As an international student thinking about studying abroad, you must have done extensive research to choose a destination. You definitely came across blogs or websites saying that Canada is one of the best study destinations for many young students, and we want to explain why that is true: not only does Canada’s educational institutes offer a wide range of programs that you can choose from, but they also hold top international rankings, in addition to boasting some of the lowest tuition fees for English-speaking countries. Canada is a country with some of the most educated minds in the world, it is also well known for its great healthcare system, and for the wealth of multicultural people, which will make you feel right at home even if you are on a different continent.
As you embark on this journey, you must keep in mind that the destination you choose to study at depends on many factors, such as the study program you want to join, the quality of life, the healthcare system, and the economic structure of the country.
If you are thinking of long-term plans as well, Canada offers many immigration streams to international students who obtained their education in one of the designated learning institutions (DLI), for example, you can apply for work permits through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Studying in Canada provides an opportunity to test out the Canadian lifestyle and gain an important foothold in this diverse country.
Student Life in Canada
Canada is known for its cultural diversity, friendly people, and tolerant attitudes towards foreigners, which makes the country a melting pot of many different cultures, people are polite and encourage foreigners to retain and share their cultural practices.
At every level of higher education in Canada, student life is a huge part of your experience. College and university connect you with friends and colleagues who will remain valuable contacts throughout your career.
Canadian universities have various ways to assess the English language proficiency levels of international students seeking enrollment. It is possible to study in Canada without IELTS, given that you qualify for the alternative language proficiency requirements specified by your chosen university. Several foreign students from select nationalities are also allowed exemptions from providing English language proficiency scores. Furthermore, Canadian academic institutions also readily accept English language proficiency tests other than IELTS which you can submit during the admission process.
If you choose to take an English test, it should be one of the following: IELTS, TOEFL, or CELPIP.
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System): is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers, most Canadian institutions accept it, so it is the most preferable test to take if you want to study or immigrate to Canada.
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.
- CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program): is an English language assessment tool that measures listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
In case you choose French to be your first language, you can take TEF or TCF tests to evaluate your knowledge:
- TEF (Test d’ Evaluation de Français): is an international benchmark test that measures your level of knowledge and skills in French.
- TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français): is a French language proficiency test for non-native French speakers, that is designed by the France Education International, and accredited by the French Ministry of Education.
The study permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs). Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you apply.
- Enroll at a designated learning institution (DLI)
- Prove you have enough funds to pay for:
- your tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- Obey the law, have no criminal record, and get a police certificate (if required).
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires.
Post-graduation work permit
You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) and want to stay in the country temporarily to work.
You can apply for a PGWP if you:
- have a study permit that has been valid within the last 180 days
- have a valid visitor record
- submitted an application to extend your study permit before it expired and no decision has been made on your application
- submitted an application to change your status to visitor before your study permit expired and no decision has been made on your application
- completed a study program at a designated learning institution that was at least 8 months long, and that led to a degree, diploma, or certificate
- maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can study in Canada without IELTS, as there are many available alternatives offered by universities to those who don’t have IELTS scores. These alternatives are:
- Language proficiency exams like TOEFL, PTE, CPE, Cambridge English Exams, etc.
- Many universities offer their own English language course like the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) which you can opt for as an alternative for IELTS in Canada.
- Submit proof that you have studied in an English medium school for at least 4 years as the replacement for English proficiency scores.
- The candidates from an English-speaking country are also exempted from providing IELTS scores in Canada.
To study in Canada without IELTS, the major universities listed below accept other alternatives:
– University of Winnipeg
– Brock University
– University of Saskatchewan
– Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
– Cambrian University
– Okanagan College
– Concordia University
– Seneca College, Toronto
– Carleton University
Yes, you may be able to bring your spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children, with you to Canada. They may be eligible for a study or work permit, or a visitor visa. You must submit their applications online when you apply for your study permit.
You need to apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Make sure you have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution, and apply online, whether you’re outside of or already in Canada. If you can’t apply online because of a disability or because there’s a problem with the online application, you can apply on paper.
Yes. However, your study permit is not a travel document. It doesn’t give you the right to travel to or enter Canada. Along with your permit, you may need:
- a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Depending on where you’re from, you may only need your passport. Make sure you know which document you need to travel to and enter the country.
Having the travel document you need also doesn’t guarantee you’ll be allowed back. You still must show the border services officer that you meet all the requirements before they’ll let you re-enter.
You may be able to stay in Canada if you are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit. The Post-Graduation Work Permit is for graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions who have completed a program of at least 8 months.
In order to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), a foreign national must be at least 18 years old and have studied full-time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months.
Yes, a potential international student can explore Canada as a visitor before studies begin. Individuals should verify whether they need a Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.