Canada is the second largest country in the world with a multicultural environment and diverse population. It is famous for its impressive ski slopes, top-notch education system, and wide range of opportunities. It’s no wonder this is a popular destination for international students wanting unique experiences.
The education system of Canada consists of four levels: early childhood, primary, secondary education, and post-secondary education. Aspiring international students can choose from public or private schools, and college, university, or technical schools. Each institution has an individual application process, requirements, and regulations that can lead to confusion.
So we have prepared the top five tips to help you prepare and get accepted into a Canadian institution.
1. Choose a Suitable Canadian Institution and Course Program
Find a suitable Canadian institution where you can easily meet their eligibility and program requirements to help with your admittance to the institution. It’s important to research the institution’s core values, size, and culture, to know if it fits your preferences. Moreover, it is a requirement to only apply to institutions on the designated learning institutes (DLI) list, which means it is a DLI institution that is permitted to accept international students. Generally, all primary and secondary schools can accept international students, whereas not all post-secondary schools can.
The location or province should also be considered since it will determine your living expenses and day-to-day activities in Canada. Whether you’re studying for one or four years, living in a new place should be comfortable while meeting your wants and needs. You can choose vibrant urban cities or quiet rural places in Canada. Most provinces in Canada usually have a cold and extreme climate, so it’s best to prepare your winter gear to brave the weather.
Lastly, get to know the institution’s culture first before applying. Knowing how the school works and the student profile can help you decide if the school is a good fit. Choose from small to large institutions and research on their awards and achievements, especially what other students have to say about them.
2. Make a Checklist of Requirements and Deadlines
No matter how qualified you are, submitting incomplete documents can result in rejection. It is recommended to make a checklist to ensure you get all the required documents ready for your application. Check the institution you are applying for with specific program and country requirements needed to fulfill. Generally, the required documents are your school transcripts, recommendation letters, language proficiency certificates, complete application form, financial capacity, and other additional documents like your portfolio. These documents are usually submitted via their online application system or mail.
Moreover, take note of all the deadlines, especially the application deadline. If you miss the deadline indicated by the institution, you may not be given another chance to apply. The application deadline is different between institutions, so it’s best to make a list of deadlines for each. Be sure to only rely on the information from the institution’s official website and not third-party websites. If you submitted your application before the deadline, you can expect to get a response within one to two months.
Lastly, it is also worth mentioning that each Canadian province has its own education system. This means that the application procedure and requirements may vary from each province you are applying to. Make a separate guideline if you are applying to more than one province. Also, if you are interested in applying for low tuition universities, please check out these cheapest Canadian institutions for international students.
3. Study English or French
As an international student studying in an English-speaking country, it is required to be proficient in the language. However, depending on the province and institution you are applying to, you may also need to know French. For instance, some bilingual institutions are the University of Ottawa and York University, so it’s a must to know French when applying here. Before applying to a Canadian institution, you must meet their language requirements by providing a language examination result or certificate. If you are taking an English exam, you can take an IELTS or TOEFL examination.
Should you wish to study in a French-speaking province in Canada, you may be required to take a French proficiency exam such as TEF, TCF, or DALF. We recommend taking the exam in advance to give you enough time to practice and make better results in your language examination. Canadian institutions require a minimum score of certain language examinations so it’s important to meet them in order to qualify.
4. Complete the Application Form Correctly and Six Months in Advance
As mentioned, each province has its own application procedure, so make sure to follow them carefully according to their guidelines. The application process is usually filled out online and it’s important to refrain from making any mistakes. Always check the spelling and the accuracy of information such as names, addresses, awards, and so forth. The application form is a formal letter that will make or break your admission. It represents who you are as a student and shows how keen you are on getting into the institution. Thus, it should be error-free and presentable.
Before submitting your application form, have someone read it for you to double-check. Having a set of fresh eyes can help you spot any mistakes you may have made in the form. Moreover, don’t rush into completing the form and take all the time you need to prevent mistakes. Therefore, it is advisable to start the application at least six months to one year in advance to give you ample time to prepare your application. Preparing your application as early as possible can give you time to acquire necessary documents that may take time to get.
5. Prepare to Get a Study Permit
If you are admitted to an institution, you can already apply for a study permit to allow you to pursue your studies in Canada. Some of the usual requirements needed are your passport, proof of financial capacity, acceptance letter, biometrics, and a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) if you are applying in Quebec. You can start planning your Canadian journey by looking into housing, settling your health insurance, and getting to know the country and province more. Moreover, book your plane ticket to Canada in advance to get the best price.
If your study permit is accepted, you will automatically get a visa such as electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visitor visa, depending on your nationality. The study permit is given once you arrive in Canada.