Universities and colleges in Canada offer a range of programs to international students. Depending on your circumstances, interests, and educational goals, you may decide to study in Canada as an international student. International Students in Canada need to understand some key things before the move. If you’re thinking of studying in Canada as an international student, you will need to have a good understanding of the admissions process, common costs, living arrangements, and ways to finance your education.
Working or volunteering while attending school is another important factor to consider. Lastly, read up on visa requirements for international students from your country and other relevant information about life as an international student in Canada. There are different types of programs to choose from when pursuing post-secondary education in Canada. If you intend to study as an international student in one of the many colleges or universities across the country, here are some tips that may help:
Know the Admission Requirements Beforehand
The majority of Canadian colleges and universities require applicants to have an adequate command of the English language. While this may vary from institution to institution, most schools ask for proof of proficiency in either English or French. You may want to begin investigating this requirement as early as the summer or fall before your intended start date.
If you are planning on studying at a francophone institution, you should note that proficiency in French is a prerequisite for admission. Find out if you need to submit standardized test scores, such as the TOEFL or IELTS, to be considered for admission. Universities in Canada and other English-speaking countries use standardized tests as a way to evaluate the academic proficiency of non-native English speakers.
International Students in Canada should Estimate Costs: Living and Education
Living Expenses – Before you even think about paying for school, you will need to decide how you are going to cover your living expenses. While you may be able to save a small portion of your monthly income, you will want to consider extra expenses such as transportation, health care, and groceries.
If you are studying at a Canadian public university, you will not have to pay tuition. At the same time, you should be prepared to pay a significant amount of money for your everyday needs. If you are studying at a private university, you will need to prepare to pay all of your living expenses upfront, as well as tuition.
Tuition and Fees – Canadian universities charge tuition and other types of fees, which may vary depending on the program of study. While tuition in Canada may be substantially more expensive than in many other countries, students have access to loans and other financial aid.
Living Expenses: Transportation –
Canadian cities and suburbs are large, sprawling places. This means that you will need to prepare to pay for transportation. While some universities provide shuttle services or offer on-campus transportation, you will most likely need a car to get around.
Living Expenses: Health Care –
If you are from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Canada, you will be able to apply for public health insurance. Otherwise, you will need to purchase private health insurance.
Living Expenses: Groceries –
Because Canada is a large country with diverse geography and climate, you can expect to spend a fair amount of money on groceries each month. Be prepared to spend more on groceries than you would in most other countries.
Tuition and Fees: Tuition and Fees
Canadian tuition rates are higher than in many other countries. At the same time, you can expect to receive high-quality instruction and a valuable degree when you graduate. In addition to tuition, you may have to pay other types of fees. These may include an enrollment fee, a student services fee, or a facilities fee. You may also be asked to pay a fee for the use of a laptop.
Cost of Living –
The cost of living in Canada may be higher than in some other countries. This is especially true if you live in a large city such as Toronto or Vancouver. However, many Canadian universities offer a variety of scholarship programs to incoming students. These scholarships are typically awarded based on merit, financial need, and/or other criteria.
Decide on a Housing Option
If you plan to live on campus or in a student residence, you will have the added benefit of convenience and a sense of community. Most universities and colleges provide their students with a variety of social and learning opportunities. While this option is convenient, it will also come at a higher cost than living off campus. If you decide to live off campus, you will have more freedom and less restriction on your daily schedule. You will also have more control over your monthly budget.
You will also be able to choose your own housing options, including single-family homes, apartments, or condominiums. You will have the benefit of renting a place near campus without paying for the extra cost of commuting.
Accommodations on Campus: Houses and Apartments
Housing options on campus may include apartments and houses for rent, as well as university housing. Most universities provide their students with a variety of social and learning opportunities. While this option is convenient, it will also come at a higher cost than living off campus. If you decide to live off campus, you will have more freedom and less restriction on your daily schedule.
You will also have more control over your monthly budget. You will also be able to choose your own housing options, including single-family homes, apartments, or condominiums. You will have the benefit of renting a place near campus without paying for the extra cost of commuting.
Academic Programs: Overview
Depending on your academic program at the university or college you are attending, you may need to take courses specifically designed for international students with adapted curricula and course content from Canada’s high school system (for example, high school equivalency programs). If you plan to study abroad in Canada during your undergraduate degree program, you may need an appropriate Canadian high school diploma (or equivalent) to apply for entry into these programs at Canadian universities and colleges. You may also need an International Student Visa if you plan to study in Canada.
In some cases, international students can apply for funding from their home country’s government to cover their tuition fees (for example, the Japanese government provides scholarships to international students). This type of funding is also called a “study abroad grant” or “study abroad scholarship”. After graduation, international students who want to stay in Canada after completing their studies can apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency is a status that allows you to work and study in Canada permanently.
To apply for Canadian citizenship after graduation, international students must have studied full-time as undergraduate students at a university or college in Canada for at least three years with a minimum cumulative average of 70%. If you are already a Canadian citizen, you can apply for citizenship directly from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
Language Training: Overview
Canada has agreements with many countries where citizens may study free of charge (or at reduced rates) for one or two years to learn their native language. Many universities and colleges offer language training programs designed specifically for international students. Some of these programs may be one-year or two-year intensive language training programs, which require students to return home during the program’s duration.
Other programs may be short-term intensive courses lasting several weeks or months (for example, “immersion” programs). Some colleges offer an intensive, semester-long program for adult learners. Canadian universities and colleges also offer specialized courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which may be useful for international students who are not native English speakers.
ESOL courses are usually offered in the evening and on weekends to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults. Some ESOL programs include a social component, where international students may meet other students from their native countries.
Finding Work as an International Student
Depending on the type of program you are pursuing, you may be able to gain valuable work experience while studying. In many instances, you will be required to complete a certain number of hours at an approved job site. If you decide to work while studying, you will have to decide between working on or off campus.
Working off campus may provide you with more flexibility to select a job that fits your schedule. At the same time, you may need to travel farther to reach your place of employment. Finding Work on Campus – Many universities allow international students to work on campus. You may be able to find a job as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or in the library.
When deciding where to study, keep in mind that some countries have agreements with others that allow students to study at either institution tuition-free. You should also consider the quality of education that each institution offers. The best way to prepare for studying in Canada as an international student is to do your research. Read up on the admissions process and program requirements. You should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the Canadian culture, government, and economy. Studying in a new country is not easy, but it can be a very rewarding experience.