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Study in Canada


What are Canada’s highlights?

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries for international students. Home to some of the world’s best educational institutions, seven of its universities rank among the top 200 in the world, according to Times Higher Education Ranking (2020).

As of 2018, there were more than 572,000 international students in Canada with most of them from India, China, South Korea, and France. The number of Indian students enrolled in Canada’s education system has been increasing for years. Compared to 2017, it jumped by 16% in 2018.

Not only does Canada provide world-class quality education, but the cost of studying and living in is also more affordable compared to the other popular study abroad destinations"

Education System

Under this section, let us understand the post-secondary education system of Canada. This is the term for education after Grade 12 in Canada.
According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education, 75% of international students in Canada were enrolled in post-secondary education in 2017.

CEGEP stands for Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel
There are mainly two types of post-secondary institutions – universities and colleges and these two terms are not used interchangeably in Canada.

Type of institutions Key Points

Majorly degree-granting.

May also provide Postgraduate diplomas and certificates (up to one year).
In 2017, India was in the top 2 countries for citizenship of International students at the
university level.
Colleges and institutes

Colleges and :- Provide training in applied fields of work.

Provide training in applied fields of work.
Known by many other names such as colleges, community colleges, colleges of
arts or applied technology, institutes of technology or science,
collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel in Quebec.


While universities majorly offer Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees,
following table briefs about the programs offered by Colleges in Canada.

Programs offered by Colleges Key points
Associate degree

60 credits course.

Common subjects: Associate of Arts (Business) and Associate of Arts (Science).

Equip students with skills and knowledge for an entry-level job.
Applied degree

Designed to meet industry demands and inculcate analytical skills.

Common subjects: Bachelor of Applied Business (Accounting, Financial Services, E-
Business, International Business, Automotive Management, and Hospitality)
and Bachelor of Applied Information Science among many others.

Diploma Designed for technical, trades or vocational fields.
May have a co-op internship or other apprenticeship options.
Credits or points collected during a diploma may be extended to a bachelor’s degree.

Top Courses

MS & Bachelors in Engineering and MBA are the most popular courses that international students take up in the top universities in Canada for masters. Within MBA, students prefer to do masters in Marketing, Finance, and HR. Other popular courses include:

  • Bachelors in Information Technology
  • Bachelors in Business Management
  • Masters in Marketing
  • MS (Engineering)
  • Masters in Finance
  • Masters in Pharmacy
  • Masters in Computer Science Engineering
  • Masters in Petroleum Engineering
  • Masters in Environmental Engineering
  • Masters in Biotechnology
  • Masters in Supply Chain Management
  • Masters in Life Sciences
Aerospace Engineering
Course Duration - 12 Months
Chemical Engineering
Course Duration - 20 Months
Civil Engineering
Course Duration - 20 Months
Computer Science (Non-Thesis)
Course Duration - 24 Months
Electrical Engineering
Course Duration - 20 Months
Mechanical Engineering
Course Duration - 18 Months

Admission Process

While the table below briefs the courses and the pre-requisite for admission in Canadian institutions, it is recommended that a student checks for a course’s requirement on the official site of a university or a college.

Institution Level of Studies Requirements Duration
College Certificate/Diploma

Minimum of Higher second class in intermediate (i.e., above 55%)

IELTS (overall 6 with no sections less than 5.5) TOEFL- 80-84

1 year
University/College Bachelor’s degree First class in Intermediate 
IELTS (Overall 6.5 with no sections less than 6.0)
TOEFL- 88-100
3-4 years
College Associate Degree Minimum of Higher second class in intermediate (i.e., above 55%)
IELTS (Overall 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in writing band)
2 years
College Applied degree IELTS 6.0 AND
Engineering degree or basic science graduation degree OR
2-year diploma
4 years
University/College Post Graduate certificate/ Diploma Bachelor’s degree 50-60% academics ( 3 or 4 Years)
IELTS (Overall 6.5 with no sections less than 6.0)
TOEFL- 88-93
1-2 years
University Master's Degree 1st Class in Bachelor's degree (4 Years)
IELTS (Overall 6.5 to 7.5 with no sections less than 6.0 or 6.5)
TOEFL- 88-100 (Graduate studies)
2-3 years
University MBA 2-3 years of work experience 2 years GMAT between 550- 730 TOEFL- 88-100 IELTS- 6.5 - 7.5 16 years of education with first class 2 years


Cost of Attendance

Canadian education is relatively affordable compared to many countries. Average masters tuition fees in Canada can be anywhere between CAD 13, 000 to CAD 66, 000.
While for under graduation, it can lie between CAD 20,000 to CAD 56,000. Table below gives you an idea for some courses. The figures have been taken from Statistics Canada.

