Canada is currently one of the most sought-after countries in the world by international students. Canada offers a high-quality, research-oriented education at affordable tuition fees with a globally recognised degree. The country has been frequently acknowledged as one of the safest, most secure, and most multicultural environments for international students. The benefits of studying in Canada are inexhaustible, and few among them will be shared below.
Since education is a provincial responsibility in Canada, the provincial governments ensure that the quality of education is consistently very high throughout Canada, irrespective of the type of institution – university or college. Any academic qualification or degree that is bagged in Canada is internationally recognized and highly valued by employers across the globe because of the academic excellence and high standard of the Canadian educational system. Canada is home to a number of institutions that are high up in the world’s best universities’ rankings, and their graduates enjoy huge success in the job market.
According to U.S. News and World Report (2022), Canada ranks third globally for the best quality of life. This simply means that as an international student, you will find a high standard of living in Canada. Quality of life also translates into necessities of life like clean air, clean water, lower population/competition, sense of space etc., to other aspects of life like access to world-class healthcare, good education infrastructure etc. You will benefit from the same rights and freedoms that protect Canadians, respect for human rights, equality, diversity, and a stable, peaceful society.
In life, safety comes first. As an international student, leaving your home country for a strange place can be challenging, even if it is a dream come through. However, there is nothing to worry about in Canada because it is one of the safest countries in the world. Canada has been consistently ranked as one of the safest nations in the world since 2018 till present. Also, as international students, colleges and universities are always taking extra measures to make the environment safe for their students. Along with that, Public Safety Canada is a government body created for all kinds of risks to public safety. Canada is among the countries with the lowest number of criminal records in the world, and daily, they are ensuring that their security and public safety get deepened.
Work While Studying
Like in other international countries, you can work while studying in Canada. Your Canadian study permit allows you to work while studying without having to apply for a separate work permit. You can work at part-time jobs for 20 hours a week. Additionally, during semester breaks and summer breaks, you are allowed to work full-time. Working while studying can prove to be a great opportunity for you as an international student. You can earn some cash, have work- experience and network even before you graduate.
Canada Immigration Policy
Another immense benefit of studying in Canada is the stay-back options and work after studies. In comparison to other international study destinations, Canada’s stay-back option and work after studies are one of the most liberal in the world. You can get as long as three years of work permit, which will allow you to stay back and work full time once your studies are over, and you can apply for your permanent residency.
The tuition fee in Canada is cheaper and affordable compared to universities in other popular study destinations. The cost of housing, food and other living expenses will depend on your location and your own needs. Tuition fee for international students vary across provinces and programs but below is an estimated fee (in Canadian dollars) for full-time international students
Cost to Study in Canada
Most schools in Canada are less expensive than in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom. This also made the country one of international students’ most preferred study destinations. As an international student, your expenditure on tuition fees depends on the type of qualification, institution and province you opt for. In Canada, colleges are cheaper than universities. To cover this, for your undergraduate, you will need approximately CAD 13,000 – CAD 35,000 each academic year for your tuition fee. It is good to know that humanities, education, and arts courses are a little cheaper, while subjects such as nursing and engineering are likely to be more expensive.
Tuition fee at the postgraduate level is typically higher, and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for this program (MBA) ranges between CAD 30,000-42,000, while the average cost of other courses at the Postgraduate master’s degree ranges between $17000 to $25,000. For a Doctoral degree, the fee ranges between $7000 to $15000.
Smooth Admission Processing
Canadian universities are easier to get into when compared to their counterparts from the U.S.A.
Generally, Canadian universities do not require students to appear for separate entrance tests to be eligible for admissions. Canada considers students’ academic performance in high school (for undergraduate programs) and undergraduate ( for postgraduate programs) rather than their performance on external tests such as SAT or ACT.
Admission Intakes in Canada
In comparison with other international countries’ admission intake, Canadian colleges and universities offer three intakes. The three intakes available in Canada are:
- Fall: This intake starts in the month of September, and it has the highest number of admitted students because majority of the courses in Canada colleges and universities have the fall intake.
- Winter: This intake starts in January and is the best option if you miss the September intake.
- Summer:Available for limited programs and colleges, the summer intake usually starts around April and May
General Requirement for Canadian Universities
Students looking to get accepted into Canadian universities must fulfil a set of requirements. These include:
- Good academic record in high school (if applying for undergraduate programs)
- An undergraduate degree from a recognized university (if applying for graduate programs) with a GPA of second class upper for master or second class lower below for a post-graduate certificate. Also, Higher National Diploma (HND) for polytechnic graduates, irrespective of your grade.
- Submit supporting documents, including academic transcripts, photocopies of diplomas, duly filled application forms, essays, letters of recommendation, etc.
- Some programs may also require candidates to possess relevant work experience.
Canadian Student Permit
In order to study in Canada, all Nigerian students need a visa. It is called a Student Permit and can be obtained in your home country provided all documents and the application satisfy the requirements at the Canadian Visa Application Centre. The Government’s International Education Strategy doubled the number of full-time international students to 450,000 in 2022.
There are four key documents which students will need to provide for their application:
- Proof of acceptance
- Proof of identity
- Proof of financial support
- Letter of explanation
The document checklist for a study permit is a one page guide which can help Nigerian students avoid any delays in Canadian visa application, in brief these are:
- Application for a study permit
- Valid passport and two recent passport photographs
- Letter of acceptance from a college or university in Canada
- Scholarships or any financial assistance from the school or award from a government
- Academic certificates, diplomas and transcripts for all previous schools you attended
- Proof that you have enough funds to support yourself for your entire stay in Canada
- Payment of tuition fees (not required at time of application submission – after positive processing proof of tuition payment may be required prior to the issuance of a visa)
- Medical clearance
- Letter from your employer or sponsoring organization if you are being sponsored
- Application processing fee payment