Studying In Canada – The Definitive Guide [+ Free E-book]

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Education in Canada

Over the years, education in Canada has become vastly appealing to international students from all over the world. The education system has been modified flexibly to allow students achieve great academic feats, not to mention the availability of a wide range of programs, making Canada a hot cake.

In Canada, like other developed countries, tertiary education includes every type of formal teaching program. Programs such as academic, vocational, technical and the professional education – offered primarily by universities, colleges, and special institutes. The dynamic nature of the system helps students develop necessary skills to survive in the global job market.

Overall, Canada’s transparent and diverse education system welcomes potential students from all over the world.

Download E-book - The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Canada
 This 39 pages E-book covers everything, from basic issues such as living and accommodation expenses to body language, greeting and lifestyle; and overall guide on admission process, tuition, visa processing, scholarship and employment opportunities.

studying in canada

Canadian Universities and Programs

There are about 98 universities students can choose from, throughout Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.

The list of Canadian Universities contains an overview of options available to students.

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) also maintains a Directory of educational institutions in Canada. The directory contains a list of registered, recognised and licensed educational institutions in Canada.

The most amazing thing about studying in Canada is the wide range of courses to choose from. It’s important to match your interests with schools and programs in Canada. Also, ensure to choose schools that deliver exciting multicultural experiences taught by some of the world’s leading instructors.

Program Duration

An undergraduate degree in a Canadian university may take three or four years to complete, depending on the program. On the other hand, postgraduate degrees hardly extends past three years. Education systems differ with provinces. Quebec in particular stands out, with regards to times and length of study. Students are advised to choose institutions for specific details.


Admission Requirements

To get admitted into any Canadian tertiary education institution, students are expected to meet certain requirements. The admission process and requirements vary by institution, the field of studies, programs and other relevant factors.

Below are the most general procedures and requirements to get admission into most Canadian universities at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Undergraduate Requirements

  • A completed application form
  • An high school transcript (or attested copy) (if applicable);
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (if any);
  • A precise resume to show educational and work experience, community involvement, volunteer experience, etc.
  • A Letter of Intent (LOI) outlining the student’s academic intentions/
  • Proof of English language proficiency. (international students only)

Postgraduate Requirements

  • A completed application form
  • An official undergraduate university transcript
  • GMAT score (preferred) or GRE score
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (international students only)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Personal Statement
  • A precise resume to show educational and work experience, community involvement, volunteer experience, etc.

Language Requirements

English and French are the major languages in Canada. Nonetheless, most of the universities offer courses in English language. Students whose native language isn’t English are required to undergo test to ascertain their proficiency.

Besides language skills, high school grades are also highly considered when applying to a college or university. Most tertiary institutions require 70+% average grade, to consider further documentation.  Some schools may however require up to 85%.

The two essential criteria are thus; high school grades/performance and language skills – English (in most of the provinces) or French in francophone ones.


Online Application Guide

PS: Before starting your application, confirm that you meet the requirements.

  • Choose your first and second choice programs.
  • Check the admission requirement for your program choices.
  • Start your online application.
  • Complete your online application.
  • Apply for Scholarships (optional).
  • Apply for Residence.
  • Submit required documents and review the status of your application.

Admission Dates

Although, a university is responsible for setting its own deadlines, the various dates are within close range.

Universities in Canada close application from international students around 1st of March while March 31st is the deadline for international students to submit necessary documents.

Entry and Visa Regulations

  • A study permit (student visa) is required, after acceptance into a programme of study.
  • Entry to Canada is dependent on sufficient funds to pay living expenses during one’s entire stay, tuition fees and a return ticket home.
  • Character and health checks are also carried out.
  • A police check or a medical examination (or both) are done some times.
  • A study permit is issued on arrival against a written notification of acceptance on a course.

Note: Each of Canada’s provinces and territories runs its own education system. Thus, it is important to complete the study permit application in compliance to the rules that apply to the province of territory of interest.


Getting Visa/Study Permit

Students have to obtain a Canadian study permit/ Canadian student visa in order to study in Canada. But if your program would last six months or less, you do not need a Canadian study permit. It is advised that you apply for such permit before going to Canada.  

Scholarships and Financial Aids

Students are required to provide proof of adequate funds to cater for their tuition and basic needs, before being considered for admission. Alternatively, funding can come from other sources like scholarships, project grants, loans, student bursaries or even financial aid.

Several other alternatives are also available for students to finance their education, regardless of nationality.

In addition to scholarships and bursaries, Canada offers student loans, bank loan or line of credit.

Scholarships are also available for international students at undergraduate level. Specific scholarships are also awarded for sporting and academic achievements.