Average Cost of Study in Canada Cost of Undergraduate Study (CAD) Cost of Postgraduate Study (CAD)
Architecture 26,457 23,992
Business, management and public administration 28,680 24,693
Engineering 33,703 19,301
Mathematics, computer and information sciences 33,012 16,647
Communications technologies 25,127 14,737
BBA 25,000-45,000 Not Applicable
Executive MBA Not Applicable 66,665
Regular MBA Not Applicable 38,950

Living expenses may range from CAD 1250 to CAD 2500 but will vary according to your course, college or university, your location in Canada and your lifestyle.

Best student cities

Popular cities to study in Canada.

  • Montreal
  • Toronto (known to be safest for women)
  • Vancouver
  • Ottawa
  • Quebec


Canada student permit is a document issued by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) required by international students to study in Canada. The student permit is issued for the duration of the period a student will need to complete the program.

In the points below, we will provide steps to follow to procure a study permit. Please note that you are advised to read thoroughly every point in the links provided below as these form a part of the official government website of Canada.

  • Read the instructions carefully and apply for a study permit.
  • You can also know your application fees. This amounts for CAD 150.
  • Check if you have the required documents.
  • Create an account and start your application process online.
  • In case, you are not comfortable uploading the documents by yourself, you may choose to post those offline with the help of VFS Global.
    In India, you can apply for a Canadian Visa at VFS Global Services Centres located in Mumbai, Ahmedabad (West India), Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad (South India), New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar (North India), Kolkata (East India).
    It provides complete information for Canadian student visa, visa forms, Canadian visa fees, visa processing time, visa status check (visa tracker), and procedure to apply for the visa.
  • If you have been instructed to contact a visa office in your area, the list of available centres. There is a list of documents you may need to carry to the centre.
  • Problems may arise while opening your application form but there are solutions to it.
  • After you have applied, you may need to go to a visa centre to give fingerprints and photographs.
  • The processing time after submission of your application can be checked online.

Points to note

  • You don’t need student permit if your course is of lesser than 6 months duration. 
  • Purchase of GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate): This forms a part of documents required to get a student permit as a part of financial proofs. The students must buy a special guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) from any of the participating banks like Nova Scotia Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Canada Bank, CIBC Bank for the amount of CAD 10,200 for the adjustment of the living expenses of the first year. Approx. $200 will be deducted as the administrative charges of Bank (It depends on Bank to Bank). The student receives $ 2000 immediately after arrival in Canada. Next $8000 will be paid to the students in 12 equal instalments as each month’s living expenses.

Top Scholarships

Given below is a set of universities, third parties and government institutions that offer scholarship opportunities to international students wanting to pursue their studies abroad.

List of scholarships for Study Abroad for Fall/Spring 2020

  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship
  • GyanDhan Scholarship
  • Provost Entrance Scholarship for International Students
  • Principal's Scholarship
  • Excellence Scholarship
  • Queen's University International Admission
  • Principal's International Scholarship - India
  • Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarships
  • H.Y. Louie and Lohn Entrance Award
  • Lloyd Carr-Harris Entrance Scholarship
  • India First Year Execellence Scholarship
  • India Centenary Scholarship
  • UoA Global Citizenship Scholarship for IB Diploma
  • International Student Scholarship
  • University of Alberta Gold Standard Scholarship
  • International Major Entrance Scholarship
  • Outstanding International Student Award
  • Seymour Schulich Academic Excellence Entrance Scholarship
  • UCalgary International Entrance Scholarship
  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award
  • Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award
  • President's Scholarship
  • Chancellor's Scholarship
  • Faculty of Arts Dean's Merit Scholarship
  • Faculty of Engineering Dean's Merit Scholarship
  • UOttawa Financial Aid Bursary for International Students
  • The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships
  • Aga Khan Academy Renewable Scholarship
  • International Entrance Scholarship
  • International IB Scholarship
  • President's beyond borders fund
  • President's Vietnam Scholarship
  • President’s Scholarship
  • Merit Scholarship
  • International Entrance Scholarship of Distinction
  • Global Leader of Tomorrow Award for International Students
  • International Circle of Scholar’s Scholarship
  • York University Academic Excellence Scholarships

Work Opportunities

Masters in Data Science & Analytics Abroad
After completing a Masters in Data Science & Analytics degree, you can be hired for numerous jobs some of which are listed below:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Big Data Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • Statistician


How many hours can someone work on a student visa in Canada?

