Canada is consistently ranked as one of the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, and is one of the popular study destinations for international students. Canada is known for its natural beauty and multicultural diversity and is also one of the safest countries to live in. It has one of the best education systems. Hence, narrowing down your list of choices would be a tough task. It is home to many reputed universities and is a center of academic excellence with universities that rank amongst the top 100 in the world including the University of Toronto, McGill University, the University of British Colombia and the University of Alberta. If you choose to study in Canada, you will find yourself in a nation which has always punched well above its weight.
Canada offers a safe and welcoming community with world-class universities that provide ample opportunity for cutting-edge research and creative energy. Canada’s universities feature among the top-ranking universities, so it is not surprising that so many people wish to study in Canada. Many international students prefer to study in Canada due to lower living costs and tuition fees. Given below are the benefits of studying in Canada as an international student.
- World-Class Academics: Canada is known for its high-quality education system and has access to some of the best universities in the world which offer degrees that are treated at par with degrees obtained from universities in the USA or UK. Canada fosters diversified study options at Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and MS (Master of Science) levels of technical and professional disciplines.
- Working Opportunities: Full-time international students are allowed to work part time both on and off campus for up to 20 hours a week which can help them finance their education. Students are also allowed to work full time during their scheduled breaks like winter or summer break, i.e., 30 hours a week. After completion of their studies, international students are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) which provides work permit for recent graduates to stay in Canada and seek employment anywhere in the country. Students who hold this work permit can pursue employment in almost any field.
- Family Benefits: International students can bring their families along with them when they come to study in Canada. The spouse or common-law partner of the student is eligible to apply for work permit. Moreover, their children can study in Canadian primary or secondary schools without the need of a study permit. If you choose to study in Canada through PGWP, your family is eligible for continued status as well.
- Tension free environment: Students studying in Canadian Universities find it easy to grasp the course as it follows the credit-based system which creates a stress-free environment. This will help the students to manage their time and complete the course calmly.
- Scholarships: All Canadian institutions receive public funding through their provincial governments, which allows for lower tuition fees and scholarships. Canadian Government offers international scholarships to award outstanding achievement and to attract students of the highest caliber from around the world.
A study permit is the official document issued by a Canadian visa office for international students to enter Canada as a temporary resident for the purpose of studying in Canada. In order to acquire a study permit, students must demonstrate a number of different factors to an immigration officer who will assess the application. Below are the requirements for a Canadian study permit:
- Letter of acceptance
- Valid proof of identity
- Proof of financial support
- Letter of explanation with details explaining why you are applying for a study permit
The study permit expires in 90 days after completion of the studies. If you are planning to extend your stay, then you need to apply for a permit at least 30 days before it expires. If the permit has expired and you have applied for extension already, you can stay in the same country as before until you get a decision. After completion of studies, students can extend their stay by:
- applying for a work permit, or
- applying to change the status and stay, or
- by applying to extend the study permit to continue their studies.
In Canada, the education system varies from one province to another. Here’s more information on the same:
Primary Schools and Secondary Schools
Grades 1 to 12 are included under primary and secondary schools. Grades 1- 8 are of part of primary school and grades 9 -12 are part of secondary school. Canada has special rules for minor international students getting enrolled into these schools.
Post-secondary studies include:
- Private career colleges
- Vocational and technical schools
- French language training
- English language training
Education System in Canada
Canada makes a large investment in its education system. In fact, it is one of the world’s top education performers and among the top three countries in spending per capita on public post-secondary education.
The Canadian education system is divided into different levels such as:
- Certificate level –1 year
- Diploma level – 1 or 2 years
- Advanced Diploma – 2 or 3 year programs
- Bachelor’s degree – 4-year programs (full-time)
- Postgraduate Diplomas/Certification – 1 or 2 years
- Master’s degrees – 1 to 2 years
- Doctorate / Ph. D. – 4 to 7 years
Top Courses to Study in Canada
- MBA: Computer Science and IT
- Business and Finance
- Core Engineering and Engineering Management
- Physical, Earth Sciences and Renewable Energy
- Agricultural Science and Forestry
- Biosciences, Medicine and Healthcare
- Media and Journalism
- Mathematics, Statistics, Actuarial Science and Analytics
- Psychology Human Resources
Student Partnership Program (SPP) Colleges
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s visa offices in India and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) started a pilot program to streamline admission and visa process for Canadian Community Colleges in order to increase the number of visas issued to Indian students for studying at Canadian Community Colleges. It was initially opened exclusively for the Indian nationals, but after a successful launch in India, the project has been extended to China as well. Around 47 Canadian colleges are listed under this program. Students planning to pursue their studies in Canada can apply to any of the participating SPP colleges. Under this program, the applications receive prompt processing and a fair decision is made based on the documents furnished by the students. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria of the college, then he/she will be considered under the SPP program.
The advantages of applying under the SPP program are as follows:
- Streamlined admission process and visa guidelines
- Less visa documentation required
- Visa processing is faster
Eligibility Criteria for SPP
The students need to fulfil the following eligibility criteria for their application to be considered under the SPP program:
- The overall IELTS score should be 6.0 with no band less than 5.5. The test score is valid for two years.
- The study gap should not be more than five years, but there are certain exceptions made for students with a three-year gap who have excellent grades with work experience.
- More than eight backlogs in recent studies are not allowed under SPP.
- Students can only apply to a course which is relevant to the student’s previous study background and which adds value to the previous education.
- Students should have minimum 50% score in their recently completed degree or diploma as per the SPP institution’s specific requirement.
- Students need to furnish proof of payment of the tuition fee for one semester or one year as per the course
- Purchase of a special Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from Scotia Bank of CAD10,200 to cover living expenses for the first year of stay in Canada.
- Students whose study visa was previously rejected are not allowed to reapply under SPP visa category.