EDUCATION IN CANADA: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS
Canada is home to 32 higher educational institutions in the ranking of the best universities in the world.
Over the last ten years, the number of international students in Canada has grown by 119%. Currently, 572,415 foreign students are studying in Canada, and higher educational institutions are emphasizing a considerable increase in applications from abroad. For example, Wilfrid Laurier University reported a 32% increase in applications, McMaster University reported a 33% increase, and the largest University of Toronto in Canada - by 20%. This year Canadian higher educational institutions will host the largest number of international students in the country's history according to analysts' opinion.
Many applicants choosing the United States are reorienting to Canada as US tuition rises and America's immigration policies become more and more strict. In particular, in 2018/2019 academic year, the average annual tuition fee in Canada for international students was $27,159, while in the USA this figure is almost 2 times higher - $45,950.
Canada offers some of the world's best study programs and is home to some of the world's leading research centers. Colleges, polytechnics and universities offer career-oriented programs with a growing level of applied research that address industry challenges.
More than 95% of students find work in their field within six months of graduation.
What is the cost of living and education fees in Canada?
Tuition fees can range from CAD 15,500 to CAD 49,000 per year, depending on the region you wish to study in, the university or program.
You will also have to consider other costs:
- Accommodation; - Public transport; - Food costs; - Books and educational supplies.
These costs in Canada can range from C $23,800 to C $66,000 per year.
Step 1: examine requirements and deadlines
Start the application process one year before you plan to enroll. The deadline for applications is March, but don't wait until that moment. International applications can be processed up to 6 months, therefore it is better to apply as soon as the selected higher educational institutions begin admission.
Besides, it will take time to obtain a study permit / visa to Canada.
Admission conditions may vary from province to province. Please consider the university websites for specific admission requirements for each higher educational institution.
General conditions include valid passport, knowledge of English or French, and proof that you can fund your studies.
Some programs may require a portfolio (for courses in art, design, architecture, etc.). You may also need a personal statement explaining your desire to study in Canada and a reference letter.
Step 2: choose a course and educational institution
Canada has over 3,000 undergraduate programs to offer. Do not apply at random. Compare options, choose a priority course (where you would like to enroll) and one or two alternatives as a reserve (where you are guaranteed to be accepted). It should also be borne in mind that not all universities and colleges have the right to admit foreign students.
You need to check if your university is on the list of Designated Learning Institutions of Canada that are eligible to accept you.
Step 3: pass standardized tests
Every international student must prove proficiency in English or French to study in Canada. IELTS is the preferred test for English, while some educational institutions also accept TOEFL exam.
It is DALF, DELF, TCF, etc. for French. TEF is more common. GRE / GMAT, etc. may be needed according to university and college requirements. It is also worth applying for tests in advance in case you have to re-take the test. Tests must be completed by September.
Step 4: connect universities or colleges
It's time to contact the selected universities in your list. Submit your applications and required documents through the online portals of your chosen universities. Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email. The letter will ask for additional information or indicate its individual number.
Please be careful when filling in the application form and make sure that you provide accurate information supported by documentary evidence.
Once it is ready, it is time to wait for a response from the higher educational institution by regular mail or e-mail. It is possible to wait for a response within 6 months. If the higher educational institution decides to enroll you, you will get a letter of acceptance.
Step 5: apply for Study Permit and get a visa
As soon as you receive your letter of acceptance, you must apply for a Study Permit (permission to study in Canada). You will also need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada.
You can apply online or at the Visa Application Center. The application must be accompanied by a letter of acceptance, your passport and a documentary evidence that you have sufficient funds to pay for the program and residence in Canada. These are bank statements, income statements or information about the person, who is helping you to pay for your education in Canada - proof of financial aid, loans or scholarships.
Step 6: travel preparation
The time for documents consideration makes up usually at least 2-4 weeks. After application is processed and, if necessary, upon the interview the immigration officer will make a decision on your application, which will have a start date.
If the Study Permit is approved, you will be sent a confirmation and get a temporary resident visa in your passport. It will have a date, which is the deadline for you to arrive in Canada. You will not be allowed to enter the country before the visa start date.
Buy an airline ticket only upon receiving your visa confirmation.
I've been living in Canada for the last 10 years and I have helped more then 700 students to come and study in Canada, USA, UK and Europe. I live in Toronto area and I have family with two children. My older son completed his studies in the Canadian college and the younger son is in the Canadian school now. That's why I know firsthand what concerns students and families have when looking for studies abroad. As a college counselor with more then 20 years of experience, I know in-depth the foreign education systems, good universities and colleges in terms of career perspective and all the nuances of application process and obtaining visas. My goal is to help you find the right university and program and to make the application process as easy as possible using my experience. If you are looking for reliable and experienced guide to studies abroad, contact me and I will help you.
I am a college counselor with more than 8 years of work experience. I have helped to more than 500 students to successfully come and study in USA, UK and Canada. My students received offers from world's top universities like Stanford, Harvard, University College London, London School of Economics, University of Toronto and many more. I enjoy working with ambitious students and their parents, who I can guide to the world's top elite universities. Besides, I love to motivate students to dream big and achieve the highest possible goals, and adore watching how they transform their lives and personalities through studies abroad. My consultations are very detailed. I usually dig deep, build successful strategies for my students, help with answers to every question. If you want to speak to me about your future studies abroad, feel free to contact me.