1. Am I eligible to study in Canada?

Each college or university has its own entrance requirements and will assess you on an individual basis. They will determine the equivalency of your academic credentials. There is no nationwide set of entrance exams. Your StudyCan representative can assist you in correspondence with Canadian educational institutions.

2. What is the difference between a university and a college?

Universities are educational institutions attended after at least 12 years of school, or after secondary school, for studies leading to a degree and research. All offer three or four year bachelor degree programs; most offer one to two year master's degrees and a number also offer doctoral or PhD programs.

Some universities are called colleges, and a few are called institutes, university colleges, or schools. Community colleges are two-year institutions that offer technical or vocational courses leading to a certificate or diploma, or courses for transfer to a university.

3. How do I apply?

StudyCan will assist you to determine which educational institution best meets your needs and will complete the institution’s application form on your behalf. Generally, international students should apply up to three months in advance to colleges and eight months to universities. Some universities have application deadlines as late as June for a September start date. Typical entry points for international students are the September and January semesters. However, many institutions have adopted a procedure of "rolling-admissions" which means that they consider international students’ applications as they come in throughout the year.

4. What are the language requirements?

Most English universities require a score of 560 or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 70 on the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL). However in the absence of a TOEFL score or if the student is not fluent in English, many institutions will complete their own assessment of the student’s English abilities, and place the student at an appropriate level in an English as a Second Language program before beginning regular program studies. ESL students transition into their regular program by taking one or two regular courses combined with ESL courses, and gradually increasing the number of regular courses.

5. How long will it take to earn a degree?

Depending on the province, a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree takes either three or four years to complete. In provinces that grant three-year bachelor degrees, students must complete an additional year to obtain an honours degree. In some provinces, the fourth year is not necessary, but all honours programs require a high level of achievement and concentration in the subject. An honours degree is generally a prerequisite for admission into graduate studies.

A master’s degree usually requires at least one year of full-time study (after an honours degree) and includes a thesis, practicum or a research paper. A doctoral degree, or PhD, requires at least three years of additional full-time study, with at least one year on campus. In most cases, a master’s degree is required before admission into a doctoral program, but some universities will accept students who have completed an honours degree.

6. Will my degree be recognized in other countries?

A degree from a Canadian university is recognized around the world and is usually equivalent to an American degree or a degree from another Commonwealth country. Professional and specialized programs such as medicine, nursing and engineering are accredited by reliable and reputable agencies. Current and new academic programs are regularly reviewed by provincial, institutional or regional bodies to ensure quality standards. Canadian universities offer academic programs of the highest quality, with a reputation that extends far beyond our borders.

7. What are the tuition fees?

Tuition fees for international students vary from province to province and depend on your faculty of choice. The following table shows the range of tuition fees for each province. Fees are in Canadian dollars –for general arts and science programs.





Undergraduate tuition fees per academic year, $Cdn. (International students)

Graduate tuition fees per academic year, $Cdn. (International students)

British Columbia $4,304 - $15,480 $2,845 - $17,325
Alberta $5,983 - $10,364 $4,416 - $19,200
Saskatchewan $7,170 - $9,701 $5,313 - $7,170
Manitoba $5,004 - $6,630 $5,435 - $9,685
Ontario $6,082 - $12,666 $5,174 - $26,000
Quebec $8,868 - $10,188 $4,961 - $20,000
New Brunswick $6,540 - $ 9,960 $5,230 - $8,216
Nova Scotia $6,882 - $11,718 $4,065 - $14,800
Prince Edward Island $7,270 $5,947
Newfoundland $6,660 $1,896 - $3,549

Source: Statistics Canada

Please remember that your tuition fees will make up only part of your total expenses. You must also budget for books, instruments, student activity fees, food, housing, travel/transportation, health care, clothing, laundry and entertainment.

Average conversion factor of Canadian to U.S. dollars is 1.5.

8. How much will living in Canada cost?

The cost of living in Canada is moderate, compared with other countries. Some prices of typical goods and services are as follows (in US dollars):

  • One month’s rent, one-bedroom apartment: $400
  • Bus fare, one way: $1.50
  • Local telephone call: $0.25
  • Average restaurant meal: lunch $7/dinner $14
  • Movie: $7

Since the winters are cold in most parts of Canada, an adequate warm clothing budget is a must. Expect to spend $250 - $350 US for proper winter clothes.

Generally you will need approximately $12,000 US ($18,840 Cdn or 13,000 Euro) to cover your expenses for an academic year. This includes your tuition and living expenses but not transportation to and from your home country. Please bear in mind that this figure is an average only. Actual expenses may vary depending on the region of the country you live in, the tuition fees at the university you attend and the program you choose.

9. What housing is available?

Some colleges and universities offer the option to live on-campus either in residences designated for international students or in residences generally available to all students on campus. However, acceptance at a Canadian school does not always automatically secure accommodation in a residence. Students need to apply separately for on-campus housing. Information on housing, both on- and off-campus, is available from the housing office or the international student adviser at most universities. A StudyCan representative will assist you in securing housing that meets your personal and financial needs.

10. Is financial aid possible?

Scholarship information:

  • Contact the Ministry of Education in your home country for information on Canadian scholarships 
  • You can also get scholarship information from the financial aid offices at the university where you wish to study. 
  • Visit the Awards section of the Canadian Bureau for International Education Web site.

You can also get scholarship information from the financial aid offices at the university where you wish to study.

Visit the Awards section of the Canadian Bureau for International Education Web site.

11. Am I eligible to work in Canada?

There are a number of opportunities to work while studying in Canada. All international students may work on campus. Graduate or research work completed at facilities associated with your institution (such as hospitals) also meets the definition of "on-campus". In order to work off-campus, international students must obtain a work permit. This may be obtained if employment is considered essential to your course of study.

Please note that the Canadian government is now looking at the possibility to allow, under certain conditions, full-time international students to work part-time off-campus during the school term and full-time during the holidays. For more information on this potential policy change, please contact your closest Canadian diplomatic post or student adviser at the Canadian university where you have sent your application.

In addition, you may request a work permit if you finish your degree in Canada and wish to work for a year in your field of study.

For more information about working while studying in Canada, please contact the visa officer at your closest Canadian diplomatic post or visit the Web site of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

12. Do I need health insurance?

Yes. You will have to arrange for medical coverage before you arrive in Canada. Medical coverage varies from province to province and sometimes from university to university within each province. Please ask an official at the nearest Canadian diplomatic post for detailed information. Also, check whether the universities you are applying to have any medical insurance plans for international students.

The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan cover international students under their provincial health care plans. Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec do not cover international students under their provincial health care plans. International students planning to study in one of these provinces must arrange for private medical coverage through private insurance companies.

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