How To Apply for School In Canada

canadian-study-visa-niren-associatesThe Great White North has never seen a period of economic expansion and prosperity similar to its current state.  Anyone interested in studying abroad should consider the Canadian university system given its expanding curriculum and eager and open atmosphere.  Studying abroad in Canada has never been easier given the nation’s friendly student transfer agreements as well as federal grants available for incoming foreigners.  There are several considerations that need be taken care of well ahead of time, however, as the process is a lengthy one.

Canadian Schools And Their Education History

During much of the 20th century, Canadian universities were considered to be secondary in quality compared to American universities.  No until the 1990s were sweeping changes made towards how these universities confer degrees and a major campaign to attract foreign students began in earnest.  Since 2000, these campaigns have had major profits in attracting the highest quality of students, given the surge in enrollment numbers and the higher standing of universities in international rankings.

With more than one million students current enrolled in post-secondary education in Canada, it has one of the best enrollment rates in the entire developed world.  Just under eight percent of enrolled students are from foreign countries; of those, about half are of Asian origin, most hailing from China.

The Process of International Study

All foreign students interested in coming to Canada to learn and pursue research need obtain:

  • A study permit, unless they intend to complete their studies in less than six months
  • A valid passport from their host nation
  • Some nations require a visa in order to travel to Canada, though the United States and other British Commonwealth nations do not have this requirement.
  • Any student looking to enroll in a Quebec university must go through several more steps, a Quebec not only has stricter provincial laws but is also the only province in which it may be necessary to speak both English and French (most other provinces only require English proficiency).

Each individual university will have their own requirements as well, ranging from letters of recommendation from educators to a standardized test needed to be taken in order to ensure competency with the minimum education requirements.  However, failing to follow the necessary steps in the student visa application process may stunt progress before it even gets a chance to take flight. Niren & Associates has extensive experience in these matters and has successfully processed thousands of applications for both work and students visas.

Planning Your Studies In A Canadian School

Since the majority of students enroll in post-secondary education in order to hone their talents for the workplace, it is advised that any foreigner looking to study in Canada consider their employment options upon graduation prior to enrollment.  While there are many requirements for studying abroad, there are even more for finding employment within Canada; potential students should consider whether they want to live in Canada full-time and potentially secure citizenship or whether they would prefer to return to their home country upon graduating.

Although few institutions can guarantee any placements, it is best to speak with them beforehand.  Each university will have its own database of ongoing studies as well as potential new degrees to be granted, so that students hoping to find their career trajectory (whether it is petroleum engineering or film studies) can look up the university they are interested in to see if they can accommodate their interests.  Check that any institution is recognized as capable of granting whatever degree you are hoping to obtain.

The Application Process

It is wise to start at least one year ahead of time on an application given the complexities of foreign study as well as the time needed for documents to move overseas.  Get together your academic credentials, including:

  • Proof of completion of secondary education.  This may be a high-school diploma, a general education development equivalent, or whatever the home country grants.
  • Letters of recommendation (usually only one is necessary, though more competitive placements may require more) from those with experience in your educational past.  It is not recommended to use a family member for this letter.
  • A type of statement of purpose, so that the application committee understands your interest in pursuing education abroad generally and in Canada specifically.  Tailor this statement towards the university’s stated goals and reputation.

A graduate program will have more requirements, including more letters of recommendation, transcripts of previous undergraduate work, and perhaps scores from standardized tests like the GRE, MCAT, etc.

Consider Your Finances

Any way you slice it, university education is not cheap.  With more and more people going into longer-term debt to cover the cost of their education, foreign students must consider their financial situation.  It is advisable to apply for as many grants and scholarships as are available; the federal education committee has comprehensive lists of such sources of money.  Students may also apply for a work permit, to be able to work on or off campus and make some money while they study.  Upon graduation, application in a Canadian Experience class can be a fast-track towards full-time employment in Canada, offering a career trajectory as soon as you are ready to work.


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