Study in Canada – A Comprehensive Guide

Study in Canada A Comprehensive Guide

Ever wondered what makes Canada a popular destination for higher education? Students from all over the world aspire to study in Canada for numerous reasons. First and foremost, it happens to be the no. 1 country in terms of quality of life. Canada, without a doubt, presents students with a number of prestigious, quality education providing universities. In addition to that, you are welcomed by the friendliest and warmest bunch of people to ever exist. 10 of the top 250 universities in the world are located in Canada. These institutes are run by educators who are highly trained and who possess diverse perspectives towards learning. But what do Canadian universities expect out of those who want to study in Canada? Let’s find out what are the prerequisites for international students to study in Canada, what are the programmes and universities like, and familiarise ourselves with other important processes. 

Top 10 Universities in Canada

Choosing a university can be quite tricky when it comes to studying abroad. It comes in handy when you are aware of the universities out there, what courses they provide and where they stand in world ranking lists. Some of the best Canadian universities include renowned names like the University of Alberta, the University of Victoria, the University of Toronto, etc. The top 10 universities in Canada based on fees, average salaries of the alumni, world rankings, etc. are listed down below (in no particular order). 

  1. University of Toronto 
  2. McGill University 
  3. University of British Columbia 
  4. Université de Montréal
  5. University of Alberta 
  6. McMaster University 
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Western University 
  9. Queen’s University 
  10. University of Calgary 

*Also Read – List of College in Toronto 

Popular Courses to Pursue in Canada

If you wish to study in Canada, you need to have a clear vision of how to go about it. One of the key choices that you’ll be making is the educational programme or the degree course. Some of the most popular courses that international students tend to go for in Canada are – 

  1. Business and Finance (MBA and other business degrees)
  2. Engineering 
  3. Management Courses 
  4. Medicine 
  5. IT and Computer Science 

Let’s take a detailed look at some of these courses. 

MBA in Canada

In the year 2020, nine Canadian universities were ranked amongst the top 150 universities in the world for MBA. The University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, Wilfrid Laurier University, etc. are some of the best universities in Canada for MBA. For a student to study MBA in Canada, they need to fulfil a criterion that is quite straightforward. Candidates must have scored at least 76% in their Bachelor’s programme, 7.0 in IELTS or TOEFL, they must have a work experience of at least 3 to 5 years, and have a good GMAT score. Students getting an MBA in Canada often prefer specialisations like administration, digital marketing, business analytics, human resources, etc. 

The tuition fee to get an MBA in Canada can be anywhere between $16,500 to $45,000 per year. MBA in Canada is usually a 2-year programme. By Indian standards, it can be quite an expensive affair. But universities like the Univerisity of Ottawa, University of Manitoba, Saint Mary’s University, etc. provide low-cost MBA programmes that Indian students can consider. 

*Also Read – MBA in Canada & Role of TOEFL

PG Diploma in Data Science

Another programme that international students tend to pursue in Canada is a one-year PG diploma in data science. However, this programme can also be two years long based on various universities. It certainly helps for the candidates to already have a mathematics or statistics degree to enter this course. Some universities also prefer candidates with some work experience in similar fields but it is not a mandatory requirement. 

The reason behind international students choosing Canada for this course is that the country has a very high employment rate in related fields. In addition to that, Canadian schools have more than 5000 global partners, further increasing the chances of employment. This gives them the chance to easily find a job and settle there. It is, in fact, one of the best countries to reside in. A PG diploma in Canada can be the kickstart that you’re looking for towards a successful career. 

MIM in Canada

Masters in Management is again, another choice for which students from all over the world come to Canada. MIM in Canada can cost you anywhere between $14,000 to $75,000 depending on the university/ college that you pick. Students also have the choice to pick from a selection of specialisations like accounting, analytics, finance, international arts, science and more. It’s usually a 12-month programme but can be longer. Pursuing MIM in Canada can land you into a job paying from $44,000 to $97,000. The salary that you end up getting eventually is based on your university and your individual skillset. 

