Academic excellence, affordable education options and adventure: Canada is one of the ideal destinations to study. Canada is home to more than 250,000 international students and has been receiving requests from an increasing number of students from overseas in recent years.
Canadian Student Visa Requirements
To study in Canada, you will need a Canadian Study Permit and, depending on your home country, either an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV).
- Canadian Study Permit – this is not a visa, it is a permit that allows you to study in Canada. If you have a study permit, you must make reasonable and timely progress towards enrolling in a course and completing your courses.
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – This is an emerging visa exemption requirement for non-US foreign nationals. Your eTA is valid for 5 years or until your passport applies for an eTA extension, whichever comes first, and can be used for multiple trips to Canada.
- Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) – used for students who have been accepted by an approved educational institution and are unable to apply for the eTA.
To find out if you need an eTA or visitor visa and how to apply, you can visit the Government of Canada website.
Applying for a study permit
Requirements to apply for a study permit:
- An acceptance letter from your educational institution
- A valid passport or travel document
- Proof that you have the necessary funds for the following payments:
- Tuition fees
- Living expenses for yourself and any family members who will come to Canada with you, and
- Return transportation costs for yourself and, if applicable, any family members traveling to Canada with you
- Be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and pose no risk to Canadian security (you may be required to show proof of criminal record)
- You are in good health (you may need to go through a full health check)
- Convincing immigration officials that you will leave Canada when you finish your studies.
The following documents may be requested from you as proof that you can finance yourself and any accompanying family members:
- If money has been transferred to Canada, proof of account opened in your name with a Canadian bank
- Proof of obtaining a student/educational loan from a financial institution
- Summary showing bank account status
- Bank check on bondable money
- Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees
- Letter from the person or institution that covers your expenses
- Proof of payment from Canada if you have a scholarship or are enrolled in a Canadian-funded study program
Working Part-Time While Studying in Canada
Working part-time during your studies can be a great way to add to your living expenses in Canada. You can also gain work experience in your field.
You can work without a work permit while studying in Canada if you meet the following conditions.
- If you have a valid study permit
- If you are a full-time student
- If you are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary education institution or a high school-level vocational program in Quebec
- If you are studying at an academic, vocational or professional education institution that offers a degree, diploma or certificate for at least 6 months
If you meet these conditions:
- You may work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic terms, and
- You can work during planned holidays such as summer and winter holidays or spring break.
If you have a valid study permit or if you are a full-time student at one of the following institutions then you can work in on-campus jobs:
- A government-owned post-secondary educational institution, such as a college or university, or the collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec
- Private post-secondary education institutions that are operated under the same rules and regulations as the public education institution and that meet at least 50 percent of the financing required for all their operations with government grants (currently only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify)
- A Canadian private education institution authorized by the province to award degrees
Your social security number
You will need a Social Security Number (SIN) from Service Canada to receive discounts or service from government programs.
As a condition of your application to the SIN to work in an on-campus job, you must meet one of the following conditions, and your study permit must be stated on it:
- Can work in jobs on the campus of the institution where he/she is studying full-time
- May work on or off campus if you meet the eligibility criteria set out in R186(f), (v), or (w). If it no longer meets these criteria, it should stop working.
If your study permit does not meet any of these conditions or phrases, you will need to submit a free petition for a change in your study permit before applying for a SIN.
Work after graduation
If you want to stay in Canada after your studies, completing the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PWPP) will give you invaluable work experience. This program will also help you later if you consider applying for permanent residence in Canada.
PWPP work permits are valid for the duration of your initial training program (up to a maximum of 3 years) and give you the right to change jobs at any time, along with the right to work in the occupation of your choice.
To be eligible for the program, you must have graduated from a public or private institution with a degree recognized by the Canadian government or one of its provinces. You must apply to PWPP within 90 days of receiving written confirmation of the end of your academic program.
Health and Support Services in Canada
Moving to a new country is not an easy process. For this reason, most universities, colleges and educational institutions offer specialized support services to help international students adjust to life in Canada and make the most of study and vacation time.
The Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations are also great resources. You can visit their website to learn more about how they are helping students and defending your rights to the government on your behalf.
Staying healthy during training
You may need medical assistance while living in Canada. Canadian citizens and permanent residents access health care through the country's public health system; however, whether temporary residents, such as international students, can get the same benefits depends on their state. You will need public or private health insurance to minimize waiting times or exclusions. If you are bringing medication with you to Canada, you should also obtain a letter or prescription from your doctor.
Campus support services
It is dedicated to supporting international students through a variety of orientations and programs. These may include supportive and educational workshops, cultural celebrations and academic support. Sometimes, they also assist students with accommodation and employment/internship opportunities.
Student unions on campus
Most institutions have their own student associations that help international students manage their various activities together with academics. Some universities also have private international student associations to offer impartial support to students from another country. For example, the University of Calgary has a Newcomers & International Students' Committee that ensures that all intercultural students have a say in front of both the Graduate Students' Association and the university's administration.
Off-campus student unions
There are various student associations working for the welfare of national and international students outside the campus. For example, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations are two great resources to reach out to if you need help.
Support for students with disabilities
Most universities and institutions offer specific support to international students with disabilities, but it's best to let them know at the time of application to find out if any special arrangements need to be made for you. If you're studying in Ontario, you can also take advantage of a statewide social networking community for secondary school students with disabilities.
Finding a local doctor
When you get sick, your local doctor will provide you with basic healthcare where your privacy rights are protected. It also helps prevent future health problems. If necessary, he can refer you to a specialist.
To find a local doctor, you can:
- Ask someone you know
- Contact immigration support services
- Contact a public health center in your area to find out who is eligible.
- Go to a clinic that does not require an appointment.