PS: Public and private organisations in your country might provide financial assistance to students looking to study abroad. Don’t fail to check them out.


Download E-book - The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Canada
 This 39 pages E-book covers everything, from basic issues such as living and accommodation expenses to body language, greeting and lifestyle; and overall guide on admission process, tuition, visa processing, scholarship and employment opportunities.

studying in canada

The Cost of Studying in Canada

Studying in Canada or anywhere abroad requires a reliable source of finance, proper planning, commitment and discipline. The cost of studying in Canada can be easily divided into three parts; Cost of Application, Tuition Fees and Living Cost (housing, insurance, travel costs, visa fees and other costs).


Application Fees in Canada

  • Application fees is $50 to $150, depending on the University.
  • Entrance exam costs around $ 200 a piece, although this usually depends on the field one is applying for. Students often end up taking this exam two times, so it’s best to budget up to 500 $.
  • Test scores like GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS have to be reported by testing agencies. It may cost up to $20 per University for reporting scores of all tests you may have taken.


Tuition Fees in Canada

Studying abroad is quite expensive, but Canada offers reasonable prices for both national and international students.  Canadian universities offer the lowest tuition rates for international students, compared to the U.K., Australia, and the U.S.

Universities in Canada set their own fees, thus tuition fees vary across programs, universities and provinces.

Degrees in professional schools (law, medicine, engineering and the MBA) are usually the most expensive.

On the other hand, tuition fees for arts and humanities students are lesser. For international undergraduate students, the average tuition fees in Canada start at about CA$14,000 (about US$10,735) per year.

University tuition fees holds more facts and figures for Canadian universities tuition fees for international students.

Accommodation for International Students in Canada

The region you choose to live would determine your accommodation cost. The type of accommodation could be short term accommodation, where you can choose to stay in hotels, bed and breakfast or Youth hostels. Otherwise, it’s a long term accommodation, usually school-provided accommodation such as Residence/Dormitory and Homestays. Off-campus housing is another long term accommodation.

Living in campus can enhance the overall experience of studying in Canada, not to mention increasing the chances of meeting new friends. Canadian Universities provide different structures to suit the accommodation needs of students.  However, if privacy is your utmost aim, private accommodations are also available.


Love To Work While Studying?

Working during the school year is a good way for earning money for personal expenses. Students with exceptional grades can get a job as an Assistant lecturer at the end of their program.

Students get off campus work permit allowing them work up to 40 hours per week during the yearly breaks and 20 hours per week during the semester. International students with a valid study permit do not need an extra work permit to work in the campus.

Students intending to work with children or the elderly have to pass the Canadian Medical Exam.

Work Permit

To qualify for work permit, students are mandated to obtain a valid study permit and be enrolled full-time at a recognized postsecondary educational institution.

Recognized institutions generally include a public, post-secondary college or university, as well as degree-granting programs offered by private institutions throughout Canada.

After graduation, students are entitled to apply for a Post-Graduation Work visa. This visa is a gateway to stay and work in Canada for three more years. Afterwards, it’s possible to apply for a permanent residency permit which allows you to work and live in Canada permanently. 


In order to work while studying in Canada, you are obliged to pay income taxes. Any money one earn in Canada is subject to Canadian income tax. This also includes income from Graduate assistant and teaching assistant jobs.

Factors that determine the amount people pay for tax in Canada include:

  • Total income
  • Residency status
  • Federal and provincial tax rates
  • Federal and provincial tax credits
  • Federal and provincial tax deductions


Health Tips

Students travelling from far to come study in Canada should be very health conscious as changing environment has its pros and cons.

These tips will help prevent health disturbances during your stay in Canada.

  • Make the weather forecast your friend to avoid being caught unawares.
  • Don’t fail to include winter clothing, especially if you’re coming from a hot semi-arid climate region like West-Africa. Winter jacket, check! Boots, check! Scarf, check!
  • Stay active with exercises during the winter.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water.
  • If you must look at the reflection of sunlight from snow, keep your sunglasses on.
  • Seek medical aid if you notice any unusual feeling or symptoms in your body.


Classes are interactive; try to be active so you don’t get caught off-guard when asked a question.

Canadian system of education integrates several evaluation systems for the sake of transparency. Just as some people do well with tests, others are better at oral exams. Students are allowed to choose what best suits their skills.

Download E-book - The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Canada
 This 39 pages E-book covers everything, from basic issues such as living and accommodation expenses to body language, greeting and lifestyle; and overall guide on admission process, tuition, visa processing, scholarship and employment opportunities.

studying in canada

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