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HomeCanadaStudying in CanadaFrequently Asked Questions about Studying in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in Canada. Want to study in Canada? We answer all your top questions, including how much it costs to study in Canada, which courses are available and how you can use your Canadian study permit as a pathway to obtain Canadian permanent residence. The number of international students in Canada continues to grow every year. Many of them are able to stay in Canada after finishing their studies.

Approval of a Canadian study permit is always at the discretion of the visa officer. Last year, Canada admitted more than 400,000 international students. The majority of those students came from France, Nigeria, China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Brazil, Iran, India, and Vietnam.

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in Canada

What are the alternatives to post-secondary education in Canada?

In Canada, tertiary education includes every type of formal teaching program past secondary schools, be it academic, vocational, technical, or the professional education offered primarily by universities, colleges, and special institutes.

What type of a high school diploma is accepted if applying in a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

If you are concerned if the high school diploma you’ve earned in your home-country will be considered legit in Canada, worry no more since any student possessing a government-accredited high school diploma from their home country may apply for admission to a Canadian University.

What is the main difference between Universities and Colleges in Canada?

Universities get to deal independently with academic matters regarding the curricula, methods and teaching strategies. Universities have the power to set academic, admission, and graduation policies and standards, appoint staff, and undertake academic planning, meanwhile Private Universities are out-of-province institutions permitted to provide degrees after a meticulous quality assessment process by the designated governmental authorities which give the green light to certain degrees.

What are the common requirements into getting accepted in a Canadian University/College?

In order to get admitted in a Canadian tertiary education institution there are requirements students will have to meet, whether it I an undergraduate or a postgraduate program. Depending on the field of studies, programs and other relevant factors competition can vary. The two essential criteria are however, high school grades/performance as well as language skills be it English (in most of the provinces) or French in francophone ones.

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

Once you’ve 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.

How long does it take to get a Master degree in Canada?

Commonly, Master degrees last for a whole academic year including an obligatory internship added to the overall duration. Sometimes a Master degree can last for two academic years, depending on the curricula and the sensitivity of the program.

How long does it take to get a PhD degree in Canada?

PhD degree programs are commonly two to three years in duration, are separately funded and considered as a job position (not always), in the majority of the cases.

What is the difference between private and public post-secondary educational institutions in Canada?

The public universities are commonly independent from governmental monitoring and don’t require accreditation meanwhile private universities are commonly monitored by the state gathered education council.

What type of language skill does one need in order to get accepted in a Canadian post-secondary institution?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are the most common language requirement for American universities. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam scores are the most common language requirement for Canadian universities. But most universities will accept either test as proof of your English language ability. You can take TOEFL and IELTS exams at testing centers worldwide.

Is there any additional requirement for international students willing to apply in a Canadian post-secondary institution?

International students are required to submit an essay and a personal statement of what they think they are fit for enrolling in the designated program together with documents stating their work experience (if any) up to the date. Of course documents like reference letters, extracurricular activity certificates and other proof of skills is always a bonus and very much appreciated.

Is getting accepted in a Canadian tertiary institution based on a competitive basis only?

In order to get admitted in a Canadian tertiary education institution there are requirements students will have to meet, whether it Is an undergraduate or a postgraduate program. Depending on the field of studies, programs and other relevant factors competition can vary. Commonly professional fields such as medicine and engineering are way more competitive, as well as applicative arts that require talent as the basic requirement (arts, music, sports).

What are the top Universities in Canada?

Ranked in the top 100 best Universities in the World are 5 of the best qualified Canadian Universities as following:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • University of Alberta

How do I apply in a Canadian University/College?

By submitting all the necessary documentation and additional obligatory procedures via online routes. The answer will also be sent to you via mail.

Do I have to speak both French and English in order to get accepted in a Canadian post-secondary educational institution?

Not necessarily, if your target province is one of the English speaking provinces you must provide proof of sufficiency in English language yet if you are looking forward to studying in a francophone province just the same, you must submit proof of proficiency in French Language. *Exceptions are always present.

