Top tips before applying to study in Canada

Canada has slowly but consistently grown as a preferred destination for higher education over the past decade, especially among Indian students. The high-quality education, limitless internship opportunities, and liberal government policies related to post-study work visas create a perfect combination for you to study abroad in Canada.

The application process to Canadian universities can be very complex for international students, especially since there is no standardized application platform like the Common Application for US schools or UCAS for UK schools. Therefore, you need to take ample time to do your research and plan out your application to maximize your chances of admission. Here are some miracle tips that make the application process super smooth.

Step 1: Identify the requirements

First, you need to know the exact requirements for successfully applying to a Canadian educational institution. Requirements vary from university to university, so make sure you do an in-depth analysis. Getting your study permit is also an important step in studying at a Canadian university, so read through the rules and regulations properly. Only recognized schools and periods of approved study will be applicable.

Your Canadian study permit will take time to come, so make sure you start planning at least a year in advance. The staple requirements for all universities and institutions include an updated passport, proficiency in either English or French, proof of passing prescribed language tests with minimum grades/bands, and proof that you can finance your study as well as the cost of living in the country.

Requirements may vary between provinces, so you need to start preparing early and take it step by step.

Step 2: Select your course and institution

As an international student, you have to be careful to choose recognized institutions that can admit foreigners into their universities. Make sure your university has a “Designated Learning Institution” status.

Unlike in the US, you will be required to choose a major when you apply to study in Canada. You can switch courses later on, but thoroughly research and choose a major you are interested in pursuing.

Step 3: Pass the English Language Proficiency Test

Every international student will have to prove their proficiency in English or French to be admitted into a Canadian university. The most preferred test for proficiency in English is the IELTS; institutions also accept the Cambridge English: Advanced or TOEFL exam score.
Alternatively, for a French proficiency test, you can opt for DALF, DELF, or TCF, although the TEF exam is the most common option.

Planning is key, so book your test date well in advance because you need the results to get your study permit.

Step 4: Submit your university applications

Once you’ve done your research and shortlisted your top universities. It is time to contact those institutions, obtain their application packs, and submit them well in advance. It is recommended to apply to at least three universities but you can choose to apply to more. Although, you will have to consider the application fee, which varies from $100 to $250.

After filling in your applications accurately and providing valid supporting documents, you can submit your application. Then all you can do is wait until you hear back from the universities.

Step 5: Apply for a Study Permit

Once you receive the acceptance letter, you can begin applying for a Canadian study permit. You can apply online or visit your local visa application center. Along with your application, you need to attach your acceptance letter, passport, and documentary proof that you have adequate finances to study in Canada.

If you have applied to an institution in the province of Quebec, then you will also receive, along with the acceptance letter, a “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec” (CAQ). Make sure you include this document in your study permit application.

Step 6: Plan your travel

Keep in mind that you will only be allowed to enter the country when your permit is activated. Take note of the permit start date and plan your travel around that.

Step 7: Study time

At the airport, an immigration officer will verify your permit and other documents at the port of entry before allowing you to enter Canada. This is the final step of the immigration formalities, and you can now focus on commencing your journey as an international student in Canada.

Studying in Canada is a great choice, but before the excitement bubbles, make sure you have your affairs in order and don’t run into any last-minute issues. Although these steps are simple to read over, it takes quite a lot of prep to get them done smoothly. Thousands of international students are admitted into Canadian universities every year, and so can you if you follow these simple tips!

Want to know more about studying in Canada? Reach out to us with a specific question and we will be happy to help!

Date Published: Jun-16-2022

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About the author

Anupama Kumar is a content writer based in Bangalore, India. She writes blogs, stories, articles and social media content and has a passion for helping people and connecting with them through her writing. A professional writer by day and a creative one by night, her own stories, musings, quotes and poems inspired by her travels are also published on various platforms.