Go to the dentist
- The best way to find a dentist is usually to search online or ask someone you know. Please note that dental health services cannot be provided free of charge under state health insurance. Therefore, you may want to take out extra insurance to cover dental costs.
What to do in an emergency
If you need emergency medical help, you should go to the nearest hospital's emergency department or call 911. Calling 911 is free and all emergency medical services are provided free of charge in hospitals. Depending on where you live and your health condition, a fee may be charged for the ambulance service.
If you have a serious health problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a drug allergy, you may want to wear a medical necklace or bracelet with your medical information.
Living Costs in Canada for International Students
While in Canada, you want to enjoy a healthy and happy educational life. Knowing how much money you need for living expenses is a great starting point, but keep in mind that the cost of living may be higher or lower depending on where you live.
EduCanada states that you will need a budget of between 7,000 and 20,000 Canadian dollars (CAD) per year to cover the costs of accommodation, food and beverage, and compulsory health insurance. In addition, you need to factor in your tuition fee and all relevant student, administrative, application and visa fees. Don't forget to set aside extra money for things like socializing with friends, traveling or attending events.
There are some useful websites you can use to help you budget while you're in Canada. One option is Expatistan, which calculates living expenses using data from Canadian residents and up-to-date sources. You can also use the Step 1-2-3 tool on EduCanada's website to see how costs may vary depending on where you live.
In Canada, you usually pay and receive payments in dollars and cents. You may hear each coin referred to by a nickname. 'nickel' for 5 cents, 'dime' for 10 cents, 'quarter' for 25 cents, 'loonie' for $1 and 'toonie' for $2.
Most banks in Canada will gladly open an account for you. To open a bank account, you usually need:
- Your passport
- Document confirming the school, college or university you are enrolled in
- Proof of address in your country of origin and in Canada
- Reference letter and statement of account movements from your country bank
Some banks offer special student accounts that provide extra benefits such as free banking and travel discounts. You can find out if your bank has a student account and whether you are eligible for it by asking your bank.
Whatever type of account you choose, you should read the agreement to make sure you have all the important information, such as the fees that may apply.
You'll want to quickly boot up your phone and internet right after you arrive in Canada.
When it comes to the phone, you have three main options:
Fixed line: An option if you live off campus. You can get a better price offer when you buy your fixed line as a package with internet access, or you can choose to communicate with your mobile phone instead of buying a fixed phone line.
Prepaid mobile line: Allows you to control how much you spend and you can stop using it at any time. Prepaid SIM cards are widely available in Canadian stores and supermarkets, as well as mobile service providers. These lines contain a certain amount of calls, text messages, and data.
Contract mobile line: Depending on how much you use your mobile phone and what you use it for, you may be able to talk cheaper with a contract with a Canadian mobile service provider.
International calls can be much more expensive than calls within Canada. You may want to purchase a more affordable international calling card or use online options such as Skype or FaceTime instead. You can buy international calling cards at most convenience stores.
To call a Canadian number from abroad, you must first enter the country code - 1 - followed by the area code and then the phone number.
To call a country other than Canada, dial 011, then enter the relevant country code and area code (if necessary) and then the phone number.
You have many options for internet access in Canada, but it is a good idea to do market research to find the tariff that offers the best price and download limit to meet your needs.
Most educational institutions provide free Wi-Fi connection that you can access with your student login number and password. If you can't access the Internet through your own computer or laptop, you can often find a computer you can use at a student library, an off-campus public library or Internet cafe.
Some places offer free Wi-Fi, but some internet cafes, for example, charge per hour. Also, don't forget to check the security of the network you are connecting to.
Accommodation in Canada
When it comes to finding a place to stay during your studies, you have three main options. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose to rent an individual house/room, stay in a dormitory on or near campus, or live with a local family.
It may be much more convenient and practical for you to choose on-campus or near-campus accommodation options that your school, college or university has, so you do not have to commute to long distances. It's also a great way to make new friends.
Renting a house gives you privacy and freedom when you live alone and the opportunity to share accommodation costs when you live with friends. Homestay, on the other hand, offers you all the comforts of living with a local family, allowing you to both learn more about the local culture and improve your English by practicing outside of class.
Whichever option you choose, you need to keep in mind:
- How much do you intend to spend? Don't forget to add to this the extra costs, such as the deposit fee paid when renting the house, and the electricity, gas or water bill.
- How far do you want to be? Calculate how easy it would be to travel between home and campus.
- What do you want to be close to? Decide what other amenities you prefer to be near, such as shopping malls, restaurants or health services.
If you need help finding accommodation in Canada, contact your institution's housing office or student services.
Canadian Universities and Prices
Schools have annual scholarship opportunities and discounts. Please contact our consultants for current price information. Prices are average annual prices and vary according to the departments.
University of Manitoba
15,800 - 23,500 CAD
University Canada West
Acsenda School of Management
15,900 - 16,300 CAD
27,900 - 30,700 CAD
Cape Breton University
16,100 - 17,100 CAD
Fairleigh Dickinson University
25,000 - 34,000 CAD
Mount Saint Vincent University
15,900 - 20,500 CAD
Royal Roads University
20,800 - 41,600 CAD
Thompson Rivers University
18,400 - 25,100 CAD
University of Guelph
28,400 - 40,300 CAD
University of Regina
20,400 - 24,800 CAD
Wilfrid Laurier University
27,900 - 32,000 CAD
University of Northern British Columbia
University of Ottawa
35,500 - 52,800 CAD
University of Waterloo
35,300 - 60,400 CAD
University of Saskatchewan
20,200 - 27,400 CAD
CAD 28,700 - 38,500
CAD 28,200 - 39,800
University of Windsor
29,400 - 36,800 CAD
18,300 - 29,500 CAD
University of Toronto
50,000 - 65,000 CAD
University of Alberta
20,000 - 40,000 CAD