Is it mandatory to have a graduate degree in order to pursuit a Master degree or PhD?

Although an undergraduate degree is commonly mandatory to continue the postgraduate studies this might not always be the case. Commonly graduate degrees involve research upon a specific subject not having a degree doesn’t make you unfit for the program as long as you have all the necessary theoretical and literature knowledge packed. Normally in a postgraduate program you have a mentor that supervises all your doings just as they are charged to evaluate via interviews and other means if you are suitable for engaging in the program.

How much does tuition cost in a Canadian University for an international student?

As Canada is divided into individually governed provinces the tuition fees for an academic year of tertiary education vary. you have a rough estimate of the tuition fees based on the region you are going to study in.

What are the alternatives to fund my studies in Canada?

Several alternatives are available to help students finance their education regardless of your nationality. Canada on the other hand, in addition to scholarships and bursaries, offers student loans, bank loan or line of credit.

Which Canadian province is more cost friendly for international students?

  • A blunt overview of University expenses for international students that study in different provinces in Canada is presented below:
ProvinceUndergraduate StudentsGraduate Student
NewfoundlandPrince Edward IslandNova ScotiaNew BrunswickQuebec





British Columbia

$7,260$7,510$8,520 – 12,480$7,063 – 10,720

$9,168 – 10,518

$6,900 – 16,204

$4,940 – 6,900

$7,779 – 10,890

$6,293 – 11,078

$4,462 – 15,870

$1,896 – 3,549$6,100$4,329 – 15,000$5,610 – 8,465

$8,268 – 20,000

$5,432 – 29,000

$3,795 – 9,685


$5,298 – $19,200

$2,272 – $17,499


What does it cost to be an international student in Canada, approximately?

A rough estimate on the cost of living for an international student, living and studying in Canada for a whole year is depicted below over some common expenses every student is challenged with. As you will see, type of accommodation plays an essential role on the sum up of a student’s cost of living in Canada.

Accommodation                                                                      $7300 – $14 000
Food                                                                                      Min. of $3600
Clothing                                                                                 $1200 – $2000
Local Transportation                                                                $1272 ($106 per month)
Miscellaneous                                                                         $1200 – $2400
Books, Supplies and Instruments                                             $1000
University Health Insurance Plan                                              $684 (as of Sept. 2013)
TOTAL                                                                                   $16 656 – $26 856


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

Applicants are generally required:

  • 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.

How long will I have to wait to be issued a Canadian student visa/ study permit?

Processing times vary. It depends on the type of application you submit, and where it is processed.

Can I work while studying in Canada?

Working in Canada as a student is only possible if you apply for a work permit; otherwise international students can take up solely on-campus jobs.

Do I need Health insurance if I want to study in Canada?

As for international students in Canada, they must all have health insurance one way or the other.

Where can I purchase health insurance as an international student in Canada?

Usually the deal is undergone through the University they chose to attend, it all depends on the province. In some provinces international student might not be included in the public health insurance plan therefore they must purchase private health insurance.

How much does it cost to get health insurance for an international student in Canada?

It is different in every province, however a rough estimate would be 500 CAD per year.

What are the requirements in order to obtain a work permit, while studying in Canada?

To qualify for the work permit, you must have a valid study permit and be a full-time student at a recognized postsecondary educational institution. Recognized institutions generally include a public, post-secondary college or university and degree-granting programs offered by private institutions throughout Canada.

Can I work without a work permit, while studying in Canada?

Canada is rather forthcoming when it comes to its international students. For those who are entirely focused in their studies, there are some small jobs that don’t require a work permit yet are rather poorly paid.

How do I get the residency permit once in Canada?

You must apply for a study permit from outside Canada, at the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live in.

Along with the application form which you will download online, you have to attach the following document in order to apply for a study permit.

  • Your letter of acceptance;
  • Proof of your identity;
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay in Canada.

How much will I have to pay for accommodation in Canada, a rough estimation?

