Studying in Canada is a great opportunity for international students. There are many reasons why students choose to study in Canada, such as best universities and colleges, high-quality education, the opportunity to work and study or even immigrate after graduation, affordable tuition fees and a welcoming environment.
In this blog post, we will discuss how much it cost to study in Canada and how to fund your education. We will also cover the requirements for studying in Canada and steps to apply for admission. Finally, we will discuss the process of obtaining a student visa to enter Canada.
In this article
- Why study in Canada?
- Population of International students in Canada
- Cost of studying in Canada
- Cheapest Universities in Canada
- Cheapest Colleges in Canada
- Funding your education in Canada
- Requirements to study in Canada
- 5 Steps to study in Canada
- 1. Find the right school
- 2. Check admission requirements
- 3. Gather required documents
- 4. Apply for admission
- 5. Apply for student permit if admitted
- How to apply for a visa to study in Canada
- Can Students from your country study in Canada?
- How to study in Canada navigation table
Why study in Canada?
There are many reasons why international students choose to study in Canada. Some of the top reasons include:
i. The quality of education is among the best in the world and universities and colleges rank highly on global rankings.
ii. Tuition fees are more affordable than other countries, such as the United States or United Kingdom.
iii. The opportunity to work and study is a great advantage for students who want to gain Canadian work experience, this work experience eventually counts towards the criteria to become a permanent resident.
iv. Canada is a welcoming country with a diverse culture. Students feel safe and comfortable living in Canada.
v. After graduation, international students have the opportunity to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry program if they meet the criteria.
Population of International students in Canada
Canada is home to hundreds of thousands of international students from over 190 countries. In the 2019/2020 school year, Canada had at least 650,000 international students attending schools across all provinces and territories.
The top five countries sending international students to Canada are: India, China, Vietnam, France, South Korea and Iran. According to available data, the country with highest number of foreign students in Canada is India, with 180, 275 students in 2020. See graph below.
Cost of studying in Canada
The cost of studying in Canada varies between institutions and programs. There are also costs associated with living expenses, course materials, health insurance (some provinces) and transportation to consider.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education report – “International Students Are An Economic Engine For Canada”, international students contributed more than $21 billion to the Canadian economy in a single year (2018). This value is expected to have more than doubled in 2021-2022.
Tuition fees for undergraduate programs range from $12,000 – $30,000 per year and graduate program tuition can cost up to $18,000+ per year. Schools in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have the highest tuition fees – with most expensive cities for international students being: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Cheapest Universities in Canada
There are a number of universities in Canada that have lower tuition rates. The cheapest universities in Canada include:
i. Brandon University – Tuition fees range from $4000 to $8000 per year.
ii. Concordia University College of Alberta – Tuition fees range from $2000 to $6000 per year.
iii. Memorial University of Newfoundland – Tuition fees range from $4000 to $8000 per year.
iv. The University of Manitoba – Tuition fees range from $5000 to $10000 per year.
v. Athabasca University – Tuition fees range from $3000 to 7000 per year. Students can also choose a self-paced learning option.
vi. The University of Northern British Columbia – Tuition fees range from $4000 to $6000 per year.
vii. Thompson Rivers University – Tuition fees range from $4000 to 7000 per year (international student).
viii. Laurentian University – Tuition fees range from $5000 to 7000 per year.
ix. Cape Breton University – Tuition fees range from $6000 to $8000 per year.
Cheapest Colleges in Canada
i. Bow Valley College – Tuition fees range from $5000 to 7000 per year (international students).
ii. Red River College – Tuition fees range from $6000 to 8000 per year (international student).
iii. Vancouver Community College – Tuition fees range from$4000 to 6000 per year (international students).
iv. Niagara College – Tuition fees range from $6000 to $8000 per year (Canadian citizens and permanent residents).
v. Sheridan College – Tuition fees range from $7500 to $11,000 per year.
vi. George Brown College – Tuition fees range from $8000 to $15,000 per year (international students).
vii. Selkirk College – Tuition fees range from $4000 to 7000 per year (domestic and international students).
Funding your education in Canada
There are several ways that international students can fund their education in Canada. Five most popular funding sources for foreign students in Canada include:
i. Scholarships for international students – usually offered by the government of student’s home country, the government of Canada, schools, non-profit and private organizations, and sometimes individuals.
ii. Student loans – Canadian and international students may be eligible for student loans.
iii. Work-study programs, part-time jobs, or full-time work during the summer months and other school breaks (if you have a valid work permit).
iv. Private sponsorships from employers or organizations in Canada who pay all your tuition fees and living expenses while studying in Canada.
v. Family members in Canada – Some students may be able to rely on financial support from family members who reside in Canada.
