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International English Language Testing System [IELTS]

International English Language Testing System(IELTS) is an international standardized test that measures the level...

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Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL]

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an international standardised test conducted to assess the level of English fluency of non-native speakers...

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Pearson Test of English [PTE]

PTE (Pearson Test of English) is an English language proficiency test conducted by Pearson PCL group in association with Edexcel. Any person whose na...

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Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an international standardized test required for admission into Graduate schools in the United States...

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Graduate Management Admission Test [GMAT]

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Study in Canada: Costs, Visa Process, Top Universities, Application & Interview, Job Opportunities

Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
Study Abroad Expert

Over the past decade, foreign students have been flocking to study in Canada, especially from Asian countries like India and China. The international student population in Canada is booming over the years, now exceeding over 642,000 in 2019. The latest data released by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicates 404,000 new study permits approved to study in Canada, 2019. 

Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia are the largest beneficiaries of foreign students studying in Canada. The number of students holding Canadian study permits is nearly 500,000. Countries like India, China, and Korea contribute to a major part of this population. The graphical representation below discussed how a rise has been observed in the number of international study permit holders for a time span of 10 years (2010-2019). 

Study Permit Holders in Canada 2010-2019

Study in Canada: Top Colleges for International Students

Top CollegesAvg. Annual Fees (INR)
University of Toronto 34.55 lakhs
University of British Columbia27.89 lakhs
McGill University9.96 lakhs
McMasters University17.81 lakhs
University of Montreal14.38 lakhs
University of Alberta 14.67 lakhs
University of Ottawa29.85 lakhs
University of Calgary10.08 lakhs
University of Waterloo20.86 lakhs
Western University18.04 lakhs
Queen’s University12.04 lakhs
Calgary University12.09 lakhs
University of Ottawa13.14 lakhs
Dalhousie University11.40 lakhs
Simon Fraser University16.01 lakhs
University of Victoria13.58 lakhs

Why International Students Study in Canada?

Apart from offering education excellence through top universities in Canada, the reasons driving international student’s desire to study in Canada are manifold. Some of these are discussed in details as:

  • Easy visa policy: Canada welcomes the international student population with open arms. The immigration-friendly policies and multi-cultural cities make it easier for students to live abroad.
  • Cost-effective quality education: Considered a better study location as compared to the USA, Canada ensures that its students receive a quality education at affordable prices. The cost of studying in Canada is relatively lower and the scholarship opportunities available are relatively more. 
  • Plenty of similar job opportunities for natives and immigrants: The job sector in Canada for each and every kind of work profile offers both natives and immigrants with  
  • Declining international acceptance rates in the US: The acceptance rate of US F1 visa has seen a decline which opens doors for Canada as the next popular study destination. 
  • Canada’s International Education Strategy (2019-2024) aiming to promote global ties and diversify the education sector.
Student Population to study in Canada

With burgeoning middle-income aspirants in the developing countries, reduced costs of education and living expenses have played a vital role in the rising demand for study in Canada. Canadian universities are expected to see a large part of incoming foreign students in the future due to the uncertainties surrounding visa approval in the US.

Pardon us if we forgot to warn you about the Canadian weather. Despite all the pros of studying in Canada, adjusting to extreme cold weather can be a little overwhelming for international students, especially those coming from tropical areas.

What to Study in Canada?

Education in Canada is cheaper and recognized globally. The flexibility and variety of programs offered by the education system in Canada is the foremost reason why the number of international students studying in Canada has grown by nearly 90% since 2008. The education system of Canada is divided into three levels: -

  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Post-secondary Education

The Hierarchy: After completing their elementary and secondary education for up to the age of 16-18, students move on to their Post-secondary Education. Listed are the post-secondary programs and their duration in the Canadian higher education system.

Post-Secondary ProgramsDuration
Certificate1 year
Diploma1 to 2 years
Advanced Diploma2 to 3 years
Bachelor’s Degree4 years full-time study
Post-Graduate Diploma or Certificates1 or 2 years
Master’s Degree1 to 2 years
Doctorate or Ph.D.4 to 7 years

With a huge number of short-term courses in Canada open for international students, you can find many designated colleges offering only short-term courses like diploma and certificate programs for a specific level of education.  

Language Requirements: Out of the two official languages of Canada i.e. English and French, students need to be well acquainted with any one of these languages compulsorily. One can also opt for language courses offered at some of the Canadian universities.

