Studying in Canada


Canadian Universities offer a wide variety of educational settings. Some are large, providing a full spectrum of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and undertaking research of national and international importance. Others offer the intimacy and personal attention of small, undergraduate liberal Arts Colleges. Still others offer specialized education in fields such as business, engineering, art and design or agriculture. 

Taken together, Canada’s universities offer a tremendous range of choices-large and small, denominational or secular, English, French or bilingual, in cities, small towns or reaching out through the information highway. 

Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. It is, in fact, a nation of immigrants of all over the globe, creating a wonderful, vibrant and harmonious mix of cultures. Included in this dynamic mix are more than 6,00,000 Canadians of Indian origin. Because it is such a tolerant society, international students are welcomed with open arms. 

Degrees and diplomas from Canadian Institutions are among the most widely recognised and sought after in the world.

Tuition Fees for International Students are among the lowest in the English-speaking world, with education standards among the highest anywhere. 

Canada spends more per capita on education than any other country in the Organization  for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD). 

Students have a diverse choice of 90 universities and 150 community colleges and technical institutes offering an amazingly wide array of study programmes. For example, cooperative work programmes combine courses in many subjects with relevant work, giving students an invaluable head start on their careers. Upon graduation, international students are allowed to work full time in Canada for one year in a job related to their field of study, before returning home. This provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience in an international setting.



First Steps Before you Apply 

-    First, you need to decide what you want to study and find out where it is offered. The Directory of Canadian Universities and the AUCC (Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) website are excellent resources.  

-    Second, you need to contact the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission to obtain Government of Canada information about student authorizations, visitor visas, and the regulations about working while you are studying in Canada. You can also write to a few of the Universities located in cities, towns or areas where you would like to attend university. Remember to specify your planned field of study in the letter, and ask for the university calendar to be mailed to you. The individual university calendar provides detailed course descriptions, information regarding admission requirements, scholarships and more. 

-     Next, fill in the application forms and apply to the institution(s) of your choice. Admission requirements vary from one institution to another, but the one standard is that all Canadian universities and colleges require good grades. A first or upper second-class standing is a pre-requisite for entry into most diploma or degree programmes. Students interested in a Masters programme will need to have completed four years at the undergraduate/graduate level. Be aware that most MBA programmes expect students to have work experience and a minimum GMAT score in the 600 range. TOEFL scores of 550+ are the norm.

Once a formal admission letter has been received, apply to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi for a Student Authorization (visa). Please note that approval can only be granted by the Immigration section of the Canadian High Commission. No other body has input into this decision.

Upon arrival in Canada, your college or university will have an International Student Services department to provide you with assistance. There will also be a choice of accommodation available to you from residences on campus, to sharing a house with fellow students, to a “homestay” with a Canadian family.



Tuition fees for foreign students vary from province to province. But even the highest Canadian fees are excellent value for foreign students, with average yearly undergraduate fees significantly lower than in the United States, United Kingdom or Australia. You should remember that tuition fees represent only 25 percent to 35 percent of total expenses. Books, supplies and instruments, student activity fees, housing, food, laundry, transportation, healthcare, clothing and entertainment are additional costs. Average living costs for an academic year in Canada are about on par with the United Kingdom and are much lower than in Australia or France.

 Tuition  Fees* for Foreign Students 




British Coloumbia

$3,475 – 7,860

$2,100 – 2,898


  4,590 – 6,446

   4,365 – 13,000


  5,280 – 5,738

   3,338 – 5,280


  3,575 – 4,590

   3,131 – 5,929


  6,100 – 11,096

   2,211 – 15,312


  7.453 – 7,630

   7,453 – 10,605

New Brunswick

  4,120 – 7,198

   2,450 – 4,880

Nova Scotia

  5,100 – 7,205

   5,100 – 8,650

Prince Edward Island

  4,620 – 6,320

   3,620 – 5,320



   1,641 – 3,072

 Comparison of Tuition Fees and Living Costs* 


Average Tuition Fees

Average Living Costs

Average Total Costs





United Kingdom




United States(Public)




United States(Private)









   No fees





 Undergraduate Study programs 

Undergraduate programs leading to a bachelor’s degree generally require three or four years of full - time study, depending on the province. Honours degrees require additional credits and a higher level of achievement in the honours subject and are generally considered a prerequisite for study at the graduate level. 

