If you desire to study in Canada, here is a “Do-it-yourself guide” that explains in detail all you need to do, to successfully achieve your dream of studying in Canada.
This guide will reveal to you:
- How to find a Canadian university that is a perfect fit for you.
- How you can tell if you should or shouldn’t apply to a particular university.
- How to examine if you stand a chance of getting admission to any Canadian university.
- How to properly apply to study in Canada whether for B.Sc., M.Sc., or Ph.D.
- Factors to consider before choosing a school.
- And mistakes to avoid in your application.
The steps here are all that I followed when I started pursuing my dream of studying in Canada, and they worked for me, I am sure, they will work for you.
I am currently in my final year as a medical student at the University of Manitoba Canada.
This guide is detailed, so if you are in a hurry, it’s best you save this page, come back to it later, refresh it and read it properly.
The better you understand all the steps here, the higher your chances of getting admission to your desired university in Canada.
You can also use the comment section to ask questions, I will respond as fast as possible.
If you drop a question, be sure to check back within 24 hours, you will get the answer also in the comment section.
Here is why you should study in Canada.
Why should you study in Canada?
- Welcoming country: Canada is a welcoming and diverse country.
You’ll find people from all over the world here, and you’ll quickly feel at home.
- You’ll get a world-class education: Canada has some of the top universities in the world, and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of programs to suit your interests.
Canadian schools are known for their high standards, and you’ll be sure to get a great education if you choose to study here.
- Safe country: Canada is also a safe and peaceful country, which is perfect for you.
In addition, you don’t have to worry about being racially abused as well because the country is nice to immigrants, and they don’t discriminate against anyone.
- The quality standard of living: The standard of living in Canada is so great. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of living in a modern and developed country.
- Learn a new culture: You’ll have the opportunity to learn a new culture:
Canada is a culturally diverse country, and you’ll be able to learn about and experience new cultures while you study here
- You can make money while you study: In Canada, you are allowed to work while you study.
Canada allows international students to work while they study, so you’ll make money even while you are studying.
There are so many benefits to studying in Canada, which is why the number of students migrating there to study has been increasing lately.
You can also be one if you follow what we’ll discuss here. You can read more about the benefits of studying in Canada here
Now that you have seen the benefits of studying in this country, there is another important thing you need to learn, and that is the Canadian education system.
Why is it important?
It will help you understand when to start applying to study in Canada.
Submitting applications late is one of the reasons why people get rejected by Canadian universities.
You don’t want your application to be rejected because of lateness, therefore it’s important you understand the Canadian academic calendar.
Canada’s academic calendar
Just like many other countries, Canada’s academic calendar, or better still the academic year, is divided into three.
There are the:
- Fall intake (from the end of August/start of September to December / January)
- Winter intake (from January to April)
- Summer intake (from April / May to July).
As you can see, Fall intake starts at the end of August, and it is the primary intake.
So if you are applying to start school during the fall intake, you must start applying ahead of time
You don’t have to wait till August when it’s already getting late before you start your application.
Winter Intake for Canada starts in January, and it is the Secondary Intake. The Winter intake is usually for students who missed the fall intake.
Most of the universities offer all their courses in Fall/September Intake as it is the primary intake.
So you have to ensure you start applying earlier and not wait till August is around the corner.
It is also essential to target Fall intake, waiting for winter is not great.
This is what many people don’t know, start applying once the school opens its application portal, so you have everything sorted out before August gets close.
This way you won’t miss the fall intake (which is the best time to enter Canada for your studies).
Summer Intake for Canada usually starts in May, but don’t target summer intake, target Fall intake instead.
It’s usually not easy for your application to be approved for summer intake.
You should target the Fall intake.
I believe you now understand the academic calendar, and the benefits of studying in Canada, it’s time to learn how to start your application.
In addition to being continuously ranked among the top 10 “best places to live in the world” by the United Nations, Canada is also undoubtedly one of the greatest countries to study.
With a population of nearly 38 million, Canada received 530,540 foreign students as of December 2020, you can be one of them if you do things right.
How to properly apply to study in Canada for international students [the right steps to take]
We will take this step by step to help you understand the process easily.
Step 1: Decide what you want.
This step might look unimportant, but I have chosen to talk about it because I see a lot of people make this one single mistake all the time.
