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Steps to study in Canada

Canada should be at the top of your list if you intend to study abroad. Aside from being the home to 21 of the world’s top 500 universities, Canada has some of the best study programmes in the world and is home to some of the top academic institutions and research institutes. A step-by-step tutorial for applying to study in Canada is provided here.



Understand the requirements


Choose your course and institution


Take the Language Proficiency Test


Apply to universities


Apply for a Study Permit


Travel to Canada

STEP 1: Understand the requirements

Understanding the various standards for institutions and the programmes they offer is necessary for successfully applying to a Canadian educational institution. The laws and regulations that apply to the application process for a study permit must be carefully examined by students.

You should ideally begin making preparations for your Canadian study permit at least a year in advance. The following guidelines are applicable to all colleges and universities:

  • An updated passport

  • Proof of proficiency in either English or French with minimum grades/bands

  • Proof that you can finance your study as well as the cost of living in the country.

STEP 2: Choose your course and institution

The first step towards choosing an institution is to ascertain its status as a Designated Learning Institution. Only DLIs can admit foreign students. You will be required to finalize a specific major course when applying to study in Canada. The Canadian academic setup is flexible towards switching courses, although it is best to compare your options beforehand and choose a major that you are truly interested in pursuing.

STEP 3: Take the Language Proficiency Test

Every international student who want to study in Canada must demonstrate their fluency in either English or French. The preferred English language test is IELTS, while some institutions will also accept results from the TOEFL or Cambridge English: Advanced exams.

For French, you can opt for DALF, DELF, or TCF, although the TEF exam is the most common option.

STEP 4: Apply to universities

It's time to get in touch with the universities you want to apply to, get their application packs, and send them early. A dozen universities to choose from can be favourable, but you must take into account the application fee, which ranges from $100 to $250.

Don't just apply everywhere. Compare your choices, decide on your preferred programme and university, and then pick one or two backup possibilities. Be cautious when completing the application form, and be sure to include accurate information supported by documentation. The university will give you an acceptance letter once you get accepted to study there. This document is crucial for the next requirements.

STEP 5: Apply for a Study Permit   

It's time to apply for a Canadian Study Permit now that an institution is prepared to accept you. You can apply either online or in a local visa application centre. Your application must be submitted with the acceptance letter you obtained in the previous step, your passport, and an official documentation proving you have enough funds to attend college in Canada.

If you have applied to an institution in the province of Quebec, then you will also receive, along with the acceptance letter, a “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec” (CAQ). Make sure you include this document in your study permit application.

STEP 6: Travel to Canada

Once the application has been processed and an interview, if required, has been conducted, the immigration officer will decide upon your study permit application. If accepted, it is now time to start planning your travel to Canada. Your permit will have a start date, which is the date from which the permit comes into force. Keep in mind that you won’t be permitted to enter Canada before this date. Plan your travel accordingly.

The immigration officer will verify your permit and other documents at the port of entry before allowing you to enter Canada. This is the final step of the immigration formalities and you can now focus on commencing your journey as an international student in Canada.

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