Canada is a popular destination for international students who want to pursue higher education in a diverse and multicultural environment. However, applying for admission and a visa to study in Canada can be a challenging and complex. Here are some tips to help you prepare and succeed in your application.
- Cost of studying in Canada: Before you apply to any Canadian institution, you should have a clear idea of how much it will cost to study and live in Canada. The cost of studying in Canada varies depending on your choice’s level, program, and institution, as well as the province and city where you will study. According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition fee for international undergraduate students in 2022 was $36,100 per year, while the average tuition fee for international graduate students was $21,100 per year. However, these figures do not include other expenses such as housing, transportation, food, books, and health insurance. Considering the exchange rate and inflation when planning your budget would be best. According to Universities Canada, the average living cost for international students in Canada was around $15,000 per year in 2019. You can use the EduCanada cost calculator to estimate your expenses based on your program and location.
- Tuition Fees: One way to reduce your tuition fees is to apply for scholarships, grants, or bursaries offered by the Canadian government, your home country, or the institution you are applying to. You can search for scholarships on the EduCanada or the institution’s websites. Some scholarships are merit-based, while others are need-based or based on other criteria such as academic field, country of origin, or leadership potential. You should also check each scholarship’s eligibility requirements and deadlines and prepare the necessary documents and essays to support your application. Another way to lower your tuition fees is to apply for a study permit through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), a faster and simpler way to get your study permit if you are a legal resident of certain countries. If you qualify for the SDS, you will pay a lower application fee and receive a decision within 20 calendar days. However, you will need to meet certain requirements, such as having an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI), having a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000, paying your first year of tuition fees in advance, and having a minimum score of 6.0 in IELTS or 7.0 in TEF.
- Housing Costs: Another major expense for international students in Canada is housing. You can choose to live on-campus or off-campus, depending on your preference, budget, and availability. Living on campus means staying in a residence hall or dormitory provided by the institution, where you will share a room or an apartment with other students. Living on campus has many benefits, such as being close to your classes and facilities, having access to meal plans and services, and being part of a community. However, living on campus can also be more expensive and competitive, as there are limited spaces and high demand. According to Statistics Canada, the average cost of on-campus accommodation for international students in 2022 was $1,611 per month. Living off-campus means renting a room or an apartment outside the campus, alone or with other students or tenants. Living off-campus gives you more freedom, privacy, and flexibility, as well as the opportunity to explore the city and culture. However, living off-campus can also be more challenging and risky, as you must deal with landlords, contracts, utilities, and transportation. According to Numbeo, the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in a city center in Canada in 2023 was $1,397 per month. You can search for off-campus housing options on Places4Students, RentBoard, or Kijiji.
- Transportation and Feeding: Depending on where you live and study, you will also need to consider the cost of transportation and feeding in Canada. If you live on-campus or close to your campus, you may not need to spend much on transportation, as you can walk, bike, or take public transit to your classes and other destinations. However, if you live far from your campus or want to travel to other places, you must budget for transportation costs, such as bus, subway, train, or taxi fares. You can save money on transportation by buying a monthly pass, a student discount card, or a carpooling service. According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one-way ticket on local public transport in Canada in 2024 was $3.25, while the average price of a monthly pass was $73. If you live on campus, you may have access to a meal plan, which is a prepaid service that allows you to eat at the campus cafeteria or other food outlets. A meal plan can be convenient and affordable, as you do not have to worry about cooking or grocery shopping. However, a meal plan can also be limited and repetitive, as you may not have much variety or choice in your food options. According to Statistics Canada, the average meal plan cost for international students in 2022 was $4,500 per year. If you live off-campus, you will have to buy your own groceries and cook your own meals, or eat out at restaurants or fast-food outlets. Buying groceries and cooking at home can be cheaper and healthier, as you can control the quality and quantity of your food. However, buying groceries and cooking at home can also be time-consuming and tedious, as you will have to plan your meals, shop for ingredients, and prepare your dishes. Eating out can be convenient and enjoyable, as you can try different cuisines and socialize with your friends. However, eating out can also be expensive and unhealthy, as you may not know your food’s nutritional value or hygiene standards. According to Numbeo, the average cost of groceries for one person in Canada in 2023 was $64 per week, while the average cost of eating out at a mid-range restaurant was $20 per person.
