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An International Student's Guide to study in Canada 2021

May 2021

Canada has evolved into one of the most favoured study abroad destinations for students. Education abroad has become the norm for aspiring students who wish to further their careers by developing international skills and exposure. Universities in Canada continue to impart world-class education and curriculum that prepare students to face the real world and its challenges. Courses in Canada have a strong focus on applied based learning that is a perfect blend of theory and practicality for students.

As students prepare themselves for their overseas education, here are few factors they have to pay close attention to, in order to make the entire process seamless and smooth.



1. Understand requirements and fees

  • Each level of study requires a certain requirement to be fulfilled at universities in Canada.
  • Each requirement could be similar across the levels of study or specific. For example, for a Bachelor's degree, you need an aggregate percentage of 80% but, for a PG Diploma, you need a 60% aggregate.
  • Common requirements across all universities and institutions include an updated passport, proficiency in English (IELTS) of 6.5 with minimum grades/bands, and proof that you can finance your study as well as the cost of living in the country.

Problems faced by Indian students

  • The next step of the process is to identify the course that aligns with your professional goals. Once the course in Canada is identified, you must select a university that offers the course and its modules in the curriculum.
  • Once both have been identified, the student may now go ahead and apply to the course and university. While the Canadian education system is flexible in terms of switching among courses, it is imperative that you make informed decisions regarding these components.
  • If you want to gain professional experience during the course, you may choose the Co-op element of the curriculum, and even work part-time.
  • Courses in Canada offer stay back visas or Open Work Permits (OWP) after the completion of the course. Courses that expand across 1 year, give an OWP of 1 year; those of 2 years, give an OWP of 3 years.

3. English Language Proficiency tests

  • Before applying to the courses in Canada at your university of choice, an important requirement that every international student, that hails from a country whose first language is not English, is the English Language Proficiency tests.
  • These Language Proficiency tests are essential components of any application and are also required for successful entry into Canada. The most preferred test accepted by universities in Canada is the IELTS. Some universities also accept the Cambridge English: Advanced or TOEFL exam score or Pearson Test of English (PTE).

4. Application process to colleges/universities

After you have fulfilled the language requirement through the proficiency test, you may now apply to university. Before you begin the process, shortlist your university among the wide variety of universities in Canada. In the application, you have to submit a number of documents like:

  • Academic Transcripts
  • 2/3 Recommendation Letters (LOR)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Resume
  • Passport
  • IELTS
  • GMAT/ GRE (if required)
  • Work Experience Letters

Additional documents may be requested based on your profile.
Students usually apply to 2/3 universities and make a decision based on their preferences and admissions. For each application, students have to pay an application fee. This fee ranges from $100 to $250, which may be waived off if the student applies through Edwise as we have partnerships and tie-ups with a number of universities.

5. Apply for Study Permit

  • Once you have applied and secured admission to the course and university in Canada, the next step is the most crucial one, applying for a Canadian Study Permit. A study permit is a visa for students to travel and study in Canada.
  • For a study permit visa application, students have to draft a letter to the Canadian High Commission in their respective cities. Some may also need to attend an interview for the same.
  • Once the study permit is granted, you are intimated and you have to submit your passport to receive the visa. Once the student has their visa, they may fly before the commencement of their program in Canada.

6. Covid 19 update

As of February 21, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET, students have to meet the new testing and quarantine requirements while travelling to Canada. These are the most recent Covid-19 rules for 2021:

A border services officer (BSO) will make the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada when you arrive. When the border services officer greets you, they consider

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to comply with all the mandatory COVID-19 requirements, unless you’re exempt
  • your ability to comply with your approved DLI's COVID-19 readiness plan
    • This may include a 14-day quarantine period.
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • the timing of your arrival
    • You should give yourself enough time before school starts, to
      • complete the mandatory COVID-19 requirements
      • meet any requirements in your approved DLI's COVID-19 readiness plan
    • If you arrive too early, you may be refused entry by the BSO.

You should get in touch with Edwise for further details.

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Also read: 9 Questions You Must Ask a University



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