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Study in Canada

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Study in Canada

What do Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Ryan Gosling, Drake, Ryan Reynolds, Nina Dobrev, Mathew Perry, Celine Dion, and Keanu Reeves have in common?

Well, you’re right; they are icons in the music and film industries, but they share another similarity- they can all trace their roots back to Canada!

And the list doesn’t end here. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Elon Musk, household names in the entertainment and entrepreneurship industries, respectively, also acquired Canadian citizenship at some point.

Interesting, eh?

Aside from churning out celebrities, Canada is known for its stellar education system. In fact, a 2018 OECD report identified Canada as the most educated country in the world since 56.27% of its citizens aged 25-64 had completed a type of tertiary education.

Also, the influx of international students in the country continues to surge annually. By the end of 2022, there were 807,750 International students in Canada studying at different levels.

From this statistic, it is clear that there is an undeniable appeal to pursuing higher education in Canada and that you should consider doing the same to launch your career and breathe life into your lifelong dream. This article offers a comprehensive overview of studying in Canada.

Let’s take a look! Who knows? Your name might be the next one to be added to the Hall of Fame.

What we’ll look at:

Study in Canada Statistics

Between 2012 and 2022, there was a dramatic percentage increase of 193% of international students in Canada.

In 2022, IRCC reported that by the end of December, there were approximately 807,000 international students with active study visas in Canada. In 2021, this figure stood at 617,000, meaning that in 2022, Canada saw a 31% surge in the number of international students in the country.

In 2023, close to 1 million international students studied in Canada. In 2024, this number will decrease as the Canadian government has instituted a cap of 292,000 study permits for international undergraduate and college studies.

This cap does not apply to secondary, Masters, and PhD international students, so the total new study permits expected in 2024 is 360,000, representing a 35% decrease from 2023.

While international student numbers are decreasing in 2024, most public universities are expected to remain unaffected.  

Does this mean that you should not apply to Canada anymore?

No! Canada is still a welcoming destination. However, with fewer spots available for international students, you must start your application process early and be well-informed about the university or college you are applying to.

Craydel can help you with this every step of the way!

An image of a graph showing data of international students from 2000 to 2022- Statista

Why Study in Canada?

From the above statistics, it is clear that every year, many individuals globally conclude that Canada is the ultimate study destination.

At this point in the article, you must be wondering why you should study in Canada. Is their maple syrup that good? Or is there a possibility of randomly bumping into Cindy Crawford in the streets of Canada?

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider studying in Canada;

1) You Can Earn While Studying

You can work for up to 24 hours weekly. Take note that working beyond these designated hours would be a violation of your study permit.

However, if you’re looking to work full-time or earn more money by working more hours and working more than one job, you can do so duringscheduled breaks!

But remember, to work full-time as a student during breaks, you must be a full-time student before and after the scheduled break.

If you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate, you can earn an income ranging from C$17.36 to C$37.53 per hour in the public service. Not bad for a student, eh?

2) You Can Get a Post-study Work Permit After You Graduate

So you’ve completed your course, tossed your cap into the air, and made a plan with your classmates about meeting once a week for the rest of your lives, what’s next? 

You guessed it, you can launch your career after graduation by applying for the PGWP (post-graduation work permit).

As long as you’re eligible to acquire it, you can apply from inside Canada or another country.

The main eligibility requirements are that you completed a study program at a designated learning institution, met your program’s requirements, and have full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program. After graduation, you have up to 180 days to apply for your post-graduation work permit.

To prove your eligibility, you must submit your degree/diploma or transcripts or an official letter from your institution so that they can verify the name of your program, whether you have completed your program, and how long it took you to do so.

It’s pretty standard stuff.

Once you’ve gotten your PGWP, Canada is your oyster! Your PGWP will be valid anywhere between 8 months and 3 years. This will depend on the length of the program you undertook in Canada. This is something you can consider when applying for a course. 

3) You Can Apply to Become a Permanent Canadian Resident

Who doesn’t want to be associated with Elon Musk, The Rock, Sandra Oh, and all those iconic Canadian personalities?

The good news is that you can apply to become a permanent Canadian resident via multiple programs, such as the Provincial Nominee Program, Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Note that some of these programs require eligible work experience in the country, and to work after graduation, you need to apply for a post-graduation work permit

However, it’s important to note that studying in Canada does not guarantee that you will obtain permanent residency.

4) You Get to Experience Quality Life

Quality of life refers to political stability, quality of the environment, job security, individual freedom, education, healthcare, housing, food, and so on.

Being in a foreign country is hard, so it truly matters how that country treats its foreigners and citizens. Canada ranks #3 in quality of life, followed by Norway (#2) and Sweden (#1).

