Canada is well on it way to become one of the most popular destination for international students to pursue their education.
Low crime rates and a low cost of living are making Canada an international study hot spot for students. Canada is becoming a leading destination for international students as it provides student with affordable tuition fees, quality institutions, post-study work and immigration options. Students have been flocking to study in Canada since the 2016 announcement of a student visa that allows them to stay on and work in the country after graduation. In recent years Canada has experienced a huge increase in demand form the students who are willing study in abroad.
Students at present are flooded with options to choose between different courses as well as countries. Amongst many options if anyone is thinking about choosing Canada as a study destination, they should also understand, why study in Canada? What advantages can it provide against other countries? We all have our own priorities, be it related with affordability, safety, or something else. Before one decides to choose Canada for higher studies, he/she should also be familiar with the social benefits that the country can promise to the international students along with the guaranteed quality of education.
Canada provides student with the quality of education that is termed as world class. Even the living standards are ranked as one of the highest in the world. Over the long-term students will be benefitted as Canada has high academic standard and strict quality control which means students will be getting high quality education.
Compared to other English-speaking countries like The United States and The United Kingdom, tuition fees and living expenses in Canada are comparatively lower. Almost everyone will get an option, according to their budget. For an international student, affordability is a genuine concern specially if they are coming from a developing country and the exchange rates are quite high.
Canada has a peaceful and multicultural environment where people are friendly and are interested in learning about new cultures. The ‘warm and friendly’ stereotype about Canadians is true. Canada is a welcoming country with a unique culture that embraces diversity. Therefore, for any student living in the Canada it will not be difficult for them to cope up.
After you graduate from your program of studies, you may be able to work temporarily or even live permanently in Canada. Students who have graduated from Canadian higher education institutions can work in Canada for up to three years by completing the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP). Likewise, students can also apply to become a permanent resident.
Canada has been ranked as one of the best places to live in by the United Nation. Canada is ranked 8th out of 162 on the safest countries ranking. From urban centers to small towns, Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world for international students as the international students in the Canada will also be getting the same facilities that protect Canadians.
One of the greatest things about studying in Canada is the opportunity to experience a climate, culture and way of life that is beyond compare. Canada provides students to experience adventure and exposure even beyond the classroom. Canada’s post-secondary campuses offer students with huge opportunities for learning and leisure as they provide quality sports facilities, public concert halls and art galleries.
According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Canada is one of the world’s top when it comes to investing in education. It’s important for an international student to understand Canada’s education system, as to what makes it more competitive and attractive. Among the top three countries that spend on quality education, Canada is one. Therefore, Canada is one of the best destinations for studying as they make a large investment in their education system.
The post-secondary education system in Canada is divided into:
Pre-bachelors level: There are generally three levels that can be done before starting off with a Bachelor’s course, i.e, Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma. These courses are one to three years long.
Bachelor’s Level: Four Year full-time course
Post-graduate diplomas: One to two years course
Masters level: One to two years course
PhD or Research: Four to seven years
Generally, there are two major intakes in Canada, the Spring (January/February) and the Fall (August/ September). In few universities, there can be summer Intakes as well (May/June).
Canadian Universities have class sizes that range from 30 to 200 students. The classes are a combination of lectures and tutorials. The lectures can be to a larger audience whereas the tutorials can be for smaller audience.
Fee Structure: In Canada the average yearly tuition fee for international students is around CA$27000. This is much lower in comparison to UK, USA or Australia. However, the cost of studying varies according to the institution and program, one is applying for.
Scholarships: There are different types of Funding available according to the type of University, Program, Level, Research area, etc. Students can apply to various government and non-government Canadian scholarships available for international students. However, this needs to be done months before the course start date as it takes time.
To study in any country, it is essential to obtain a valid visa. Generally, the visas are granted by the embassy of that particular country. Every country will have its own policies, when it comes to the visa type as well as the requirements. A student who wishes to study in Canada should also be well acquainted with the Canada’s Student visa Overview. This helps them to be well prepared with the essential documents well ahead of time. The visa grants might also take some time, a better understanding of the visa overview, will help us plan when would be the best time to start our application process.
In order to study in a Canadian Institution, one needs to obtain a Canadian Study Permit, i.e. a student visa. The visa can be either Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) depending on one’s home country.
