Study in Canada

Education System in Canada

The education system of a country varies from country to country. In Canada, students are encouraged to pursue higher education at different levels basis their competencies and interest. Listed below are the types of Canadian higher education that you must be aware of:


Certificate level (One year) – It is a qualification that is awarded upon the successful completion of a program which is usually one year in length.

Diploma level (One or two years) – It is a qualification which is awarded on the basis of one or two years of successful study.

Advanced Diploma (Two or three-years) - A 3 years program, some of which may lead to a Bachelor’s Degree.

Bachelor degrees (Four years of full-time study) – These are awarded by Universities/ University Colleges/ Community Colleges after four years of full-time study and further lead to graduate level studies.

Post-graduate Diplomas/Certificates (One or two years) - It leads to a Master’s degree. These programs have work terms which provide full-time opportunities to gain practical experience along with theoretical studies. A typical term lasts 12 to 17 weeks. The prerequisites to participate in these programs are a Bachelor’s Degree of 3 or 4 years duration.

Master’s degrees (one to two years) - Graduates who have an interest in further learning and pursuing research and for those who want to broaden their career possibilities can go in for Master’s degree. It is for 2 years duration and can be pursued after a 4 years Bachelors or a 3 years Bachelors and a 1 year Post Graduate Diploma from Canada.

Doctorate or Ph.D. (four to seven years) – It is a degree that ranks above the Master’s Degree and generally requires four to seven years to complete.

Why Study in Canada?

Quality education at an affordable cost

Numerous scholarship opportunities

Immigration possibilities after completion of course

Abundant research possibilities in almost all areas of specialisations

Comparatively low cost of living and a high standard of living

Average Cost of Living

The living expenses including accommodation in Canada are likely to be approximately CAD 10,000-15,000 per year (approx. US$7,550-11,300). It is important to note that living costs are generally more expensive in the bigger cities.

Job Opportunities in Canada

The number of job opportunities in Canada are increasing every year. A spurge has been witnessed mostly in the fields of law, engineering, information technology, mathematics/economics and science. If a student has a strong paper work background which includes a strong resume, references and recommendations, work experience (if available), he/she can get exciting and high paying employment opportunities in the accelerating economy of Canada.

According to varies studies that have been conducted, it has been reported that because Canada has international student-friendly work visa regulations, the country has earned a lot of goodwill and popularity among them. 

Life in Canada

Life in Canada, in general, is easy-going, fast-paced and exciting for those who make full use of it. Following points can be kept in mind while contemplating on the idea to move to Canada for higher studies or even employment:

1> Weather-wise, Canada experiences four seasons – Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring – out of which the winters are extreme – depending on the exact location within Canada.

2> The cities within Canada are well connected through a strong commutation network – airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, subways etc.

3> Food is not a problem anywhere in Canada. One can find all types of cuisines in every town, be it Indian, American, Continental, Italian, Chinese etc.

Canadian cities are also popular among students for the recreational and sport activities that it has to offer which include tennis, baseball, soccer, golf, swimming etc. Apart from that, skiing, snowboarding and hiking are also sought-after outdoor activities. Universities across the country encourage their students to take part in them.

About Canada

A country known for moose, maple syrup and mounted police – Canada, is also the one with a world-class higher education system. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a student strength of more than 3.3 lakh come to Canada to pursue higher education. It is also the seventh most popular destination for international students. Almost 60% of the international students belong to countries like India, China, France, Saudi Arabia and Korea. The Canadian government warmly welcomes international students and is working towards an aim to double the number of international students within its borders by the year 2022. To facilitate the same, Canada allows for: • A student permit wherein students can work part time on or off campus during the school years and full time during academic breaks. • When undergraduate students finally graduate, they can apply for a work permit that enables them to stay and work in the country for up to three years. • They look at international student recruitment as a way of immigration into Canada. There are about 96 listed universities in Canada are allowed to host international students in Canada (as of 2016). Out of these, most are in popular provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.

Average Cost of Study

For bachelor’s degree, a variation is seen in terms of tuition fee, ranging from CAD 3,000 (approx. US$2,500) to CAD 40,000 (approx. US$34,000) per annum depending on the university and the course.

Fees for a Masters course in Canada will vary considerably depending on which institution is chosen and can range from CAD 7,000 to CAD 25,000.

The fee for Doctoral programs range from CAD 36,000 to 50,000.

