Canada frequently tops the list of desirable study abroad destinations, which is not surprising considering the high-quality institutions and student lifestyle on offer. It’s critical to get to grips with the application process if you’ve got your eye on a Canadian institution. We’ve taken a closer look at all the details of what you’ll need to do in order to apply and pursue your studies in the country.
It goes without saying that doing your due diligence on the programme or degree you wish to undertake is essential. It’s worthwhile making sure that you understand the entry requirements of both the institution and course. This includes elements like English language proficiency levels, grades and qualifying subjects. As part of your planning you will need to take into consideration the rules and regulations of applying for a study permit for example. A general rule is to try and kickstart your planning at least one year in advance so that you’ll have enough time to lodge your application and check that all your documentation is up to date.
In Canada, you’ll need to apply directly to the institution. Knowing what subject/s you want to major in prior to application is also essential, although you can switch this later during your studies in certain cases. There is no intermediary or central application system in Canada. However, as a result of each province and territory in Canada being responsible for education in that region, you may find a central provincial system that accepts applications to universities, such as the OUAC (Ontario University Application Centre). You should also ensure that you have checked that the institution you’ve selected has the relevant accreditation, known in Canada as a designated learning institution. Only institutions with this stamp of approval are able to accept and admit international students.
As an international student you will be required by Canadian institutions to provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You will find that certain programmes and institutions may differ on the minimum standards that are required and institutions generally prefer the IELTS test certificate. However, TOEFL and Cambridge English: Advanced scores are also accepted. With Canada being a dual language country, you are also able to provide evidence of your French proficiency in the event that you will pursue your studies in the language. Accepted tests include TCF, DALF, DELF, but most institutions prefer the TEF exam.
Once you have shortlisted the universities of your choice, have your documents and qualifications in order, it’s time to lodge your application/s. The majority of applications require you to pay a non-refundable fee of between CAD 50 – 150. However, in cases where you’re applying to multiple universities it may be easier to use a provincial application system, where a flat fee is paid. Depending on your nationality, you may need to have to undergo a medical examination by an authorised medical professional to show you are of good health though this isn’t usually essential.
Always take time to read through your application carefully and include all the necessary information. Try to apply well in advance, ideally in the October of the year before you wish to study. The closing date for applications is usually in January/February depending on the programme and university. Applying early means you’ll have more time to sort out issues like funding. This is especially important as the Canadian government requires you to be able to demonstrate that you have the required financial backing or funds to study in the country.
You should get a response shortly after your application if the university adheres to a ‘rolling admissions’ policy, which evaluates applications as soon as they are received. In cases where an institution follows a ‘competitive admission’ system, you’ll need to wait for the application deadline to pass before the university evaluates your submission. You should factor in about a seven week wait for the application to be dealt with.
If your application has been successful you will receive an offer from a university. Once this offer has been made you can move to the next step of the application process which is to secure a study permit. The study permit process is conducted by Canadian immigration services with an officer assigned applications. The application can be made online or through an accredited visa application provider. To avoid any hiccups during the process you must include your university acceptance letter, passport as well as evidence of your financial eligibility to study in Canada. If you are granted your study permit you will only be able to travel to Canada from the start date of the permit and not before. Once it has been confirmed you can book your tickets and gear up for a new chapter in your life.
How to Apply to Canadian Universities
If you have dreams of studying abroad in Canada, now is the time to apply. The new enrollment term is about to begin and provinces like Ontario are opening their doors to international students who want to study at world-renowned universities.
Many universities in Canada are preparing for new enrollments this fall with early applications starting in October.
Here is how you can stay ahead of the enrollment rush, learn to apply to Canadian universities with these easy application steps.
Steps to Apply to Canadian Universities this Season
- Step 1: Do some research about universities you wish to apply for, make sure you have at least three options that you want to apply for just in case;
- Step 2: Check their admission requirements for international students, this will cover:
- Admission times;
- Language requirements;
- Credit scores for the degree or program you want to apply for;
- Application letter to the university; and
- Personal profiles may also have to be sent, this is part of your student profile and takes around 30 minutes to complete. There are three questions you are given by the university to answer with a short essay and two short videos
- Step 3: Submit all the required documents like:
- A certified copy of your diploma or certificate;
- A complete application form for your course;
- An updated CV (if needed);
- Letter of Intent (This states your intention to enrol in the college or university and any education course you wish to apply for);
- Language results that are no more than one year old for English or French:
- English tests that are generally accepted: IELTS, TOEFL and C1 Advanced
- French tests that are mainly accepted in Canada are: TEF, TCF, DALF and DELF
- Proof of funds to show that you can support yourself and anyone who immigrates with you during your studies;
- If you are applying for a PhD or Masters program, you will need to have two letters of Academic Reference, along with previous Letters of Employment; and
- If you did not study in Canada, you will also need to have your education assessed with an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)Please note that all documents must be translated into either English or French by a certified translator and that the original documents must also be included in your application
- Step 4: After your application is processed by the university, you will get your Offer of Admission which is also called an Acceptance letter;
- Step 5: Apply for your study permit and prove that you:
- Have enough funds to support yourself;
- Have a medical certificate from an approved doctor from the Canadian panel of physicians (if you plan to study in Canada for longer than six months);
- Have the intent to come to Canada for the sole purpose of studying;
- Inform the Canadian Immigration Office that you intend to leave after your studies are complete; and
- Provide Police Clearance also known as a police certificate to show that you are a law abiding person with no criminal record (this includes DUIs)
HOW TO APPLY
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