5) You Will Get Access to Quality Education at Affordable Prices

To launch your career successfully, you need to be strategically positioned in the job marketplace. For this to happen, you need access to quality education, and Canadian universities happen to be well-ranked globally.

Here, you will acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in your field and establish useful, long-lasting connections.

Additionally, qualifications from Canada are recognized and valued globally.

Also, compared to the US and UK, studying in Canada is affordable. The tuition fee costs as low as $15,000, and you can spend an average of $15,300 per year on living expenses.

However, to obtain your study visa, you will need to show proof of $20,635 in addition to your tuition fee balance for the first year.

6) You Get to Enrich Your Cultural Experience

In Canada, you will interact with more than 800,000 students from 184 countries across the globe. This is bound to broaden your thinking, way of life, and network.

7) Your Safety Is Prioritised

In a survey involving international students living in Canada, the country’s safety outranked all its other benefits. The survey included 41,000 students from 67 institutions and was conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Eligibility Criteria to Study in Canada

Here are the requirements you need to study in Canada;

  • A letter of acceptance to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI): DLIs are institutions authorised by provincial or territorial governments to host international students. This letter is necessary since it is required to get a Canadian study permit.
  • Provincial Attestation Letter: Starting January 22, 2024 all international students will require this letter. It serves as proof that you have a spot in the Canadian post-secondary system in your chosen location of study.
  • Valid study permit: This permit is issued by the Canadian government, and you are usually required to obtain it before arriving in Canada. You must apply for the study permit quite early.
  • Language proficiency: Proficiency in French or English is a must when studying in Canada. Most schools accept standardised test scores assessing your language proficiency, such as TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent.

Note, however, that some programs have specific language proficiency requirements. Some will accept your high school diploma or university degree as proof of your English proficiency if you study in a country whose language of instruction is English.

  • Educational Qualifications: Provide proof of education qualifications normally in the form of transcripts and certificates. These qualifications should be equivalent to Canadian standards. Note that different programs will require you to produce different academic qualifications.
  • Financial proof: You are required to prove that you have enough funds to cover your living costs and tuition fees while studying and living in Canada.

You can demonstrate this by providing sponsorship letters, bank statements, and other required financial documents.

  • Health insurance: Imagine falling sick in a foreign country. You don’t have your family doctor or a friend/relative to make you soup- it can be rough. International students are required to have health insurance coverage during their stay in Canada.

Some provinces may need you to enrol in their provincial healthcare plan. Some might require private health insurance. However, many schools offer health insurance packages to their students.

  • Biometrics and Medical Examination: Depending on a student’s home country, they may be required to provide biometric information as part of the application process. Additionally, a medical examination may be necessary.
  • Proof of intent to return: Students will be required to provide evidence of their intention to return to their home country after completing their studies in Canada. This includes a statement of purpose or documentation of ties to your home country.

Education Grades Required

Education qualifications vary greatly depending on the university or college and course of study. Below are some general minimum guidelines:

  •   Bachelor’s Degree – C+ and above
  •   Diploma – C+
  •   Masters – Second class upper division
  •   Post-Graduate Diploma – Second class upper division

Did you know that you would have to do 15 billion checks to confirm if you meet the qualifications for all of Craydel’s university and college courses?

Instead, you can do this in seconds by doing a qualification check on Craydel’s application system to find out exactly which courses you qualify for!

Top In-Demand Careers in Canada 2024

1) Software/Web Developer

Canada has more than 43,200 ICT companies. The majority of these companies offer software and computer services. As the country continues to evolve technological-wise, so does the increase in demand for software/web developers.

Alt text: An image of a software developer sitting in front of a computer

The average salary for a software developer in Canada ranges between $25 and $63.19 per hour. Below are 3 provinces that possess a high demand for software development jobs;

  • Ontario has about 85,000 software development jobs.
  • British Columbia employs over 25,000 people.
  • In Alberta, 15,100 people are employed in the industry.

2) Registered Nurse (RN) / Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN)

If you are passionate about caring for the ill, then you will get a chance to pursue a stellar career in nursing in Canada.

There is a huge shortage of nurses projected in Canada. A 2019 analysis predicted a shortage of 117,600 nurses in Canada by 2030, with 83% of nurses surveyed saying they are so understaffed that they worry about the quality of patient care they can provide. This has only worsened since the pandemic. 

Job seekers qualified for these roles in the country are projected to be 26,300. This projection shows that there will be a deficit in the number of LPNs in the country.

An RN is paid an average of $28 to $50 an hour in Canada, and an LPN is paid an average of $23.45 per hour and $34 per hour.

The following are provinces that have a high demand for nurses in Canada;

  • Alberta has a shortage of nurses and medical professionals. With a growing elderly population, the demand for nurses is incremental.
  • British Columbia employs 47,050 nurses.
  • Ontario needs more than 22,000 registered nurses.

