Canada, the second-largest country in the world is a popular destination for international students. Canada is a world leader in higher education and offers students many opportunities and experiences.
Canada has it all: beautiful ski slopes in British Columbia, vibrant cities like Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, and Toronto, as well as stunning prairies in Manitoba. There are also impressive mountain ranges and friendly people all around.
You want to go to school there so it’s natural that you would. However, if you don’t know where to begin, it can feel impossible.
It can be even more complicated because each university and every program has its own requirements and rules.
Here it is The whole process is broken down into manageable steps.
1. You must meet all requirements
It takes time to apply for a university in Canada as an international student. Make sure you plan at least one year in advance. Take a look at the requirements of different courses to see which documents are required for each one.
Keep in mind that what you require for universities in one province might be completely different from what you need in the other.
However, for all universities you will likely need:
- An up-to-date passport
- Proficiency in English or French
- You can show proof of how you will fund your studies
2. Choose a course, then choose your universities
When applying to a university in Canada, you will select a major and apply for it. However, unlike the UK this is more flexible if your mind changes.
You must make sure you apply to an institution that is on the designated learning institutes (DLI) list in order to obtain a student visa and be certain you want to study at the universities you select as there are separate fees for every program and university you apply to.
IELTS is likely to be your best bet for an English language proficiency test as all universities and colleges in Canada accept it. You can also take the Cambridge English Advanced or TOEFL exams.
A proficiency test in French is required if you plan to study in France. TEF is the most popular, but you can also take DELF, DALF or TCF.
The fees for each range start at CA$100. Make sure you check the website to see how much it will cost. You can book this well in advance to guarantee a date and receive your perfect test results in time for you to apply.
4. Apply to Universities
The application process can vary from one university to another, as we have already mentioned. Reach out to universities that you are interested and they will send you your own application packets which will help you navigate the process.
Each university has a different application fee. It can be between CA$100 (US$78), to CA$250, (US$195). Before you send in applications, make sure you’re certain that you want to go there.
After your applications have been sent, you can only wait…
Congratulations if you have been accepted. You will be sent an acceptance letter once you have confirmed with the university that you wish to attend. This letter will be needed later so make sure you keep it safe.
5. Register for your permit
Online or in-person, you can apply for your visa at your local visa application center. You will need to pay the CA$150 (US$117), visa fee.
The following evidence will be required:
- Acceptance letter from DLI Uni
- Current passport
- Financial proof can be a supporter of oneself
You will need a ‘Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec’ (CAQ) if you plan to study in Quebec. This will be sent by your university.
You may be required to provide other evidence which could include your biometrics, which will cost you CA$83 (US$65), and/or an interview.
6. Start planning your journey
Was your study permit accepted? Bravo! Get your suitcase out and get planning.
Double-check the date of your visa. It is important to confirm that you are allowed to enter Canada on the designated date.
It is now the right time to organize accommodation and book your flights, trains, boats, and other travel arrangements. Have some fun looking into and discussing where you might want to stay; halls or a house and ask your university if it will provide help and support with this.
You can also now set a date for your Canadian adventure. Have a think about what you might want to take with you too with our guide to packing.
7. To begin your studies, you must arrive in Canada
You should keep all your documents in a place that is easily accessible in your hand luggage. This will allow you to hand any documentation you require to prove who and why you are there to Canadian immigration officers.
After you have completed the process, enjoy that feeling of excitement and celebrate your accomplishment! It was worth it.
Broken down, it doesn’t look so bad now, does it? You can also view the guide and print it here.
Get out there, have fun and this is the start of a magical journey.
All information is accurate at the time it was written but may change. Always check with your university or the Canadian Embassy if you have any questions.