CANADA

Study in Canada

If you are one of those who seek a high quality of life above anything else, Canada is the place for you. It has been consistently ranked by the UN asthe number one country in the world to live in. Having a large Asian Diaspora of students, Canada offers a truly international educational experience. Furthermore, the Canadian degree or diploma is instantly recognized around the world as being of the highest standard. And you get all this at a remarkably low cost, both in terms of cost of education and the cost of living. Tuition fees for international students in Canada are much lower than comparable countries. With over 90 universities and 150 colleges and technical institutes, featuring virtually every program imaginable, Canada may just be the place of your dreams.
This site gives you an extensive insight into how you can turn your dream into reality.

Top Reasons to Study in Canada

  • A degree or diploma from Canadian educational institutions is instantly recognized around the world as being of the highest standard.
  • Tuition fees for international students in Canada are much lower than comparable countries.
  • Canada spends more per capita on education than any other country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • There are 100,000 international students from all parts of the world annually in Canada. Your educational experience is sure to be truly international.
  • Canada is renowned all over the world for its tradition of hospitality and tolerance. A remarkable multicultural society ensures that you will be welcomed and made to feel at home during your stay in Canada. More than 600,000 Canadians trace their roots back to India.
  • Canada is a world leader in software development, telecommunications, aerospace, engineering, urban transport, biotechnology, mining technology and environmental industries. As a student, you have a wealth of research and scholars to draw upon a variety of disciplines.
  • Canada offers a wide choice of over 90 universities and 150 colleges and technical institutes, featuring virtually every program imaginable.
  • For all that it offers, Canada has a remarkably low cost of living. Its inflation rate has remained one of the lowest in the industrialized world.

Education System

Education in Canada is under the complete jurisdiction of the provinces and territories and as such, there is no federal education system in Canada. In keeping with the national commitment to education, public education in Canada is free upto and including secondary school in all the provinces.
However, each provincial system, while similar to the others, reflects its specific regional concerns, and historical and cultural heritage. At the post-secondary level, institutions are divided into community colleges and universities.
There are significant differences between the education systems of the different provinces of Canada. Secondary schooling in Canada could go up to Grade 11, 12 or 13, depending on the province unlike in India, where Grade 12 is standard all over the country.

Post-secondary education is offered by four types of educational institutions:

  • Universities
  • University Colleges
  • Community Colleges/Technical Institutes
  • Career Colleges

Universities: Canadian universities are largely public funded, and, as a result, offer consistently high quality education at lower tuition rates for international students than their counterparts in competing countries. They offer a broad range of courses and degrees from undergraduate to doctorate and also certificate and professional degrees.

University Colleges: As a component of the Canadian university system, university colleges offer students a choice of either academic oriented university degree programmes or the more practical-oriented college diplomas and certificates. As a part of the Canadian college system, university colleges are distinguished by their strong student support services, small classes and strong campus environments. They also offer combined degree/diploma programmes and university transfer programmes.

Community colleges and technical institutes: They typically have a more vocational-related curricula, with small classes, off-campus course offerings,
a greater ratio of laboratory space to classroom space, and an interactive teaching style. The uniqueness of Canadian colleges lies in the combination of employer-centered curricula. These institutes have the primary function of responding to the training needs of business, industry, and public service sectors. Most colleges and technical institutes offer diplomas and certificates rather than degrees, however, more and more now grant degrees and applied degrees.

Technical/ Career College : This is a privately owned and operated school with the main objective of preparing students for the job market after a short period of instruction. The emphasis at career colleges is on practical skills over a broad range of programmes. They specialize in such areas as business, computers, and secretarial skills. Although privately owned, these institutes are provincially approved and regulated, ensuring that programmes standards and quality are maintained.

The academic year usually starts in September and ends in May, and is normally divided into two semesters. Some institutes operate on a semester or trimester system and admit students in January and/or May as well as September. Many institutes offer a limited number of courses and special programmes during the summer session.

