Today, studying outside their country of residence is the first choice of many undergraduate and postgraduate students. But when we think of international studies, we usually think of colleges and universities located in the UK and the US.
Yet, there's another country that offers post-secondary students first-class options for quality education plus the opportunity to amass significant working experience after completing their studies.
Canada is one of the world's countries that constantly rank in the top spots for quality of life. Every year, it welcomes thousands of international students to its top-rated educational institutions. Many of them arrive on scholarships or work while they get their diploma. These students choose to study in Canada because the overall benefits go beyond good education and ease of employment.
Find out all the necessary information to study in Canada and achieve your academic and professional goals!
The 10 best reasons to study in Canada
Canada is a large country with a rich tradition of welcoming foreign citizens and fostering multicultural communities. In the country's cities, people from different corners of the world have found a place where they can make a life for themselves. Most went there as workers, but many also went as students.
So, here's why you should probably study in Canada too:
1. Higher learning at its finest
Canada offers first-rate education from high-ranked institutions at all post-secondary levels. In short, if you study in Canada (for a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree), you'll learn from the best and brightest, and your diploma will be well-respected globally. In the long run, you'll find yourself higher in line for top employment opportunities and the most sought-after positions in your industry.
2. A scientist's paradise
Along with top-quality studies, Canada provides students vast opportunities to take their expertise to the next level. Canadian educational institutions put a lot of emphasis on research and development to help scholars hone their acquired skills and gain valuable scientific experience. At the same time, the country's government financially supports research in various fields of study.
3. Reasonable fees, affordable living
Canadian universities offer some of the most affordable programs in the English-speaking world. Also, though it varies from city to city, the average cost of living is not off-putting for someone that wants to devote all their time to their studies. So, if you're not sure whether or not to study in Canada, consider the cost efficiency and high return of investment, and you'll make up your mind in no time.
4. Feels like home
Its long history of embracing ethnic diversity and multiculturalism makes Canada a warm and friendly place for everyone, regardless of cultural background. As a matter of fact, a 2020 survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CIBE) found that 96% of international students consider Canada an excellent place to study as one of the safest and most tolerant countries in the world.
5. Equal opportunities
It's a global fact that many international students cannot afford the cost of studying and living in western countries. To tackle that challenge, Canada offers a wide range of merit or needs-based scholarships through both public and private institutions. On these scholarships, students can complete their undergraduate or postgraduate studies and go on to pursue their professional dreams without stressing about debt.
6. Students are part of the workforce
Not that you are forbidden to work any place else. But if you study in Canada, the law lets you work without any additional paperwork besides your study permit. At least for specific types of on-campus and off campus work, and university-endorsed internships. The other good news is that Canada offers a post-graduation work permit for making your first professional steps in Canadian soil and possibly consider residency later on.
7. A direct link to the job market
So, you finished your studies. Now, what? Do you go back to look for employment in your country — whatever its current state? Canada says you don't have to. You just need to get a post-graduation three-year work permit. It's a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and launch a career without leaving the country. How about a helpful headstart for entering the international job market?
8. Immigration is encouraged
Canada doesn't just support you in building a bright professional future. In addition to finding work right after leaving the university, the post-graduation work permit also serves as an open invitation for graduates to consider the country as their next home. For someone that has circled half the world to study in Canada, three years may be enough to settle down and pursue permanent residency.
9. The quality of life
Studying abroad doesn't mean abstaining from other aspects of daily and social life. So, why not spend your university days in a country renowned for providing its citizens with all the means necessary to enjoy life to the fullest. Where the safety and fundamental human rights of everyone are ensured; cities are vibrant and safe; small towns are welcoming; and campuses are brimming with youthful energy, fun, and culture.
10. Travel of a lifetime
If you study in Canada, you'll find yourself in the middle of a vast country full of breathtaking natural attractions. From Niagara Falls to its many lakes, national parks, mountains, and wild forests, Canada stands on a diverse landscape of inimitable natural beauty. For some, it's the trip of a lifetime, and you'll have more than enough opportunities to explore it with friends during winter or summer breaks.
As you can see, there are plenty of arguments for studying at a Canadian university. But before making that decision, it's wise to review and comprehend everything required to become a certified international student in Canada.
What you should know before applying to study in Canada
Someone that wants to study in Canada must first choose an educational program, meet the program's requirements, and apply as instructed. Canada's educational system has many things in common with other countries that welcome numerous international students. Still, it helps to know some things beforehand.
For starters, in Canada, post-secondary education is offered in four types of schools:
Foreign citizens must ensure that their preferred institution is included in the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) list. A DLI is a college or university authorized by the provincial or territorial government to host international students.
As expected, each institution has its own set of rules for applying to one of its programs. For instance, the credentials required to prove an applicant's level of language proficiency may vary between schools.
After getting accepted, students must ensure they are eligible to enter Canada and stay there legally until they finish their studies.
What are the requirements to study in Canada
To study in Canada, one needs a government-issued study permit. That's the official authorization for students to stay in the country until finishing their studies. Also, it allows them to work on-campus or off-campus without a work permit (under certain conditions).
To be eligible for a Canadian study permit, applicants must:
If they plan to study in Quebec, they might also need a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or a letter of approval issued by the respective government service.
After verifying their eligibility, foreigners who plan to study in Canada must undergo the application process.
How to get a permit and visa to study in Canada
Study permit applications are submitted online (unless prevented by a specific disability or current refugee status). The documents required for study visa in Canada are the following:
Also, they might be asked to provide a letter of explanation. That will help the designated visa officer verify that:
When someone's application is approved, they receive a port of entry letter of introduction that informs officials they are allowed to study in Canada.
