Canada is sought after by many students as well as professionals for higher educational studies and job opportunities. People are considering Canada over other countries for their future prospects. Life and education in Canada encourage international students to migrate there in search of opportunities. Are you planning to Study in Canada? Here’s a complete guide to help you out.

But, Why Study in Canada? What makes it ideal for so many people?

Whether you are planning to pursue MS in Canada or an MBA in Canada, Canada has gained a lot of popularity in recent years for higher education.

  • Affordable cost of studying and living:

As compared to the other top destinations like the UK and the USA, Canada is pretty affordable in terms of studying and living costs.

  • High Standard of Living:

The standard of living and quality of life are quite high in Canada. This is one of the reasons why many students choose to study in Canada.

  • Home to top universities of the world:

Canada hosts some of the top universities of the world including the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Waterloo, University of Alberta and many more.

  • No Language Barrier:

As English and French are the official languages of Canada, surviving there becomes much easier. English is understood almost everywhere, making it ideal for international students. Also, Canada has many internationally ranked Universities which are held in high regard all over the world.

  • High Employability Rate:

With high graduate employability rate and good academic performances, the universities of Canada are known all over the world. Canadian Ministry of Education also encourages the admission of foreign students to their universities in hope of a cosmopolitan environment. This makes it easy for foreign students to adapt and engage with people in college. Canada also makes for a safe country with a high-quality life for its citizens. The colleges and universities in Canada have also been appreciated for their detailed researchers in a number of fields giving them world recognition.

  • World-Renowned Education System:

The University system in Canada is one of the reasons for it to display great academic performances and some outstanding innovations. It encourages its students to communicate and express their thoughts freely without hesitation. The lectures are also made interesting to engage with the students. The students are given a thorough feedback post their assessments. These factors add to the fact that the study in Canada, its program focused universities and wide career options are turning out successful.

Study in Canada requirements:

When thinking about going to Canada for higher education, you need to know the requirements for studying in Canada. Even though different colleges and courses have their respective demands and expectations there are some general prerequisites for the majority of universities offering academic master’s degrees for international students.

    • A completed application form of the desired University.
    • Documentation confirming a prior degree was awarded, along with official transcripts;
    • Official documentation confirming professional designations, where applicable;
    • Two (2) letters of academic reference attesting to readiness for graduate studies; For those without recent academic experience, letters from employers attesting to a level of experience and analytical writing skills will be acceptable;
    • A detailed chronological resume clearly outlining educational achievements, work experience and progression, and other related experience;
    • A Letter of Intent (LOI) that clearly explains why the applicant is applying and outlines the student’s academic intentions.
    • A credential evaluation from a recognized service confirming equivalency if the applicant submits a credential from an unrecognized institution or if additional analysis is required by the Admissions Committee;
    • Proof of English language proficiency.

Cost of studying and living in Canada:

Though the cost of studying and living in Canada doesn’t make it to the list of requirements, it remains as one of the main concerns for many before considering going abroad for education. Before you start looking up for the top Universities in Canada and how to apply for study in Canada, you need to understand the feasibility of taking this up. Expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee all account for the total cost of study in Canada.

1. Tuition Fees:

The primary chunk of your cost. This depends on the type of qualification and the selected institution. You will need approximately between CAD 7,000 and CAD 35,000 a year. The range of approximate cost of study in Canada for Indian students would be INR 3,50,000 to 19,00,000 a year. This amount varies depending on the type of course that you opt for.

2. Accommodation:

The universities offer the on-campus residence for international students. Students who wish to opt for off-campus accommodation can live on a sharing basis with other students around the campus. On-Campus accommodation can cost from CAD 8,000 to CAD 10,000 (annually) whereas living in a shared apartment can cost you around CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month depending upon your location and time of the year. In the prime areas and cities, it could even go up to CAD 1000 to CAD 2000 a month.

3. Living Expense:

Considering various expenses and living costs, like communication, transport, books and supplies, daily need items, etc, a single student budget in Canada comes out to be approx. CAD 6,000 to CAD 10,000 (indicative).

4. Miscellaneous:

The visa and study permit that comes to approximately CAD 150. The health and insurance range between CAD 300- CAD 800 a year (indicative).
Above mentioned are the basic cost ranges to give you an idea of the cost involved and for you to make arrangements accordingly.  