Requirements : Successful completion of at least 12 years of schooling is the normal prerequisite for attending a university.

 Application process: Calendars with course descriptions, admission requirements and procedures, costs and scholarships are available from the registrar at each university. Mail your applications as early as February but not later than July and be sure to indicate your field of study.

 First Professional Degrees

 Architecture, Engineering, Education, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry are fields were the first professional degree is considered an undergraduate program. Demand is high. There is a great deal of academic competition for these spaces and most universities have limits or quotas on the number of qualified applicants admitted each year. A high level of academic achievement is required for admission . Often atleast two years of undergraduate studies in a related field are required before you can be admitted to the first professional degree program.

Graduate Degrees 

Master’s and PhD or doctoral programs are considered graduate degrees. Most Canadian universities offer at least one graduate program. Application deadlines vary from program to program within each university.


An honours undergraduate degree is usually required for master’s level study and the successful completion of a master’s program is required for admission to a doctoral program. The graduate calendar will detail when direct admission to Ph.D. program is permitted, recognizing work experience in the place of academic experience.



Canada has a large selection of universities and university colleges located in both urban and rural settings in every region of the country. The universities are internationally known for the quality of teaching and research. Degrees from Canadian universities are considered to be equivalent to those from American and other Commonwealth universities. Canadian universities are largely publicly funded; as a result they are of a consistently high quality, regardless of location or area of study. As well, they all retain a high degree of academic autonomy.

Full-time student enrolments at individual universities range from over 35,000 to less than 1,000. In addition, most universities have a large number of part-time or continuing education students. They offer a broad range of courses and a full range of degrees from undergraduate to doctorates, and can also offer certificates and professional degrees. Fees for universities differ depending on the province, institution and program of study.

The university year usually runs from September to May. Some universities are on a semester or trimester system, with all courses available even in the summer. There is no Canada-wide entrance test: each university sets its own admission standards and assesses the qualifications of each applicant individually.

As Canada has two official languages - English and French - an international student can take a degree either at an English language or French language institution. Some universities offer instruction in both languages. However, students do not have to be fluent in both languages to attend a Canadian university.

To qualify for a degree program at most English-speaking universities, students for whom English is not a first language must have passed an English examination test. The TOEFL is commonly accepted but Canadian universities often have their own tests for students or may accept other English examination tests such as the IELTS.


Student Authorization
Students who wish to pursue academic study in Canada must obtain a Student Authorization, which is issued by Canadian Immigration. It is a straightforward procedure and requires you to show some documents such as a birth certificate or passport, in some cases medical information, and proof that you have paid your fees and have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada. You can request an information sheet with the step-by-step procedures from CASA. Please contact the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission in your city or area. Please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/info/emission.html for more information.

If your city or country is not identified on the web address above, please consult this web address
www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/english/missions/rep-can1e.htm to learn how to contract your nearest Canadian diplomatic mission which can provide further information on Student Authorizations.

Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ)
If your studies will be at an institution in the province of Quebec, you are required to obtain a Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) from the Quebec government and a Student Authorization from the Government of Canada. If applicable to your program, an application for a CAQ will be sent to you after your application form is received by CASA.

Visitor Visa
Citizens of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States are NOT required to obtain a Visitor Visa. Citizens of other countries may be required to obtain a Visitor Visa in addition to the Student Authorization. You will be advised if you need to obtain this visa after your application form is received by CASA. Please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas_e.html for more information






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