The placement figures and career opportunities for graduates from Canadian universities are remarkably high, as a result Canadian schools are ranked amongst the best institutions in the world. This coupled with student friendly immigration policy makes Canada the most popular foreign destination for students looking to study overseas. The country has public expenditure on post-secondary education of more than 30 billion dollars every year. Depending on the nature of the institution and the duration of the course, tertiary level education is available in both government and private institutions offering degrees, diplomas, certificates, and attestations. Students studying in Canada have great chances of becoming the most successful experts and are wanted by some of the top recruiters of the world.

8 reasons why every student should study in Canada.

A high-quality education in world-class institutions: A Canadian degree, certificate, and diploma is considered equivalent to the degrees in other Commonwealth countries and the US. Canada’s universities maintain high standards of academic excellence and are consistently recognized in top international rankings. 26 of Canada’s universities rank in the QS World University Rankings 2019 and 27 of them in the World University Rankings 2019.

Wide range of programs and courses to choose from: The Canadian universities offer more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as professional degree programs and certificate courses. Students can also choose to pursue various workshops, short courses, and upgrades for skilled workers and professionals’ side by side to their main degree program.

Low cost of education: Tuition fees for foreign students in Canada are the lowest compared to the US, UK, and Australia. Fees for bachelor’s degrees at the US public universities are almost 1/3 higher than Canadian universities. Compared to private universities in the US, fees in Canadian universities for undergraduate programs were found to be less than half.

Multiple scholarship opportunities: The Canadian government as well as various private and public organizations offer multiple scholarships and bursaries opportunities to the deserving international scholars which would help to build their future in the country as they recognize that international students bring fresh ideas to Canada and contribute a great deal to various disciplines and the industry with the knowledge they bring from their home countries.

A safe and peaceful atmosphere: Canada is a relatively safe and peaceful country. The Global Peace Index consistently ranks Canada among the top 10 safest countries to visit in the world. It is also relatively unaffected by natural disasters. The country provides students a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere to live and study.

Multicultural country with deep democratic values: Canada is a country of immigrants and follows a policy of fostering multicultural diversity. The Canadian society comprises of almost all of the world’s ethnic groups. You will easily find the most ethnic foods and cultural activities. People of Canada are generally very open-minded and respectful of different perspectives.

Easier visa acquisition: One of the most exciting aspects while considering studying in Canada is that the process of acquiring a Canadian study visa. It is relatively relaxed and therefore attracts thousands of international students every year.

An exciting and beautiful place to live: There is a great diversity in the landscape of Canada as it is a large country situated near the Arctic Circle surrounded by three oceans (the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Arctic). Canadian cities are famous worldwide for their beauty and picturesque landscape that attracts many tourists every year.

Popular degrees awarded by Canadian higher education institutes.

  • Certificate Level (one year)
  • Diploma level (two years)
  • Advanced Diploma (three years)
  • Fast track Diplomas (1 or 2 years)
  • Post-graduate Diplomas/Certificates (one or two years)
  • Master’s Degree (one to two years)
  • M.B.A. (two years)
  • Doctorate or Ph.D. (four to seven years)


There are 163 recognized public and private universities and 183 public colleges and institutes in Canada. Also, there are 68 university-level institutions and 51 college-level institutions recognized as authorized institutions. These institutions, however, offer a few selected programs that are approved by the provincially established quality assurance programs.

Top 10 Universities in CanadaTop 10 Colleges in Canada
University of TorontoSeneca College
University of British ColumbiaGeorge Brown College
University of WaterlooHumber College
McGill UniversityCentennial College
University of MontrealFanshawe College
University of AlbertaDurham College
McMaster UniversitySheridan College
University of CalgaryConestoga College
Simon Fraser UniversityDouglas College
Queen’s UniversityNiagara College


Engineering – All SpecializationsHealth SciencesInformation Technology
Business ManagementAnimation / VFX / Graphics DesigningMedia/Communications
Hospitality ManagementTelecommunicationsFine Arts
Environmental ScienceComputer Science


Canada offers two types of visas

  • SDS Visa (student direct stream)
  • Non-SDS Visa

The main difference between SDS and Non-SDS visa applications is that SDS (Student Direct Stream) is an express-entry visa application for students to study in Canada, while Non-SDS is a general visa application for all people to work, study or migrate in Canada. Additionally, Non-SDS is applicable to all countries, whereas SDS is only for specific nations like China, India, Peru, and others.