Students can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester period and full-time during the breaks. There are lots of things to consider when working in Canada.

How much proof of funds do I need to show while applying for a study visa in Canada?

A single student (without a spouse) needs to show Tuition plus $10,000 for 12 months (or $833 per month).
In Quebec, this amount may vary according to the student’s age.

Which English language test should I give for Canada study: TOEFL or IELTS?

Canadian Universities accept IELTS, TOEFL and CAE Advanced as a proof of proficiency in English language. Still, it is good to verify in the ‘eligibility criteria’ within your shortlisted university.

Under what cases do Canada Visa get rejected?

If you have submitted incomplete applications or documents found are fraudulent, your visa can get rejected. Lack of sufficient funds proof may also get your application denied.

What are the requirements for study permit in Canada?

Some documents you primarily need to get a study permit in Canada are valid passport (valid until course completion), your acceptance letter from your university or college, finding proof to support your education, a visa form, visa application fee and biometric fees.

Which is the best city to study in Canada?

7 Canadian universities rank among top 200 according to QS WORLD RANKINGS 2020. These are from Toronto, Montreal, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

What is the cost of education and living in Canada?

The tuition fee ranges from CAD 10,000 to $ 25,000 per year and the average cost of living including everything should be around CAD 600 to CAD 800 per month.

Is Canada Visa easy to get?

Unlike US since there is no face to face interview, the perception is that Canadian visa is easier, most importantly since the country has a very open door policy for internationals and immigration rules are liberal it’s comparatively easier to get the visa, overall documentation and rationale is the same.

Under what conditions can I be exempted to apply for a QAC?

If you don’t intend to study in Quebec.
If your program’s length in Quebec is less than 6 months. However, it is recommended to enquire with the university in case you plan to extend your stay.

What is the duration of a Bachelor’s degree in Canada?

For most of the universities, it is 4 years. If students are involved in co-op or other internship programs, it may extend up to 5 years. For students studying in Quebec, the duration is 3 years.

What are the chances of getting a postgraduate degree after you have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

Once you have completed a BA degree in a Canadian tertiary institute you are more than welcome to continue your postgraduate studies in this country, having full legal support from the Canadian authorities regarding migration policies.

What type of documentation will I need to apply for a student visa in Canada?

  • Proof of acceptance and enrolment to an accredited academic institution in Canada
  • Possess a valid passport, travel document, and provide proof of financial support;
  • Ties to their home country and evidence of their intention to leave Canada at the end of their studies.
  • Additionally, students have to have proof of no criminal history or endangering medical conditions of any sort and willingly undergo medical testing as required.

What are the popular fields of studies in Canada?

Some high in demand fields include Life Sciences, Computer Science, Biological Science, Food Technology, and Chemistry. Many Canadian MBA programs are ranked among the top in the World Ranking.

Is the education system the same as in the USA?

Yes, it is similar in terms of the 10+2+4 education system.

What is the official website for applying for Canada immigration?

Sign in to your IRCC secure account -

Do students seeking a Ph.D. in Canada require any references to apply?

In Canada’s selection process to admit research students, it is important to have a faculty contact, else the process does not proceed. In Masters, too, some courses may require faculty contact.

Are there any more tests other than IELTS for admission to Canadian institutions?

Depending on the course, you may need to clear tests other than IELTS such as
GMAT to pursue an MBA in a reputed Canadian university
TOEFL may be required as an English Proficiency test. This should be checked on the university website
GRE- Only a few universties and courses need GRE general test.

Why do I need a sponsor to study in Canada?

After receiving an acceptance letter from a school, you shall have to pay Tuition fees for the first year of your education. However, the Canadian government needs to be assured that you have enough funds to be able to complete your course. Hence, a sponsor is required whose documents show that you have enough funds to live while in Canada.

Can you give a summary of the types of fees to be paid in the entire process to get admission in Canada?

Apart from fees involved in the shipping of documents, in case you opt for the offline process, the following are major checkpoints to note:

  • Application fees for a university
  • Score reporting fees for entrance tests like GRE, TOEFL/IELTS
  • Tuition fees to pay for the first year of your course as mentioned in the acceptance letter
  • Purchase of GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) as a proof of funds for your living expenses
  • Proof of funds with your sponsor to show that you will be able to pay for the complete course of your studies (other than the first year) in Canada
    Visa processing fees to acquire a study permit or a work permit or both as required.

Will I be able to adapt to Canadian institutions?

Well, that entirely depends on your interests. However, since Canada is one of the leading destinations for post-secondary studies, there has to be something right it is doing to attract international students. Most of Canadian institutions ensure comfort for their international students by arranging counselling sessions, encouraging them to join student clubs and orientation programs.