Type of Certification

  • Certificate is a qualification awarded upon successful completion of a programme which is usually one year in length, and is offered at colleges.
  • Diploma is the qualification awarded on the basis of one or two year’s successful study, and is offered at colleges.
  • Undergraduate/bachelors degrees are awarded by a university after four years of full-time study, and lead to graduate level studies.
  • Graduate/post graduate degrees lead to advanced degrees, diplomas and certificates. A pre-requisite to participate in graduate studies is a bachelors/undergraduate degree (4 years).
  • M.B.A. programmes will typically require a minimum of two to three years of relevant work experience, GMAT score of 580-600, TOEFL score of 560-600, and a 4 year degree, and are generally 2 years in duration, though a few institutes offer a fast track option.
  • Pre-requisites to participating in a master’s programme is a four year bachelor’s degree with high academic standing equivalent to a minimum mid-B grade in Canada (mid 70’s); at least two academic letters of reference; and other qualifications as specified, ie., TOEFL, GRE general and/or subject test. Master’s programmes generally require two years to complete full-time, and usually require a combination
    of course work and thesis.
  • Doctorate or Ph.D. is a degree ranking above a master’s degree, and generally requires four to seven years to complete full time. A combination of course work, original research, and a thesis is required. Prerequisites are typically a master’s degree, although direct entry from a bachelor’s degree to a Ph.D. programme may be possible depending on the school and programme. Minimum high-B grade in Canada (high 70’s) is required; where relevant, demonstrated research competence equivalent to at least a B+ grade; at least two academic letters of reference; and other qualifications as specified, ie., TOEFL, GRE general and or subject test.
  • Post-doctoral programmes are much more specialized, research oriented programmes. One of the most important factors in granting post-doctorate fellowships is the personal network established between the interested applicant and the faculty member within the institution.

Application Process for Undergraduate Courses

In most Canadian universities and colleges, the academic year is divided into two semesters, the fall semester (Sept-Dec), and the winter semester (Jan-May), with a short vacation at Christmas. Many colleges also offer a summer semester beginning in May.

University deadlines for the September session vary from institution to institution, though are generally from mid December to the end of March.

Colleges may have a rolling admission policy and will accept applications while processing time still permits.

If applying to a universities and some colleges in the province of Ontario, you must submit your applications through central application centres. The Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) deadline is March 1, those applications received after the deadline will be processed on a first come, first served basis. The Ontario College Application Services (OCAS) deadline is March 1 for admission the following September, applications received after that date will be handled on a first come, first served basis. Some Ontario colleges have applications that can be submitted directly to the institute itself.

Some institutes have January admission, deadlines will be the preceding September to November.

Dates can vary from institution to institution, and should be confirmed by checking the relevant calendars.

There are some differences in the application process if you are applying to colleges and universities in the province of Ontario and in the province of Quebec compared to colleges and universities in the rest of Canada. Check out the table below.
Ontario Colleges and Universities

Universities : Complete the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) application form for upto 3 university/programme choices. Send the form along with the fee (C$95), by the 1st March deadline to OUAC

Colleges: Complete the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) application form for upto 5 college/programme choices. Send the form with the fee (C$65), by the 1st March deadline to OCAS.

The OUAC/OCAS will acknowledge receipt of the application and forward to the appropriate institutions.

Meanwhile, you have to send your academic Documents/supplementary fees to the chosen institute(s) by their respective deadlines
If there is any additional information that the institute requires from you, it will be communicated to you. After this the institute will make you an admission offer.

After you accept, the institute will send you an official letter of acceptance.

You apply to the Canadian High Commission for a student authorisation (Visa).

Quebec Colleges and Universities

Complete and send the application form, official transcripts/ academic records, plus application fee to the Registrar's Office of the institute(s) you wish to attend.

If there is any additional information that the institute requires from you, it will be communicated to you. After this the institute will make you an admission offer.

After you accept, the institute will send you an official letter of acceptance.

You apply to the Canadian High Commission for a student authorisation (Visa). In addition to the student authorisation, you must apply for a Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) from the Quebec Government.

