Are you a High School student?
Are you looking to start planning for University?
Are you considering applying as an International Student?
Are you looking to get information about your options?
Then, ‘University in Canada’ is your comprehensive guide.
If you have never considered Canada for university, this guide will show you why you should make Canada an option.
If you already are considering Canada for university, this guide will not only answer all the questions you might have but also guide you through your application process.
You will learn of the country, the best-known universities in Canada, how to apply, how to prepare, what to expect and more!
Make ‘University in Canada’ your one and only guide to choosing and starting a university in Canada.
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When you imagine your life after high school, do you see yourself in Canada?
When you imagine your life after high school, do you see yourself in Canada?
Whether Canada is already at the top of your list or not on your list at all yet, here are a few reasons why you should consider spending your university years there:
Canada is a bilingual country with both an Anglophone and a Francophone population.
It is divided into provinces, rather than states.
The province of Quebec is the only province with an all French-speaking population.
The following are Canada’s Best Known Universities:
University of Victoria
University of Manitoba
North Bay, ON
University of Guelph
University of Ottawa
University of Toronto
University of Waterloo
University of Windsor
Quebec City, QC
Universite de Montreal
University of Saskatchewan
Before you choose the university you will be attending, it is very important to look past the courses, degrees, and professors in order to also consider the campus itself.
Would you like a large, sprawling modern campus in the middle of downtown? Or maybe you’d prefer one that is covered with trees, fields, century-old stone buildings, and brick walkways…
Many universities now offer virtual tours of their campuses on their main websites. All you have to do is visit their website and click on the virtual tour option on their homepage. It should give you a really good idea of what your surroundings will look like, how close the classes, cafeteria, gym, and bus stops are.
All universities generally have two dates in the year that are either referred to as “Preview Day” or “Open House.” On these dates, the university will be open to visitors who wish to see inside the buildings, classrooms, and residences. Often, there are speakers at certain times that address future students regarding student life, certain degrees or extracurricular life.
Open House and Preview days can get quite crowded, however, and the chance to personalize your tour or ask questions might be lower. So, for those who wish to take scheduled tours, all universities offer guided tours throughout the year.
All campus tours require early online registration. Some universities will divide the tours according to degrees and some according to how much you wish to see.
Campus tours are generally offered in the Fall/Winter semesters and in some cases, in the Spring/Summer semesters. The dates for each specific semester will be posted online at each university’s website.
Tours can last anywhere between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the university. Tours also provide the perfect opportunity to ask any and all questions you might have about the university, the city, or the life of a student there.
Any university application will first and foremost require a valid high school diploma. After that, each university will have its own specific set of requirements that depend on the degree you are applying to. The grade-point average required for each degree is different, along with the courses that you should have taken in secondary school as prerequisites to your program.
Application forms, for each university, can be accessed through the official school websites provided on the “University Map” page of this application. Two of the provinces (Ontario and Alberta) have their own main provincial websites (www.ouac.on.ca and www.applyalberta.ca, respectively) that govern the application process for the universities within that province.
The following is a general guideline of what all Canadian Universities look for in the applications of international students:
Believe it or not, unlike American colleges, Canadian universities do not generally require extracurricular activities, SAT scores, personal essays, or recommendations. Specifically, SAT scores are only required if you will be receiving your high school diploma from an American high school. However, though they are not mandatory in most cases, you may indicate the activities you were involved in and submit SAT scores (if you already have them) so that they may be considered along with your application.
* If your documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation must be included with the original documents.
**Photocopies or faxed copies of English Proficiency examination results are not accepted. The scores must be sent directly to the university by the testing agency.
The most important step in this process is choosing the right university for you. Beware, however, the terms College and University are not interchangeable in Canada a as they are in the US. They refer to two different levels of post-secondary education. Colleges are generally aimed at practical, hands-on training for specific jobs.
