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How to Apply to a Canadian University As an International Student

4 minute read
"Thousands of international students from all over the world choose Canada as their study destination every year. It is mainly because Canada offers a welcoming multicultural environment with access to internationally recognized universities and a straightforward application system."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Dec 4, 2021
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Thousands of international students from all over the world choose Canada as their study destination every year. It is mainly because Canada offers a welcoming multicultural environment with access to internationally recognized universities and a straightforward application system. 

Canada is regularly ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for its quality of life and education. The city of Vancouver and Toronto have been consistently ranked as the top 10 most livable cities in the world. Studying in Canada means that you have to get enrolled at a designated learning institute in Canada. 

Most universities and colleges will have their timeline and procedures on how to get an admission. Since most international students start as undergraduates in Canada, you’ll find everything you need to know about applying for a Canadian university as an undergraduate. 

How to Select Your Canadian University?

Based on your preference, you can go to a university located in a metropolitan area or a small Canadian town. Canada has over 147 public post-secondary institutions located across the 10 provinces and 3 territories. 

Canada has many internationally competitive universities, including the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. No matter where you chose to study, you will get to experience and enjoy an active lifestyle in Canada with an abundance of outdoor activities, vibrant art and culture, and good restaurants. 

How to Select Your Study Program?

Now, every university will have a different system for their degree programs. Certain universities allow you to select a main area of study and specialize in the area after a year or two of study. For example, if you are interested in engineering, you can select it as the main area of study and after a year choose your specialization in the kind of engineering you want to do. 

Some universities will allow you to combine different areas of study based on the career you want to pursue. These are known as double major or dual degree programs. These programs allow you to study different subjects such as music and management at the same time. 

Certain universities also offer you the opportunity to customize your degree based on your interests outside of the classroom. For example, you can obtain international experience by studying at partner universities around the world. Many universities also offer cooperative education programs which allow you to work in different occupations related to your area of study.

How to Get an Admission at a Canadian University?

Every university will have a different intake period and eligibility criteria for applicants. The intake period for most universities begins in September, January, or May. However, September is by far the most common intake period. Since application intake opens 11 months before the start date of the program, it is best to check the intake period for your institution to stay on top of deadlines. 

While most universities evaluate applicants based on their previous academic performance, some may ask you to submit supplementary information such as a personal essay, video, or a professional portfolio. Usually, you’ll have to directly apply to the institution you are planning to study at unless you are applying for an institution in Ontario. 

To apply for universities in Ontario, you’ll have to use the Ontario Universities Application Center (OUAC) system. To secure admission, you’ll also need to submit an approved language test result such as the IELTS or the TOEFL unless you are a native English or French speaker. 

How to Pay for Canadian Universities?

International students coming to Canada for an undergraduate program will have significantly different tuition fees based on what and where they want to study. The average tuition fees for an undergraduate can range from $11,000 to $59,000 per year. However, there are scholarships, grants, and bursaries available for international students who can meet the eligibility requirements. Every university will have a merit-based or financial needs-based scholarship program. 

Certain universities also offer hybrid scholarships based on both the financial need and previous academic performance of the international student. For example, Trent University’s International Global Citizen Scholarships and the University of British Columbia’s International Scholars Program. The Canadian government also offers the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program for international students from commonwealth countries. 

How to Apply for a Canadian Study Permit?

You will require a Canadian Study Permit if you plan on studying in Canada for a program that lasts more than 6 months. You will require an offer letter from your chosen university and proof of funds to apply for a Study Permit. You can apply for a Study Permit to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, to enter Canada, you will also require an electronic travel authorization (eTa) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) along with a Study Permit. Most universities offer a step-by-step guide and additional support on what documents and procedures will be required to obtain a Study Permit from the IRCC. 

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