How are Postgraduate diplomas and certificates offered by universities helpful during my graduation?

Such diplomas and certificates enhance a student’s resume as their primary aim is to add to a student’s knowledge of a subject. Upon completion of such diplomas, one may choose to transfer into a Master’s program depending on the subject and the university.

Do Canadian institutions accept the 10+2+3 education system of India?

Yes, the 10+2+3 system is accepted for postgraduate (PG) diploma programs however, for masters, almost all universities require 10+2+4. However, certain universities may accept 10+2+3 for masters in selected programs on a case-to-case basis.
Unlike India, Canada has two parallel education systems wherein colleges and universities are separate entities. Colleges offer PG diplomas and universities offer masters programs. Some universities may also offer PG diploma programs in selected courses.

What are the options available to me if I have only completed 15 years of education and I need 16 for entry into a Masters level program?

Some Universities may accept you with a 3 year Bachelor’s degree e.g., York University. Others may evaluate your academic history and consider you for a direct entry to Masters if you have an excellent academic record, so it is highly recommended you check with the University of CEC. If not, you will have one of the following options:

  • You can complete your Master’s degree here in India, and apply for the same thereafter in Canada, or
  • You may complete your Master’s degree here in India, and apply for your Ph.D. thereafter in Canada, or
  • You may apply for admission into a College/University in Canada, enrolling into a PG Diploma program, or you may enrol in the Graduate Diploma/Pre MBA course in a Canadian University
  • You may try to get your credits transferred to a University there, entering your 3rd or 4th year in a Bachelors program. (For this you would need to contact the Admissions Department of the Institution applied for).

Under what conditions am I not allowed to work as a student?

An international student must stop working the day they no longer meet the eligibility requirements. There is an important exemption to this regulation: students enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program are not authorized to work with a study permit.

What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

It is a process that gets you faster procurement of your study permit in Canada.

Can my family live with me when I am studying in Canada?

Through the Student Direct Stream, you can get your family members while studying with you.

What is the minimum age to get a student visa in Canada?

Though there is no age limit to study in Canada, you need to acquire a student permit even if you are minor. The age limit also varies with province and territories.

Can I directly start working after my course is completed?

Professions such as law, education and medicine may require an internship or examination before achieving a license to work.

Does University of Toronto offer any diploma or certificate?

University of Toronto awards Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting (GDipPA) to students.

How to prepare SOPs and other documents for the application process?

It is quite understandable that this is one of the time consuming part of the entire application process. However, this is one of the most important of them as well. A good SOP can fetch you dream admits and a bad one can force rejections upon you despite having a decent profile. Write a rough draft and make revisions.
Try to get inputs from a lot of seniors/friends and fine-tune them to get the best version of it. Do customize it from one university to another.
Do not have one generic SOP to be sent to universities.
SOPs must not be explaining your CVs. They must be focusing on pieces of stuff that cannot be captured in CVs. More like the characteristics/traits you possess with some real-time examples justifying your claims.
Stick to the number of words that are expected by the admission committee. Typically, an SOP is 700 to 800 words long.

As a research student, what should I take care of while contacting a professor?

Select 6 to 8 Professors from different universities working on an area where you are most interested in. Carefully study the most recent and active projects that the Professors are working on. Check if the Professors have an active grant and are willing to hire new grad students. Without a call for prospective students enlisted in the website, it is recommended not to e-mail a Professor.
Try to find a few tutorials online on how to prepare a research summary by listing down the strong and weak/improvement points of a research paper. Sending this will increase your chances and will give some assurance to the Professors that you are interested and willing to commit yourself to take up the stage. If the Professor doesn’t get back to you, wait for a couple of weeks and then send him/her a gentle reminder! A word of caution, “Do not spam their mailbox!”

What key points should I remember on university’ website for choosing courses?

  • Visit the respective department websites
  • Admission Requirements / Entry Criteria
  • Check for application/scholarship deadline
  • Course structure

Faculty page if you are a research student as it shall provide you information about the latest research going under a professor.

How do I apply for a work permit if not eligible for a co-op internship?

Work permits can still be applied depending on whether you have got your study permit or not.

What is a Co-op internship program? Am I eligible for this?

Your eligibility is subjected to the requirement of the course you choose. Some courses require work experience as a part of their curriculum for which you may require a work permit as well.

What is the ideal time to apply to study in Canada?

Generally, the application period ranges from mid-October to late-January. If you are planning on securing an admission, you will have to apply as early as possible. The Professors will be on a Winter break from the last week of December to the first week of January.