Study in Canada

About Canada

Well known for its high-quality standard of life and multi-cultural communities, Canada has emerged as one of the most sought-after study destinations for Indian students pursuing higher education abroad. In fact, in 2014 itself nearly 30,000 Indian students were enrolled in universities across Canada which was a four-fold increase in the number of students traveling to the country to study. Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls mean that you’ll be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or other Commonwealth countries. With almost all of the world’s ethnic groups represented in Canada, it’s hard not to find ethnic foods and recreation activities associated with specific cultures. In fact, your international student advisor can help you get in touch with any number of ethnic clubs and associations for you to join while you’re here.

In Canada, there is no federal or national department of education. Each province and territory has exclusive responsibility for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education within its borders. Nonetheless, the Canadian education system is comprehensive and recognized internationally for its quality.

Why Study in Canada?

Canada’s post-secondary campuses are not only wired with the latest in sophisticated technology but countless other modern amenities as well. From Olympic-quality sports facilities to public concert halls and art galleries, Canada’s post-secondary campuses offer you enormous possibilities for learning and leisure. Plus, you’ll have incredible opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and gain valuable experience through student-run governments, radio, newspapers, and businesses.

Canada ranks among the top 10 most competitive economies in the world accordingly to IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013. It ranks #1 in the G7 as “the best place to invest and do business” according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global business rankings of 2013.

Canada’s strong economic position provides ample opportunities for international students to work and gain valuable experience while studying in Canada. Most students are eligible to work part-time during their studies, either on- or off-campus. Students can work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. However, students can work full-time during breaks, such as the summer recess. After graduation, students may become eligible to apply for permanent immigration under the Canada Experience Class (CEC) program.

Canada’s Education Cost

Undergraduate tuition fees in Canada: Average tuition fees in Canada for international undergraduate students start at about CA$14,000 (~US$10,730) per year. Arts and humanities courses tend to be cheaper, while subjects such as engineering and medicine are among the more expensive.

Postgraduate tuition fees in Canada: If you want to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are generally higher, and again vary depending on your program. As is the case worldwide, executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive, averaging around CA$42,000 (~US$32,000).

Cost of living in Canada: Your average costs of living per month are likely to be around CA$600-800 (~US$450-600) for food and other expenses, not including accommodation, which will be your largest expenditure after tuition fees. Living expenses including accommodation in Canada are likely to be approximately CA$10,000-15,000 per year (~US$7,550-11,300). Living costs are generally more expensive in the biggest cities.

If you’re under 18 (or 19 in the provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories) you must live with a host family in a homestay, which may be arranged by your university. At approximately CA$650-800 (~US$490-600) a month, this could be another fairly affordable option, particularly as your host family is likely to provide you with meals at no extra cost.

Here are some examples of average living costs in Canada:

  • Eating out at a restaurant: CA$10-15 per person (~US$8-11)
  • One-way ticket on local public transport: CA$3 (~US$2)
  • Loaf of bread: CA$2.80 (~US$2)
  • Cinema ticket: CA $12.25 (~US$9)

Student visa and application fees

In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay. You do not need a Canadian study permit if your course or program lasts six months or less. Applying for a study permit costs CA$150 (~US$110).

You should also remember that it is compulsory to purchase health insurance while studying in Canada. This will cost approximately CA$600 (~US$450) per year.

Qualifying Exams

GMAT: GMAT is taken for admission to management studies. Business schools use this test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of management programs like Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs.

GRE: GRE is not mandatory for Masters programs in Canada though some universities might accept it. While universities require GRE general test score some also ask the student to take GRE subject tests.

TOEFL: TOEFL is an English proficiency for students from non- native English speaking country students. TOEFL is conducted more than 50 times a year at 4500 test centers in 165 countries worldwide.

IELTS: IELTS is also an English proficiency test for students from non- native English speaking countries. IELTS test measures a candidate’s English language command on 4 different parameters- Listening, reading, writing and speaking.


What are the requirements for admission into Canadian universities ?

Each university in Canada has its own policy regarding admission requirements. Contact each university directly for the admission requirements of the program you’re interested in.

I have been accepted to study English as a Second Language (ESL)/French as a Second Language (FSL) at a private institution in Canada. How can I make sure that it is a good quality program ?

Languages Canada provides a quality assessment of the language schools across Canada and offers lists of approved programs and members.

I currently live in a country that I am not a citizen of. Where should I apply for a study permit in my country of citizenship or my country of residence ?

If you are not a citizen of the country where you submit your application, you may have to provide proof of your present immigration status in the country where you apply. Get the right documents – Study in Canada on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website provides further information.

I have completed all but one year of my program in my home country. I would like to finish the final year of my program in Canada. Will a Canadian institution accept the academic years that I completed in my home country and allow me to enter the final year in Canada ?

Each university in Canada has its own policy regarding transfer credits from other institutions. Contact the university that you are interested in directly to find out which transfer credits, if any, can be applied towards your intended program of study.
You may also want to look into whether your current institution has any credit recognition agreements with institutions in Canada. The international relations office of your university may be able to help in that regard.

I was accepted at a Canadian institution and sent in my application for a study permit a few weeks ago, but I have not heard back yet. Can you tell me when it will arrive? Can you do anything to speed up the process so I get my study permit right away ?

Study permits are administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Visit their Help Centre for answers to frequently asked questions about study permits. Global Affairs Canada has no involvement in regards to studying permits or temporary resident visas.