They do not understand what they want, nor do they know how to get it.
Take for instance; if you want to study Pharmacy in Canada, you need to understand that it’s not all Canadian university that offers pharmaceutical programs.
There are also universities in Canada that are specialized in a particular field.
For instance, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, they are a medical University, that takes only medical students.
If you are not a medical student, there is no need to apply to study here.
If you want to study business admiration, computer science, Mechanical engineering, Nursing, or agricultural-related courses. Whatever is your choice, you need to decide.
Read also: How to study in Canada without IELTS
If you wish to study computer science, mechanical engineering, or nursing (whatever your choice), which part of Canada do you prefer?
Do you want to study in the city part, the relatively developed part of the country, or in a more remote area?
Canada has 10 provinces and each has its pros and cons.
The country is generally affordable, but some parts of the country are more affordable than others and therefore are excellent for international students.
In addition to the cost of living, some universities are more expensive than others.
You also need to decide on what you can afford.
Can you pay or survive in a university where the tuition fee is as high as $25,000?
If not, then you have to look for universities where their tuition fees are affordable. (I will show you how to do that in a bit
If you want to study in Canada through a scholarship, you need to decide, too.
(Our guide on how to search for scholarships will be helpful to you, read it here).
You also need to decide on how many years you wish to spend in school, if you want to spend a maximum of 4 years, then you have to look for a school that offers your desired course of study and within 4 years limit.
Some courses take 4 years to finish while some 3 years and in the case of programs, you can even complete it in 6 months.
All these questions need to be answered
Your decision will guide you in your search for the university that matches your interest.
Step 2: Look for the right Canadian university
Since you’ve decided what you want to study, and you know how many years it will take you.
Looking for the right university is an important step to take and here is why
Most times what you see people do is; just apply to any university they find its application link, and this is why they don’t get a reply.
Don’t do it.
To stand a chance with your application, you need to start by applying to the right university.
(You will discover how to know the right school for you in a minute)
You have to pick at least 5 of such universities but don’t worry, we have compiled a list of more than 10 affordable Canadian universities for you to check out.
You can get the list below 👇
These universities are world-class and are recognized on the world stage yet, they are affordable.
Before you select any university, here is what you should consider.
What course do you want to study?
Does the university offer such a course?
How much is the cost?
Can you afford it?
Do they offer scholarships, you can check their official website, we listed out all their website in the article, so it’s easy for you to go through.
Again, below 👇 is the link
If you can’t find your desired university on our list, all hope is not lost.
Here is what you should do.
Head to google.com, and type in the search bar “affordable universities in Canada for Pharmacy”.
(If you want to study Nursing, put Nursing instead of Pharmacy
This will prompt you will a lot of websites that have written about universities in Canada offering pharmacy.
Open the links one after the other and read, pick the universities that match your interest.
You have to be logical in your selection, do not cloud your decision with sentiments. Pick what matches your interest, not universities that the name sounds fancy.
Once you find the university that meets all your target (that is, they offer the course you want, their tuition fee is affordable, they have scholarship opportunities that you can apply for, and they have other funding opportunities), pick it and write down the name.
Pick at least 5 schools and study their admission requirements.
Step 3: Study your chosen school’s admission requirements properly
Make no mistake, if you don’t understand an admission procedure, and you go on to submit a half-baked admission application, you won’t get a reply.
You can find out each school’s admission requirements on the school website.
To do this, head to Google.com, type the name of your chosen school and add “admission requirement, and you will have a link to the admission requirement of your desired school.
For instance, I want to check the admission requirement of the University of British Columbia.
I will type “university of British Columbia admission requirements” see the result below.
(Little tip: The University of BC rejected me before I got accepted by another the university of Manitoba the following year)
Check if you meet the admission requirements.
Previously you checked if the universities met your need, it’s time to check if you meet their needs.
Do you meet their needs?
Write the admission requirement down, you can put them on your notepad, you will need them later.
What about the cost of studying at the university?
Can you afford it?
Some universities are more expensive than others.
You need to pick a university that matches your interest, and you can afford their tuition fees and the cost of studying there.
If you find a university that matches your interest, but you cannot afford its tuition, you should ignore such a university unless they have a scholarship program that you are eligible for.
