in the world. 

Statistics and facts suggest that around 90% of Canadian college graduates land a job in their respective fields in less than a year of graduation. 

To add the cherry on top, 93% of employers are happy with the graduates’ skill set and work. 

Affordable programs and courses

One thing that separates Canada from its contemporaries like Australia and the United States, is its affordable tuition fees. 

Many international students hail from developing countries. While the fees of public colleges and universities in Canada are significantly lower for its domestic students compared to international students, the fee structure is still quite affordable. 

For international students, the fee structure generally looks like this: 

Different Study ProgramsAverage tuition fees per year in Canadian Dollars
Diploma12000 - 18000
Bachelor’s Degree13000 - 25000
Postgraduate Degree12000- 20000
Masters Degree8000- 45000
Doctorate10000- 25000

Safe abroad study destination

Canada boasts impressively low crime rates. With friendly and helpful locals, it is a safe destination to study overseas. 

According to Global Finance ranking in 2019, Canada is one of the 20 safest countries in the world. 

As per the statistics by NumDiploma: the safety index of Canada, Australia, the UK, and the USA are 62.42, 57.94, 57.9, and 49.99 respectively. 

Moreover, the Canadian natives are popular as the most polite and friendly people in the world. The petty crime rates and racial discrimination-related violence are minimal in Canada. We hope this answers “Is Canada safe for International Students?”.

Work permit in Canada

International Students in Canada can indulge in on-campus and off-campus part-time jobs to compensate for their cost of tuition and living. 

During the school terms, students are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week. While on the semester breaks (which generally is 3 months long), international students are permitted to work full time (40 hours per week).  

International students can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) upon completion of their studies. Other than this kind of work permit, you can also apply for an employer-specific work permit and Open Work permit. 

PR opportunities 

If the work culture and Canadian lifestyle allures you, you can take the advantage of Permanent Residency opportunities to stay in Canada permanently. 

Canada provides the option of PR to the eligible International students based upon options like Canadian Experience Class (CRS), Quebec Experience Class, and Provincial Nomination Program. 

It is much easier to gain a PR in Canada compared to the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. There are good chances of you encountering someone from your home country. 

Top universities in Canada

As per the 2020 QS News World University Ranking, 25 Canadian universities made it to the list of top-ranking universities worldwide. As of 2021, some of the top universities of Canada are: 

Universities in CanadaQS World UniversityUNiversity ranking 2021
University of Toronto25
McGill University31
University of British Columbia45
University of Montreal118
University of Alberta119
McMaster University144
University of Waterloo166
Western University203
University of Calgary246
University of Ottawa279

Other than these universities, Canada also offers useful programs via public colleges. The public colleges in Canada are affordable and prepare you for skill-based jobs. Most of the public colleges also provide placement to domestic and international students. Some of the best colleges in Canada are: 

  1. Humber college
  2. Conestoga college
  3. Fanshawe college
  4. Lambton college
  5. Seneca college
  6. Centennial college
  7. Langara college
  8. Cambrian college
  9. Canadore college
  10. Georgian college

Undergraduate and masters program

The universities of Canada seek out competent students for their bachelor’s and master’s programs. The university even provides merit-based scholarships for eligible students. 

Canadian universities are popular for undergraduate and postgraduate studies on programs like business, agriculture, engineering, IT, nursing, tourism, medicine, and arts. 

The master’s program is generally course-based and thesis-based. On the thesis-based master’s program, you can reach out to professors for stipend and funding of your masters. 

If the professors find your case, SOP, and expertise appealing, you might get an opportunity to study free of tuition costs. 

Canadian University admission requirement for international Students

The admission requirement in Canada varies from university to university and program to program. It’s tough to get into the popular universities of Canada. But, the learning experience and degrees are completely worth it. 