The forms will be sent to you by the institute or they can be collected from the CEC.

Colleges and universities in the rest of Canada

Complete and send the application form, official transcripts/ academic records, plus application fee to the Registrar's Office of the institute(s) you wish to attend.

If there is any additional information that the institute requires from you, it will be communicated to you. After this the institute will make you an admission offer.

After you accept, the institute will send you an official letter of acceptance.

You apply to the Canadian High Commission for a student authorisation (Visa).

Application Forms

Send enquiries at least 15 to 18 months before the proposed date of admission.
There are three ways to get application forms.

  • Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.
  • Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.
  • Requesting Applications from CEC in Delhi : You can get application forms for all the universities from Canadian Education Centre in New Delhi. You can either visit them personally or email them for the forms.

There are significant differences between the education systems of the different provinces of Canada. Secondary schooling in Canada could go up to Grade 11, 12 or 13, depending on the province. Consequently, the eligibility criteria for colleges are also different in different provinces of Canada.

Most universities in states other than Ontario and Quebec require a minimum of 12 years of formal education for admission to Bachelor degree courses.

Universities of Ontario and Quebec require a minimum of 13 years of secondary school education. This implies 12 years of schooling and one year of college education in India, or 12 years of schooling in India and one year of high school in Canada. If your academic credentials are very impressive, some universities may admit you in their Bachelor degree programs with 12 years of education.

Important: We had written and spoken to the admission officers of most Canadian Universities regarding eligibility criteria for Indian students applying for undergraduate courses. Most, if not all mentioned that a lot would depend on the individual case. There was no broad standardized policy. If you feel you have a good academic record and also something significant to show to the admission committee, we would encourage you to apply even if you do not match the eligibility criteria.

There are no centralized Canada wide entrance tests, each institute sets its own admission standards and assesses the qualifications of each applicant individually. The general criteria is mentioned below:

 Programs/
Level of study
Undergraduate/Bachelors level
 Business
  • 70% in 12th grade
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • 12th grade level Maths
 Computer Science
  • 70% in 12th grade
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • 12th grade level Maths
 Engineering
  • 70% in 12th grade
  • 12th grade level Math (algebra, calculus, geometry), Physics, Chemistry, & English
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
 Fine Arts
  • Min. 70% in 12th grade
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • Portfolio/audition or documentary
    evidence of creative skills
 Media/ Communications
  • 70% in 12th grade
  • TOEFL : PBT: 600 min.
    CBT: 250 min.
Programs/
Level of study
Diploma
Business
  • Flexible admission
  • TOEFL : PBT: 550 min.
    CBT: 213 min.
Computer Science
  • Flexible admission
  • TOEFL : PBT: 550 min.
    CBT: 213 min.
  • 12th grade level
  • Maths
Engineering
  • Flexible admission
  • TOEFL : PBT: 550 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.

Application Requirements

Secondary School Reports and Transcripts
Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or another undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts(report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counsellor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relation to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a prediction of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and the ones used in India, ask your school to include a guide to the grading standards used in your educational system and your school. If your school ranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that the
ranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior college leaving certificate as and when it is available.

If the transcripts are in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university otherwise it may not be acceptable.

Standardized Tests
International students are also required to take English Proficiency tests like TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing). Every university has its own minimum requirements and scores with respect to standardized tests.

English Proficiency

TOEFL: This test is mandatory for International students applying to a Graduate course or
University in Canada. The minimum score required by most universities for admission is 570 (Paper-based test) and 230 (Computer-based test).

Most universities and colleges do accept IELTS score as well in lieu of TOEFL score.

Note:
Many universities in Canda have their own English proficiency tests.
These tests are conducted in India by CEC. For more information, check out the websites of the universities that you are interested in.

Letters of Recommendation Letters

Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission especially in courses that earn you a master’s or doctoral degree. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information.

The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake.
Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

Note : Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your applications as they increase your chances of getting admissions.

Statement of Purpose

The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself.

A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals.

Some courses like Business school courses will have their own essay questions and format. Others may ask for a résumé or reasons for applying to that particular course.