3) Welder

By 2028, Canada is projecting that they will be adding 23,000 welding positions to their economy. You will earn between $20 and $42.50 per hour as a welder.

4) Human Resource Manager

Due to the increase in the number of immigrants in Canada over time, there has been a surge in demand for HRM skills in the workplace. An analysis revealed that between 2022 and 2031, approximately 18,200 new HRM jobs are projected to open.

As a HRM, you can earn $36.06 and $80.22 per hour.

If you want to pursue a career as a HRM, you’re in luck, as it is in demand nationwide!

5) Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Between 2022 and 2031, the number of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to rise to 12,600. There is also an expected labour shortage in this field.

An electrical engineer can earn between $30 and $72 per hour.

Since Ontario and Quebec have plenty of manufacturing activities, these provinces highly demand electrical and electronics engineers.

Top Courses to Study in Canada 2024

1) Nursing

As mentioned earlier, there is a demand for RNs and LPNs in Canada. The good news is that Canada has bona fide institutions capable of equipping you with the knowledge and skills to carve a successful career path!

2) MBA

Getting your MBA in Canada means you will have numerous practical skills in the economic and business fields, such as finance, international business, and marketing. Canada has a sturdy economy, a factor that has made individuals globally seek to pursue this course in this country.

3) Computer Science

Canada offers top-notch computer science programs that will allow you to hone your skills in this field. In no time, you will be a wiz at programming languages, AI, database systems, computer systems and networks, and so forth. With these skills, you can compete effectively in the job market.

4) Media Studies

If you have a passion for storytelling and communication, Canadian institutions offering media programs will help you thrive in this field. They will hand-hold you as you learn how to impact the world through your voice.

5) Human Resources

The truth is that no organisation can function without an HR department. It’s like getting on a boat and not having paddles. You will move, yes, but you will not be able to steer toward your destination effectively.

With this said, Canadian institutions offer HR programs that will equip you with skills to navigate diverse workplaces.

Top Universities in Canada 2024

While Canada has many global rankings, Maclean’s education ranking system is Canada’s most widely revered ranking system.

Established in 1991, this system aims to provide students with important information to make sound decisions regarding their higher learning needs.

a) Reputation

Maclean’s Education System surveyed university senior administrators, faculty, and business people to get views on which universities in Canada have the best reputation based on three factors: highest quality, most innovative, and Leaders of Tomorrow.

Below is a list of the top ten universities in Canada based on reputation as ranked by Maclean’s Education System.

University Rank City Province
University of Toronto 1 Toronto Ontario
The University of British Columbia 2 Vancouver British Columbia
University of Waterloo 3 Waterloo Ontario
McGill University 4 Montreal Quebec
McMaster University 5 Hamilton Ontario
Queen’s University 6 Kingston Ontario
University of Alberta 7 Edmonton Alberta
University of Calgary 8 Calgary Alberta
Université de Montréal 9 Montreal Quebec
Western University 10 London Ontario

This table displays a list of universities in Canada (reputation) ranked by the Maclean’s Education System

b) Undergraduate (Maclean’s Education Ranking)

Primarily undergraduate universities typically have fewer graduate students and programs. They also tend to be smaller.

Below are the ten top universities in Canada that fall under the primarily undergraduate category as ranked by the Maclean’s Education system.

University Rank City/Town Province
Mount Allison University 1 Sackville New Brunswick
University of Northern British Columbia 2 Prince George British Columbia
Saint Mary’s University 3 Halifax Nova Scotia
Bishop’s University 4 Sherbrooke Quebec
Acadia University 5 Wolfville Nova Scotia
Lethbridge University 6 Lethbridge Alberta
Trent University 7 Peterborough Ontario
Ontario Tech University 8 Oshawa Ontario
St. Francis Xavier University 9 Antigonish Nova Scotia
University of Prince Edward Island 10 Charlottetown Prince Edward Island

The Table displays the top universities(undergraduate) in Canada as ranked by Maclean’s Education Ranking

c) Comprehensive

The comprehensive category possesses a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and includes professional degrees.

This category involves a significant degree of research activity. Below is a curated list of top universities in Canada that fall under the comprehensive category.

University Rank City/Town Province
Simon Fraser University 1 Vancouver British Columbia
University of Victoria 2 Victoria British Columbia
University of Waterloo 3 Waterloo Southern Ontario
York University 4 Toronto Ontario
Carleton University 5 Ottawa Ontario
University of Guelph 5 Guelph Ontario
Memorial University of Newfoundland 7 St. Johns Newfoundland and Labrador
University of New Brunswick 8 Fredericton New Brunswick
Concordia University 9 Montreal Quebec
Toronto Metropolitan University (Formerly Ryerson University) 10 Toronto Ontario

The table displays the top universities (comprehensive) in Canada as ranked by Maclean’s Education 

Affordable Universities in Canada

Studying in Canada offers you an array of affordable universities you can study in. Some of them include: 

  • Université de Montréal
  • The University of Regina
  • Algoma University
  • Yukon University
  • St. Francis Xavier University

Affordable Colleges in Canada

If you want to pursue your course in a college instead, there are plenty of schools you can choose from, with fees below C$20,000 per year for most programs: 

Scholarships in Canada

The main body responsible for coordinating scholarships in the country is Global Affairs Canada. It provides financial aid from the Canadian government, NGOs, foreign governments, and international organisations.