Top Programs in Canada

Top ProgramUniversityCost
BBA in CanadaUToronto, SFU, Dalhousie University18-22 lakh
BTechUToronto, University of Calgary, UBC6-28 lakhs
MBA in CanadaU of T, McGill University, UWO11-59 lakhs
MS in Data ScienceUBC, Ryerson University, U of T12 lakhs
MS in Business AnalyticsUBC, York University, University of Alberta14-36 lakhs
Masters in Computer ScienceUToronto, UWaterloo, UBC9.5 to 57.9 lakhs
Masters in Civil EngineeringU of T, UBC, UWaterloo14-22 lakhs
PG Diploma CoursesAlgonquin College, Centennial College, Fleming College7-15 lakhs

Popular Programs and Courses in Canada: The most popular courses opted by international students in Canada are in the field of Business and Finance, Engineering, Computer Science and IT, Humanities, Health & Medicine, Life Sciences, and Media & Journalism. Here are some more programs to look forward to studying in Canada:

Masters in Engineering ManagementMasters in ArchitectureMasters in Psychology
Interior design coursesBSc. Nursing M.Ed.
Masters in Cyber SecurityMasters in Artificial IntelligencePharmD 
Masters in Health InformaticsMasters in Social WorkMasters in Software Engineering
B.ArchMasters in CriminologyMasters in Statistics

Where to Study in Canada?

Apart from wishing to studying in your preferred university, you might be interested in knowing the best student cities in Canada. Some of the most popular student cities include Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, and Edmonton. Here is what you can expect when choosing universities in these particular student cities:

  • Toronto: Located in the province of Ontario, Toronto is home to Canada’s most reputable university, U of T. It is also the largest city in Canada and boasts of being one of the world’s most multicultural cities. The city is known as the financial center of Canada, with 5 of the largest banks in the country. 
  • Vancouver: This young city in Canada, is the third-largest metropolis in the country. It makes it to the most liveable cities in the world. Home to universities like University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and more, it is best for students who wish to combine city-living with laid back outdoors within easy reach.
  • Montreal: Canada’s second-largest city is highest in concentration of post-secondary students. It also features in Best Student Cities as per QS. It is home to universities like McGill, University de Montreal, and Concordia University.
  • Edmonton: The capital of province Alberta, Edmonton is also popularly called the Festival City. It is home to UAlberta and offers students relatively decent weather to survive in Canada.  

Canada Student Visa

International students must obtain a study permit to study in Canada for a duration of more than 6 months or continue ongoing education in Canada. A student visa in Canada is known as a study permit.

When should you apply for the study permit?

Planning is the most important part when deciding to study abroad. Students aspiring to study in Canada are advised to apply for their study permit 4 to 6 months prior to the beginning of their classes.

What documents are required to apply for the student permit?

  • A letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution (DLI) is mandatory to apply for a student visa.
  • Valid passport or travel document
  • Identity proof, authorized by the resident’s government.
  • A financial statement in support of the candidate’s eligibility to meet living costs and fees is also required.
  • Medical information
  • A letter defining your statement of purpose to study in Canada and how will you add to the pool of resources there.

Apply: Application for Canada Student Permit can be made online and offline via:

  • Government of Canada Key, log in at GCKey
  • Visit the nearest VAC (Visa Application Centre) or apply at the entry port

You can restore your status as a student if you are planning to extend your stay in Canada by renewing the study permit for 350 CAD (Restoring status - 200 CAD & new study permit - 150 CAD)

How should you prepare for the visa interview?

After the visa application process, students are called for an interview. This process is a bit strenuous and requires a lot of preparation. Students are advised to go through a student guide for tips to crack visa interviews.

Visa Interview

If you are accepted at a Quebec based institution, produce the following documents additionally:

  • Letter of explanation/ Statement of Purpose of visit
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)

Find out What can result in Rejection of Canadian Study Permit

Canada study permit takes 6 weeks’ time for processing. However, with the introduction of the SDS Program, students from China, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines can get their visas within 45 days.

Rise in indian students holding Canadian Visa

How can the students immigrate to Canada?

Migrating to Canada becomes easy after obtaining a degree from a Canadian university. The Canadian government has many programs dedicated to the transition of an international student into a permanent resident.

For recent graduates, Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is open to gain some working experience within the Canadian industry.

Some of the other offers for international students include:

  • Canadian Experience Class: For students who have completed 2 years of education and have work experience of 1 year.
  • Quebec Experience Class: Students must have proficiency in the French language and completion of the CEGEP program from an institution in Quebec.
  • Provincial Nomination Program: Eligible candidates apply via a paper-based process or express entry after getting nominated by the province officials.

Cost of Studying in Canada

When planning to study abroad, the tuition costs and budget planning are the first things crossing our minds.

You need not worry much about Canada Study costs. It stands out to be the most student-friendly country among others due to its affordable study options. Studying and living in Canada may cost up to $38,000- $39,000 per year for an international student. The tuition fee for an undergraduate degree varies from 1,800 CAD per year to 20,000 CAD per year. Cost of accommodation, food, books, and supplies, as well as transportation, add to your budget. Estimated annual expense average around 12,000 CAD.