Accommodation varies depending on the region you will be living in Canada as well as the type of accommodation you choose to go with. However, a rough estimate would be $7300 – $14 000 per year.

What is the typical lifestyle of a Canadian?

For most of those who’ve never been before, Canada is commonly seen as some nature jewel- picturesque landscapes, dramatic mountains and scary forests. On the other side of the wilderness, one will notice that in fact Canada has lots of soul and lots of style; Canadians are bold, open and transparent towards its fellow expats.

What are the alternatives for short-term accommodation in Canada?

Numerous hotels are at ones disposal once you arrive at your Canadian destination. Opposed to more expensive hotels, a hostel is the perfect low-budget temporary accommodation in a big city. Another alternative for a short stay would be a Bed-and-Breakfast entity.

What are the benefits of private accommodation in Canada?

Renting is a more private alternative for students who awe for silence and intimacy. Rents vary greatly due to the location, quality and availability. Living alone in an apartment is quite a luxury; therefore students tend to share accommodation in order to keep the expenses low.

What is the downside of University facilities in Canada?

Commonly student residencies/dormitories are some really old buildings, sometimes not even properly furnished where everything is shared (bathroom, kitchen, study venues) where there are curfews.

In what case scenario with I get evicted from a household in Canada?

An eviction notice will be sent to the tenant eventually in case they don’t obey the significant number of rules as following:

  • Not paying the rent in full,
  • Persistently paying the rent late,
  • Causing damage to the rental property,
  • Illegal activity,
  • Affecting the safety of others,
  • Disturbing the enjoyment of other tenants or the landlord,
  • Allowing too many people to live in the rental unit (“overcrowding”),
  • Not reporting income in subsidized housing.

There are cases where the landlord can be irritated by the hazardous behavior of a pet towards the community and serve the tenant with an eviction notice.

What kind of a job could I find as an international student in Canada?

Commonly international students go for part time job like, cleaning, bartending, volunteer work or live-in-care types of work. More information about Job Opportunities can be found here!

Can I go to Canada on a work and travel experience?

Travelling and working abroad is becoming more and more popular each year with thousands of youngsters engaging in such an insightful experience throughout the world. Regarding the great number of expats travelling to Canada, it seems like the country has something to offer, something the international youth is craving for.

Am I eligible for a work and travel program in Canada if I have a previous criminal record?

A previous criminal record can interfere with the visa process depending on the gravity of the deed and the time that has passes since then.

What does it take to work as a nanny in Canada?

Requirements for working as a nanny in Canada.

  • Eligible for Canadian working visa
  • Current police and medical check
  • Childcare experience
  • Be available for minimum of 1 year

What is the public transportation system like in a Canadian province?

Most Canadian cities and major towns have an efficient public transport system, and good cycle paths are found in urban areas. A large network of buses provides the main transport network for urban areas but other modes of transport are available. For example, Toronto has the Subway, Montreal has the Metro, and Vancouver has its Sky Train and Ottawa the O-Train. Fares are reasonable, and transit tickets and flexible transit passes are also readily available for monthly, daily or multi-day travel.

Am I able to study in English in the Canadian province of Quebec?

Yes, most certainly you can. There are several Universities that teach in English as a primary language.

Will I be able to work in Canada if I am not fluent in English?

Depends on the line/type of work you will be doing. However it is recommendable that if you do, you use the time to improve your English language skills.

Will I be able to work in Canada if I am not fluent in French?

Depends on the province you will be living in; if you are fluent in English you won’t have any trouble residing and working in either the English provinces or the French ones, however if you can speak either it can be a problem.

Do I have to pay taxes for my earning in Canada?

Of course, accordingly to your earnings.

Will I get paid in cash, or do I need a bank account if I want to work in Canada?

Normally the first thing you will need to do before landing a job is get a bank account and a phone number which insinuates that you will get paid via bank transfers. However, it can be possible for some types of daily jobs to be paid in cash too.