Parameter SDS Non-SDS
Eligible Countries Limited list of countries (varies by region) All countries
Financial Requirements Proof of payment for the first year’s tuition fees, Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), IELTS: 6 in each skill, overall 6 Variable financial proofs, might include tuition, living costs, etc.
Language Proficiency Higher English language proficiency (IELTS: 6 in each skill, overall 6) Language proficiency requirements might vary
Upfront Medical Examination Required Might be required
Might be required Faster processing times compared to Non-SDS Processing times might vary
Educational Institution Limited to participating institutions; the program and institution must be on the DLI list Can apply to any Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
Funds of Living Expenses Proof of funds required as per the Canadian government’s specified amount for living expenses Proof of funds required as per the Canadian government’s specified amount for living expenses
Application submission Specific checklist and application format Application process might vary based on the institution
Work Permit Processing After program completion and during the PGWP application, certain rules apply Similar work permit application rules

Visa Process:

For international students aspiring to study in Canada, obtaining a student visa involves several essential steps:

  • Selecting a University and Course: Begin by choosing a university and course that align with your educational goals in Canada.
  • Applying to the Chosen University: Apply directly to the selected institution. Securing an acceptance letter from a Canadian university is crucial.
  • Compiling Required Documents: Gather the following necessary documents for your student visa application:
  •     - Valid passport
  •     - Completed visa application form
  •     - Acceptance letter from the chosen Canadian university
  •     - Proof of adequate financial resources to cover living expenses and tuition fees
  •     - Health insurance coverage
  •     - Certificate confirming a clean criminal record
  •     - Passport-sized photographs
  • Submitting the Visa Application: Visit the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country to submit your visa application. Schedule an appointment and pay the visa processing fee.
  • Awaiting Decision: The visa processing duration can vary based on the applicant’s home country and the current workload at the embassy. Contact the embassy or consulate for estimated processing times.
  • Visa Collection: Upon approval, collect the granted visa from the embassy or consulate within the stipulated time frame.

Keep in mind that visa application processes might differ among countries, so it’s advisable to consult the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate for specific guidelines and requirements.

Post-Study Work Visa:

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada offers a significant opportunity for international students who have completed their studies at an accredited Canadian educational institution. Key aspects of the PGWP include:

  • Eligibility: Completion of a program lasting a minimum of eight months at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada is a prerequisite for PGWP eligibility.
  • Duration: The PGWP permits employment in Canada for up to three years, depending on the length of the program. Typically, a one-year diploma offers a one-year PGWP, while longer programs, including Master's and undergraduate courses, offer a three-year PGWP. Many students pursue two diplomas to ensure a three-year stay back.
  • Job Flexibility: The PGWP allows work with any employer across Canada without requiring a prior job offer.
  • Application Timeline: Applicants must apply for the PGWP within 180 days of receiving official confirmation (such as transcripts or an official letter) from their institution regarding successful program completion.
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: Accumulating Canadian work experience through the PGWP can bolster opportunities for permanent residency under specific immigration programs.
  • Designated Learning Institution (DLI): It’s crucial to attend a recognized DLI to qualify for the PGWP, as not all educational institutions in Canada meet this criterion.
  • Regulatory Updates: Stay informed about immigration policy changes, as they can influence eligibility and application procedures.

The PGWP offers international students a chance to gain significant work experience in Canada post-studies, potentially paving the way for permanent residency. However, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the eligibility criteria and application protocols specified by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a successful application.

Eligibility Criteria:

English Requirements:

  • The minimum TOEFL score required by most universities is 80-84 (internet-based test) for postgraduate courses.
  • Most universities and colleges accept equivalent IELTS and PTE Academic scores.

Undergraduate in Canada Requirements:

  • Universities in Quebec typically require a minimum of 13 years of secondary school education, i.e., an additional year of formal education after the 12th standard. However, some universities may consider applications with 12 years of education if academic credentials are exceptional.
  • Minimum aggregate marks of 70% in 12th grade for bachelor’s degrees, and above 50% for diplomas and advanced diplomas.
  • Mathematics in class XII is a prerequisite for some sciences, technology, and business courses.
  • Minimum required IELTS/PTE Academic scores with an overall score of 6.0 bands or equivalent PTE scores.

Masters in Canada Requirements:

  • Most universities require a qualification equivalent to the Canadian bachelor’s degree, which requires 16 years of formal education. This typically means an additional year of education after an Indian bachelor’s or a four-year bachelor’s degree course like B.E., B.Tech., or similar courses.
  • Minimum required IELTS / PTE Academic scores with a minimum overall score of 6.5 bands for PG Diploma and 7.0 bands for a master’s degree. Some universities accept equivalent PTE scores.
  • Relevant work experience is required for some programs, such as an MBA or a Master’s degree in IT.


Canadian universities offer a range of scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Some of the notable scholarships include:

  • Foundation Scholarships
  • Carleton Prestige Scholarships
  • FDU International Scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • IDRC Research Awards
  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

Additionally, many Canadian universities have their own scholarships and financial aid programs for international students. It is advisable to check the specific university's website for detailed information on available scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

 University vs. College:

In Canada, the educational landscape comprises two primary pathways: universities and colleges. However, it is essential to understand that these terms differ significantly from their counterparts in the Indian/South Asian educational context, potentially leading to misconceptions.

Universities in Canada focus on academic and theoretical learning, offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across a wide range of disciplines. They emphasize research, theoretical study, and academic exploration.

Colleges, on the other hand, prioritize practical, hands-on training and vocational programs. They offer certificates, diplomas, and some degree programs that are career-oriented and designed to equip students with specific skills for various professions.

In a Canadian setting a university is considered more prestigious than a college and usually has a higher fee and better placement results. However, the top colleges in Canada are just as good in their curriculum.