For an International student, the cost factor is always an essential aspect of studying abroad. Accordingly, it is important to be well aware of the cost of studying in Canada. In comparison to the UK, Australia, USA and New Zealand, Canada has low tuition fees for international students. The students should consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travelling along with the tuition fees while calculating the estimated cost of studying in Canada.
Generally, the approximate tuition fee for undergraduate students, ranges between CA$12,000 and CA$ 25000 per year. It basically depends on the course and the institution. For all postgraduate courses, tuition fees vary by course provider but will be under CA$35000 per year. However, the doctoral degree is quite reasonable at under CA$10000 per year. The expenditure on tuition fees varies according to the type of qualification and university. Medicine and engineering courses are likely to be expensive in comparison to the courses like humanities, education and arts. Likewise, postgraduate courses tuition fees are higher and the costs vary depending on the program.
The cost of living varies according to lifestyle an individual want to live. But the students need to keep on track of their expenditures so that they do not over spend. Likewise, considering various expenses a single student budget in Canada comes around approximately CAD 15,000 (indicative)
Canada has made it compulsory for all the international students to get a medical insurance before starting their program. Various Canadian universities and schools has started a comprehensive health insurance plans for international students. This is applicable as long as the program is ongoing and ends upon completion.
Likewise, there are some college that do not offer any insurance policies, and in that case students have arrange for private medical insurance. The average cost for medical insurance ranges between CAD 300- CAD 800 a year (indicative).
The first step to study in Canada is to secure a valid study permit which costs approx. CAD 150.
There are various Universities in Canada that offer on-campus residence to international students. If a student wants to live on-campus then they need to apply for it separately. Living on-campus is a very affordable option for a student.
Likewise, you can also rent an apartment which will be a bit costly in comparison to on-campus residence as an individual has to pay their utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage and also tenant’s insurance.
There are facilities of public transports in all the cities and major towns of the country. An individual can take regional trains, buses and subways to reach their required destination. The students can take monthly passes for travelling to universities which can be comparatively cheap. Likewise, if the college has the facility of shuttle service then the student can use it and have problem while traveling to the college.
Employment opportunities are an important aspect to be considered when it comes to deciding upon a country for further studies. Generally, as a student, we should be aware of the part time job policies and options. During part time jobs, students can gain valuable insight about the career opportunities after the completion of the course as well as some experience that will help them to accommodate later in the work premises. Also, the money earned can be utilized as a pocket money for some recreation during holidays. After the completion of studies, Canada also has the provision of Post Study Employment opportunities.
As a student you will be working as a part time employee which will be a great help for managing your living expenses in Canada. It will also provide you with the work experience which can be a great asset for you in the future.
Students can work during your studies and holidays if they are enrolled at any one of the following:
International students can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and can work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.
Students can either work on-campus or off-campus. On-campus means you will be working on your college/university campus itself. Whereas, off-campus means an area outside of your campus premises. Students can work on-campus without work permit if they have a valid study permit.
Some of the On-campus job options are as below:
To be eligible to work as a student in Canada, they will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada. To obtain a SIN for on-campus work, student must have one of the following conditions or remarks printed on their study permit:
If the study permit does not have one of the above-mentioned conditions, students will need to submit a free request for an amendment to their study permit before they apply for a SIN.
If any student wants to work after graduation, they need a work permit. Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) is one of the most widely accepted work permits. If any student wants to apply for permanent resident of Canada then PGWP will become of a great use.
PGWP work permits are valid up to maximum of three years and this permit will allow you to work in any occupation. To be eligible for PGWP, student must be graduated from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). But students must be careful because all the programs from DLI might not fulfil the eligibility criteria. Students must apply for PGWP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation mentioning the completion of the academic program.
Universities and colleges provide a wide range of scholarship options in Canada to the international students so that it will be easy for them to fund their studies. The students need to check the eligibility and criteria before applying for the scholarships.
The primary criteria for most of scholarship in Canada is a good academic score. Likewise, in scholarships factors like extracurricular activities and volunteering can also be used. As getting a scholarship is competitive so the procedure should start about 8-12 months before the intake begins.
Some of the most popular scholarships are:
Students must remember that Ontario Universities select and award scholarships to international PhD students on merit basis.