In case a student has to complete a series of courses before being fully accepted to their program, they will have to renew their study permit once they finish successfully.
Why study for a bachelor’s in Canada
Granted, leaving their home and folks to study in a country far away is not an easy decision for someone that has just finished high school. But if they plan to study abroad anyway, why not pick a place that welcomes foreign students with open hands and provides everything necessary to make them feel at home.
In Canada, people from many different origins and cultures have lived side by side for ages, and multiculturalism is deeply engrained in the country's collective mentality. Also, in its policies, education, and everyday life.
Pair that with having some of the best educational institutions in the world, and Canada looks like the perfect choice for a youngster's first steps in the world of higher learning. On top of that, a Canadian study permit allows students to work while studying, so they can both cover their costs and gain valuable experience in their field.
Even if it seems far from home, studying for a bachelor's degree in a Canadian university might be the most pleasant, fruitful, and beneficial educational experience you can get as a rookie.
So, to get you started on your research, our experts have picked three top bachelor's programs in Canada:
Why study for a master’s in Canada
Take a moment to think about what drives graduates to pursue further education and specialization through a master's degree. Mostly, it's the need to build a stronger academic portfolio and boost their future career prospects. So, why not continue your postgraduate studies in a country that rewards graduates with the option to stay for an additional 3 years after finishing.
By applying for a Canadian post-graduation work permit, you have the opportunity to search for work in a high-quality job market and launch your career from the get-go. Plus, if things work out career-wise, you even have the right to apply for permanent Canadian residency.
At the same time, it makes great sense academically to get your master's in Canada (and even continue to the doctorate level), where scholarly research is highly supported by educational institutions and the state.
A wealth of master's programs from excellent schools and a support system offering graduates a direct link to their professional field makes Canada ideal for taking your studies to the next level.
So, before deciding upon your preferred master's program in Canada, take a look at these expert picks by the Brive consultants:
Are there scholarships to study in Canada?
According to recent statistics, Canada welcomes more than 600.000 international students annually as the world's fourth most popular education destination (behind the UK, the US, and China). Many arrive on scholarships or grants that help them cover their tuition and living costs while focusing on their studies.
Canadian scholarships for international students (undergraduates, postgraduates, and research scholars) are provided by the federal or provincial governments, private foundations, non-profits, or even their preferred educational institutions.
Aspiring students just have to find all the available funding options at the time and check their eligibility for applying (many scholarships are for specific study levels or countries of origin). Then, they just need to submit their applications and required documents before the deadline.
Canada is an open society, and scholarships are a great way to help youngsters (or professionals) from foreign countries and, very often, the developing world to reap the benefits of the Canadian education system, job market, and general way of life.
Read more: What are the top universities in Canada?
Frequently Asked Questions for studying in Canada
Now that you have read most of the things you need to know about studying in Canada, you might want to dig deeper. So, here are the answers to some of the most frequent questions asked by people who wish to study in Canada.
1. How much does it cost to study in Canada?
Compared to other popular international studies destinations, Canada offers more affordable tuition fees and general living costs.
According to EduCanada.ca, the official Government of Canada website for international students, here’s how much money is required to study in Canada:
So, depending on the educational institution you choose and the city it’s at, your annual expenses to study in Canada should be somewhere between CAD 13,800 and CAD 32,000.
2. How many years of study gap is acceptable in Canada?
A study gap is a time off students take between degrees, usually to work on their field or explore their next academic endeavors. Of course, sometimes a study gap is taken to recover from a health problem, cope with a personal issue, start a family, etc.
In Canada, educational institutions accept study gaps provided that students can justify them. The maximum number of years a student is expected to have stayed off academics depends on the level of studies they want to pursue:
Yet, depending on their policy on the subject matter, some institutions accept students even after larger gaps, as long as they have a solid argument to back it up.
3. How to get a scholarship to study in Canada?
After being accepted to your preferred Canadian school, you should figure out your annual budget (both for tuition and living costs) and explore any available funding options. The Canadian government, private organizations, and universities offer several scholarship opportunities to foreign students based on excellence or financial status.
To claim one, it's best to go for it as early as possible. First, you should check if your university offers a scholarship and whether or not you're eligible for it. If yes, get all the necessary information and apply right away.
If not, check out the scholarships page at the official Government of Canada website for international students, EduCanada.ca. Then, find a funding program that fits your preferences and needs, confirm your eligibility, read the guidelines carefully, and submit your application on time.
4. How to apply for a visa to study in Canada?
To study in Canada, you must first be accepted by a Canadian school and then apply for a study permit.
Yet, a study permit is not a visa. It allows you to stay for the length of your studies but to enter Canada, you may need a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), depending on your country of origin.
There's no need to apply for a visa or eTA separately, unless you want to go to Canada before applying for a university or study permit. If you go to Canada as an accredited international student, then:
5. How to apply for a work permit in Canada?
If you want to work while studying in Canada, in most cases you don't have to get a work permit for the length of your studies.
That's because a study permit doubles as a work permit (albeit with restrictions) for students until it expires. So, while you study, you can work both on-campus and off-campus (part-time or full-time) and also as a university co-op placement or intern. The only restrictions are those specified by your permit's written terms and conditions.
Additionally, when you graduate, you have the option to apply for a post-graduation work permit that allows you to stay and work in Canada for up to three years, depending on your eligibility status (as defined by the PGWP rules at the time).
In case you need a different work permit to get a job before, during, or after your studies, you must consider your other options and apply to the respective authorities.
Why study in Canada, in a nutshell!
Studying abroad is a big decision. Also, it's not just about the degree. The place you choose is where you'll live for a significant amount of time. So, you have to make your choice based on three equally important factors:
In that light, Canada rates excellently in all three:
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