Here are the scholarships available to international students in Canada.

  • Study In Canada Scholarships – These scholarships consist of short-term grants lasting up to one year for undergraduate or postgraduate students.
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships for highly qualified doctoral students.
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships offer funding to postdoctoral applicants who excel in their field.

Use Craydel’s Scholarships and Discounts page to explore scholarships and discounts from top schools in Canada. Scholarships that you can benefit from when applying through Canadian universities and colleges include:

  • Niagara College – Up to C$20,000 for a Bachelor of Science
  • MacEwan University – Up to C$12,000 for outstanding students
  • Ontario Tech University – Up to C$10,000 
  • Cape Breton University – Up to C$10,000
  • University Canada West – Up to C$8,000 for specific programs
  • Wilfrid Laurier University – Up to C$6,000 for undergraduate
  • Algoma University – Up to C$5,000 for undergraduate
  • Humber College – Up to C$4,000 for undergraduate
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Up to C$4,000
  • Trent University – Up to C$3,000
  • Fleming College – Up to C$1,250
  • St. Lawrence College – Up to C$1,000 redeemable towards the second-semester

University Grading System in Canada

Canada’s most commonly used grading system is the A to F system or the numerical system (0 to 100). Grading systems vary depending on provinces and institutions.

Popular Intakes in Canada 2024

a) September/Fall Intake

This is the most popular intake period in Canada for international students, as you will be presented with an array of programs, and your chances of being accepted in your program of choice are high.

b) January/Winter Intake

The January intake has several advantages, such as the potential to graduate earlier than you had anticipated, shorter admission cycles, and an increase in scholarship availability. 

c) May/Summer Intake 

First things first, you’ll get to enjoy studying in the sun! Aside from this, there are normally fewer international students applying. This means that the acceptance rate for this intake is higher for you.

When Should You Apply?

A good rule of thumb is to apply for programs six months in advance. However, some courses, such as nursing, are in high demand. For these, you have to apply at least 12 months in advance.

Are you interested in a scholarship? Then, you’d better apply early because some scholarships are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Study in Canada Admission Process

a) Conduct Extensive Research

What school do you want to enrol into? What course would you like to pursue? What are the different requirements needed?

Conducting thorough research surrounding the study visa application process will help you choose a recognized school, a fitting program, and an ideal study period.

You are typically advised to start working on your Canadian study permit a year in advance. This will give you ample time to gather the necessary documents, understand and follow the regulations, and plan for this significant change in your life.

Note that different provinces have different requirements. Your research will come in handy, enabling you to meet the needed requirements of the province you intend to wind up in.

b) Choose Your School and Course

Remember that only a school acknowledged as a DSI (Designated Learning Institution) can admit international students.

With this in mind, choose a course that you’re interested in pursuing. It can be a degree or a diploma program.

Also, you will be required to select a major course that you will be undertaking, and while Canadian institutions are generally flexible in that you can change your major along the way, it is good to extensively research courses so that you can compare and make a decision.

The question is, how do you know you have chosen a course that is right for you?

Craydel can help you learn which course will lead you to your dream job’s doorstep! Through this platform, you will be able to choose which school and course is fitting for you based on your psychometric evaluation, budget, grades, dream job, and preferences.

c) Gather Your Documents

The right paperwork is vital in your admission process. Some of the common documents that you will be required to produce include higher learning transcripts, letters of recommendation and motivation, proof that you have taken language proficiency tests, statements of purpose, and so on.

d) Know Your Admission Requirements

Different institutions vary when it comes to their requirements. You can study these requirements on their portals/websites and learn about the institution’s intake, academic requirements, work experience, application fee, and so on.

e) Fill and Submit Your Application Form

You probably have experienced the pain of having to wait in a queue for hours, praying that the bank teller you are approaching has a conscience, a quiet voice, and will take a minimum of two lunch breaks.

This process normally involves having to physically fill and submit forms – the entire process can last a day in a cramped room with poor ventilation.