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada while I study?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website outlines the eligibility requirements for your spouse or common-law partner to work in Canada.

My child is a Canadian citizen, but we have been living outside Canada for many years. How can I find out what grade my child will go into when we return to Canada? Does she/he need to apply as an international student ?

Education in Canada is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction so you will need to contact the ministry of education for the province or territory where you plan to live, as well as your new city or town’s school board.
As a Canadian citizen, your child would not be required to apply as an international student, and therefore would not need a study permit.

What are the alternatives to post-secondary education in Canada?

In Canada, tertiary education includes every type of formal teaching program past secondary schools, be it academic, vocational, technical, or the professional education offered primarily by universities, colleges, and special institutes.

What type of a high school diploma is accepted if applying in a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

If you are concerned if the high school diploma you’ve earned in your home country will be considered legit in Canada, worry no more since any student possessing a government-accredited high school diploma from their home country may apply for admission to a Canadian University.

What is the main difference between Universities and Colleges in Canada?

Universities get to deal independently with academic matters regarding the curricula, methods and teaching strategies. Universities have the power to set academic, admission, and graduation policies and standards, appoint staff, and undertake academic planning, meanwhile, Private Universities are out-of-province institutions permitted to provide degrees after a meticulous quality assessment process by the designated governmental authorities which give the green light to certain degrees.

What are the common requirements into getting accepted in a Canadian University/College?

In order to get admitted in a Canadian tertiary education institution there are requirements students will have to meet, whether it, I an undergraduate or a postgraduate program. Depending on the field of studies, programs and other relevant factors competition can vary. The two essential criteria are, however, high school grades/performance, as well as language skills, be it English (in most of the provinces) or French in francophone ones.

What are the chances of getting a postgraduate degree after you’ve graduated from a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

Once you’ve completed a BA degree in a Canadian tertiary institute you are more than welcome to continue your postgraduate studies in this country, having full legal support from the Canadian authorities regarding migration policies.

How long does it take to get a Master's degree in Canada?

Commonly, Master’s degrees last for a whole academic year including an obligatory internship added to the overall duration. Sometimes a Master’s degree can last for two academic years, depending on the curricula and the sensitivity of the program.

How long does it take to get a Ph.D. degree in Canada?

Ph.D. degree programs are commonly two to three years in duration, are separately funded and considered as a job position (not always), in the majority of the cases.

What is the difference between private and public post-secondary educational institutions in Canada?

The public universities are commonly independent of governmental monitoring and don’t require accreditation meanwhile private universities are commonly monitored by the state gathered education council.

What type of language skill does one need in order to get accepted in a Canadian post-secondary institution ?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are the most common language requirement for American universities. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam scores are the most common language requirement for Canadian universities. But most universities will accept either test as proof of your English language ability. You can take TOEFL and IELTS exams at testing centers worldwide.

Is there any additional requirement for international students willing to apply in a Canadian post-secondary institution?

International students are required to submit an essay and a personal statement of what they think they are fit for enrolling in the designated program together with documents stating their work experience (if any) up to the date. Of course, documents like reference letters, extracurricular activity certificates and other proof of skills is always a bonus and very much appreciated.

Is getting accepted in a Canadian tertiary institution based on a competitive basis only?

In order to get admitted to a Canadian tertiary education institution there are requirements students will have to meet, whether it is an undergraduate or a postgraduate program. Depending on the field of studies, programs and other relevant factors competition can vary. Commonly professional fields such as medicine and engineering are way more competitive, as well as applicative arts that require talent as the basic requirement (arts, music, sports).

What are the top Universities in Canada?

Ranked in the top 100 best Universities in the World are 5 of the best qualified Canadian Universities as following:
• University of Toronto
• University of British Columbia
• McGill University
• McMaster University
• University of Alberta

How do I apply in a Canadian University/College?

By submitting all the necessary documentation and additional obligatory procedures via online routes. The answer will also be sent to you via mail.

Do I have to speak both French and English in order to get accepted in a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

Not necessarily, if your target province is one of the English speaking provinces you must provide proof of sufficiency in the English language yet if you are looking forward to studying in a francophone province just the same, you must submit proof of proficiency in the French Language. *Exceptions are always present.

Is it mandatory to have a graduate degree in order to pursue a Master's degree or Ph.D.?

Although an undergraduate degree is commonly mandatory to continue the postgraduate studies this might not always be the case. Commonly graduate degrees involve research upon a specific subject not having a degree doesn’t make you unfit for the program as long as you have all the necessary theoretical and literature knowledge packed. Normally in a postgraduate program, you have a mentor that supervises all your doings just as they are charged to evaluate via interviews and other means if you are suitable for engaging in the program.

How much does tuition cost in a Canadian University for an international student?

As Canada is divided into individually governed provinces the tuition fees for an academic year of tertiary education vary. Here you have a rough estimate of the tuition fees based on the region you are going to study in.

Where can I look for scholarships in order to study in Canada?

Scholarships for international students willing to study in Canada are difficult to be put in one place, as there are limitless opportunities granted by different entities around the world. However, there are some alternatives in the following link.

What are the alternatives to fund my studies in Canada?

Several alternatives are available to help students finance their education regardless of your nationality. Canada on the other hand, in addition to scholarships and bursaries, offers student loans, bank loan or line of credit.

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