General Admission requirement for a bachelor's degree in Canada

  1. A + 2 first division score, in general,
  2. A language proficiency test English Proficiency test like TOEFL (at least 70 with no band less than 20) and IELTS (at least 6.5 with no band less than 6), in general.
  3. A well-written Statement of Purpose, showcasing why you chose the program, university, and country.

General Admission requirement for postgraduate degrees in colleges and universities in Canada

  1. 3 or 4-year Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields with 50 % in general.
  2. English Proficiency tests like TOEFL (at least 70 with no band less than 20) and IELTS (at least 6.5 with no band less than 6).
  3. A well-written SOP showcasing why you picked the university/college, program, and country.
  4. An experience letter is always a plus

General admission requirement for masters in Canada

You need to show excellence in academics, projects, Language proficiency tests. Below, we have curated a general admission requirement to get enrolled in a master’s program in Canada. 

  1. 4-year bachelor's degree in a relevant field with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  2. 2-4 academic and professional Letters of Recommendation (LORs).
  3. An impressive Statement of Purpose (SOP).
  4. English Proficiency tests like TOEFL (at least 70 with no band less than 20) and IELTS (at least 6.5 with no band less than 6).
  5. Some work experience and GMAT scores (Average of 600) if you are targeting MBA programs.
  6. Work experience letter in case of Gaps.
  7. Some precise subjects like Business Analytics and Data science require GRE.
  8. Note: Some universities and programs might have higher or lower cut-off scores. Though the French proficiency test is not “the must” for most universities, it’s a plus point.

Apply for Study Permit in Canada

The process of obtaining a Canadian Study permit can be summarized in the following steps: 

Apply for the course

The first step is to apply for the course and educational institute. Take your time on this one. A simple google search would do. 

Check the official websites of the university and you will get a hint of program duration, tuition fees, syllabus, the academic requirement to be eligible for applying, and so on.  

You can also contact reliable consultancies for this. You will have to present the following documents in general. 

  • Citizenship Id Card
  • Passport
  • 10th Marksheet and character certificate
  • 12th Marksheet, Transcript, and character certificate.
  • Bachelors Marksheet, Transcript, and provisional/ character certificate and LORs
  • Masters Marksheet, Transcript, provisional. Character certificate and LORs.
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) acting as a summary for all academic and professional achievements.
  • IELTS/ TOEFL score proof
  • Work experience letter depending upon the program.

Process after getting an offer letter from Canadian Institutes. 

If the Canadian university or college finds your profile as a suitable fit for their organization, you will receive the offer letter. This is likely to take 1 week 3 months depending upon the institute. 

Generally, universities take longer to provide offer letters compared to colleges. 

Apply for Visa to Canada

These are the documents that you will require. 

  • Visa application
  • Application letter from the university.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Medical reports
  • Passport
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Proof of funds and financial documents.
  • Processing fees of Visa Application
How to apply for Study in Canada
How to apply for Study in Canada

Study in Canada with Scholarships

Canada offers generous scholarships to eligible international students of different levels. The scholarship could be from the Canadian government, university, or college itself, and several social-cause scholarships. 

These scholarships further appeal to the case of “Why choose Canada for study?”. 

Undergraduate Scholarships in Canada for International Students

  1. University of British Columbia scholarship for academically brilliant students.
    1. International Major Entrance Scholarship
    2. Outstanding International Student Award
  2. York University International Student Scholarship based on metrics.
    1. Entrance scholarships
    2. Continuing Student Scholarship
  3. Carleton Prestige Scholarships
    1. Carleton University of Excellence
    2. Ten Chancellor’s Scholarships
    3. The Richard Lewar Entrance Scholarships
    4. The Carleton University SHAD Scholarship
  4. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship for 37 students yearly based on academic excellence and leadership quality.
  5. Calgary International Entrance Scholarships worth $15000 a year.

Graduate Scholarship in Canada for International Students. 

