Over the past decade, Canada has emerged as the most popular academic destination for students from across the world primarily due to its quality of education, reasonable visa regulations and value for money. Canada’s government has implemented numerous regulations and policies to streamline the ease of education for international students. Indian students in particular have found a home away from home in Canada due to the strong ties the two nations have historically enjoyed. In this blog, let us look at some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that students have when it comes to studying in Canada.
- What are some of the most notable aspects of Canada’s education system?
Canadian degrees are affordable and at par with institutes from North America and the UK. Its education system confers degrees, diplomas and certificates that are dynamic and they are accepted universally by both universities and employers. The country has some of the highest ranked universities in the world with 8 in the top 200, 17 in the top 500 and 27 in the top 1000 according to the revered QS World University Rankings, 2023. The Canadian education system is one of the best a student can experience and has a good combination of universities, community colleges and polytechnic institutes. The government of Canada plays a crucial role in their education sector as it closely monitors all institutes to maintain education standards. Since 2015, their government annually spends nearly $40-45 billion on the education sector. It dedicatedly guarantees 4-5% of Canada’s GDP towards all levels of education including primary, secondary and higher. The government encourages international students to come and study there through a number of accessible grants, bursaries and scholarships. Being a well developed and stable economy, Canada has a very good standard of living but at affordable costs. The country is also safe and multicultural for international students thus providing global exposure.
- How much does it cost to study in Canada for Indian students?
Canada is one of the most affordable countries to study overseas. Make no mistake, while the costs are still quite high, they are manageable when students and families make smart financial decisions. From scholarships, to bursaries to part time jobs, Canada has a host of financial options to make studying there possible for everyone. Among costs, the tuition fee is the biggest contributor to yearly expenses but the fee structures in Canada are significantly lower than Australia, the United Kingdom or the United States. Eventually, tuition fee varies significantly depending on your level of study and choice of institute but on an average, it will cost you approximately CAD 20, 000 to CAD 60, 000. However, this cost is just one portion of your overall expenses. Given below is a list of other expenditures which forms a core of your total budget in Canada.
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
Tuition Fee (Total)
10,00,000 – 37,00,000
IELTS or Equivalent
Application Fee (Institute)
Visa Process (One Time)
Flight Ticket (One Way)
Living Expenses (Yearly)
Health Insurance (Yearly)
28,00,000 – 30,00,000 (Average)
- What are the mandatory documents required to obtain a Canadian Student Visa?
While a variety of documents may be required as each case is unique, the following are an absolute necessary to study in Canada:
- Proof of Acceptance – Condition or Unconditional Offer Letters from a college or university
- Proof of Identity – A valid Passport
- Proof of Financial Security – GIC, bank statements, proof of education loan, proof of tuition fee payment, proof of minimum funds for sustenance in Canada
- Academic Transcripts & IELTS Scorecard
- Statement of Purpose
- Quebec Acceptance Certificate – Only applicable to study in Quebec
- Is IELTS a necessary requirement for studying in Canada?
It is only logical that to study in an English speaking nation, concerned authorities will evaluate the speaking, writing, listening and reading capabilities of students seeking to gain an education in English in Canada. Hence, a valid IELTS score for admission into bonafide Canadian colleges, institutes, polytechnics and universities is required where a band score of 6.5 overall and a minimum of 5.5 in every module is preferred. Moreover, visa granting immigration officers thoroughly check the IELTS scores of students to determine their authenticity and capability of completing their proposed studies within the stipulated period of time and a good IELTS score factors heavily into their eventual decisions. Students should also remember that an IELTS score is valid for a period of 2 years after the test date.
- What is the significant difference between Canadian universities and Canadian colleges?
The fundamental difference between Canadian universities and colleges is the type and nature of education that they impart. While universities focus more on holistic academic development, colleges tend to lay more emphasis on career and vocational training.
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology offer career oriented part time or full time diplomas, certificates or bachelor degrees to make students ready for the workforce as soon as their programs are over. Graduate certificates typically last for 1 year while diplomas last for 2 years.
Canadian universities on the other hand are large, self governing bodies that offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Students entering bachelor’s degrees at universities usually go on to pursue their masters. Bachelors degrees last for 4 years while masters degrees last for 1-2 years depending on the program’s complexity and internship periods. Hence, universities focus on in-depth knowledge, often combining studies with honors degrees to make students experts in their chosen area of study.
- What is the difference between a Public or Private college or university in Canada?
Canadian public universities are independent from governmental monitoring and do not require accreditation meanwhile private universities are under the stringent purview by the state gathered education council to monitor their standard of education. This primary difference greatly affects the tuition fee of both types of institutes as private ones are significantly costlier than public ones. The class size at public institutes will often be much larger than their private counterparts.
Overall, public institutes are renowned for their rich history and heritage whereas private institutes are popular for their unique programs, acclaimed faculty members and slightly better facilities, infrastructure and scholarship opportunities.
- Can international students work while studying in Canada?
Yes, international students may work if they receive an opportunity. However, 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. If off campus work authorization is a part of your visa, then international students can work up to 20 hours every week.
- What is a Post Graduate Work Permit in Canada?
Besides the quality of education and high standards of living in Canada, perhaps one of the most alluring aspects for international students to study in the country is its PGWP. This permit allows students to work for any employer in Canada after their studies are over in order to gain professional experience and add to the dwindling labour force in Canada. PGWPs are valid from a period of 8 months to 3 years depending on the type of application made and academic qualification a student has attained. The PGWP also opens a path to a Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada. A PR status is achieved after meeting the strict requirements of a residency obligation, one of which, for example, is the physical presence of an individual within Canada for 730 days over a 5 year period. Hence, a PGWP is a great opportunity for international students and forms a crucial part of their decision.
- What is the public transport system like in Canada?
Getting to places is obviously one of the biggest concerns for students in a new city and country. However, as a well developed nation, Canada has an excellent public transport system which provides students affordable and safe options to travel to their destinations and explore cities. While Toronto has its subway, Montreal has its metro and Vancouver has the sky train. These modes of transport may cost students anywhere between $50-100 on a monthly basis but daily, weekly and even yearly transit passes are readily available for students.
To conclude, while this blog covers the details and necessities of studying in Canada in broad strokes, the real challenges lie in the details of planning your entire application. We highly recommend that students seek out the aid of professional education agents and we at Silver Fern are always ready to cater to each and every need of our students in terms of making a successful admissions application, seeking out suitable accommodation and planning for future employment to make their overseas education memorable and fruitful.