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Studying in Canada would be a beautiful experience for anyone, literally, since Canada is ranked as the BEST PLACE in the world to LIVE.  Because of its access to education, high life expectancy and low crime rates, Canada is a very attractive destination for students throughout the world.

Of more attraction to Indian students is the fact that Canada welcomes immigrants with open arms. Thus, those who complete their education can decide upon staying back and complete the immigration process to enjoy the best life in the world! As a country of immigrants, Canada places a high-demand on multicultural diversity.

Moreover, Canadian education costs are relatively cheaper than US and other countries – by at least 30%. Coupled with its low cost of living, Canada is one of the best destinations for international students.

Canada is a bilingual country with two official languages – English and French.  Most of the French-speaking inhabitants live in Quebec. However, almost all non-Quebec based universities offer education instruction in English only.

Education System in Canada

The education system in Canada encompasses both publicly-funded and private schools, including: community colleges / technical institutes, career colleges, language schools, secondary schools, summer camps, universities and university colleges.  Canadian universities are largely public funded and as a result, are of a consistently high quality, regardless of location or area of study.  At the same time, they (the universities) retain a high degree of academic autonomy.

Education is a provincial responsibility under the Canadian constitution, which means there are significant differences between the education systems of the different provinces. However, education is important to Canadians, and standards across the country are uniformly high.

Once students complete elementary school which is up to 8thstandard, they would take up High school education comprising of classes 9thto 12th.

There are more than 175 post-secondary institutions that offer various programs such as Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor’s, including vocational and adult-education. These institutions are known as Community colleges, Technical Institute, University College and ce`gep. All these colleges are members of the Association of Canadian Community colleges.

Undergraduate programs are of 4 years duration, except in Ontario, where there is three-year Bachelor degrees and three-year Master’s degrees. In the other parts of Canada, post-graduate programs (Master’s) are of two years duration.

A degree form a Canadian university is recognized world-wide and as a result, international students who graduate from Canadian universities enjoy successful and prosperous careers.

High Quality Education

Education institutions are not officially ranked in Canada, but you will find quality institutions across the country. When choosing your school in Canada, consider the type, size and location of the institution. If you are interested in a particular area of study, investigate which schools have more to offer in that discipline.

Topnotch’s gamut of services provide total assistance and guidance about the education system, studying at all levels in your country of choice and plan your total process, right from pre-application to visa, in a professional and result-oriented manner.


Admission requirements vary from one university to another. However, as a general rule, Canadian institutions prefer applicants with very good academic background and decent scores in IELTS for admission.  A four-year Bachelor’s degree is required for admission into M.S/MBA programs, with a minimum of mid-B grades (around 70%).

For those with a three-year degree, admission into PG diploma program is possible with a minimum score of around 6.5 in IELTS.

Ph.D programs generally require five years to complete full-time. They usually require a combination of course work, original research and a thesis, which must be defended by oral examination.

One important factor is time. Most institutions have a January deadline for September intake. Hence, it would be in your best interest to apply at the earliest.

Main intake every year commences in September and ends in May. Some universities that run on the semester system conducts courses even in the Summer, and have intake in January (winter)

June to August is the period of vacation.

All the programs in all fields of specialization are available for study in Canadian institutions at all levels.

Required tests

Canadian colleges and universities accept IELTS scores  as proof of English proficiency. Depending upon the institution, the score requirements may vary – between 5.0 -7.5 bands in IELTS.

GRE is required for Master’s level admission, and some universities and programs may need a good score in the Subject Test too. However, for MBA admission, good score in GMAT is essential, in addition to academic performance, other tests’ scores and requirements as prescribed by the B schools individually.

Cost of Education

Studying in Canada is not free, but it is affordable. The average cost for a foreign student for one school year (8 months) in an Arts & Science program is C$ 11,903.

Accommodation and living expenses

For accommodation, students have a number of options available that can be on-campus or off-campus such as hostels, rented housing, homestay etc.