Thank the heavens for technology! You can apply and submit your university/college application form virtually. Ensure you read through the form carefully, providing all the required details, including the application fee, before submitting it.

f) Acquire Your Study Permit

Obtaining your study visa will involve the following steps;

  • Getting an offer letter from the institution you applied to.
  • Making a deposit payment for a Letter of Acceptance. This letter officially confirms that you have received admission into a DLI (Designated Learning institution).
  • Receiving a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province or territory where the institution is located.  In some cases, this requires a further deposit payment.
  • Applying for the visa.
  • Going for your medicals if you are asked to do so. Usually, this is a good sign that your visa is likely to be issued!
  • Issuing of the visa.
  • Getting your study permit stamped in your passport at the High Commission or Embassy.

Once again, it is essential that you start applying for your study visa well in advance, as the process can be demanding.

This application process requires you to have documents such as an acceptance letter from your chosen institution, your passport, and proof of funds.

g) Master Your Travel Dates

Having your study permit does not necessarily mean that you can fly to Canada any day. Your permit will have a specific start date that will indicate when it comes to force.

h) Verification of Your Study Permit

At the port of entry, you will be required to produce your study permit, which will be verified by the immigration officer present. Once it is verified, you can begin your journey as an international student in Canada!

i) Enrollment To Your Institution

Once you have your visa, you can begin your enrollment process and commence your studies in Canada. 

Documents Required For the Admission Process in Canada

The documents you need to apply for a Canadian university or college include:

  • Transcripts.
  • A resume that entails your academic achievements, professional experience, overall goals, skills, and so on. (Masters Program)
  • Personal Statement (Masters Program) or Statement of Purpose.
  • Proof of funds that show you are able to cater to your financial needs in Canada.
  • Passport.
  • Passport-size photographs. (Visa Application)
  • Employment references.
  • Educational credential assessment to show that your international diploma/degree certificate is equivalent and therefore valid to a Canadian degree.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Letter of acceptance from a DLI.
  • Provincial Attestation Letter from the province or territory.
  • A medical exam. (after your Visa Application)
  • A valid travel document such as a passport.
  • A valid electronic travel authorization.
  • A certificate of good conduct/police clearance. (Visa Application)

Once again, the admission process can be overwhelming, but you can ensure that this process is seamless by letting Craydel be a part of your journey to study in Canada.

Best Cities to Study in Canada

Choosing a city to study in is as essential as selecting a course to undertake and an institution. Below is a list of cities that you should consider studying in:

Toronto

1) You will experience diversity

Toronto is a multicultural and inclusive city. According to a 2021 census report, half of Toronto’s population is said to have originated from beyond Canadian borders.

Aside from this, the city contains plenty of international students, a factor that will allow you to broaden your cultural spectrum and meet people who have the same roots as you. This way, you won’t feel like a chaff in rice.

2) You will be safe

Compared to other major cities across the world, Toronto is considered to have a lower crime rate. In fact, while evaluating the safety of cities globally, the Economic Intelligence Unit ranked Toronto as 6th in their Safe City Index.

This evaluation consisted of more than personal safety, taking into account factors such as security in terms of health, infrastructure, and the digital realm.

3) It is strategically positioned

Toronto happens to be close to the US border. Located in south-eastern Canada, it is close to several hubs in the country, such as Montreal, Ottawa, and Hamilton.

Also, if you enjoy sightseeing – who doesn’t? Toronto offers access to extraordinarily beautiful tourist destinations such as Muskoka, Algonquin Provincial Park, and the famous Niagara Falls.

4) You will have better odds of landing a job

Whether you’re looking to get a part-time job as you study or a full-time job during breaks or even launch your career after you graduate, Toronto, located in Southern Ontario, will provide you with these opportunities!

There is a reason why the area between Waterloo and Toronto is referred to as the Silicon Valley North – this region offers employment to about 300,000 tech employees and has 4,100 active startups. It is also where you can find global tech powerhouses such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Also, Southern Ontario accounts for approximately half of Canada’s manufacturing. As if all this is not enough, Toronto is considered as the country’s financing and banking capital.

5) It has stellar higher-learning institutions

In Toronto, you can pursue your higher learning studies at several bona fide institutions.

For instance, if you’re passionate about filmmaking, you can enrol into Toronto Film School. You can take courses on designing and developing video games, animation, acting, graphic design, interactive media, writing for films and TV shows, film production, and so on.

The University of Toronto, with several campuses in the city, is also Canada’s most reputable university, while York University is a Top 5 comprehensive university in the country!

Vancouver

1) It is multicultural

Vancouver celebrates diversity, and as an international student here, you will be able to explore different foods, music, mannerisms, styles, beliefs, and generally, cultures.

Experiencing all these different people will increase your assimilation abilities globally, allowing you to effectively communicate and interact with individuals from all walks of life.

2) It is student-friendly

In 2017, Vancouver ranked 6 on QS World University Rankings as being a desirable city for students. In terms of livability, the city was ranked second by The Economist.