(During my time, I had several universities I loved, but the fees were high, I crossed them off my list, do the same)
But if you find a university that matches your interest, and it’s affordable, then that’s great (Brandon university was the first university that matched my interest during my application phase, and it felt lovely, yours can be any university).
If you find the one that matches your interest, but you don’t meet all their requirements, look for another university or continue with the ones you meet their requirements.
You can always find a university if you search on Google.
If you want to study mathematics, you can head to google, use the keyword “mathematics” and you will see tons of universities.
For instance, you can type “affordable universities in Canada for mathematics students”.
This will show you quite a good number of websites that have listed Canadian universities that offer mathematics, you can tweak the keyword and sentence, and you will find a lot more.
Do not bug yourself over any university, if you don’t meet the requirements of one, you will meet the requirements of another.
It’s that simple.
No hard feelings ❤️.
You can continue this way till you find a perfect match.
The ones that meet your need, and you meet their requirements.
That’s a perfect match.
Once you get the perfect one, congratulations, you are getting close.
Time to start applying.
Don’t smile yet, it’s not done, but we are close.
Now that you have the list of universities that matches your target, it’s time to start your application, you need to first check if the school has opened its application portal.
If they have, that’s great 👍.
But how do you get the right information about each university’s application process?
Each university has its process of application, how you applied for admission to university A is not how you’ll apply to university B. The requirements are maybe different.
This does not rule out that “some” can use the same procedure.
Step 4. Contact the university’s international office.
Since you’ve found the right schools for you, the next step is to contact each university’s international office, so they can help you with the application process.
There is no centralized application system, you must submit your application to each institution separately.
And every university has its application method, and what they require. You might want to ask; why do you have to contact the university when you can just search on Google?
It’s true you can search on Google, but dear, what if there is a mistake in what you saw on Google and you don’t know?
More so, the information may not be recent, there has been an update on the procedure but the person who published the information you have on Google hasn’t updated it.
Contacting the school will give you the most recent and updated application procedure.
So, it’s best you contact the school. To contact the international office of any Canadian university, you can check their official website’s contact us page.
Just like I did below for the university of British Columbia, all I did is type “university of British Columbia contact information” on Google and there you have it.
If you open the page, you will see their Email address and other details.
In addition, you can contact them through social media.
All Canadian universities have social media profiles that you can reach them through.
Ask for the admission requirements and procedures for international students, they will be glad to provide them for you.
Some have them on their website so you just need to look through their website and you have all you need.
If you are applying for Ph.D., it’s highly recommended that you go further and secure a supervisor from your chosen university.
This will help fasten the approval of your application. If you are not going for Ph.D., you do not need to worry about a supervisor.
Once you get all the necessary information about the application process from the university’s international office you can start gathering all the necessary documents required by each university.
Step 5. Gather all the required documents
I want you to get admitted into your chosen school but you cannot succeed if you skip anything.
Before you start your application, gather all the required documents. Every university has specific documents that they require from you.
What this university wants may not be what the other wants. This is why you have to contact the school separately.
They will give you the details of what they want, once you get that from them, gather all the required documents and put them in order before you start your application.
Applications are done online – you may need to create an account with the school on their website to start your application.
Again, some schools have all this on their website so all you need to do is check on the website first before reaching out to the school but to be on the safer side, you can check the website as well as reach out to the school.
Just head to google and type for instance “University of British Columbia admission procedure”
You will get a link to the university website, read through it, and see the procedure for application.
You can write the procedure down for reference purposes.
You’ll follow it to start your application.
Once you have everything set, start your application immediately.
The earlier you complete your application and submit it, the better.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible in your application.
Avoid mistakes and include every necessary information required of you.
There is nothing to hide, be as accurate as possible and complete every piece of information except instructed otherwise.
Applications are usually complex, take your time and complete it.
Done with it?
Step 6: Submit your application
You must not submit an incomplete application, if you do, your chances of success will be low.
It is not enough to just apply, it’s better not to apply than to submit a shaky application.
You have to submit an outstanding application, one that speaks for itself.
How sound and exceptional your application is will determine your chances.
Make it count, and how do you do this
- Fill out every necessary form; of course, you are going to be applying online, and you have to fill in every detail correctly.
- Ensure you fill in the correct information, and do not for any reason fake your information. They will find out eventually and you will be sent back home.
