Top 5 steps to study in Canada
If you want to join the over 600,000 international students that have made Canada their study destination, we can help. Here are five steps to begin your journey towards a great Canadian education.
Step 1 – Discover Canada
Canada is a land of endless possibilities. Each year, nearly 600,000 international students choose Canada as their study destination. Why study in Canada as an international student? The reasons are as plentiful as our vast open spaces, as diverse as our people, and as abundant as the opportunities available to those who live, work and study here.
When the global pandemic hit last spring, Canada did what we do best: we took care of one another, including our international students.
Canadian governments, education institutions and communities showed an outpouring of support and compassion for the international student community, raising millions of dollars to assist those students in need. Listen to teachers and international students describe the high quality of our schools and the quality of life we offer students who choose to work and live here too. Meanwhile, we invite you to visit Canada virtually.
Step 2 – Learning online or in-person
Studying abroad is one of the biggest investments you can make in your future. With more than 15,000 elementary and secondary schools, 183 colleges and institutes and 163 universities, it’s important that you take the time to do your research to find the right program for you. Do not fear, EduCanada is here to help you plan your studies!
We suggest that you give yourself enough time to research and apply for programs and scholarships, plan your budget, request a study permit and research health care, housing as well as employment options. Most institutions require you to have an updated passport, passing English or French test and proof that you can finance your studies, as well as the cost of living while in Canada.
Did you know that Canadian institutions have flexible programs and offer many options for international students? Some international students who study with a Canadian institution decide to combine their study options; some start in college and have credits transferred to a university of their choosing, while some do it the other way around. The choice is yours! International students can still study with Canadian institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, our colleges and universities are delivering programs in-person, online, and through a combination of both while following public health guidelines.
Canadian institutions have worked hard to prepare the best possible online experience for students, using innovative technology and tools, and virtual support and services to help students achieve their learning goals. You can still connect with teachers, make friends and grow your network in a digital environment of academic excellence.
“Hybrid” or “blended” learning programs have an online and in-person component, such as labs and graduate seminars. Hybrid programs follow strict government health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of students and teachers.
Contact your institution to find out if your program has an in-person component. For certain academic programs, like medicine and dentistry, in-person learning will follow public health guidelines such as increased cleaning and the use of masks where physical distancing is not possible.
While the way students learn has changed, the quality of a Canadian education remains. The EduCanada search tool can help you find university and college programs and give you information about tuition fees and costs. When choosing an institution, it is important to be sure that they have a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) status. The list of approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) currently accepting international students to their institutions can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Step 3 – Applying
When filling in the application form, be sure to provide accurate information and the requested documents. Keep in mind that the application fee from institution to institution. Submit your application well in advance and then wait for the institution to send you a letter of acceptance before applying online for your study permit, also known as a ‘student visa.’
Step 4 – Finance & support
Once you are accepted into a program, you must make sure you have the financial resources to cover your expenses. Financing your studies may mean using your savings, getting help from your parents and extended family, and accessing loans and financial assistance in the form of grants or scholarships.
Many international students studying in Canada also work part-time during the school year to help cover their costs.
Depending on where you study, some provinces and territories offer financial aid for international students. For more details contact the Ministry of Education for that province or territory.
Step 5 – Coming to Canada
After receiving a letter of acceptance into your dream program and an approved study permit, it is time to prepare for your departure to Canada. Be sure to visit EduCanada’s “Going to Canada checklist” to help you plan all the steps you need to take.
- Read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for international students.
- Make sure you have all documents you need from your educational institution(s).
- Buy travel and health insurance.
- Download the ArriveCan mobile app to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.
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