Study in Canada from the Philippines

Study in Canada from the Philippines

Study in Canada from the Philippines
Sailesh Sitaula

Studying abroad is a dream that many young individuals from the Philippines aspire to achieve. Canada is a prime destination among many countries offering excellent education opportunities. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various facets of studying in Canada from the Philippines, from choosing the right university to navigating the application process and understanding the cultural nuances. Join us on this exciting journey as we unlock the doors to academic excellence and cultural enrichment.

Why study in Canada?

Studying in Canada has numerous benefits for international students. Here are some reasons why Philippine students choose to study in Canada:

  • High-quality education: Canadian institutions are renowned for offering top-notch instruction and first-rate research infrastructure, drawing in students worldwide.
  • Communities of different cultures: Canada is a multicultural nation that welcomes international students. Students can explore other cultures and worldviews while studying in Canada and make new friends worldwide.
  • Affordability: Canada's tuition and living costs are reasonably priced compared to other well-known study-abroad locations. International students can also take advantage of numerous scholarships and funding options.
  • Employment opportunities: Canada has a vibrant job market, and studying there allows students to network with industry leaders and land internships or job offers.
  • Canada is well known for its safe and friendly atmosphere, making it a convenient destination for international students to live and study.
  • Quality of life: Canada is consistently ranked as one of the best countries to live in, with a high standard of living, an excellent healthcare system, and low crime rates.
  • Pathway to immigration: Canada provides international students with several options for obtaining permanent residency, making it desirable for people wishing to establish a life and profession in Canada for the foreseeable future.
  • Possibilities for innovative research: Canada is home to some of the top research institutes in the world, providing students with innovative research possibilities and cutting-edge technology.
  • Environmentally accountable also: Canada is renowned for its dedication to clean energy and environmental sustainability. Students have the chance to learn about sustainable practices and have a positive impact on the environment by studying in Canada.
  • Internationally recognized degrees: Canadian degrees are widely valued and acknowledged worldwide, making it more straightforward for students to pursue further education or employment prospects abroad.
  • Work while you study: Part-time employment is permitted for international students in Canada, allowing them to obtain experience in the workforce and supplement their income.

Education System in Canada

There are many possibilities for tertiary-level study in Canada, and the educational system is extensive. Numerous programs and degrees are available to students at more than 150 public universities, colleges, and vocational institutes. Furthermore, students in Canada have access to top-notch research facilities and experiential learning opportunities thanks to the country's high standard of education.

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Universities in Canada provide undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs with a variety of specialization options. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree, which usually takes four years, or choose a master's or doctoral degree, which, depending on the program, can take up to two to five years.

The Canadian educational system also strongly focuses on developing practical skills and experiential learning, allowing students to get valuable work experience and establish contacts in their chosen fields of study. In addition, the educational system in Canada is renowned for being more affordable, with reduced tuition costs compared to other well-liked study-abroad locations.

Choosing a university or course to study in Canada

Choosing a university or course to study in Canada can be daunting, but there are a few key factors to consider when making your decision.

  • Consider the university's location and whether it offers programs in your field. Many universities in Canada have specific areas of expertise, so it's essential to research which institutions offer programs that align with your career goals.
  • Consider the university's reputation and ranking. Canada has many renowned universities, so selecting an institution recognized for its academic excellence and research programs is crucial.
  • Consider the cost of tuition and living expenses. Canada is known for its affordable education system, but tuition fees and living expenses can vary significantly depending on the institution and location. It's essential to research the total cost of attending each university to determine which institution is within your budget.
  • Consider the campus culture and extracurricular activities offered by each institution. University life is more than academics; choosing an institution that provides a supportive and engaging community to help you thrive during your studies is essential.

Selecting a university or course to study in Canada requires careful consideration of various factors. With the proper research and planning, you can find the perfect institution to achieve your academic and career goals.

Cost to Study in Canada from Phillippines 

The cost of studying in Canada for international students from the Philippines can vary based on multiple factors, such as the chosen institution, program of study, location, and duration. Generally, Canada offers more cost-effective educational opportunities than popular study destinations like the USA and the UK.

Tuition fees for international students in Canada can span from CAD 15,000 to CAD 50,000 (approximately PHP 567,105 to PHP 1,890,351) per year for undergraduate programs, with the specific amount contingent on the institution and the program. Graduate programs, including master's and doctoral degrees, often have higher tuition fees than undergraduate programs.