Types of Expenses Yearly Cost
Tuition Fees CAD 7,000 to CAD 35,000 (INR 3,50,000 to 19,00,000)
Accommodation CAD 7,200 to CAD 24,000 (INR 3,91,054 to INR 13,03,515)
Other Living Expenses (Grocery, transportation, etc.) CAD 6,000 to CAD 10,000 (INR 3,23,881 to INR 5,39,802)
Miscellaneous CAD 1,000 (INR 53,980)
Total (with tuition fees) CAD 21,200 to CAD 66,500 (INR 11,44,382 to INR 37,78,620)
Total (without tuition fees) CAD 14,200 to CAD 35,000 (INR 7,66,520 to INR 18,89,310)

Scholarships to Study in Canada:

Universities in Canada also offer scholarships to study in Canada for meritorious students who are unable to fund their education. When applying for scholarships you should know that:

1. The essential requirement for most grants is a decent scholarly score, though it depends upon the selected city, subject, and level.

2. The amount of money granted varies for different colleges. You should start the procedure for applying for scholarships around 8 to 12 months before the course begins as the procedure takes time.

Here is a list of scholarships that you can apply to for studying in Canada:

  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  2. Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  3. Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  4. Go Clean Scholarship
  5. Humber College International Entrance Scholarship
  6. Waterloo Merit Scholarship
  7. UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award
  8. Science and Law School Scholarship
  9. Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship
  10. University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

And many more.

Must read: Top 5 scholarship Exams to Study Abroad after 12th

Also, one can always opt for an education loan for study in Canada in case of a lack of funds. Getting a loan sanctioned requires a lot of time and effort. You must apply for a loan well in advance, as soon as you receive confirmation from the university. Once you get an idea of your expenditure including study and living, you should calculate the amount that you will be applying the loan for. Do some exploration before applying for a loan and check which banks that are giving the best deals.

Top Universities in Canada:

University Location Canada Rank Global Rank
University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario 1 29
McGill University Montreal, Quebec 2 35
University of British Columbia Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia 3 51
University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta 4 113
Université de Montréal Montreal, Quebec 5 137
McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario 6 140
University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario 7 173
Western University London, Ontario 8 211
University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta 9 233
Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario 10 239

Other top universities in Canada include the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University.

Let us take a look at the top universities in Canada and what they have to offer:

University of Toronto: UToronto, as it is popularly known, the University of Toronto is one of the top universities in the world. It has three campuses: Downtown Toronto, Scarborough, and Mississauga. It is a research-intensive university and offers various courses such as Master of Science in Applied Computing, MSc Computer Science, Master of Applied Science and Aerospace Engineering, MBA, MA in Psychology and many more.

McGill University: An open-research University established in 1821, McGill University is yet another top university in Canada. It is located in Montreal, Quebec. The University offers hundreds of programs to its students ranging from a wide variety of areas such as animal science, biochemistry, communication studies to human nutrition, law, and sociology. Popular options for the MS include- MS in Computer Science, MS in Civil Engineering, MSc in Mechanical Engineering, MBA, Master of Law and many more.

University of British Columbia: Located in Kelowna as well as Vancouver, British Columbia, the University of British Columbia was established in 1908. The University is recognized as North America’s ‘most international university’. UBC offers various MS courses such as- MS in Computer Science, MS in Materials Engineering, MS in Chemical and Biological Engineering, MS in Nursing, MBA, Master of Physical Therapy; amongst many others.

University of Alberta: Yet another research-intensive university, University of Alberta is among the world’s top universities. A few of the many courses that this University offers are- MS in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, MSc Civil and Environmental Engineering, MSc in Computing Science, MBA in Finance and MBA in International Business.

Université de Montréal: Popularly known as UdeM, this is a public research university located in Quebec. Spread across 60+ departments, the University offers 65 graduate and undergraduate programs and 71 doctoral programs for students to choose from. The University offers various programs such as MS in Economics, MS in Mathematics and Computational Finance, MA in Psychology and many others.

McMaster University: One of the top 100 universities of the world, the McMaster University was established in 1887. The University is home to hundreds of international students from all over the world. McMaster University offers various courses such as MSc in Computer Science, MS in Nursing, M.A.Sc in Chemical Engineering and M.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering, MBA, MD.

