Studying In Canada As An International Student: Vitals Things You Must Know

What Should International Students Know In Canada?

Are you planning on studying In Canada as an International Student? You are in the right place. This article serves as a resource for students interested in pursuing Postgraduate (Masters, Research, and PhD) studies in Canada.

Canada is a land of diverse people, lifestyles, and majestic landscapes, and it is one of the safest places to pursue an education. Its bilingualism makes it a multicultural country with easy access to education and affordable living; it’s no surprise that thousands of international students flock to Canada each year to study.

Why Study in Canada?

Canada boasts of having high academic standards and rigorous quality controls which means that a candidate will be gaining top research skills and quality education that will benefit their career over the long term. It has also been ranked #1 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for its achievements in higher education.

More than 150,000 international students troop in year after year to study graduate programs in Canada, looking to take advantage of the country’s reputation for high quality teaching and reasonable tuition costs. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States, UK or any European country.

Moreover, a number of Canadian institutions are involved in international research partnerships to study and address major world issues.

An added advantage of studying in Canada is the ‘Walk Safe’ programs that help people access public transportation during late hours.

Education Structure In Canada

In Canada, higher education is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments, unlike other countries which make education a centralised affair with a Ministry of Education body. In each province and territory there are laws, policies and procedures that govern the operation of post-secondary institutions.

Postgraduate degrees last between one and three years to complete. Masters degree usually lasts for one year while PhD lasts for three years to five years. 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); or universities (which carry out research and provide both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees).


A study permit is not needed if you want to take short-term courses or programs of study of six months or less. You may enrol in short-term programs at any learning institution, regardless of whether or not it is designated. To study in Canada for longer than six months, you’ll need to gain a Canadian study permit. This will be your visa for the duration of your stay. Depending on your nationality, you may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit, which can be processed at the same time as your study permit application.

Whether or not you need a permit, everyone must provide:

  • Acceptance from a university or educational institution in Canada.
  • Ability to pay tuition fees, living expenses and return fares to their home country.
  • Satisfy health requirements.

It is normally also necessary to demonstrate that you have adequate study abroad travel insurance, which you must buy before you travel.

Tuition Fees 

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In general, tuition fees in Canada are less expensive compared to other major Anglophone destinations (the US, UK and Australia), but still higher than most other countries. Average Program fees for postgraduate degree in Canada vary but are often between CA$10000 – $15000. Medicine and other related courses are understandably more expensive.

The Commonwealth scholarship is one source of funding for Canadian universities at the post-graduate level (for Masters in Canada) but is restricted to a very limited number of students of exceedingly high intellectual promise who live in Commonwealth countries. There are different forms of funding for study in Canada.

Working and Living in Canada

For Part-time work, all full-time students with a valid study permit are allowed to work part-time on or off campus for up to 20 hours per week during university semesters and full time during semester breaks. However, some courses may stipulate that students don’t work for more than 10 hours per week during term time – particularly if said student has been granted funding to study in Canada. It’s also important to consider that your PhD will take up a considerable amount of time and challenging work, so you might prefer to focus entirely on your studies. Also, it’s not advised to rely on part-time work to fund your living expenses.

After graduation, a student may apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) which allows one to stay and gain valuable work experience for a maximum of three years. To become a permanent resident, this post-graduation work experience helps you to qualify to apply for permanent residency in Canada via Express Entry.

You’ll need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada and to receive any government services. You can apply for a SIN by submitting your application to a local Service Canada Centre after arriving in Canada. To work in the French Province of Quebec, a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) may be needed from the Quebec government.

Some positions although they do need a work permit, do not need confirmation from the HRSDC.

Living in Canada is in many respects the same as living in other Western countries, with a very high standard of living. However it is relatively cheaper than countries like the US and UK.

Universities in Canada and their location 

Not all universities in Canada offer a wide array of Graduate programs in a number of academic areas to international students. Here are well-known universities which provide graduate/research degrees to international students, listed with their provinces:


  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge
  • DeVry University

New Brunswick:

  • University of New Brunswick
  • Universitie de Moncton (French)

Nova Scotia: 

  • Dalhousie University
  • Saint Mary’s University (Halifax)


  • McGill University (English)
  • Concordia University (English)
  • University of Montreal (French)


  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Winnipeg
  • Universite de Saint-Boniface
  • Canadian Mennonite University


  • Algonquin College
  • Brock University
  • Carleton University (Ottawa)
  • McMaster University (Hamilton)
  • Mohawk College
  • Queen’s University (Kingston and Herstmonceux)
  • Ryerson University (Toronto)
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Western Ontario (London)
  • University of Windsor
  • York University (Toronto)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University

British Columbia: 

  • Simon Fraser University (Burnaby/ Vancouver/ Surrey)
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver)
  • University of Victoria
  • Royal Roads University (Victoria)
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