3) It has favourable weather conditions

Transitioning into a new environment and adapting to its weather conditions can be a significant challenge. Vancouver happens to have warmer winters than other cities, such as Toronto and Montreal.

Temperatures in this city remain at an average of 20 Celsius in the summer and 0-5 Celsius in the winter. Also, during the winter season, you are bound to experience rain rather than snow. 

4) It is committed to staying green

If you’re passionate about environmental conservation, then you will be happy to know that in 2020, Vancouver Municipal Government sponsored a Green City Initiative. It was aimed at reducing emissions and the amount of waste in the lower mainland.

The Municipal Government also granted its population access to cleaner water and green spaces. Studying here will allow you to be a part of these sustainable initiatives, taking a step closer to fighting against environmental degradation globally.

5) It has exceptionally good schools that are affordable

Institutions such as Columbia College offer programs with up to 30% scholarship and will allow you to complete two years at an affordable fee and then progress to a top university like UBC or Simon Fraser University.

Not only will you gain vital skills and knowledge in your field, but you will also save a significant amount of money!

Kingston

1) It is student-friendly

Kingston, Ontario, was identified as the best student city in Canada last year by HelloSafe. This establishment ranks cities based on quality of life, student life, academic excellence, and a city’s attractiveness.

Students in Kingston comprise 17% of the city’s total population giving the city a dynamic feel. Also, Kingston is famous for its preserved environment, easy access to nature, and temperate climate.

2) It is safe

Kingston is considered to be relatively safe to live in, according to a report by Statistics Canada. A majority of its residents (93%) are happy with their personal safety. 94% have confidence in the police to maintain law and order. This means international students can study, live, and work in Kingston with peace of mind.

3) It has excellent academic institutions

International students also happen to be drawn to Kingston due to its educational facilities. A good example is St. Lawrence College, an institution that offers advanced diplomas in various fields that will allow you to garner the knowledge and skills required in the job market.

 Another good example is Queen’s University, which is one of the top-ranked universities in the country!

Fun fact: our co-founder, Shayne, is a proud alumni of Queen’s! 

4) Proximity to major cities

As a student in Kingston, you will be able to go to key cities such as Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa with much ease, given their close proximity to Kingston.

If you want to travel to Toronto or Montreal, the journey will last for approximately 3 hours. If you are going to Ottawa, however, your journey will last for 2 hours and 19 minutes. Yes, that is how close Ottawa is to Kingston!

5) You will be surrounded by culture and history

One of the primary advantages of studying in Canada is having the ability to enrich your culture. Well, if you end up pursuing your studies in Kingston, you will have access to museums, galleries and historic sites. Kingston is also home to the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, Fort Henry.

Ottawa

1) It is a bilingual city

You’re probably already proficient in speaking English, but how good is your French? Ottawa is a bilingual city, meaning that while studying here, you can optimise on this feature and become proficient in both French and English.

2) You can gain access to internships and job opportunities.

Higher learning institutions in Ottawa are famous for having well-nurtured relationships with industries and businesses within the area. This means that you can land an internship, job and research partnership opportunities while studying in this city.

3) You will be surrounded by government organisations

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, which is a factor that makes it a hub for government organisations. If you wish to pursue a course in public administration, political science, and international affairs, this is the city for you! You will have numerous internship opportunities where you can practically apply what you have learned in school.

4) You will have access to festivals and events

Have you ever watched a film that features a city-wide event?

Normally, this entails diverse individuals convening in one scene, interacting with one another, and having loads of fun!

In Ottawa, you will be able to experience events such as Winterlude, the Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa’s International Jazz Festival, Canada Day, Ottawa Bluesfest, Indigenous People’s Celebration, Ottawa International Animation Festival, and the CityFolk Festival.

Okay, don’t these sound like an absolute delight?

5) It has bona fide institutions

Ottawa offers excellent education institutions that will provide you with a variety of courses at different levels, including the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Institutions in Ottawa invest in their students, going beyond a student’s academic prowess. They offer mentorship programs, student organisations, career counselling, and so on.

London, Ontario

1) You can land an unlimited bus pass

A majority of study programs in London include an unlimited bus pass in their fees. This essentially means you will not have to worry about transport costs every time you want to manoeuvre the city.

2) It has a booming economy

London happens to be located in the southwestern region of Ontario, which makes it a hub for transportation and supply chain.

Aside from this, the city has been known to attract international direct investments in industries such as food processing, information technology, and manufacturing.

As a student, you will have access to internship and job opportunities in these different sectors, and after graduating, you can launch your career in this city!

3) It is known as the “Forest City”

London is said to have 200 parks, 4 million trees, and plenty of hiking and walking trails. If you love green spaces and the outdoors, then this is definitely the city for you.