Tuition Fees for Popular Courses in Canada

Courses Total Fees in INR
MBA in Canada11-59 lakhs
Masters in Canada14-22 lakhs
Masters in Data Science 12 lakhs
Masters in Business Analytics 14-36 lakhs
Masters in Computer Science9.5 to 57.9 lakhs
BTech in Canada1.1 Cr or more
PG Diploma in Canada7-15 lakhs
Masters in International Business19-49 lakhs
Masters in Mechanical Engineering8 to 29 lakhs
Bachelors in Computer Science88 lakhs

Tuition Fees in Canada vs USA and UK

CountryLevel of StudyCosts (CAD)Cost (INR equivalents)
CANADAUndergraduate$7,700 - $23,200 CAD3-12 Lakhs
Graduate$11,600 - $27,000 CAD6-15 Lakhs

Undergraduate$7,700 - $27,000 CAD3-15 Lakhs
Graduate$15,500 - $46,500 CAD8-25 Lakhs

Undergraduate$11,000 - $20,000 CAD6-11 Lakhs
Graduate$13,600 - $27,800 CAD7-15 Lakhs

Scholarships to Study in Canada

To reduce the financial burden, students can apply to scholarship programs for international students initiated by the Government of Canada.

Banting Postdoctoral FellowshipsCanadian and Foreign citizens$54,219 per year (taxable)Registration at Canadian Common CV and ResearchNet Account
Canada-CARICOM Leadership Scholarships ProgramStudents from Caribbean Countries pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs4 months: $5,576; 
5-6 months: $7,513;
8 months: $11,386
Canadian institutes register at ‘International Scholarships Canada Application Tool’ for eligible students
Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED)Students from ASEAN countries5-6 months: $8,675;
8 months: $11,153
Scholarships Canada Application Tool’ for eligible students
Queen’s University International Scholarship IndiaIndian applicants with 80% or more$15,314No application required
Queen’s University International ScholarshipsFor international students with higher academic grades$6,969No application required
UBC International Major Entrance ScholarshipUG applicant for UBC with high academic gradesVariableNo application required

Jobs after Studying in Canada

Jobs in Canada are available for students of all levels, graduates, and professionals alike. Plenty of work-study in Canada options is available for international students. You can work either on-campus or off-campus, you can work as a co-op student or as an intern. You also have the option to stay and work in Canada after your graduation. You will need a work permit (PGWP) to work in Canada. Application for Post-graduation Work Permit costs $255 CAD.

Jobs after MBA in CanadaEngineering Jobs in CanadaJobs for Medical Graduates Jobs for Law Graduates in CanadaJobs for Computer Science Graduates

Job opportunities available for graduates from the high-demanding fields of Management, Engineering, and Medicine:

FieldsJob ProfileExpected Average Package
ManagementRecruitment Professional Specialized$62,932
Statistician and Actuaries$69,404
Senior Business Manager$75,241
EngineeringChemical Engineer$65840
Mechanical Engineer$61,967
Environmental Engineer$80348

The Canadian universities with the highest employability rate are: 

Study in Canada: ROI for Top Universities

UniversityFees (lakhs INR)Salaries Offered (INR/yr)
U of T34.564 to 98 lakhs
UBC27.8958 lakhs to 1. Cr
McGill9.9652 to 90 lakhs
McMaster17.8141 to 89 lakhs
UAlberta14.6742 to 53 lakhs
uOttawa29.8537 to 96 lakhs
University of Calgary10.0841 lakhs to 1.1 Cr
University of Waterloo20.8649 lakhs to 1.4 Cr

Here are some important things to take away with you, if you are planning to study in Canada:

How much does it cost to study in Canada?

The costs vary depending on the university of choice or level of study. However, the basic costs for certain programs and at certain level of study are:

  • Undergraduate programs- 7,700 - 23,200 CAD (annual)
  • Some of the popular bachelor’s programs costs in Canada:
    • Btech in Canada: 158,000 to 323,000 CAD (total)
  • Postgraduate Programs-  11,600 - 27,000 CAD (annual)
  • Some of the popular masters programs to study in Canada:
    • Masters in Canada: 20,000 to 30,000 CAD (annual)
    • MBA in Canada: 21,000 to 105,000 CAD (overall costs).
    • Masters in Data Science in Canada: 22,000 to 44,000 CAD (overall costs).
    • Masters in Business Analytics in Canada: 26,000 to 56,000 CAD (overall costs).

Candian Student Visa

  • Eligibility: Register to DLI, show minimum funds, obtain a medical certificate, proof that you will leave Canada after completion of studies. 
  • Application fees:150 CAD
  • Minimum Funds Required: 10,000-11,000 CAD for the applicant.

Immigration & Residence

  • Immigrant friendly nation
  • PR is comparatively easier to obtain
  • For immigrating to Canada, the initial and most important step is to complete the Express Entry Profile. The invitation to apply for a PR is based on the individual score and rank in the express entry profile.
  • You can find out more on the Candian Immigration website.

If you have made your decision to study in Canada, vastly different natural and cultural experiences await you in the friendly, tolerant, and globally recognized powers. Your education standards will be comparable to those at Ivy League institutions and studying in Canada will offer you all this at a cheaper price than other international education destinations.