  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (mainly for doctoral candidates) based on promising research abilities, academic brilliance, and leadership attributes
  2. University of Calgary Graduate Awards
    1. Canadian Institutes of Health Research Scholarships for Doctoral Candidates.
    2. song remixCanadian Graduate Scholarships for Masters.
  3. University of Waterloo Master’s Award for excellent students enrolled in a research-based program.
  4. University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships for masters and doctoral candidates.
  5. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships for 16 eligible doctoral candidates each year.

Cost of Living in Canada

Canada is known for its lower cost of living. The living expenses in Canada depend upon the place you live and the lifestyle you opt for. 

As an international student, your living area and living cost shall depend upon the location of your university or college. 

The general cost of living in Canada ranges from 1200 CAD per year to 2500 CAD per month. The cost of living will cover the accommodation, health insurance, food, and transportation expenses.

For instance, it might cost you around 1800 CAD monthly in Montreal, 2000 CAD monthly in Vancouver, 1200 CAD monthly in Alberta, 1600 CAD monthly in Ottawa, 2500 CAD monthly in Toronto, and so on. 

Note that this cost doesn't generally cover your extravagant social life. 

Job scope

The job scope of Canada is diverse and enriching. There are job opportunities fitting job seekers in several levels in Canada. Canada is known for its countless job opportunities eclectic in fields like medicines, technology, hospitality, and tourism. 

Part-time job opportunities in Canada

As a global student, you will be provided part-time job opportunities in Canada. Some of the most common and best part-time jobs for international students are- server/ bartender, barista, Uber driver, nanny, dog walker, salesperson, translator, teaching assistant, cook, and customer service assistant. 

The general pay that international students receive is 10 to 20 CAD per hour. 

Of course, with experience and skill, the pay increases.

The pay and type of part-time job vary depending upon the location. 

Job opportunities in Canada after graduation

After the completion of their degrees, international students can dedicate their full time to the Post Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP). Via the PGWP program, you will get to work on world-class companies, learning new skills while also imparting your contributions. 

Depending upon the length of your graduation course, the work permit after graduation could be 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years. 

Nonetheless, the post-graduation work permit will allow you to extend your stay in Canada and also magnify the chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada. 

Some of the most highly paid jobs in Canada after completion of graduation are- Dentist, Computer science engineer, nurse practitioner, Business analyst, supply chain manager, and Executive manager.  

Note: International students with valid study permits are eligible for applying to post-graduate work permit programs. 

What’s the weather like in Canada

Canada is pictured as an extremely cold place with biting temperatures. However, this isn’t completely true. The weather depends upon the place you pick and also the seasons. 

In general, this is the weather you are likely to experience in Canada except in some extreme locations. 

Summer season: Diurnal temperatures can rise to 35 degrees. 

Autumn and Spring season: Neither too hot nor too cold temperatures. Mornings and nights are likely to be chilly. 

Winter season: The weather can drop below -20 degrees. Most cities in Canada experience periods of snow during this season. 

To survive and prosper in the cold weather, Canada has well-equipped infrastructures like heated houses and public transportation systems etcetera.   

Canadian Way of life

Wondering what awaits you in Canada, other than promising educational and career opportunities? 

Canada is famous for its exotic landscapes, diverse culture, high quality of life, and serene environment. The official languages of Canada are English and French. In some specific states, French is very popular, otherwise, being fluent in English is enough. 

There is also a multitude of adventurous outdoor activities like hiking, water sports, ice hockey, ice skating, and snowboarding. 

The big cities in Canada include Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, and Vancouver. These cities are characterized by ample job opportunities, educational institutions, and well-developed architecture. 

Transportation options for International students

Canada boasts plenty of luxurious as well as affordable transportation options to make the life of people easier. The transportation options include planes, trains, buses, ferry boats, cars, and taxis. Trains and buses are hit transportation options for students because of the easy accessibility,  affordability, and safety. 

Taxis are quite expensive but when you are entirely new and nothing, it’s an easy and flexible option.   

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