Studying is a huge experience by itself, enriching the mind and broadening horizons with your chosen subject and all the added extras that come with high education, but doing that in a different country? That’s huge and life-changing. From the many countries you can study in, Canada is a hugely popular choice. It’s really not hard to see why. Universities in Canada offer world-class education, with 12 Canadian universities ranked in the Times Higher Education Supplement Top 200. Studying in Canada has many other benefits too: affordable tuition fees, the opportunity to work while you study and for a year after you graduate, and a great lifestyle in a beautiful and diverse country.
The UN ranked Canada as one of the best places to live in the world – thanks to its education system, national income and quality of life. Studying courses in Canada could also help you learn a new language – or two – as Canada has two official languages, English and French.
Your choice to study abroad in Canada could be based on many factors, however the main advantages are obvious. Universities in Canada offer a proven top-class education, with no less than 12 Canadian Universities making into the Times Higher Education Supplement Top 200. Think how many universities there are in the world to put that into perspective.
You have plenty to choose from, such as Concordia University, McGill University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Universite de Montreal, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario and York University.
It’s not all about league tables and awards, studying in Canada will bring many other benefits, such as an active and varied lifestyle in a beautiful country, the opportunity to work, great health care benefits, friendly locals and low tuition fees. Many study activities will lead to opportunities to make new friends, experience new landscapes and learn new skills. With each changing season a new activity comes forward, such as walking during spring and fall, sailing and summer festivals during, obviously summer, and hiking, skiing and sledging in winter.
Keep fit, make new friends, learn new skills and major in your chosen subject – what more could you want?
Study in Canada does come with the added perk of allowing you to work part-time during your studies, which will come in extremely handy not only extra cash-wise, but also to add all-important skills and experience to your CV. You are also able to work for a year after you graduate. You generally won’t need a work permit if you have a valid study permit, which being an international student you should have, but do check this out depending on the job you choose.
Canada is a huge and diverse country. Geographically, you should know this, but it sits in above the USA, making it perfect for exploring a little further. Canada itself is full of famous tourist attractions, such as the powerful Niagara Falls, the huge CN Tower, Toronto Zoo, the beautiful Glacier National Park, the equally gorgeous Banff National Park, and the imposing Canadian Rockies, to name a few. The huge blinding cities of Quebec, Montreal and Toronto offer everything you could possibly want from life, with city life running seamlessly into nature. It’s beautiful. With a huge range of landscapes, from massive mountains, to green vegetation, to snow capped hills, to bustling metropolis, the choice is endless. Of course, the Rockies are famous the world over.
Canada has two official languages – French and English, so study in Canada is the perfect opportunity to add another language to your repertoire, which is vital in the business world and a huge advantage. And with two national languages, universities in Canada are experts in language studies.
One of the most important aspects of choosing your study abroad destination is cost. Studying in Canada offers great value for money in terms of tuition fees and living costs.
Estimated living expenses per month are around CAN$400-800, but obviously you can live on less or more than that, depending on the way you choose to spend your time. As far as course fees are concerned, expect to budget around CAN$6000 to CAN$17,500 per year for undergraduate courses, with graduate courses coming in on average from CAN$6500 to CAN$33,000 per year.
Compare that to many countries worldwide and you’ll see why study in Canada is so popular from a solely financial point of view. Of course, it all depends on what you’re studying, so it’s worthwhile checking before you make any decisions, as subjects such as medicine or engineering may cost more.
It all depends on what you choose to study but your course duration will generally be 3-4 years for undergraduate courses, and then 1+ years for postgraduate courses. You need to apply at the very latest in March for the September intake, but if your course is super popular, the earlier the better is always advisable. There is a second intake following this, in January or February of each year.
Be aware that an application for international study can be a slow process, and can take up to 7 weeks processing time. You need to be making your decision and getting your application off as soon possible.
Study abroad in Canada is of course a big thing, and requires plenty of thought, but it also requires a visa once you’ve decided for sure that this is the road you want to take. The visa you need to apply for is a student visa, or study permit, and you need your offer of acceptance from your chosen Canadian university to be able to kick start this process. You’ll also need your application fee, evidence that you are able to cover yourself financially during your time, such as to pay for tuition fees and day to day living costs, as well as a ticket home. Once this is sent off, you just need to sit and wait.
Character and health checks will be made during the processing time, which may include a police check, but it’s generally nothing to worry about.
It’s also worthwhile checking with your university about any extras that are needed, as Canada, being the huge country it is, has varying procedures throughout its 10 territories, so it’s always worth checking, to make sure any extras or variations are sorted out prior to your application. A form filled in wrong or document not sent off can delay your application, which if you’re applying for a popular course, could be the difference between you making it in or not.
And studying in Canada opens up many opportunities to work in North America when you graduate. If you complete a 1 year (2 academic semesters) program, you are likely to be eligible for a 1 year post-graduate work permit, whilst completing a study program of 2 or more years (4 academic semesters) in Canada will make you eligible for a three year work permit. You can also work part-time during your studies – making it easier to get great work experience, and save money.
The advantages of earning your degree in Canada are huge and varied, and everyone will have their own reasons for picking this large and diverse country to obtain their degree. The low cost of study and living will be a huge pull for many, but the double language situation will add a huge boost to your CV. If you’re willing to learn French, if you’re a native English speaker, or English if you’re a French speaker, you will not only stand a better stead of getting in at your chosen university, especially if it is bilingual, but you will also show flexibility to employers. Having two languages on your CV is massive boost in the job market, especially if you decide to stay on and work after your degree in Canada. Having both languages at your disposal will make you a valuable commodity to large businesses.
Do your research, choose your university carefully and ensure you have all your paperwork in order. Once you apply, and the wait is over, you can really begin to look forward to not only studying in a beautiful and vibrant country, but also to a life experience quite like no other.
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