4) It has some of the best schools in the country

Institutions such as Fanshawe College offer a variety of courses and pathway programs curated to equip you with practical knowledge on how to navigate different industries. Meanwhile Western University is one of the top 10 universities in Canada based on reputation.

5) You will be a part of a community

Feeling homesick and having that need to be a part of a community is part and parcel of moving abroad to pursue higher learning. Having a warm, welcoming community that facilitates cultural unity can ease your transitioning process, allowing you to settle in Canada and begin your academic journey.

London has ethnocultural organisations that can help you feel at home. These groups embrace cultural diversity, and you can get to be a part of these groups by participating in their numerous activities.

Cost of Studying in Canada 2024

Below is the range of school fees in Canadian higher learning institutions; 

University Undergraduate Degree (4 years)

The cost of studying in Canada can range from an average of C$15,000 to C$70,000+ annually depending on the course you are undertaking and where you are pursuing it. 

College Undergraduate Diploma (2-3 years)

If you want to acquire an undergraduate diploma in Canada, then you should budget between an average of CAD15,000 and CAD30,000 annually. This is dependent on which course you want to pursue and your preferred institution. 

Cost of Living in Canada 

The average living costs in Canada range between 2,000 CAD to 2,500 CAD monthly.

Toronto

Expenses Average Costs
Average cost of living (excluding fees) $2,100 per month
Accommodation $1,100 – $2,700 per month
Transportation $0 – $128 per month
Food and Grocery $340+ per month

Table displaying Toronto’s expenses and their average costs. 

Living in Toronto can be quite costly as it is a populated city. This is particularly true for the downtown region in Toronto. In order to save on costs, you will have to be thrifty with your lifestyle. For instance, you can opt to share accommodation with a friend.

Vancouver

Expenses Average Costs
Average cost of living (excluding fees) $1,750 – $2,792 per month
Accommodation $858 – $1,892 per month
Transportation $121 per month
Food (fast food) $9 per meal

Table displaying Vancouver’s expenses with their average costs. 

Your lifestyle will determine how much you spend monthly on living costs. 

Kingston

Expenses Average Costs
Average cost of living (excluding fees) $950 – $1,442 per month
Accommodation $521 – $1,190 per month
Transportation $85 per month
Food (Home) $224 per month

Table displaying Toronto’s expenses with their average costs. 

Take note that living in Kingston is significantly lower than living in Toronto (55% lower).

Ottawa

Expenses Average Costs
Average cost of living (excluding fees) $1024 per month
Accommodation $521 – $1,266 per month
Transportation $120 per month
Food (Home) $48 per week

Table displaying Toronto’s expenses with their average costs. 

Your monthly bill will depend heavily on your lifestyle.

London, Ontario

Expenses Average Costs
Average cost of living (excluding fees, with rent) $2,002 per month
Accommodation $1,010 – $1,795 per month
Transportation  $101 per month
Food  $546 per month

Table displaying Toronto’s expenses with their average costs. 

Take note that you can get an unlimited bus pass, a factor that will do away with your transportation woes!

Canada Study Visa

After December 1st 2023, international students looking to study in Canada are required to have a study permit that follows IMM1294, the new version of study permit application forms.

To acquire a study visa, you will need to provide specific documents such as; a letter of acceptance from a DLI, a Provincial Attestation Letter, passports, academic documents, and so on.

Applications are conducted online, but you can be eligible to apply on paper if;

  • You possess a disability that bars you from applying for a study permit online.
  • You are a refugee, stateless person, or non-national resident.

You will be required to pay an application fee of $174.87, and this process will take an estimated 4 to 8 weeks.

Note that in order to obtain a study visa, you should be able to prove that you have a minimum of $20,635 in available funds. Also, you should have a fund statement of at least 3 months (some sources say 4 just to be safe).

To quicken the process of attaining a study visa, Craydel has partnered with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. They can open a bank account for you in Canada and allow you to transfer your funds to Canada in C$.

If for whatever reason you do not end up enrolling in a Canadian institution, you can always transfer the money back to your original bank account.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada

Working in Canada after you graduate requires you to have a work permit. You can do so temporarily or permanently. Graduating from a particular DLI may make you eligible for a work permit. Note that studying at a DLI does not automatically make you eligible for a PGWP.

To acquire a PGWP you will need to pay C$255. Your post-graduation work permit’s validity is dependent on the length of the program you undertook or the expiry date indicated on your passport.

Getting work experience can contribute to making you a permanent resident in Canada.

Well, how exactly do you get work experience in Canada?

Let’s explore how you can gain work experience and earn income while studying.

On-Campus jobs in Canada

Remember, you can only work in Canada while studying if you are a full-time student.

On-campus jobs comprise income-earning opportunities that are present in your school. If your institution has multiple campuses, note that you can only work where you’re studying.

However, you can work in other locations if you happen to be a research or teaching assistant or if the work you’re tackling is related to a research grant.