- Ensure there is no mixing of information, what you filled in here must correlate with what you filled in another form. Don’t fill in “Mason” as your name here and fill in “Kelvin” as your name in another form.
- Ensure your statement of purpose is convincing and catchy enough to make anyone consider your application.
You can check Google for templates of statements of purpose.
You’ll get tons of it, pick the best among them and tweak it to fit your circumstance.
In general, the application procedure for Canadian institutions is simple.
Most Canadian universities require you to submit certain documents, fill in a few necessary pieces of information and that’s all.
As an international student, you could also be required to show documentation of your language proficiency, in either French or English.
It is not all universities that require such.
So if you see it here and don’t see it with another university, don’t panic.
Depending on the universities you choose, you may be asked to submit an essay, a statement of intent, or a personal statement of experience for various university programs.
Additional paperwork could be needed, such as letters of recommendation, examples of extracurricular activities, proof of community service, athletic activity, and any other necessary information.
Once you are done with everything they need.
That is, you have filled out the form properly and submitted your application. Wait for a decision to be made on your application.
Step 7: Wait for a decision on your application.
Now you are done with your application, you have submitted it, and it’s time for a decision to be made on your application.
This is the point everything is no longer in your hands, how your application is will determine whether you will get a sounding CONGRATULATION or a disheartening SORRY.
This is why you need to put in your best in your application and ensure that is properly done with everything filled out accurately.
A single mistake can be costly. If you get a positive response that is, you got a resounding CONGRATULATIONS.
You’ll proceed to get your visa and study permit. Your new university will send you an acceptance letter, this is the letter you’ll use to obtain your study permit.
Your study permit and Visa are not the same. Visa is what you need to enter Canada, you can obtain this in the Canadian embassy in your country but a study permit gives you the approval to study in Canada.
You can apply for a study permit online before heading to Canada.
In nutshell, Visa grants you entry to Canada while a study permit grants you the right to study in a designated learning institute in Canada.
If your course or program lasts six months or less, you do not require a Canadian study visa.
See also: 20+ Easy to get scholarships in Canada
If your school is in Quebec, you need a government-issued certificate of acceptance or CAQ before you apply for a study permit.
A unique checklist code will be sent to you so you can submit your application for a study permit online.
To do this, you must first register for a MyCIC account where you can enter all of your data, pay your fees, and upload the required documentation.
You must show proof of a return ticket and a valid passport.
Some applicants would also have to undergo a visa office interview, and citizens of certain nations could have to provide biometrics, undergo a medical exam, or provide a police record.
You must demonstrate financial stability as part of your application to be accepted to study in Canada.
This is why we asked that you choose schools where you can afford their tuition fee.
Life in Canada as an international student
As an international student, you don’t have to worry about Canadians and how you can cope with being in a new country.
Canadians are good and welcoming people, especially toward international students.
They’re known for being polite and friendly, and they’re always ready to help out a fellow human being.
They’re also known for being pretty laid back, and they’re not usually the type of people to get worked up over small things.
Canadians are also known for being pretty adventurous, and they’re always up for trying new things.
They’re always game for a good time, and they’re known for being great hosts.
You will enjoy it here, the people are great.
It is well known that Canada has a frigid climate with four distinct seasons.
Winter lows of -25°C (-13°F) and summer highs of 35°C (95°F) and higher are both not unheard of.
Amid winter, make sure you’re dressed in enough warm clothing because the wind chill could make it feel much colder than it is!
Canada is one of the most attractive locations in the world to live in, the country has a low crime rate, so you have nothing to worry about.
The emergency services contact number is always on alert for any issues.
Canada has a tremendously diverse population due to its large immigrant population and a culture that is heavily impacted by French, British, American, and indigenous aspects.
You may anticipate a wonderful cultural experience while studying in Canada, as well as a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, ice skating, water sports, skiing, and, of course, ice hockey (the official winter sport).
If you’re not a sports fan, you might want to see Canada’s thriving theater, comedy, music, and film scenes.
The country’s biggest cities routinely host performances of renowned musicals.
In conclusion, studying in Canada can be a great experience.
The country has a lot to offer in terms of education and culture.
We hope this guide will help you successfully achieve your dream of studying in Canada.
If you have any questions about studying in Canada, you can drop them in the comment box below.
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