BP101: Studying in Canada

Why Study in Canada? What to Know for 2024

See why Canada has a global reputation as a top destination for learning.
Written by: BorderPass Corp.
Last updated:  
April 2024

Canada is one of the best study destinations for international students because it offers a high-quality education, provides diverse cultural experiences, and presents opportunities for work after graduation.

Are you looking for complete information on opportunities for international students in Canada?

Well, you’re in luck! By reading this article, you will get a clear perspective on the Canadian education experience because it covers every aspect of being an international student in Canada.

From Toronto to Vancouver, and everywhere in between, the country has some of the most excellent places to study in the world.

This guide serves as a handbook that provides a detailed overview of everything you need to know about studying in Canada. It will break down each component and share essential insights into the following topics:

  • What is it like to study in Canada?
  • Top reasons for choosing Canada as a study destination
  • How much does it cost to study in Canada?
  • Finding a place to live in Canada
  • How BorderPass helps international students in Canada
  • A comprehensive look at the Canadian education system
  • Financial aspects of studying in Canada
  • Life as an international student in Canada

Ready to get a full glimpse of all the facets involved when studying abroad in Canada? Let’s get started!

What is it like to study in Canada?

Our thorough assessment revealed that Canada offers a higher standard of living compared to many other countries. Canada boasts globally recognized institutions and supports international students with numerous resources.

It provides students with cultural immersion, supportive environments, generous work opportunities, scenic landscapes, and immigrant-friendly policies.

Top reasons for choosing Canada as a study destination

Canada is one of the most popular options for international students because it offers a great range of benefits in both learning and lifestyle. Let’s discuss some of the key advantages that international students can expect when pursuing education in Canada:

Academic excellence and quality of education

Canada is widely known for its cutting-edge facilities, world-class teaching methodologies, and high standards for learning. Many schools, colleges, and universities in Canada consistently receive global recognition for their innovations in the academic world.

Affordability and value for money

As opposed to other major English-speaking countries, the level and quality of education in Canada are generally set at relatively inexpensive rates. Besides the affordability of tuition fees compared to other major countries, Canada issues a wide array of scholarships for international students.

Diverse and multicultural environment

Canadian schools embrace diversity and offer students the opportunity to learn from a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds. The country has a strong and thriving sense of multicultural celebration that is embedded into the education system.

Immense post-graduation and job opportunities

One of the most significant benefits of graduating from an academic institute in Canada is that it can expose international students to highly reputable organizations. The Canadian government grants post-study work permits and provides multiple avenues for students to grow professionally.

Canada’s reputation for safety and quality of life

According to the Global Peace Index 2019, Canada ranks as the sixth most peaceful country globally. Enrolling in Canadian educational institutions ensures a safe and welcoming environment.

Benefits of a multilingual society

Colleges and universities in Canada give students an edge on their language skills by promoting languages like French as an integral component in their curriculums. The experience of a multilingual setting prepares students who choose to pursue an international career.

Research opportunities and focus on skill development

Most Canadian universities are research-driven and major centers for higher education. The government in Canada offers many research projects and opportunities for students in fields like computer technology, agriculture, medicine, telecommunication, environmental science, and more.

Easy and supportive immigration policies for students

Unlike other major study destinations, Canada has programs that are established for international students to gain work experience after graduating. If they choose to, students can qualify for permanent residence in Canada by utilizing this work experience.

How much does it cost to study in Canada?

Depending on your level and the type of school. Education expenses for international students in Canada can vary. Annual tuition fees for elementary and high school students can generally range from CAD $9,500 to $83,000.

College and vocational school tuition fees can range CAD from $7,000 to $22,000. University tuition costs can range upwards from $20,000.

Finding a place to live in Canada

On-campus residences are common and available in Canadian universities. Costs typically start at CAD $8,000 per year.

Students can also share an apartment outside campus. Depending on the time of year and location, a room in a shared apartment can cost between CAD $400 to $700 per month.  

How BorderPass helps international students in Canada

BorderPass empowers international students to study, work, and construct a new life by providing them with the vital tools to assess and manage their immigration journey. International students can expect nothing short of excellence in the world-class services provided by BorderPass.

From transparency and affordability to equal opportunity and better student experience, BorderPass offers end-to-end support in every step of the Canadian immigration process.