On-campus, you can work for;

  • A student organisation
  • Faculty member
  • The school
  • A private business
  • A private contractor
  • Your own business

Off-Campus Jobs in Canada

First things first, you and your employer have to ensure that you are allowed to work outside the campus before your job starts. If you begin without ensuring that you are eligible to work off-campus, this may lead you to leave the country.

You can work off-campus if

  • You are a full-time student undertaking a course in a DLI.
  •  Your study program leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate and is at least 6 months long.
  •   You have commenced your program.
  •   You have a social insurance number (SIN)

If you opt to study in Quebec, you are eligible to work off-campus if you are enrolled in a secondary-level vocational training program or a post-secondary academic, professional, or vocational training program.

If you are a part-time student, you can work off-campus (and even on-campus) if you were a full-time student for the duration of your program in Canada, apart from your last semester.

You can work for up to 24 hours every week and can have more jobs to make up these hours. However, during scheduled breaks, you can obtain a full-time job.

Also, note that you can work after completing your study program if

  • You are commencing a new study program.
  • You had applied for a work permit before your study permit expired.

So, yes! It’s possible to earn a steady amount of income while studying in Canada.

Top Jobs in Canada for International Students

The minimum wage for students living in Canada varies from province to province. The current minimum wage in the different Canadian regions is as follows:

  • Yukon – C$17.59
  • British Columbia – C$16.75
  • Ontario – C$16.55
  • Northwest Territories – C$16.05
  • Nunavut – C$16
  • Prince Edward Island – C$16.00
  • Manitoba – C$15.80
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – C$15.60
  • New Brunswick – C$15.30
  • Quebec – C$15.25
  • Nova Scotia – C$15.20
  • Alberta – C$15
  • Saskatchewan – C$15.00

If you work in the public service, you can earn an income ranging from C$17.36 to C$27.68 per hour for undergraduate students and C$24.62 to C$37.53 for postgrads.

 Below are jobs that you can choose to do while studying;

  • Bartender/server
  • Barista
  • Sales assistant
  • Nanny
  • Dog walker
  • Tutor
  • Delivery driver/ride-sharing driver
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Freelancer
  • Writer/Editor

Student Life in Canada

Canada has an international student population of over 800,000. The country invests in ensuring students have a world-class education experience that goes beyond the classroom. As a student in Canada, you will be able to explore a variety of cultures, breathtaking sites, employment opportunities, and so on.

Aside from this, international students in Canada can earn a steady stream of income and lead affordable lives while optimising on the opportunity of studying abroad.

Canada also has various programs and structures that allow students to thrive academically, professionally and socially.

PR After Studying in Canada

As mentioned above, you need to have a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) so that you can work after you graduate. Gaining work experience while living in Canada temporarily (thanks to the PGWP) can pave the way for you to become a permanent resident. 

Also, you may fit into several permanent resident categories including the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry, is offered to skilled workers who have experience working in Canada. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is basically like the Canadian Experience Class except that one of its minimum requirements is education.

To be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa, international students;

  • Should have studied full-time for at least eight months preceding the completion of their program and have graduated from a Designated Learning Institution.
  • Must have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Must apply for a study permit within 180 days of receiving written confirmation by way of final mark sheets from their academic institution.
  • The Post Study Work Visa provides no restrictions on the type of employment and requirement of a job offer.
  • If the program duration is less than 8 months, the students are not eligible for a Post Study Work Visa.
  • If the program duration is 2 years or more, a Post Study Work Visa will be issued for up to 3 years.
  • If a student has completed more than one program, they may be able to get a PSW that combines the length of both programs. For this, each of the programs they have completed must be – Post Study Work Visa eligible and at least 8 months in length
  • If the program duration is more than 8 months but less than 2 years. A Post Study Work Visa will be issued for up to the same length as the study program. For instance, if you have completed a 9-month program, a work permit may be issued for up to 9 months.

Canada has a booming economy that is always in need of skilled individuals. You can consider obtaining permanent residency after graduating. You’ll start a new chapter in your life where you’ll get to thrive in your career, but keep in mind there is no guarantee that you will obtain PR.

And having dual citizenship is always a good idea! Just ask Elon Musk and Howie Mandel

Conclusion

Pursuing your career in Canada can open a floodgate of opportunities for you careerwise. Aside from this, you will get to experience a multicultural environment that will broaden your perception of the world and its diverse societies. 

The process of becoming a student in Canada, however, can be cumbersome. For instance, you might fail to apply for schools in time, or your study permit application may be rejected. There is also a possibility of you not pursuing a course that marries your passion and life goals or winding up in a city that will bleed you dry. 

Craydel is willing to walk this journey with you as you search, match, and apply for your dream course in Canada. You can reach us here and start your journey as a student in Canada.

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