University of Waterloo: Located in Waterloo, Ontario, the University of Waterloo is home to thousands of students from over 120 different countries of the world. It offers over 100 undergraduate and 190 graduate programs. Some of the courses offered by the University include- Master of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Master of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Applied Science in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, MA in Economics, Doctor of Pharmacy.

Western University: Western University is also amongst the best universities in Canada. It is a research university located in London, Ontario. The University offers various undergraduate, graduate as well as doctoral programs. Some of the courses offered by this University include MS in Computer Science, MESc in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, MESc in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Juris Doctor, MBA, etc.

University of Calgary: With 55 departments, 250 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs and thousands of students enrolling every year, the University of Calgary is one of the top 50 Universities in the world. It offers various programs such as MS in Computer Science, MBA, MA in Communication and Media Studies, Masters of Nursing, MEngChemical Engineering and many others.

Queen’s University: Queen’s University is one of the oldest universities in Canada, established in 1841. According to QS World Ranking, it is the 10th Best University in Canada. Queen’s University is home to 28000+ students. The University offers various courses such as- MS in Management, full-time MBA, Master of Management Analytics, Juris Doctor, MS in Nursing etc. 

Canada is one nation where you can pick any city and you won’t get disappointed. In any case, there are some cities better than others. According to the Best cities for students QS Rankings, Montreal ranks first for ‘student experience’, describing it as affordable, interesting, art and culturally inclined, with good food and people. It overtook fellow Canadian city Ottawa as number one according to the students in the previous rankings.

Course options in Canada:

There is a vast availability of course options to study in Canada. Universities offer quality education with recognized degrees. Canada offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, Diploma and Certificate levels of education. The international students can select the preferred level for the program. For each level, the top Canadian Universities offer different programs.

Business and Finance, Nursing, Dentistry, Engineering, and Pharmacy are a few top programs in Canada. Courses for fields like Management, engineering, medicine, science, media, journalism and many more; at different levels.  Courses in Canada are offered from the top of the line programs consolidating intuitive techniques with on-field applications. Courses in Canada use the most up to date instructional strategies with the most recent in technical progression and practical usage.

  • Business and Finance: Business management courses are the hottest category as far as international applicants are concerned. MBA is one of the most sought after courses in this field. The fields of banking, management consulting and investment finance never go out of style. The demand for managerial heads in the different industry sectors is only rising. However, it would be advisable to specialize by taking up Statistics, Accounting or Finance instead of going for a general MBA since it has more niche value. The best institutions to look out for are McGill University, Centennial College, Humber College, and Concordia University.
  • Nursing: Nursing is one of the next most preferred healthcare professions for international students. Although one can avail of either a diploma or an undergraduate course in nursing, it is always best to go for the latter. Most nursing courses are specialized- Emergency Nursing, Paediatric Nursing, Oncology Nursing etc. Registered nurses must have passed a national licensing exam as well as undergone a school nursing program. It is to be noted that practical experience of 1-2 years as a registered nurse is necessary to qualify for a Masters program in Nursing in Canada. The best institutions for nursing here are Toronto University, Alberta University, McMaster University, etc.
  • Dentistry: Dentistry is one of the highest paying professions in Canada. However, in order to start practicing, one needs to have extremely high qualifications and therefore many years of education in the same field. It is also possible after masters to specialize in areas such as Oral Pathology, Orthodontics or Paediatric Dentistry instead of being a general practitioner. In addition to the related undergraduate course, one must pass the DAT or the Dental Aptitude Test in order to qualify for a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry).
  • Engineering: Engineering and the IT sector in Canada has always been highly valued. Some of the best courses are Software or Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. Professions in this industry are the highest paid in and around Central Canada, in areas such as Ontario and Quebec. Those skilled in industry-standard software have guaranteed employment with salaries that will never go below $51,000, most people making double the amount. The top institutions in Canada for engineering are Toronto University, the University of Waterloo, McGill University and McMaster University.
  • Pharmacy: This field requires a high level of expertise. In Canada, most people employed in this field have usually completed at least their doctoral degrees if not conducted post-doctoral research. It is a heavily research-oriented area. There is also a variety of career options to choose from- community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, pharmacist position at an educational institution, etc. Ample practical experience is required to qualify for the post of a pharmacist. International Pharmacy Graduates or IPGs have their own process to avail of licensure in Canada. Relevant institutions are Toronto University, University of British Columbia and Bredin Institute.