Scholarship Opportunities

Canada offers some excellent scholarship opportunities for students who want to pursue masters or research programmes in Canadian universities. Check the scholarship awards that you can apply for in Canada:

Name of the Scholarship

Organization Offering Funds


Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

$10,000 for six months

Canada Asia-Pacific Awards (CAPA)

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

Direct cost pertaining to research projects for short term research programmes

Professional Development Awards (PDA)

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Varies according to the programme and qualification of the student

Doctoral Student Research Award (DSRA)

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

Entire cost of higher education for programmes related to research regarding Canada

International Research Linkages

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

Up to 10,000 CAD

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Government of Canada

$50,000 per year for three years to Ph.D. students

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship

Government of Canada

$70,000 per year for two years

Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

$15,000 per year for up to three years along with a minimum grant of $6,000 per year for science and engineering graduates

Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

$53,077 per year for one year that can be extended for up to three years

Sauvé Scholars Program

Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation

For skilled students between 23 and 31 years of age


Documents required for Scholarships and Fellowships Awards in Canada

Letters of Recommendation: You will have to submit letters of recommendation from your teachers in college (preferable) or from your employers supporting your application for the above scholarship awards.

Statement of Purpose: Also known as the personal statement mentioning your background, career goals and what makes you a good candidate for the above funding awards.

Transcripts: All transcripts including undergraduate and all other programmes have to be submitted in order to apply for the scholarships. Transcripts are the most important documents to analyse the performance of the candidate.

Interview: Some of the organisations offering funds to students conduct interviews to verify whether or not you are all that you have promised in your resume and statement of purpose. The interviewers usually want to know more about your career plans and long-term goals.

The scholarship awards are granted to academically excellent students who have made extraordinary achievements in their respective field or have a brilliant profile. Extracurricular activities are also taken into consideration while shortlisting students for these awards.

Documents Required Student Visa

Candidates seeking Canada student visa will have to start the procedure 3 to 4 months before the commencement of the programme for which they have applied. Gathering documents and taking the English eligibility test takes some time. Following are the documents that you will be needing in order to apply for Canada student permit:

Financial Proof: If you are applying for universities in the Quebec province you will have to show that you can afford 917 CAD per month. For any other province in Canada you will have to show financial backing of 833 CAD per month either in your bank account or from an external source.

English Proficiency: Indian students also have to give proof for proficiency in English either through IELTS, TOEFL or other exams designated by the authorities. This test is to ensure that students can excel academically in their chosen fields.

Medical Test: Students need a medical certificate stating that they are medically fit to pursue education in Canada.

Letter of Acceptance: One of the most important documents for visa is the acceptance letter from your target university saying that they have accepted you for their programme.

Passport: All candidates seeking Canada student visa must have a valid passport. 

Photographs: Two passport size photographs are also required in the process with the student’s name and date of birth mentioned on the back.

Quebec Aspirants: Candidates applying for Quebec also need to show English as well as French translations of the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec along with a statement from the translator and a certified copy of the original documents.

Fees: A proof must also be submitted that the candidates have paid the study permit fee of 150 CAD.

Indian students applying for Canadian student permit do not require to show a restricted bank account.


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Visa Application Process for Canada

Indian students seeking education in Canada will have to acquire the Canadian student visa also known as student permit. Following are the steps to get student permit for Canadian Universities:

  • Candidates can apply for Canada student visa either online or on paper. For those of you who apply on paper, you will have to submit all necessary documents at the visa application centre in India in person.
  • The authorities also calls applicants for visa interview while the application is being processed.
  • Indian students are sometimes required to provide biometric details during the visa application process. This will include fingerprints and photos as extra identification for security purposes.
  • You will also be required to provide financial proof and backing to state that you can afford education in Canada.
  • All candidates applying for Canada have to submit clinical records after thorough medical examination to prove that they are in good health. Indian students do not need submit a health insurance for the Canadian visa.

6> A fees of 150 CAD has to be paid for Canada student visa either online, through bank transfer or at the visa application centre in India. Those who apply for the visa at a visa application centre will have to pay additional 15 CAD as medical exam fees.

7> The student visa offered by Canada is valid up to the duration of the course and additional 3 months. This enables the students to stay the entire duration of the course. Students may need to renew their visa in case they want to stay after the duration of the course. After the course is completed, students will have to apply for a different visa from the immigration office, in case they are not planning to take further studies.


There are a few exceptions to the Canada student permit. Candidates seeking education in Canadian universities will not require a student visa if:

  • One of the member of their family is a staff member of a foreign representative in Canada. This family member must be accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
  • Candidates enrolling for courses with duration of six month or less do not need student permit.
  • Candidate who is citizen of another country, but registered with Indian status in Canada
  • Candidates applying the above criteria will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to fly to Canada.

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