The University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, McGill University, HEC Montreal, etc. are some names that provide great MIM programmes for international students. Canadian universities, in general, accept applications from October to January for the upcoming academic years. However, specific dates can vary from school to school. 

PhD in Canada

There has been a significant increase in the number of international students applying to get a PhD in Canada. This has been because of the relatively affordable tuition fees, numerous post-study opportunities, and world-renowned universities located in Canada. The course fee ranges from $10,000 to $20,000, which is cheaper compared to other countries with similar programmes. In order to get into a PhD programme in Canada, a student must have a master’s degree. Getting a PhD has its perks everywhere and doing so from Canada makes it all the more prestigious. PhD students are often offered internships and teaching assistant positions for undergraduates, in addition to the stipend that they get for their research work. 

International students with great merit who wish to get a PhD in Canada but cannot afford the academic expenses can be aided with various scholarships and funding options available. 

Cost of Living in Canada as an International Student

Students from all over the world who come and study in Canada experience that the cost of living in Canada can be the polar opposite of that in their home country. Your bills will be a mix of your housing rent, food & groceries, transportation, tuition, and any other services that you use. However, there are other one-time expenses like a study permit or a work permit, which can cost you $150 to $160 each. Managing expenses and planning ahead in a foreign country can be vital. Also, living in a bigger city will cost more than a small, relatively less densely populated city. For instance, the rent in Toronto is higher than that in Montreal. Because of this, the location of your university plays a key role in the cost of living. A simple breakdown of all the inevitable expenses has been provided below. 

Particulars Cost (in CAD) per month 
Accommodation $1200 to $3000
Food & Groceries $300 to $400
Travel $80 to $160 (monthly pass)
Health Insurance $300 to $800
Recreation & Entertainment ≅$750

Almost all university goers choose to hold part-time jobs in order to save money in Canada. International students can also work part-time if their study permit allows it. Students usually resort to small jobs like waiting tables in restaurants, working as a barista, assisting teachers and the university, tutoring peers, etc. There are many small jobs that do not require you to have a work permit. 

Scholarships to Study in Canada

There are a number of scholarship options for both international and Canadian students. Scholarships to study in Canada are offered on the basis of merit and a good academic profile like any other country. Numerous scholarships registered under The New Premium Scholarships Canada provide funding for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD courses. Students from all over the world are eligible to apply. In addition to that, all the universities in Canada participate. These scholarships also cover all the majors that students can choose from. As a result of these, there are no academic restrictions whatsoever. Listed below are some popular scholarship programmes to study in Canada. 

  1. Justin Trudeau Foundation Scholarship 
  2. Canada Graduate Scholarships for Masters Program 
  3. Vanier Canada Scholarship for Graduate Students 
  4. Ontario Graduate Scholarship 
  5. Albert Canadian Scholarship 

*Also Read – Board of Governors Graduate Students Research Scholarship in the University of Lethbridge

Canadian Student Visa

In Canada, the visa process for students is just like most countries. You can apply for a Canadian student visa both online and offline. You are required to produce certain documentation in order to get a Canadian student visa. This includes your admission offer letter from the Designated Learning Institution (Canadian university that you have applied and accepted into). To apply for the visa, you need to log on to the Canada Immigration website, fill in the required details, upload scanned copies of the necessary documents, and pay the application fee using credit or debit cards. You will also have to pay for police certificates, biometrics, medical examinations, language tests, etc. at the visa centre. In order to apply offline, you just simply have to download and print the application form from the website and visit your nearest visa application centre to carry out the process further. 

Make sure that you do not confuse a study permit for a visa. The government of Canada issues a study permit for international students that allow them to stay in the country up to 90 days after the course has concluded. In case your course is not finished in the predetermined time frame, you will be required to apply for the extension of your study permit. This happens in the case of students failing a year or a semester or other external factors. 