The following list is a guideline to help you with your decision:
When applying to universities in Canada, it is important to remember that there is only one deadline for sending your applications in. However, you may receive either an early acceptance or a regular acceptance. The following will provide you with an idea of the steps involved when applying to the university of your choice in Canada:
All applications are online. In order to get started, you must create an account at either the university’s own admissions page or one of the main university application websites. The provinces of Alberta and Ontario have their own application websites that include every university within that province. (Alberta: www.applyalberta.ca, Ontario: www.ouac.on.ca)
Once your account is created, you will fill out the application forms and get all your documentation together. The documentation can generally be sent up to one month after the application is sent online. Check each specific universities site in order to be certain of deadlines. Refer to the “University Map” section of this application for website links.
For each application, an application fee must also be paid. Check the base and international service fees online. Each application after the first 3 requires an additional fee that is available on the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre website (www.ouac.on.ca).
If applying to a university outside of Ontario, then you must pay the specific fee the university of your choice has listed on its website (Refer to the “University Map” section of this application to access websites.) You must pay separately for each application.
It is imperative that you get your application and documentation submitted before the deadline. The specific dates, however, may change from year to year so it is very important to check online to make sure you will have enough time to get everything done.
Generally, in order to be considered for early acceptance, applications need to be submitted in January. To be considered for regular acceptance, applications are due by March.
Once all your applications are complete and sent, you will be entering what is possibly the most difficult part of this process: the wait for acceptance letters. Stay calm!
Types of Acceptance
Although there is one application deadline, there are two types of acceptances you may be offered: early and regular acceptance. Regular acceptance decisions are generally made in April or May. If you qualify for an early acceptance, you will receive a conditional acceptance letter in February or March.
Early acceptances are given based on the grades you achieved in grade 11, and therefore, require you to maintain a certain average in grade 12 in order for your early acceptance to remain valid.
You will also need to indicate whether you accept or decline the offers that you received. This is generally done by June.
Each and every university will have different forms of financial assistance available for international students. The following information is a general guideline of what is available at Canadian universities:
Possible forms of financial assistance include financial aid, scholarships, bursaries, and grants.
Since international students have to declare, upon entering the country, that they are able to financially support themselves throughout their studies, financial aid is not offered.
Scholarships, however, are available. Generally, new students will be considered for grants, scholarships and bursaries once they apply. If they qualify, they will be informed. There are some scholarships, however, which require a separate application. These applications need to include letters of intent, personal essays and/or recommendations. For these specific opportunities, you must check the website of the university you are considering and be aware of deadlines. Refer to the “University Map” section of this guide to access the websites.
So, you’ve made it! Congratulations!
Now it’s time to look ahead.
At the end of your degree, having gone to university in Canada will leave you with an internationally recognized and respected diploma. Canada’s educational system is of the highest level. You can rest easy knowing that you received a quality education.
Your Canadian university diploma will open doors for you all over the world, including but not limited to North America and the UK. You can easily choose to start your career in the country of your choosing or continue your education at the university of your choosing.
While at university, keep the following in mind:
When at university, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with all the rules and laws of not only Canada but also the university you are studying at.
It will be solely your responsibility to be aware of the rules and regulations of your school; “I didn’t know” will not be accepted as an excuse.
The following is a list of general rules any new student should be aware of when starting university in Canada:
After you have received your acceptance and before you arrive on campus to start university, you must make living arrangements. You will have two options for housing while at university. You can either live on-campus (dorms/residences) or off-campus (house/apartment).
In Canada, dorms are referred to as “residences.” There will often be a number of different buildings that will each have their own history, characteristics, room types, cafeterias, and location.
In off-campus housing, you will have to handle the whole process by yourself. You will need to research apartments or houses in the city, close to the university. You will then have to get in touch with the landlord and arrive in the city with enough time to sign the lease agreement.
For a first year student, however, residence is a much better option. Other students having a very similar experience will be sharing your living space. You will end up making more friends, being more involved, and getting help in some shared classes. If you eventually wish to move off-campus, your time at residence will give you a chance to find friends to move into a house or apartment with you. Roommates are generally necessary for off-campus housing to be able to afford the rent.
You will need to apply for residence right after you have decided on the university you will be attending. Information on how to apply for residence will be mailed to you with your acceptance package. When it comes to applying for residence, you have to make sure you are honest about what kind of living situation you would feel most comfortable in. Research the residence buildings well and indicate how many roommates you prefer. Be completely honest when filling out your personality form because you will be placed accordingly.