Beyond tuition fees, international students should also consider the cost of living, which encompasses accommodation, food, transportation, and health insurance. According to estimates by the Canadian government, the average annual living expenses for a single student in Canada typically range from CAD 15,000 to CAD 20,000 (around PHP 567,105 to PHP 756,140), with the exact amount dependent on the location and lifestyle.

Level of Study

Tuition Fees (CAD)

Living Expenses (CAD)

English Language Studies

$700 to $2,000 per month

$10,000 to $15,000 per year

Community Colleges

$15,000 to $25,000 per year

$10,000 to $15,000 per year

Undergraduate Programs

$15,000 to $50,000 per year

$15,000 to $20,000 per year

Graduate Programs (Masters)

$15,000 to $35,000 per year

$15,000 to $20,000 per year

Graduate Programs (Doctoral)

$7,000 to $15,000 per year

$15,000 to $20,000 per year

Some universities in Canada may offer scholarships, bursaries, and other forms of financial aid to international students to help offset the cost of tuition fees and living expenses. 

Therefore, it's essential to research and apply for financial aid opportunities offered by the university and external organizations to help make studying in Canada more affordable.

Scholarships to study in Canada

Canada offers numerous scholarships and funding opportunities for international students to study there. 

Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan is designed to facilitate pursuing advanced study and research at the Master's and Ph.D. levels in Commonwealth countries different from one's own. This prestigious award covers travel expenses, living allowances, and all mandatory tuition fees.

National Research Council of Canada (NRCC)

The National Research Council of Canada offers research associateships to individuals with a Master's degree in engineering and Ph.D. holders in natural sciences or engineering disciplines. This program provides an opportunity for scholars to engage in valuable research work.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program is available to graduate students across various academic disciplines. To qualify, students must accept an offer of admission from a university in Ontario and obtain a valid student permit (visa). This program provides financial support for deserving scholars.

Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship

The Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship is designed to assist students pursuing studies in Quebec. Financial aid is provided to students enrolled in master's level programs and beyond. Each application is thoroughly evaluated based on its merit.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship

The Ontario Trillium Scholarship, introduced in November 2010, is an esteemed award to attract the world's top doctoral students to study in Ontario. Each scholarship is valued at $40,000 annually and is renewable for four years. 75 scholarships are awarded yearly, making it a highly competitive and prestigious opportunity for doctoral candidates.

Types of Student Visas

1. Study Permit vs. Visitor Visa

First things first, let's clarify an important distinction. In Canada, a study permit is not the same as a visa. Whether or not you require a study permit depends on the duration of your intended studies.

  • If your academic pursuit in Canada spans up to 6 months, a visitor visa is sufficient, and you won't need a study permit.

  • However, you will need a study permit and a visitor visa for longer academic endeavors. If your study permit application is approved, you will be issued a visitor visa alongside it.

2. Types of Visitor Visas

Canada offers two types of visitor visas, each with its own set of rules:

i. Single-Entry Visa

A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada once. You can complete your studies under the study permit as long as you remain in the country. This visa is ideal for students who do not plan to travel frequently during their academic program.

ii. Multiple-Entry Visa

On the other hand, a multiple-entry visa permits you to travel in and out of Canada every six months while you study. This visa remains valid for either a month before your passport's expiration or for ten years, whichever is shorter. The choice between single-entry and multiple-entry visas depends on your specific situation during the application process. In most cases, applicants are automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa.

Requirements for Obtaining a Student Visa in Canada

Before you can embark on your academic journey in Canada, you must satisfy certain visa requirements:

1. Enrollment at a Designated Learning Institution

To qualify for a Canadian student visa, you must first secure admission to a designated learning institution in Canada.

2. Sufficient Funds

You must demonstrate that you possess enough funds to cover your living expenses, tuition fees, and return travel expenses.

3. Clean Criminal Record

A clean criminal record is essential. If necessary, obtain a police clearance certificate.

4. Commitment to Legal Compliance

It would be best to commit to obeying Canada's laws during your stay.

5. Good Health

Maintaining good health is imperative. You may be required to undergo a medical examination if deemed necessary.

6. Intent to Leave Canada

It would be best to convince immigration authorities that you intend to leave the country once your Canadian study permit expires.

Keep in mind that obtaining the visa is just the beginning; you must continue to meet these requirements to ensure the validity of your study permit.

Necessary Documents for Visa Application

When applying for a Canadian study permit, ensure you have the following documents in order:

1. Evidence of Acceptance

Include a copy of the original acceptance letter from your eligible Canadian school with your application. However, if you are the relative of a person with an approved work or study permit in Canada, you may be exempt from this requirement.