Now that you have selected the course, planned for your expenses and are ready with your prerequisites, you should now start thinking about-

How to apply for a study visa in Canada?

A Study Permit allows international students to study at the designated learning Institutes in Canada. You need to ensure that you have all the required documents before applying for the permit. A study permit is not a visa. You need to apply for a temporary resident visa separately. The duration of a study permit is equal to the duration of your course plus an extra 90 days. This extra time gives you a chance to leave or apply for an extension.

You should ideally apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. A few people can apply for a study permit from Canada. Also, you can apply when you reach Canada at your arrival.
One option for application is, to Apply online. With the online application, the permit gets processed instantly, avoiding any delays. In case they need any extra documents, it can immediately be added online saving the time to courier it instead. You can also be constantly updated about your status of the application through your account.
Following documents are mandatory when applying for a study permit:

  • proof of acceptance from the university
  • proof of identity; a valid passport, photos and any other identification document
  • proof of financial support; a proof of education loan or bank statement of last four months or any other suitable document.

Essential documents for Canadian Student Visa:

You should apply for the student visa once you get an acceptance letter from the college. You should begin with the visa process well in advance. The documents that are essential for this are:

1.Valid Passport

You need a Valid Passport to apply for a Study Permit. As of the Canadian High Commission, it is imperative that you have a passport with a validity that covers your intended stay in Canada, i.e. at the least your course duration.

2.Proof of Acceptance by the Institute

You would need the university/Institute’s acceptance letter. A Designated Learning Institute is one that is recognized by the Immigration Department.

3.Proof of Funds

You would have to show proof of funds. It is to prove that you are capable enough to fund your tuition fees as well as take care of living expenses. The Canadian Immigration requires a student to at least show Canadian $10,000 for every year of your stay.

4.Passport Size Photographs

You would need two passport-sized photographs according to the given standards.

5.Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

Canadian Immigration requires international students from India to undergo a compulsory Immigration Medical Examination from impaneled doctors. It is advisable to book a prior appointment and visit the listed doctors for a medical examination, preferably a week before they start their Visa Application. This gives the doctor enough time to check and upload the required documents.

6.English Language Proficiency Exam Score

You need to submit your English language proficiency score for your admission to the Canadian University. TOEFL, IELTS, etc. are all acceptable.

7.Statement of Purpose

You are required to submit a document stating the purpose of your travel and the reason for the selection of the particular institute when applying for a Canadian Study Permit.

8.Credit Card

The Visa Application Fee for Canada is CAD $160 and has to be paid through an online payment. Only credit cards are accepted by the system.

In case of an online application, you would have to digitally scan all the above-mentioned documents to upload them online. However, in case you wish to fill an offline application, you should have true copies of all the mentioned documents.

A considerable number of Canada’s colleges are famous for having a worldwide perspective, as they give opportunities to students from different backgrounds and countries, which encourages people from all over the world to engage with others, learn from each other and exchange ideas; Resulting in a cosmopolitan culture in the college.

After Graduating from any of the programs of studies, you may be able to work temporarily in Canada to gain some work experience. For this, you will have to apply for a work permit which later on qualifies you for a permanent residence. There are certain norms that have to be followed for this procedure. And, although these are long term plans but if you apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, you may be allowed to work in Canada for up to three years after you graduate.

Some FAQs on Studying in Canada:

1. Which city is best to study in Canada?

Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver, and Ottawa are some of the best cities in Canada to study.

2. Which is the cheapest University in Canada?

Some of the cheapest universities in Canada are: University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, McGill University, University of Alberta and Memorial University.

3. Is studying in Canada expensive?

Compared to India, studying in Canada is definitely expensive. However, studying in Canada is much more economical as compared to other top countries like the US and the UK.

4. Are there free universities in Canada?

No, there aren’t any free universities in Canada. However, Canada has a lot of affordable universities and also offers a lot of scholarships to international students.

5. Can I work while studying in Canada?

You can be eligible for work while studying in Canada if your study permit states a condition saying that you can work. In such a case, you can either work on or off-campus while studying. If your study permit does not have the statement, you can get your study permit amended for free of cost.

6. How many hours can I work in Canada while studying?

You can work 20 hours a week while studying in Canada.

Canada has a pool of opportunities for study and works for both national and international students. We hope that whatever information we have offered you about applying, studying, living and working in Canada; as a student, helps you with your decisions.

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