List of Documents Required to Get a Canadian Student Visa

  • Proof of Identity (Passport & passport-sized photographs) 
  • Acceptance letter from DLI
  • Proof of Finance 
  • Letter of Explanation 
  • College Transcripts 
  • Degrees 
  • Diplomas and other academic certificates 
  • Scorecards of TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc. 

*Note – You might need some additional documentation that you will be informed about by the visa centres. 

Can You Study in Canada after 12th?

Canadian universities offer a wide range of UG, diploma and certificate courses for high school graduates from around the globe. Students who wish to study in Canada after 12th can choose from the best universities and colleges that made it to the QS world ranking list. Indian students also tend to pick Canada for their higher education because it has proven itself to provide both affordable and quality education at the same time. 

However, there each university has its own eligibility criteria for accepting students, there are some requirements that are common to most universities. Every class 12th graduate must have scored a minimum of 65-70% marks in their final exams. Apart from that, they must also have scored qualifying marks in language proficiency tests. 

Job Opportunities After Studying in Canada

Now that you already know that there are endless possibilities in Canada when it comes to finding part-time jobs alongside academics, it’s time we talk about job prospects after graduating from Canada. Many international students intend to find jobs in Canada and settle there. Which is a great step towards becoming a Canadian citizen. 

Also, a degree from Canada will be valued by employers all over the world. This not only increases the number of opportunities that you get but also brings you high paying starting offers. Some of the top recruiters in Canada includes names like Amazon, Deloitte, IBM, Accenture, HSBC, etc. 

Average Salary for Canadian Graduates

The average annual salaries of commonly offered job profiles are provided below. 

Job Title Avg. Salary Per Year (CAD)
IT Manager $85,074
Architect $147,000
Graphic Designer $75,800
Marketing Manager$62,885
Engineer $109,000
HR Manager $178,000
Account Manager$178,000

Why Study in Canada?

You must have heard that the quality of life in Canada is best among other countries. But what makes it so? For starters, it is a multicultural society. It has an official national policy of multiculturalism. You get to experience fresh perspectives on life itself if you happen to live in Canada. No wonder the people do a good job co-existing harmoniously. The people are nice, tolerant and polite. This not only makes life stress free for themselves but others as well. 

If you choose to study in Canada, you get quality education from institutes with superb reputations worldwide. Canada spends more on education compared to other countries. This implies that education is not only a responsibility but also a priority in the country. 

The economy is evergrowing and presents work opportunities for individuals from overseas as well. The taxes are observably decreasing and the inflation rate is a low 2.3%. 


Ques. – What is the minimum IELTS score for Canada?

Ans. – The minimum IELTS score required to study in Canada is 5.5. However, most universities consider an IELTS score of 6.0 or above. Some universities provide waivers in certain cases. So it is also possible to study in Canada without IELTS

Ques. – How much money can you earn working part-time in Canada?

Ans. – As a student, you can work 20 hrs a week. Most part-time jobs pay at least around $10 an hour. Ideally, you should be able to make $200 a week which is $800 a month. 

Ques. – I am enrolled in an online course in Canada. Am I eligible for getting a post-graduation work permit?

Ans. – Under normal circumstances, students completing online courses are ineligible for PGWP in Canada. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be able to get these permits. Read more here

Ques. – What is the student visa application fee for Canada?

Ans. – A visitor visa cost $100 per person while a study permit and work permit can cost an additional $150 and $155 respectively. 

Ques. – What are some colleges in Canada that accept IELTS band 6?

Ans. – Some of the colleges in Canada accepting IELTS band 6 are Fleming College, Northern College, Lethbridge College, Lambton College, Durham College, HEC Montreal, etc. 

Ques. – What is SPP? What are some SPP colleges in Canada?

Ans. – SPP stands for Student Partners Program. The program has been launched in association with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. SPP is responsible for streamlining the admissions and visa processes in Canada. Some SPP colleges in Canada are Algonquin College, Bow Valley College, Conestoga College, Douglas College, etc.