Education in Canada 101


A basic guide as to why one should choose Canada as a destination for higher education

After graduating from school, many us remain oblivious about our plans ahead. I am sure there will be a lot of children who have clarity about their future endeavours, however, many don’t. What courses to opt for, which university to consider, whether to move abroad or continue in the home country are some of the most common questions that may cross one’s head. In case, you are someone who plans to move abroad for studies, this article may help you sort out things and answer some of your queries.

In this issue, we will throw some light on the education system in Canada. It is to be noted that the higher education system in Canada is quite similar to the American education system but it also has a little influence from Britain.

In Canada, there are mainly three types of institutions:

Public Universities: Public universities in Canada are run by the provincial, territorial or federal government funding besides receiving the tuition fees from students.

Private Universities: Private universities in Canada are mostly funded by donations and research grants. These universities do not receive funding from the government bodies.

Liberal Arts Colleges: Liberal arts colleges in Canada are pretty similar to that in the USA. These are either public or private colleges, with a primary emphasis on undergraduate courses in liberal arts.

Now that you know what kind of institutions are there, you might think why should you consider Canada? The answer is very simple. From natural beauty to skyscrapers, Canada has it all! Cities like Toronto, Montreal and British Columbia offer just about everything students could possibly ask for. These diverse cities are also a major centre of higher learning and research with many well-known institutions such as the University of Toronto, University of B.C, and Simon Fraser University etc.

The United Nations consistently ranks Canada as one of the best places in the world to live, given its low crime rate. There are also walksafe programmes, where volunteers assist people in getting to public transportation or their homes during late hours at night which is a great effort and something that encourages international students to come to Canada.

International students are advised and encouraged to apply for their preferred courses at the earliest, as scholarships and admissions get more and more competitive closer to the deadline.

It is advisable to submit your applications at least 6 to 9 months before a session starts, and it can vary depending on each department and the subject of choice. Though deadlines are not flexible, except for diploma programmes, some institutions might accept students if seats are available.

A number of study programmes that are chosen the most are –

• Certificate or diploma (One or two years)

• Advanced diploma (Two or three years)

• Undergraduate (three or four years)

• Postgraduate (two years)

• PhD (four or five years with dissertation)

Engineering and administrative studies remain the most popular courses at the undergraduate level are and at the postgraduate level management, finance, MBA/ MIM, MS and LLB degrees are quite famous.

Now the most important aspect of studying abroad that is the issue of concern for many is the price tag for higher studies. In Canada, the cost of study is comparatively lower than the other leading study destinations. And one more thing that you can’t avoid is a health insurance that costs CAD 600 (approx.) per year.

Scholarships for international students

Both government and non-government scholarships are available for international students in Canada. These include –

Government scholarships

1. Canada graduate scholarships

2. NSERC postgraduate scholarships

Non-government scholarships

1. Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation scholarship

2. Trudeau scholarships and fellowships

In addition to this, there are some institution-specific scholarships for international students, such as scholarships of the University of Guelph, Queens University and Centennial College.

To conclude, we would suggest choosing Canada as a destination for your higher education as you will have several options and institutions to choose from: big or small universities and small-town or city universities.

You can enjoy an active and varied lifestyle in this multicultural country, along with great healthcare benefits and a company of super polite and helpful locals.

You can also have incredible opportunities to gain valuable international student experience and meet like-minded people through student clubs and organisations.

Nikita Sharma
Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Content Strategist


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