- Deadline to submit your application: The deadline to submit your application for admission and visa to study in Canada depends on the institution and program you are applying to, as well as the intake period you are aiming for. Generally, there are three intake periods for studying in Canada: fall (September to December), winter (January to April), and summer (May to August). Most institutions and programs accept applications for the fall intake, which is the main intake period for studying in Canada. Some institutions and programs also accept applications for the winter and summer intakes, which are less popular and competitive. However, not all institutions and programs offer all three intake periods, so you should check the specific deadlines and requirements for your chosen institution and program on their website or contact their admission office. As a general rule, you should apply at least 8 to 12 months before your intended start date, as the admission and visa processes can take several months to complete. You should also apply as early as possible, as some institutions and programs have rolling admissions, which means they accept applications until they fill up their seats. Applying early can increase your chances of getting accepted and receiving scholarships, as well as giving you enough time to prepare your documents and finances.
Student VISA Application
- To study in Canada as an international student, you will need a study permit, a type of visa that allows you to stay and study in Canada for the duration of your program. You will also need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), which are types of visas that allow you to enter and exit Canada. The type of visa you need depends on your country of citizenship and the length of your stay. You can check the visa requirements for your country on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
- To apply for a study permit, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI), a school the Canadian government authorizes to host international students. You must have an acceptance letter from a DLI to prove your enrollment.
- Prove you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. You must provide bank statements, scholarship letters, or other financial documents to prove your funds.
- Obey the law, have no criminal record, and get a police certificate (if required). You must provide a criminal record check, a fingerprint scan, or other security documents to prove your good character.
- Be in good health and get a medical exam (if required). You must undergo a physical examination by a panel physician approved by the IRCC and provide a medical report to prove your health condition.
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires. You will need to provide a valid passport, a travel itinerary, or other evidence to prove your ties to your home country and your intention to return.
- To apply for a study permit, you can choose to apply online or on paper. Applying online is faster and easier, as you can submit your application and supporting documents electronically, pay your fees online, and track your application status online. However, you will need to have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and a valid credit or debit card to pay your fees. Applying on paper is slower and more complicated, as you will need to fill out a paper application form, mail your application and supporting documents to the nearest visa office, pay your fees by bank draft or money order, and wait for a decision by mail. You can find the application forms and instructions for both methods on the IRCC website.
- To apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid passport or travel document that will not expire before the end of your stay in Canada. You will need to provide a copy of your passport or travel document to prove your identity and nationality.
- Have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction from the visa office that approved your study permit application. You will need to provide a copy of your study permit or letter of introduction to prove your purpose and duration of your stay in Canada.
- Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions or violations. You will need to provide a police certificate or other security documents to prove your good conduct.
- Have no medical or health issues that could pose a risk to the public health or safety of Canadians. You will need to provide a medical exam or other health documents to prove your health condition.
- Have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. You will need to provide bank statements, scholarship letters, or other financial documents to prove your funds.
- To apply for a TRV, you will need to follow the same steps as applying for a study permit, either online or on paper. You will also need to pay a processing fee of $100 per person. You can find the application forms and instructions on the IRCC website. To apply for an eTA, you will need to fill out an online form, pay a processing fee of $7 per person, and receive an email confirmation within minutes. You can apply for an eTA on the IRCC website.
- Applying for admission and visa to study in Canada can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, as you will have the opportunity to pursue your academic goals and explore a new culture and lifestyle. However, applying for admission and visa to study in Canada can also be a daunting and stressful process, as you will have to meet various requirements and deadlines, and prepare various documents and fees. Therefore, you should plan ahead, do your research, and follow the tips and guidelines provided in this article to increase your chances of success and avoid any delays or complications. We hope this article has been helpful and informative, and we wish you all the best in your application and studies in Canada. Thank you for reading! 😊