Applying to study in Canada?

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Admission requirements, deadlines and... fees, of course.

To apply for an international degree in Canada, you must tick off two very crucial requirements:

  1. language proficiency;
  2. necessary funds to cover your living expenses and tuition fees.

Entry requirements vary according to where they are, and which course you are doing, so you should contact your chosen institution(s) regarding their specific entry requirements. You may need to prove that your qualifications are comparable in quality to Canadian education, therefore your qualifications assessed might be assessed (there are various agencies that can do this for you - see the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) website for more information on this subject).

Language proficiency

Depending on the course you choose to go for, you'll need to submit a proof of proficiency in either French or English. Remember that in Quebec, French is the official language, and the majority of Canadian universities offer courses in both languages. 

Institutions will normally have their own requirements for language proficiency in French or English. If neither of these is not your first language, you will normally be required to prove your ability through achievement of a certain level in a recognised language test (such as IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge English: Advanced - CAE).

Tuition fees and deadlines

It is only natural to assume that international students have to pay higher fees than domestic students. You can find graduate programs at around CAD$6,000, all the way up to CAD$35,000, but there are plenty of opportunities for exceptional learners who can obtain scholarships, grants, bursary options.

In most cases, you will need to apply to an institution directly, either by downloading or requesting an application form, and submitting it with the relevant documents online or via post. Contact your chosen institution directly or visit their website for information about how to apply.

You may have to pay an application fee, depending on the university and program. In Ontario however, you may apply to as many institutions as you like. There is a base application fee of CAD$156 for the first 3 university/program choices, plus CAD$10 for the international service fee. For each additional program choice beyond these, you'll need to pay CAD$50 per choice. It's important to know that fees for withdrawn university choices won't be refunded.

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It is advisable to start preparing your application at least a year in advance, though you should ask institutions for their specific application deadlines, as these may vary. For Ontario applications, there is no deadline, but you should apply as soon as it is open in October. Whilst there is no specific deadline, applications received before the 'Equal Consideration Date' (usually in February) must be given equal consideration so it is advisable to apply before this date.

Living expenses

Living expenses can start from 10,000 Canadian Dollars per year study year, even more when applying to study in Quebec - note that this in on top of the tuition fees. Unfortunately, in Canada, you can rely much on what you might gain from working while studying because you're only allowed to up to 20 hours per week of working (although full-time jobs are permitted during summer breaks).

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