2. Identity Proof

A valid travel document or passport is mandatory. Additionally, you will need two passport-size photographs, each bearing your date of birth and name on the empty side.

3. Proof of Financial Support

You must demonstrate your financial capability to support yourself and any accompanying individuals in Canada. Acceptable forms of proof include the last four months' bank statements or evidence of tuition and accommodation fee payments. The required minimum funds vary based on age and whether you study in or outside Quebec. For Quebec-bound students, a Quebec Acceptance Certificate may be necessary.

The immigration department of Canada may request additional documentation as part of the visa application process.

Applying for a Student Visa in Canada

Typically, you should apply for a study permit before you arrive in Canada. Regardless of location, you need an IRCC-related account to initiate the application process. Here are some pointers to consider, assuming you are in the Philippines:

  • Ensure all your documents are complete to avoid potential delays or application rejection.

  • Budget for the application fee, biometrics, and any other third-party charges.

Student Health Cover in Canada

All international students in Canada are required to have health insurance coverage. The Canadian government provides a public health insurance plan called the "Canadian Health Insurance Plan" (or "Medicare"), which covers most basic medical services. However, international students are not eligible for this coverage.

International students must purchase a private health insurance plan, known as "International Student Health Insurance" or "International Student Medical Insurance". This insurance is designed specifically for international students and covers medical services not covered under the public health insurance plan.

The cost of International Student Health Insurance in Canada varies depending on the insurance provider and the coverage selected. It can range from CAD 500 to $1000 per year. It is important to note that the coverage should be purchased before the student arrives in Canada and that the policy must be renewed annually.

International students can purchase health insurance through their institution or a private insurance provider. It is essential to carefully review the policy to ensure it meets the necessary coverage requirements and understand any exclusions or limitations.

Best Places to Study in Canada from Phillippines

Canada offers a wide range of educational institutions and programs for international students, making it difficult to pinpoint the "best" places to study. However, some of the top cities in Canada for international students to consider studying in are:

  • Toronto: Toronto is Canada's largest city and home to some of the country's top universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University. The city offers a diverse and multicultural environment, a thriving arts and culture scene, and ample job opportunities.
  • Vancouver: Vancouver is consistently ranked among the top cities in the world for quality of life and is home to world-renowned universities such as the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. The town offers stunning natural scenery, a mild climate, and a thriving arts and culture scene.
  • Montreal: Montreal is Canada's second-largest city known for its European charm, vibrant arts and culture scene, and outstanding universities such as McGill University and Concordia University. The city is a hub for French language education and offers an ideal environment for students interested in language immersion.
  • Ottawa: Ottawa is Canada's capital city and is home to some of the country's top universities, such as the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The city offers a rich history, a diverse population, and a strong job market, particularly in politics, public service, and technology.
  • Calgary: Calgary is a growing and prosperous city in the western province of Alberta, known for its friendly people, vibrant arts scene, and top-ranked universities such as the University of Calgary. The town offers ample job opportunities, particularly in the energy sector, and boasts a high standard of living.

Managing your expenses while living in Canada


Approximate Cost (CAD)

Accommodation (rent)

$800 to $1,500 per month


$200 to $400 per month

Utilities (electricity, heating, water, internet)

$100 to $200 per month

Public Transportation

$100 to $150 per month

Cell Phone Plan

$50 to $100 per month

Textbooks and School Supplies

$1,000 to $1,500 per year

Eating Out

$10 to $20 per meal

Entertainment and Activities

$50 to $100 per month

Planning a budget and managing expenses carefully to ensure a comfortable living experience while studying in Canada is essential. 

Additionally, there may be opportunities to save money through student discounts and promotions, so it is worthwhile to research and take advantage of these options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find scholarships for Filipino students in Canada?

Research Canadian universities' scholarships and explore government-sponsored programs for international students.

What is the cost of living in Canada for Filipino students?

The cost of living varies depending on the city. Generally, it includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. It can range from CAD 12,000 to CAD 18,000 per year.

Are there Filipino restaurants and stores in Canada?

Yes, Canada's diverse cities often have Filipino restaurants and stores where you can find familiar food and products.

Is it easy to find part-time jobs while studying in Canada?

Many international students find part-time jobs to support their studies. The Canadian government allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year.

Can I apply for permanent residency in Canada after completing my studies?

Yes, Canada offers various pathways to permanent residency for international students who have completed their studies.

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