Study in Canada
Canada at a glance
Canada consistently ranks within the top 10 of the United Nations’ list of the
“best places to live in the world”.
The country is home to over 36 million people, welcomes
16 million tourists each year, and was hosting around 356,574 international students as of December 2015. These students came from over 185 countries, and the top three source countries were China, India and France.
Attractions to study in Canada include its high-quality education, globally recognized qualifications, and the stable, safe and peaceful society. Add in all the summer festivals, winter snow sports, and the wide range of sightseeing, sports, culture and cuisine to squeeze in, and it’s unsurprising to find Canada remains a popular choice for students across the globe.
Higher education in Canada
Undergraduate degrees in Canada can take either three or four years to complete, depending on the university. Postgraduate degrees last between one and three years, depending on the type of degree. Different types of higher education providers in Canada include: community colleges; technical, applied arts or applied science schools (which grant certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees); and universities (which carry out research and provide both undergraduate
and postgraduate degrees). One distinctive element of higher education in Canada in that each of the 10 provinces is responsible for its own education system, rather than the Canadian government as a whole. This means the system can vary, depending on which province you choose to study in. Québec in particular is markedly different to the rest of Canada, with different term times and length of study. For instance, students finish secondary school a year early and must take a mandatory preuniversity ‘General and Vocational College’
(CEGEP) course, essentially eliminating the freshman year of university.
There are 96 universities in Canada, of which 17 are private. As is common elsewhere, Canadian universities offer three levels of degree: bachelor’s (usually lasting four years), master’s (requiring an additional year or two) and the doctorate (usually an additional three years). Campuses in Canada offer the latest in technology and facilities, with some even boasting amenities such as Olympic-sized pools and ultramodern libraries.
Admission requirements & applications
The process for applying to universities in Canada is generally
straightforward. Most Canadian higher education institutions require the completion of a high school diploma and, in some provinces, the completion of 40 hours of community service/volunteer work (this may not be expected of international students – check with the institution). International students may also be asked to provide proof of language proficiency, either in English or French.
For some university programs, and for almost all international students, you will be required to provide an essay, a statement of intent or a personal statement of experience. Other documents required may include: letters of reference, examples of extracurricular involvement, evidence of community service, athletic participation, and details of awards and scholarships won.