How to Study in Canada for international students

For international students, Canada, a nation in North America, is a fantastic place to study. Compared to other first-world nations, it is inexpensive. Some of the best universities in the world are located there. Additionally, after graduating, international students can continue to work in Canada. Students from several countries compete yearly for a place in Canada’s educational system.

Despite being a popular study-abroad destination, many international students still don’t know how to study in Canada. We will be covering everything you require to study in Canada as an international Student.

About the Education System In Canada

The Canadian educational system is very beneficial to international students. It enables international students to enrol whenever they can.

This educational system includes three intakes, in contrast to most other nations, which only permit one. Autumn, summer, and winter are the three seasons for these intakes.

The main intake starts in September, which is the “Fall” season. The start of the “Winter” intake is in January, while the start of the “Summer” intake is in May. 

You should apply for the “Fall” (September) intake if you wish to be considered for a scholarship offered by a Canadian institution.

Cost of Studying and Living in Canada

Compared to other well-known international study destinations, Canada is less expensive. The anticipated annual cost of living and studying in Canada is between CAD 21,200 and 66,500 ($16,432.76 and $51,543.39).

How much it will cost you to live and study in Canada will depend on the program and institution you select. You can apply for the many scholarship programs available in Canada if you cannot afford to study and live there.

How to Study in Canada for International Students

Here are the steps you should take to study in Canada as an international student.

  1. Choose a university and program
  2. Apply for a student visa
  3. Get accommodation

Choose a university and program

Your first step as an international student planning to study in Canada should be to choose a course of study and a school. 

Spend some time investigating the school you wish to apply to. Check the admission requirements, the tuition, the length of the course you intend to take, and the availability of scholarships. 

Once your research is complete, apply to the school of your choice and await the results of the admissions process.

Apply for a student visa

Applying for a visa is the next step after applying to a university. A Canadian student visa allows you to live and study in Canada for a time frame.

Your study visa is valid for the same amount of time as the course you are enrolled in plus 90 days. You can plan your exit from or stay in Canada with the additional 90 days.

Apply for a study visa as soon as you have received your admissions letter from your preferred university. It can take up to 5 months to process a Canadian visa, therefore the quicker the better. 

Although it may not always be necessary for you to be present in person, you might be contacted for an interview.

Depending on your country and the number of people applying at the same time as you, it might be less or more. Apply for and obtain your Canadian student visa before moving to the country to be on the safe side.

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Eligibility for a Canadian study visa

You must fulfil the requirements listed below before applying for a  Canada student visa.

  • You must be accepted or enrolled in a designated learning institute (DLI)
  • You must show evidence that you can pay your tuition and living expenses.
  • You must be healthy. This must be certified by a reputable hospital.
  • You must have no criminal record. This must be proven with a police certificate.
  • You must obey the rules that go with holding a student visa.
  • You must be eager to put in the necessary effort to finish your coursework.
  • You must convince the visa officer that you will depart Canada after completing their academic program.

Required documents for a Canadian study visa

Each country has its requirements for documents. When applying for a Canadian student visa, be sure you are aware of all the requirements that must be met in your nation. 

Here are the documents generally requested for a Canadian student visa.

  • Acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution
  • A Valid Passport
  • Evidence of Funds
  • Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
  • English Language Proficiency Exam Score
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Credit Card
Acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution

The admission letter you received from the college or university you intend to attend must be presented. Verify that the university or college is a designated learning institution. The immigration agency recognizes this kind of institution.

As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, you should begin the application process for your student visa. It is advised that you begin the visa application process around June if you wish to enrol in the September intake.

A Valid Passport

You must have a current passport that is valid for the length of time you plan to be in Canada.

Therefore, make sure that the passport is valid at least through September 2025 if you plan to depart for Canada in September 2023 to enrol in a two-year program.

Evidence of Funds

You must produce proof of your financial stability. This document will show that you have the financial means to pay your tuition and living expenses. According to Canadian immigration, students must have at least CAD 10,000 for each year of their stay in the country.

You must also demonstrate your ability to cover the living expenses as well as any additional costs of any family member travelling with you. As well as your return fair. 

Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

You will be required to complete a mandatory immigration medical examination; you will schedule an appointment with one of the recommended doctors and go in for a medical examination.

It is advised that you complete this medical examination at least one week before you begin your visa application so that the medical professional has time to process and submit the required paperwork.

