While students vary of studying at all-time favourite study destinations, US and the UK, thanks to their changing norms related to visa, employment and migration-welcoming policies; Canada is moving towards being the first choice for Indian candidates wishing to study abroad.
Known for making a huge investment in the education system, Canada is home to hundreds of prominent educational institutions. The levels of education in Canada is pided into a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, bachelor's degrees, postgraduate diplomas or PG certificates, master's degrees and doctorate (PhD).
Low cost of living: The cost of living and studying in Canada is comparatively lower for international students as compared to other countries that are at par with this country in terms of quality education. The fee to study at a top university in Canada is almost half of what a student would pay to study at a renowned private university in countries such as the US or the UK.
Permanent residency (PR): Many educational institutions in Canada also allow international students graduated from their institution the option to apply for a permanent residency visa while staying in Canada. Canada also has an extremely high number of international students bagging employment in their field of expertise within just a few months of graduating from Canadian institutes.
Student partnership program: An added benefit for Indian students looking to study in Canada is the Student Partnership Program (SPP)-an organisational outline between the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) launched in the year 2009 with an aim to streamline admission and visa process for Canadian Community Colleges and eventually support more Indian students in getting visas issued for studying at these colleges. More than 40 colleges in Canada are under SPP currently.
Safety: A lesser known beneficial aspect of studying in Canada is the 'Walk Safe' programs that help students access public transportation during late hours. It's a community that supports walking as a primary means of transportation, eventually doing wonders for health, safety, the environment and the economy.
Where to study in Canada? Top universities
Here is a list of top universities to study in Canada:
University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Brock University, University of Calgary, Carleton University, Concordia University, Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, Lakehead University, Université Laval, University of Lethbridge, University of Manitoba, McGill University, McMaster University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Université de Montréal, University of New Brunswick, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa, Université du Québec, Queen's University, University of Regina, Ryerson University, University of Saskatchewan, Université de Sherbrooke, Simon Fraser University, Trent University, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Windsor, York University.
When to apply?
The academic session Canadian universities usually begin around September and is pided into two terms. The application start date varies across different universities but the application procedure usually commences 15-18 months before the beginning of the course. It is recommended that international students should keep a check on the application start date and apply at the onset, keeping in mind the extra time for the study permit and other formalities.
Below is a list of important scholarship available for International students:
International Leader of Tomorrow Award It is open for international undergraduate students with a brilliant academic record, leadership skills, and regular participation in student affairs and community service looking to join the University of British Columbia. The application closes in December.
International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships are open to international students entering a post-secondary course or a degree program for the first time at the University of Guelph. Application closes in March.
International Student Scholarship supports deserving international students financially who have taken admission at the University of Ottawa with an excellent academic record. The application for the same closes in October.
Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program is awarded every year at the University of Toronto. To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, the applicant must be an international secondary school student nominated by their school with a study permit looking to commence studies in the following academic year. The applications close in November.
Aga Khan Academy Renewable Scholarship is open to an international student from an Aga Khan Academy with an outstanding academic, community service and leadership record. The scholarship amount of $90,000 will be paid over four years of study for a student entering an undergraduate program at the University of Victoria. Application closes in February.
President's Scholarship for World Leaders is provided to international students joining any course at The University of Winnipeg for the first time. Application closes in October.
Humber University Scholarships for International Students offers full tuitions renewable scholarships to new international students accepted to study in an academic program at the university. Eligibility is based on academic performance, community service and reference. Application closes in September.
The Seneca Renewable Entrance Scholarship of Merit for International Students offers 10 scholarships to international students accepted to study diploma or graduate certificate program at the university. The scholarship is open to international students who have achieved a minimum GPA of 80 per cent in class 12 or equivalent. Application closes in October.
Funded by Scotiabank, Scotiabank International Partner Entrance Scholarships is open to the first year international students in any program at George Brown College. The award will be given as a second semester tuition fee credit to eligible newly admitted students for full-time post-secondary programs at the college. Application closes in September.
Woori Education Scholarship is open to international students based on their academic excellence and community service. A valid Study Permit is a must to be eligible for this scholarship at George Brown College. Application closes in January.
Assist-on Scholarship: Open to all international students, the Assist-on Scholarship is given to one international student based on his/her academic excellence and community service record. To be eligible, the applicant must be in a degree/diploma/certificate program at George Brown College. Application closes in January.
Douglas International Merit-Based Scholarships: A total of 13 International Merit-Based Scholarships are available international students at Douglas College based on their academic performance, community engagement record and leadership skills. Application closes in September.
How to get a study permit?
A study permit is mandatory for international students to study in Canada. The prerequisites for applying for a study permit are an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) and a valid passport or travel document. Apart from these, you also need to show evidence of financial stability enough to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation. You must not have any criminal records (police certificate may be required), and you must be in good health (a medical exam may be required).
Once submitted, your application and all necessary documents will be thoroughly checked. You may then receive a letter asking for your biometrics. If incomplete, the application will be returned as is. In some cases, you may also be asked to go for an interview with Canadian officials in your country or you may be asked to send in more information.
If the application is accepted, you will receive a letter of introduction to confirm, and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada. If the application is rejected, you will receive a letter explaining why.