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Want to pursue a degree in Canada? Here's what you should know

By Harold Lemon Tubiano Published Oct 03, 2023 10:25 am

Is it your dream to study in Canada?

More and more international students have set foot in the Great White North as the cost of studying and living there is not just lower compared to other countries, but is also of a high standard. According to the Toronto School of Management, Canada is known for the good quality education it provides as well as the work and internship opportunities that it comes with, making it "a great destination for students."

Semestral openings and season breaks are different for each university, so studying while working there might be best as it could build your profile and even help you obtain permanent residency (PR) in Canada based on your education and work experience. 

Earning a four-year undergraduate or post-graduate degree for at least eight months awards non-residents some points. Studying while working there helps you meet the required ceiling of at least 67 points to secure a Canadian PR and post-graduate work permit, which allows students to obtain an open work permit and gain valuable work opportunities after school in the same country.

In the next two years, the Canadian government is aiming to welcome half a million foreign students and give them an opportunity to study there. If you're hoping to be one of them, these tips, which were shared at the recently concluded Study in Canada Fair, could be your guide to your journey to becoming an international student in Canada.

Choose your degree and university

There are over 20 top universities and institutions offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to choose from in different parts of Canada, including Calgary, Toronto, Ontario, Alberta, and Vancouver, among others.

  • Alexander College in British Columbia: Arts, Sciences, Business, International Relations, with select online classes
  • Algoma University in Ontario: Business, Computer Sciences, Social Work, and Life Sciences programs
  • Bow Valley College in Calgary: Entertainment Arts, Community Studies, Business, and Technology undergraduate programs
  • Centennial College in Toronto: Technology, Business, Communications, and Health Sciences, plus part-time and online learning
  • Conestoga College in Ontario: Health Sciences, Computer and Technology, Business, Engineering, and other Pre-Law courses
  • Confederation College in Ontario: Engineering, Hospitality, Communications, and Health programs depending on the campuses
  • Douglas College in Vancouver: Communications, Business and Economics, Hospitality, Health, and Social sciences courses with continuing postgraduate certificates
  • Fanshawe College in Ontario: Aviation Technology, Films and Media Arts, Health Sciences, Business courses, and a lot more part-time and post-graduate degrees
  • Fleming College in Toronto: Business, Community Services, Health, Technology, and Natural Sciences
  • Georgian College in Ontario: Business, Health Sciences, Engineering, Aviation, and Media Arts courses
  • International Language Academy of Canada or ILAC in Toronto: Business, Computer Studies, Mathematics, Community/Social studies, Hospitality
  • Loyalist College in Ontario: Biotechnology, Business, Health and Wellness, Engineering, and Media Studies with flexible learning options
  • MacEwan University in Alberta: Nursing and Health Studies, Business, Fine Arts, Communications, Mathematics, and Computer courses
  • Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia: Business, Communication, Hospitality, Humanities and Research Sciences, and many Master and Graduate programs to choose from
  • North Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta: Business, Applied Science and Technology, Health and Life Sciences, and Skilled Trades programs
  • Oxford International Education Group in Toronto: Hospitality, Health Sciences, Medicine and Nursing programs
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta: Business, Economics, Computer Studies, Engineering, Media Arts, and Hospitality courses, with continuing diplomas and certificates
  • Seneca Polytechnic in Toronto: Aviation, Business, Engineering, Hospitality, and Computer sciences
  • Sheridan College in Ontario: Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Medicine and Nursing programs
  • Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia: Business, Communications, Computer Science, Engineering, Hospitality, Skilled Trades, and many options for post-baccalaureate diplomas and certificates
Students at a university campus in Canada
Check your benefits

Being a foreign student means having to shell out money from your own pocket, but note that many of these schools offer scholarship grants for international students. They could even help you fix your schedule if you decide to study while juggling your work for extra income. 

ApplyBoard is a recruitment partner of the Study in Canada Fair that could help you choose and consider the benefits of those institutions. There are schools that waive application fees only through ApplyBoard such as Alexander College, Algoma University, Centennial College, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, Loyalist College, Seneca Polytechnic, and more. 

Scholarships and bursaries are also available in many public universities, including Algoma University, Confederation College, Georgian College, ILAC Higher Education, Loyalist College, MacEwan University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Oxford International Education Group, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, which you may apply for. To see more details of their scholarship grants, you may visit ApplyBoard's official website

Complete your credentials

Before you move to Canada, it's important to make sure to complete all your travel and academic documents such as your personal passport, visa, diploma, and transcript of records.

Note that school requirements vary per institution. Some of them require applicants to undergo admission examinations, even English Language Placement Test results. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is lifted in some schools like Alexander College, Algoma University, Bow Valley College, Centennial College, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Fanshawe College, Fleming College, Mount Saint Vincent University if you apply through ApplyBoard.

Essentially, international students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada require a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to study in a program that's longer than six months, which you can obtain through their official website

A study permit is not the same as a temporary resident visa (TRV) and does not allow you to enter or re-enter Canada. To get into the country, students are required to submit a Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for non-visa-required countries. Immigrants are recommended to apply for a TRV online within Canada with an application fee of P4,180 ($100). Typically, TRV will be granted for the duration of the study permit. 

If you need to extend your study permit or apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) from inside Canada, your TRV will not be automatically renewed. Applicants need to do this separately. 

The Canadian government is looking to provide 500,000 international students with academic opportunities in the next two years.
Plan ahead

Studying abroad is easier said than done so it's good to think ahead about how you're going to settle in Canada.

While securing your travel needs would require effort, Succeed Philippines offers assistance in terms of lodging, pre-departure orientation, scholarships, and program recommendations. Through this educational consultant agency, interested travelers have two options to choose from:

  • All-free premium class, which includes onboarding session, program application, visa preparation, and personal lodging
  • Hassle-free first class, which includes school and program application, tuition fee payment, medical examination, direct RCIC visa orientation, visa application, pre-departure orientation, free IELTS exam, "bring your dependents" assistance, and first-class concierge

In terms of accommodations, all aforementioned universities provide in and off-campus housing and homestay programs that accommodate their foreign enrollees for a vibrant, active community within their stay. For a price check, be sure to visit the indicated official university websites.