English Language Proficiency Exam Score

It is advised to have your English language test results available before applying for a Canadian student visa. All acceptable test scores for this visa application include IELTS, TOEFL, etc.

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Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose outlines your motivation for visiting Canada as well as the reasons behind your decision to enrol at the particular university.

Although it may be listed as optional, it is advisable to submit this document. 

Passport Size Photographs

You need two passport photos If you choose to apply offline and a digital copy of your passport photo that should not be larger than 4MB if you choose to apply online.

Your passport photo should be on a plain background, with a neutral facial expression, and without headgear unless it is for a religious reason. The passport should not be older than six months, and the size should be at least 35 mm x 45 mm. 

Credit Card

If you are applying online, you will use it to make a payment. You will require a credit card rather than a debit card. You can use your parents’ or other family members’ credit cards with their permission if you don’t have one yourself.

Please be aware that the interviewer for your visa application may request specific papers from you. Transcripts from the schools you attended, degrees you have earned, diplomas you have received, and certificates are just a few examples of these documents.

For more information on Canadian student visas, visit the official website

The application process for a Canadian student visa

It is time to submit your application once you have acquired all the necessary documents for a Canadian student visa. You can apply either offline or online. Here’s how to do them both.

Applying online

If you wish to submit an online application, you will need to have access to a scanner or camera to help produce digital copies of your supporting documents. To make a payment online, you also need a valid credit card, not a debit card.

Ensure that you hand over your passports, payment receipts, fee payments, and any other document you need to submit (to the VAC)  to the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) offices. Additionally, a finger scan will be required of you at the VAC (Visa Application Centre).

Applying in person

To apply in person, follow the instructions below.

  1. Download the application kit and read the instructional guide carefully.
  2. Complete the VFS and attach it to your application. You can use this form to request VFS services for assistance with your visa application.
  3. Pay the application fees needed to process your application. Before submitting your application via mail, the VFS, or in person, be sure to pay the visa fees and VFS global services. The processing fee is usually non-refundable.
  4. Pay for the necessary processing fees for your partner, spouse, or children if any of them are travelling with you.
  5. When you are done with the above, Visit the local VFS office to submit your application and other necessary documents.
  6. Complete your application and pay the required service costs. You will get a receipt after doing this. Your special tracking number, which will let you monitor the status of your application online, is contained in this receipt.
  7. The Canadian government will let you know if your application is accepted.

Note: Although it is not certain, the visa application process may take three to four weeks. It is important to check the website of the Canadian consulate to learn the estimated length of the visa application process.

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Look for accommodation

Immediately after you receive your student visa or study permit, start looking for an apartment. It is advisable to stay where your budget will allow and where you feel most comfortable.

For more information about applying for a study visa, visit the official website.

5 Top Universities in Canada for International Students

Here are some of the best universities for international students in Canada.

  1. University of British Columbia  
  2. University of Calgary    
  3. University of Toronto  
  4. University of Alberta
  5. McGill University
  • University of British Columbia    

This top school for international students established in 1908 is located in British Columbia, Kelowna, and Vancouver.

This esteemed university provides courses in engineering, medicine, and computer science, among other subjects.

  • University of Calgary    

This public research university in Calgary, Alberta, Canada was first established in 1944 as the University of Alberta’s Calgary branch before becoming independent in 1966.

It is one of the best universities for international students in Canada. It has more than 85 research institutes and centers as well as 14 faculties. 

The University of Calgary provides courses in nursing, medicine, computer science, etc to both Canadian students and international students.

  • University of Toronto

The University of Toronto, public research institution is situated on the Queen’s Park grounds in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was established by royal charter as King’s College in 1827. 

This research-oriented University provides classes in a variety of fields, including psychology, medicine, and aerospace engineering.

  • University of Alberta

This public research institution in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was founded in 1908 and provides graduate and undergraduate degrees in a variety of subjects, including engineering and medicine.

  • McGill University

McGill University was founded in 1821 and is situated in Montreal, Canada. It is excellent for international students because it is situated in Montreal, one of Canada’s most affordable cities for students to live in, and teaches Its courses in English. Plus it provides courses in civil engineering, computer science, law, and medicine.


One of the top places for international students to study in Canada. It is reasonably priced, international students are allowed to work while studying in Canada, famous languages like English and French are spoken there, lessening the problem of language barriers, and it provides international students with endless opportunities.

In this article, we discussed how international students can study in Canada. We hope you found this guide on “How to Study in Canada for International Students” informative.