Application Procedure for Graduate Courses

Send enquiries at least 15 to 18 months before the proposed date of admission. There are two ways to get application forms.

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Most schools require qualifications comparable to a Canadian Bachelor’s (Honours) degree (Four Year Degree Program). That means a minimum of 16 years of formal education. In the Indian context, it implies qualifying in a professional four-year degree like engineering or other such courses.

For Doctorate programs, most universities require a Master’s degree in that subject. In a few exceptional cases like a good undergraduate engineering degree, they may offer a direct admission to a Doctorate course.

Programs/
Level of study
Graduate/Post-Graduate  level
Business
  • 2-3 years full time work experience
  • GMAT : 580-600 min.
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • 4 yr Bachelors degree, 70% aver.
Computer Science
  • 4 yr Bachelors degree, 70% aver., preferably in Computer Science
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • Some universities will require GRE Score (1200-1500)
Engineering
  • 4 yr Bachelors in Engineering, 70% aver.
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
  • Some universities will require GRE score (1200-1500)
Fine Arts
  • 4 yr Bachelors in Fine Arts
  • Portfolio/audition
  • TOEFL : PBT: 580-600 min.
    CBT: 237-250 min.
Media/ Communications
  • 4 yr Bachelors in Mass Communications
  • Portfolio
  • TOEFL : PBT: 600 min.
    CBT: 250 min.
  • Work experience is an added advantage
  • Some institutions may require written samples or copies of published work

Three year Graduates

If you have completed a three-year degree program in India, the advisable plan of action to maximize eligibility for Canadian graduate schools is to apply for a Post Graduate degree here in India. A one-year university affiliated program will make up for the fourth year of a Canadian Undergraduate degree.

IMPORTANT :
• Professional programs like the CA, ICWA, part time diplomas from a university such as those in management, communication may or may not be accepted, though most MBA programs now accept the Indian CA qualification in lieu of the fourth year graduation.

• Independent certificate courses offered by private institutions like Aptech, NIIT, etc. will most likely not be accepted. The decision is based on each university’s individual evaluation.

• One-year education of a two-year degree course (like M.Tech., M.A. etc.) may not be accepted by most schools. The full course has to be completed for qualification, unless there is a recognized university examination at the end of one year.

No standardized policy exists regarding the acceptance of such programs. Some universities may accept the three-year Indian Graduation Degree for a few programs. Confirmation can only be obtained by either writing directly or formally applying to the universities concerned

Your past academic record is one of the most important deciding factors in securing admission to a college abroad. Most schools require you to have a reasonably good academic record especially for programs and courses offering a master’s or doctoral degree. Each university has its own minimum requirement for its programs, which are flexible depending on the candidate’s profile.

Universities in Canada have their own marking and evaluation systems, which are considerably different from the Indian system. It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian system of grading to the Canadian Grade Point Average system or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate. You may attach an explanatory note from your college to indicate your rank in your class and/or university. The letter may also indicate your place as compared to the class and the university average and the number of students in the class and the number of colleges and students in the university. You may also provide any other information or documents that you feel may help you in the admission process.

Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript (mark-sheets) from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects/credits involved (for each year) and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript (mark-sheets) to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one copy of the transcript.

If the transcripts are in a language other than English, then they must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university otherwise it may not be accepted.

Many Courses and Universities in Canada require you to take one of the standardized tests like GRE, GMAT along with English Proficiency tests like TOEFL, TWE and IELTS.

English Proficiency

TOEFL: This test is mandatory for International students applying to a Graduate course or University in Canada. The minimum score required by most universities for admission is 570 (Paper-based test) and 230 (Computer-based test).

Other Tests

GMAT : For most management courses, International students are required to take GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).

GRE : For Graduate Courses in any field other than Management.

A number of professional and vocational courses require relevant work experience. For instance, many MBAs or master’s courses in information studies require at least a couple of years’ work experience. Most Canadian universities are pretty strict about this.

A detailed Résumé is an important part of your application. It should include all information of professional work experience along with the details like positions held, achievements and range of work.

Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission especially in courses that earn you a master’s or doctoral degree. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information.

The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

Note : Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your applications as they increase your chances of getting admissions.

The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself.

A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals.

Some courses like Business school courses will have their own essay questions and format. Others may ask for a résumé or reasons for applying to that particular course.

Canada: Tuition Fee, Living Costs, Expenses

International Students, 2011-2012 Tuition Fees, General Arts and Science programs (In Canadian Dollars)

ProvinceUndergraduateGraduate
Newfoundland$8,800$1,896 - 3,549
Prince Edward Island$10,624$6,100
Nova Scotia$8,050 - 14,200$4,329 - 15,000
New Brunswick$8,677 - 14,532$5,610 - 8,465
Quebec$14,562 - 16,260$8,268 - 20,000
Ontario$9,107 - 25,826$5,432 - 29,000
Manitoba$6,050 - 13,417$3,795 - 9,685
Saskatchewan$12,735 - 15,344$5,313
Alberta$9,331 - 18,058$5,298 - $19,200
British Columbia$10,416 - 21,963$2,272 - $17,499

*Source: The Directory of Canadian Universities , Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

LIVING EXPENSES (In Canadian Dollars)

Accommodation
Average cost of accommodation in Canada is about CDN $ 400

TypeExpenses
School-Provided Homestays$ 400 - $800 per month
School-Provided Residence/Dormitory$3000 - $7500 per year
Off Campus Housing$250 - $ 750 per month

The living expenses range from CDN $ 7,200-11,000 per year. The expenses are high in big cities like Montreal and Vancouver.

Note: The approximate currency exchange rate is:

             1 Canadian DollarUS Dollars 0.97
 Indian Rupees 53
 Pakistani Rupees 89
 Bangladesh Taka 80
 Nigerian Naira 155.29
 Euro 0.76

Canadian Student Visa

All overseas students are required to obtain a Student Authorization and Visa before going to Canada for studies. Students must also meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration Act and Regulations. Under normal circumstances, allow at least two months for your visa to be processed.

Visa and Student Authorization Procedure
Submit the completed application kit to the immigration section of the Canadian High commission. Please note that all the documents submitted, must be either original or photocopies notarized and witnessed by a notary public or a magistrate or the Canadian Immigration Officer, and be accompanied by a duplicate copy.

Documents required
• Completed Student Application form.

• Completed Supplementary Questionnaire for students and postdoctoral researchers.

• Official letter of acceptance from Canadian university, college or Technical Institute.

• Certificate of Acceptance from the province of Quebec (Only if you plan to study in province of Quebec)

• TOEFL/IELTS scores if applicable

• Passport, valid for at least one year from the planned date of entry to Canada, plus valid passports of any accompanying dependants.

• Bank Draft for the applicable visa processing fees

Proof of Funds

Every applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources available to them to pay tuition fees, maintain him/herself and dependants who go to Canada, and to pay return transportation costs without engaging in employment in Canada. For example, students without accompanying dependants must demonstrate that they have at least $10,000 Cdn plus the cost of tuition for a twelve-month period, plus the cost of transportation to and fro from Canada. Canadian $10,000 is the base amount considered adequate to cover all costs, other than tuition, for one person for a twelve-month period. Some educational institutions require that more funds be available; if the local cost of living is higher than average, more money may also be required.

After the Completed application forms along with the documents are submitted;

INTERVIEW - An interview with a Canadian Visa Officer may be required. If this is the case, you will be advised in writing of the time and place for the interview.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION - The Canadian high commission will issue medical instructions. Students and accompanying dependants must pass a medical examination.

If the student and accompanying dependants are found to be in good health and there are no other concerns with the application, the Visa and Student Authorization will be issued.

STUDENT PARTNER PROGRAM. - The The Student Partners Program (SPP) is an administrative framework designed and implemented in partnership between the Canadian visa offices in India and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). Under this program the visa procedure is expedited enabling students to get a visa within 2 weeks.