Studying in Canada
Why Study in Canada
With affordable tuition fees, quality institutions, flexibility to work during study, post-study work and immigration options, and welcoming people, it is no surprise that Canada is one of the premiere destinations for international students, drawing in over 300,000 new international students annually. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) 2018 International Student Survey, the overwhelming majority of students (93%) say they are satisfied with their educational experience.
One of the biggest reasons students choose to come to Canada is the quality of a Canadian education. Canadian degrees and diplomas are widely recognized as comparable to those from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Canadian universities and colleges consistently place high on international rankings. The Canadian government invests heavily in the Canadian education system. As a result, Canada has one of the highest rates of post secondary education completion (61%) amongst the OECD member countries.
Unsurprisingly, Canadian teachers, professors, and researchers are also amongst the most qualified academic professionals around the world. Canada also attracts top international faculty because of its investments in cutting-edge research in areas such as medical science, pharmaceuticals, information technology and artificial intelligence.
Successful completion of secondary school is a requirement for admission into an undergraduate program in Canada. In the Canadian context, this means that a student must have completed Grade 12 or equivalent to gain admission. A three or four year Bachelor’s Degree is required, on the other hand, for admission into postgraduate degree programs. Regular and advanced diplomas are sufficient for admission into a postgraduate diploma or certificate program. Some institutions may accept work experience as a substitute for the required degree if the student has extenuating circumstances.
Depending on the nature of the program, students may need to provide supplementary non-academic documents or test scores to support their admission application. These could include personal statements, essays, resumes, GRE/GMAT scores, etc. Applications may be rejected due to missing documents. Personal statements and/or essays are also frequently needed for competitive undergraduate programs and professional programs. Many postgraduate programs also require a GRE/GMAT test score as part of their requirements.
Some post secondary academic programs require students to have taken Grade 12 equivalent courses in related subjects. For example, students applying for engineering programs frequently need to have taken Grade 12 level math and physics courses. The prerequisite course requirements vary by program and by school.
English Language Requirements
Since English is the primary language of instruction in Canadian post-secondary institutions (outside of Quebec), students applying from a non-English speaking country need to demonstrate English proficiency through an English Language Test as part of their admission applications. All Canadian institutions accept English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as proof of language proficiency. Some Canadian post-secondary institutions may also accept test scores from other accredited language assessment institutes.
In Canada, admissions are typically offered for entry in fall (September), winter (January) and summer (May). September is considered the official start of the school year and that’s when the biggest intake occurs. Many programs are only available for admission in the fall. Private colleges and vocational schools often have new classes starting every one to two months. As a result, students can apply to begin their education at any point in the year. Application deadlines vary by institution, as well as by programs.