Comprehensive look at the Canadian education system

The education framework of institutions in Canada is considered one of the finest in the world. In this section, we’ll run through each element that plays a significant part in understanding the Canadian education system for international students.

Types of Canadian schools and universities

There are several education options available in the provinces and territories of Canada. These include elementary school, high school, language schools, vocational schools, colleges, universities, graduate studies, professional certifications, and distance learning.

Popular study programs and courses

Some of the most popular courses and programs for international students in Canada in 2024 include medicine, accounting and finance, business and management studies, hospitality and leisure management, engineering, media and journalism, computer science, nursing, communications, and dentistry.

Admission and application process

Here is a list of the steps involved in the admission and application process for international students in Canada:

  • Step 1: Select from a list of universities and colleges
  • Step 2: Review the eligibility and document requirements
  • Step 3: Compile your test scores for proficiency exams
  • Step 4: Secure the financing for your education
  • Step 5: Submit your application
  • Step 6: Pay the fees
  • Step 7: Submit your study permit application.

Exams required to study in Canada

Standardized tests are sometimes necessary for international students in Canada. Depending on the requirements for admission, these tests can include entrance exams, English proficiency tests, and more.

The valid tests you can take when applying for a program in Canada include the Pearson Test of English (PTE), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Understanding the Canadian study permit and visa process

When taking a course that lasts longer than six months, international students are strictly required to apply for a study permit before arriving in Canada. It is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada.

Keep in mind that your study permit does not function as a visa that allows you to travel into Canada. Once your study permit is approved, you will be issued an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a temporary resident visa (TRV).

If you plan to continue your studies beyond the expiration date of your study permit, you will need to apply for a study permit extension.

Financial aspects of studying in Canada

Through our hands-on experience, having a strong financial plan will ensure a successful and smooth academic journey for international students in Canada. Let’s explore some of the most crucial financial factors that students need to consider:

Tuition fees and cost of studying

Tuition fees will ultimately vary depending on the school and program that you select. The estimated annual tuition fee for international undergraduate students is around CAD 36,000, while the estimated annual tuition fee for international graduate students is around CAD 21,000. The average living costs for college and university students are CAD 15,000 per year.

Scholarships and financial support for students

You can look up and apply for scholarships or grants that are available. International students can qualify for financial assistance from Canadian government-funded scholarships, institutional scholarships, or scholarships from private organizations.

Comparison: tuition fees in Canada vs. other countries

The main difference between tuition fees in Canada and other countries is that the costs for post-secondary tuition are generally lower than universities and colleges in Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, the US, and Australia.

Life as an international student in Canada

Through our practical knowledge, international student life in Canada is enriched by convenient accommodation facilities, excellent career prospects, and some of the world’s best universities situated in diverse, vibrant cityscapes.

Embracing the Canadian culture and lifestyle

As an international student, you’ll find no shortage of culture, heritage, arts, culinary delights, and first-rate entertainment to explore in the Canadian way of life.

Work while studying opportunities

International students can work up to 20 hours a week, if you have working conditions indicated on your study permit. You can research part-time job opportunities either on or off campus as a supplement to your daily living expenses as long as you operate within study permit conditions.

Post-study work options and immigration benefits

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) in Canada gives international students the option to stay and work in the country for up to three years after completing their studies.

Healthcare and welfare for international students

International students in Canada must have health insurance. Some provinces can cover you under government health plans throughout your stay, but the average costs for annual health insurance premiums in Canada can range from CAD $600 to $900.

Key takeaways

Our findings show that Canada currently hosts over half a million international students. As one of the most excellent study destinations in the world, Canada is most notable for offering globally recognized courses and programs at affordable tuition fees.

International students can greatly benefit from the quality of life standards, immigration-friendly policies, post-study work opportunities, and more.  

Frequently asked questions

How does the Canadian education system compare to other countries?

The Canadian education system is one of the most highly regarded in the world because of its excellence in research focus, high academic standards, and emphasis on practical learning.

What are the best cities in Canada for International students?

Some of the best cities in Canada for international students include Vancouver, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary,, Toronto, and many more.

How does Canada support international students during their study journey?

Many schools in Canada offer financial assistance packages to international students who qualify. Additionally, most international students in Canada are automatically issued authorization to work part-time during their studies.

What countries do international students typically come from?

International students typically come from countries like China, India, Russia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and many more.

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