Requirements to study in Canada
There are requirements that international students must meet in order to apply for admission, including:
i. Meet admission criteria of the institution you want to apply to – minimum grades, language proficiency (IELTS, CELPIP, TOEFL), depending on which one the school of interest accepts.
ii. Proof of funds to cover tuition and living expenses – you will need to show that you have enough money to pay for your schooling and live in Canada.
iii. Passport, visa (if required), medical exam and police character certificate (PCC).
iv. Letter of acceptance from a Canadian school or institution.
5 Steps to study in Canada
There are several steps that international students need to follow in order to apply for admission in Canada, including:
1. Find the right school
Find and choose a Canadian university or college you wish to attend based on your academic interests, career goals, budget and country of origin. Each study program has different tuition fees (depends on whether it is undergraduate, graduate or doctoral levels).
You can find a school in Canada by using the Government of Canada’s Find a Designated Learning Institution tool. The tool allows you to search for schools and programs, check fees and admission criteria based on country of origin.
The Government of Canada also provides an online directory that lists all Canadian universities and colleges with programs in English and French.
You can also use an educational agent that helps international students identify their preferred school based on their academic interests, career aspirations, budget and country of origin.
2. Check admission requirements
The next step is to check for admission requirements for the school you want to apply for. Each school has different requirements, so make sure that you meet all the admission criteria before applying.
3. Gather required documents
Once you have met the school’s admission requirements, gather and prepare all the required documents needed for your application. This may include:
– A copy of your passport;
– Proof of funds (bank statements, scholarship letters, etc.);
– Language proficiency test results (IELTS, CELPIP, TOEFL);
– Letter of acceptance from a Canadian school or institution; and
4. Apply for admission
Once you have gathered all the required documents, complete and submit your application online. Make sure to review your application before submission to avoid any errors.
You may also be asked to attend an interview with a Canadian school or institution representative, this is rare – and may be virtual when that happens to be the case.
After submitting your application, it can take between a few weeks to several months for a decision on your admission status, depending on the school.
5. Apply for student permit if admitted
If you are admitted to a Canadian school or institution, you will then need to apply for a student permit and a study visa.
The student permit allows you to stay in Canada and study full-time at an accredited post-secondary educational institution. The study visa on the other hand is a document you get stamped in your passport by Canadian visa authorities.
How to apply for a visa to study in Canada
In order to study in Canada, international students must first obtain a student visa. The process of obtaining a student visa is not difficult but it does require some paperwork and preparation.
You will need to provide documentation such as your passport, proof of acceptance from a Canadian school, financial documents showing that you can afford to study and live in Canada, a letter of explanation about why you want to study in Canada
Your acceptance letter from the Canadian school is a key document for obtaining your student visa. When applying for admission at a Canadian university or college be sure to request an electronic copy of your acceptance letter that can easily be downloaded from their website as this will make it easier for you to apply for your student visa.
The following are the steps that you need to take in order to obtain a Canadian student visa:
- Gather all the required documents
- Pay the application fee
- Submit your application
- Wait for a decision on your application
If your student visa is approved, you can then proceed with flight booking and travel arrangements to Canada. IRCC may refuse your student visa application or ask you to provide additional information if necessary.
Your student visa is valid for the duration of your studies, with a few exceptions such as studying English or French short-term (six months), completing an exchange program (one year) or participating in research projects.
If you would like to stay longer than permitted by your student visa, you must apply for an extension. In order to do this, you will need a letter from the school indicating that you are still enrolled and in good standing as well as proof of finances showing that you can support yourself during this time.
The cost of a student visa for Canada (or extension) is C$150. The application process usually takes four to six weeks, but can take longer during peak periods.
Can Students from your country study in Canada?
Use the table below to find specific instructions on how to apply for admission, benefits of choosing Canada, cost of schooling in Canada and how to apply for student visa for applicants from your country of origin.
Canadian education offer international students high-quality education, affordable tuition and a variety of opportunities to work and study. The process of obtaining a student visa is not difficult but it does require some paperwork and preparation. Be sure to gather all the required documents, pay the application fee, submit your application and wait for a decision on your application.