You will have a choice of a single room, double room, or sometimes a triple room. You will be provided with a single bed with a mattress, closet, desk, phone, and shelves. There will also be a lock on your door that you will have keys to and an Internet connection that you will need an Ethernet connection cable for. There will be a shared bathroom on your floor and a shared laundromat in each building with a number of washers and dryers that you will need to pay for with coins each time you wash. Different sections in each residence building will also have an R.A. (an upper-year student) who will be responsible for ‘supervising’ the students living there. They are also there, however, to talk to, give advice, and provide help with almost anything.
You will need to bring your own sheets, blanket, pillows, desk lamps, laundry hamper, hangers, and an Ethernet cable. There will be plenty of stores close to your university where you can purchase each one of these things when you first arrive.
Once you are settled in, you can start thinking about food and transportation. There will always be numerous cafeterias that offer a variety of food throughout a university campus. In order to buy food, you may use cash, or more commonly, a meal card. Your student ID card doubles as a meal card and you simply have to deposit money to your student account. There are many meal packages to choose from depending on how much you think you might spend over the year. This deposit of money can be done anytime through the year.
If you are looking for ethnic markets or restaurants, Canada’s multicultural identity will serve you well. Almost all cities will feature restaurants from a variety of cultures. You can simply search under your city’s name on the Internet to find a market or restaurant near you.
Your student ID card also is used as your bus pass. Buses that go throughout the city are covered in your tuition fees. As long as you have your student card, you will be able to use the buses for free.
A package of information will meet you in your residence room once you arrive that will give you all the information you might need. Any other questions will be gladly answered by your R.A. or student services at your university.
In order to apply for your student visa, you first need proof of acceptance. Once you have your acceptance letter, you can start the application process.
In addition to your student visa, a temporary resident visa will most likely also be required. This depends on the country you are coming from. The list of countries, along with all the forms you will need to fill out can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (www.cic.gc.ca). You do not, however, need to fill out a separate application package and pay an additional fee for your temporary resident visa. The two visas will be processed simultaneously.
When mailing in your application for a student visa, you must include:
Once you have all your documents ready, mail your application package to the Canadian Visa Office that is responsible for your area (this information can also be found on the website mentioned above). You should apply for your student visa as soon as you receive your acceptance.
Once your application is approved, you will be receiving a Letter of Introduction confirming the approval. This is the documentation that you will have to show to an officer upon arrival in Canada. The officer will then issue your study permit/student visa there and then.
Canada makes one big exception for international students. You are able to work on campus at the university you attend if you are a full-time student and have a valid study permit.
If you are planning on working off-campus, however, you must apply for a work permit.
If applying from outside Canada, you will need:
If applying from inside Canada, you will need the same three documentations stated above for applying from outside Canada in addition to the following:
If you wish to work in Quebec, you must also get a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec.
Once you have all your documents ready, mail your application package to the Canadian Visa Office that is responsible for your area (this information can also be found on the website mentioned above), along with a fee (Check the fee in CAD online.)
You will be contacted about the state of your application.
Permanent Residency is applicable to people who have immigrated to Canada but are not yet a Canadian citizen. As a permanent resident, you must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws.
To apply for immigration, you will have to choose a category to apply under. There are 6 different categories. As an International Student, you would fit under the Canadian Experience Class category that is for those who have recently graduated and/or worked in Canada. This will allow you to transition from a temporary resident to a permanent one.
In order to apply, you will need to obtain an application package and include all the documentation asked for. When complete, mail your application to the address stated in the application package.
Make sure you:
* You will also need to pay a Right of Permanent Residence fee if/once your application is approved. (Check the fee in CAD online.)
In order to remain a permanent resident, you must live in Canada for at least 2 years within a five-year period. Also, if you are planning on leaving the country, you must have the Permanent Resident Card in your possession.
You will have the right to:
You will not be able to:
In order to apply for Canadian citizenship, the following requirements must be met:
When applying, the following steps need to be taken:
Note: There will be a fee for the right to be a citizen and another fee for the grant of citizenship.
You will not be able to become a citizen if:
IT’S SIMPLE... IF YOU KNOW THESE WORDS, YOU’LL GET HIGHER SCORES!