Cost of living for students in Canada would be between Can.$ 8,000-12,000, depending upon the location of their residence.

Financial Assistance for International Students

There are limited scholarships available in Canada. They rarely cover the full cost of a study program and they are not always easy to find. Scholarships to international students are available at some Canadian institutions for students with exceptional results. The amount awarded varies from one institution to another and usually covers only part of a student’s education and living expenses. The calendar of each university in Canada includes a complete and detailed list of the scholarships it administers. This information is usually available on school web sites as well. Obtaining a scholarship is very competitive and applications must be made directly to each university along with the application for admission. Community and Career Colleges do not usually award scholarships nor do school boards or most private schools.

There are various organisations within Canada that administer scholarship programs in various countries but they are usually for graduate students and professors who are studying or researching a specific subject; Canadian studies is a typical area for which scholarships are awarded. Students should also check within their home country through public and private organisations for any financial assistance they may provide to

Work prospects

Full-time students registered in a degree or diploma-granting course are allowed to work on the campus of the institution at which they are registered without the need for an employment authorisation. This includes on-campus employment for graduate, teaching or research assistants.

Spouses of full-time students are eligible for open or open/restricted employment authorisation, depending on medical requirements having been met.

Students whose intended employment forms an integral part of their course of study such as undergraduate co-op programs, some programs offered by career colleges or language schools and some high school programs.

Applying for a visa

You may obtain study permit forms in your country of origin at the Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Canadian Education Centre. Applications and documentation must then be submitted to the nearest visa office.

Canadian Study Permit under Student Partnership Program

The New Canadian Study Permit pilot project for Selected Community Colleges / Universities is called the Student Partnership Program (SPP) and its objective is to streamline the application process and give priority to SPP applications, to improve the time it takes to properly process and assess applications (14 days) and to dramatically improve the overall approval rates of Canadian Study Permit. This scheme only applies to those who are submitting applications to either the Delhi or Chandigarh Canadian High Commission for Study Permits.

What is a Student Partners Program?

Student Partners Program was created by Canadian High Commission offices in Delhi and Chandigarh in order to speed up visa processing and reduce the number of documents needed to asses visa/Study Permit applications for a certain category of students admitted to select Colleges / Universities.

Which Colleges are selected for this program?

Seneca College, Centennial College, Georgian College, Douglas College, Sheridan College, Okanagan College, Lambton College, etc.

How quickly can a visa/Study Permit be processed through this program?

The applicant will normally receive an approval-in-principle and medical instructions, a refusal letter or call for interview, within 2 weeks of application. Once the applicant undergoes their medical examination and provides their passport, the Study Permit will normally be issued within one week.

What students will be considered for this expedited visa processing?

Only students who are admitted unconditionally (submitted valid IELTS results with a minimum of 5.5 score) into a post-secondary program and those willing to apply for an Education Loan from one of the approved Banks (see list below), can be processed for their visa/Study Permit through this program.

Are there any additional fees?

No, there are no additional fees for this Program. You will need to pay regular visa processing fees in a manner specified by the CHC office where you are applying (Delhi or Chandigarh)

If the student doesn’t have a valid IELTS score, but has the required TOEFL score, Can the student be considered for admission to the selected College through this program?

The student can still be considered for admission to the selected College / University and can apply for visa/Study Permit through the regular visa stream. However, the student cannot be considered for the expedited processing through the Student Partners Program. CHC will only accept valid IELTS score with the minimum of 5.5 score.

The student’s parents have bank statements with sufficient amount of money to cover the tuition and living expenses for one year. Will the student be considered as eligible applicant for the Student Partners Program?

No. However, if the student is accepted by the college, the student can still apply for Visa/Study Permit through the regular processing stream. The student cannot apply under SPP.

If the student has applied through a consultant, does he need to report this information to the CHC office?

Yes. CHC will ask the student to state whether he has received assistance from a consultant. Failure to report this information may result in the rejection of visa.

How will the student know if he would be considered eligible for the Student Partners Program?

The College / University will send information along with the offer pack.