Canada is a country geographically located in North America, the second largest country in the world. With a population of just about 35 million, it is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. Canada is now recognized as a bilingual country in English and French. The country has also built a strong and sophisticated economic infrastructure and is an economically advanced nation offering many job opportunities for highly skilled and talented individuals. A country known for its abundance of natural beauty and good quality of life, has made study in Canada for international students an even more attractive destination for seeking long term work opportunities and even migration. The socio-economic advancement of the nation has been supported by many great academic institutions producing high calibre graduates in varied fields of study and research-based innovation. Study in Canada therefore offers world class education taught by faculties who have come with rich experiences from all over the world and have excelled in their respective fields. There are about 50 colleges and universities in Canada that offer some of the most sought-after programs of study and every year over 400000 foreign students come to study in Canada from all corners of the globe. Beyond the academic edge, study in a foreign university also grooms a young person to develop many critical soft skills apart from an inclusive and global outlook.
Therefore, while the answer to the question as to why study in Canada may vary for individual students, attraction to study in Canada continues to grow with every passing year.
Undergraduate Studies in Canada
Given the outstanding programs and courses continually refreshed in tune with changing techno-social reality and faculties with rich teaching and research experience, study in Canada after 12th has become quite popular in the recent past. Some of the most sought-after programs for Bachelor’s study in Canada are Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and various management related programs. However, given the academic and research excellence of the Canadian universities in a broad spectrum of subjects, many students also go to study in Canada for programs in liberal arts such as art and film, communication and design, or social sciences such as economics, law and psychology.
While A levels and International Baccalaureate (IB) is perceived to be the preferred route for study in Canada after 12th, there also are equal numbers who will come from other Indian school Boards such as ICSE or CBSE and even state Boards. The students who wish to pursue studies mainly in Science Technology and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas, many also tend to attempt appearing for IIT Joint Entrance Examination (IIT- JEE). Since most IIT JEE coaching programs provide a 2 years’ integrated program with 12th Board examination preparation, some students prefer to pursue the Class XII studies in one of the state or CBSE Board.
Therefore, whatever be your field of interest for Bachelor’s studies, Canadian universities will offer you numerous excellent programs to choose from, that matches your need. A degree from these universities can set you up to a very exciting global career in your chosen field.
Unlike US universities, SAT is not a mandatory requirement for undergraduate study in Canada. That said, universities do take into account if you have got a good SAT score. Therefore with a somewhat lesser reliance on SAT, your academic grades in school carry even that much more weightage in evaluation of your application for admission. All reputed Canadian universities will also look to admit students who additionally display potential for leadership and other personal qualities that can contribute to an enriching collaborative learning environment on campus. Hence, you must take early steps to take up appropriate extra-curricular and other activities to develop and demonstrate such a rich and well-rounded profile.
Masters Programs in Canada
A feature that distinguishes universities in Canada and a few other countries is the considerable amount of time and resources that is invested in research. Funded by a variety of sources including government or private businesses, this research focus enables these universities not only to keep abreast of latest developments but actually participate and find solutions to new and emerging challenges facing our society. They are therefore able to create industry demanded courses and programs and impart skills matching what is required now on a real time basis. This draws a large number of students to pursue their Master’s degree in Canada in diverse fields of study for getting that cutting edge to their professional careers. Given the wide variety of possible programs for Master’s in Canada for international students, a student ought to carefully choose one that meets his aptitude and career goal.
Studying MS in Canada
Historically Indian students mostly went to study MS in Canada. While this trend of studying Master’s in Canada began with a large exodus of students from the IITs, over time this has become a very exciting option for students from many other colleges in India. Many students who came to study MS in Canada began their professional career there and have participated and contributed to the evolution of the country’s technological and commercial landscape. Being the hub of technological innovations, Canadian universities such as University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Waterloo and University of British Columbia, continue to be the best universities in Canada for MS studies; there are plethora of other excellent universities in Canada for masters studies in many other fields.
While each graduate program within a university can have independent ranking for study in Canada, overall university ranking can still be the most important benchmark for choosing a university in Canada for MS. A Master’s degree in Canada in Computer Science is in high demand as it opens career opportunities in the fastest growing technology areas of complex programming, artificial intelligence, and its related fields. After a Master’s degree in Canada in Computer Science, one can also work in areas of data science and cutting-edge areas of quantum computing. Other popular Masters in Canada among the engineering students are Mechanical Engineering, Electronic or Computer Engineering and multidisciplinary areas of Environmental Engineering. For those aspiring to study MS in Mechanical Engineering in Canada, you will have opportunities to launch yourself into excellent careers in robotics or space technology.
We are now in the beginning of what is coined as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” driven by many breakthrough technologies. That makes investment in STEM education pivotal to opening highly challenging and lucrative career opportunities for a student and your study in Canada can become the great differentiator. While historically study of Masters in Canada was concentrated around engineering and technology, other fields of study including Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Life Sciences have too now become popular among Indian students. The popularity of these programs owes it to breakthrough technologies of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” such as genome editing, materials based on nanotechnology and new approaches to governance based on blockchain technologies. The ongoing Covid 19 pandemic too has further fuelled huge interest and investments in Life Science, which is creating research focussed job opportunities after Masters in Canada in these areas of science.
Given the wide range of programs designated as MS, it would however be misleading to curate a list of top universities in Canada for MS studies. Further, the biggest advantage of studying for a Masters in Canada lies in having access to practical research activities. For this, having a vibrant research and development eco-system around the university can be of immense advantage. This can have a significant impact in identifying the right universities in Canada for MS studies for a specific type of program.
Irrespective of the specific Masters degree in Canada one might be applying for, the best universities will expect you to demonstrate sufficient evidence of your interest and experience through your project and other work, in the subject of your choice. So, if you plan to enter the top universities in Canada for MS studies, your preparation for that ought to begin much in advance of actual application. This can dramatically improve your chances of entering highly sought-after universities and programs.
Masters Programs in Management and Finance
Beyond STEM, the other very popular Masters in Canada for international students are those in the field of management. MBA has been the default program for graduate studies for management. This is a highly competitive program opening mid-level career opportunities in marquee global consulting, finance and investment banking, technology, and other companies. A few of the reputed business schools in Canada have also created academic campuses outside of Canada (including India) offering various flexibilities in planning your study in Canada and opportunities to acquire diverse cultural experiences. Applying for an MBA program in a reputed management school requires thorough preparation to enhance your CV profile. It is desirable that you prepare at-least a year prior to actual application. That will give you sufficient time to not only prepare for your GMAT but also take necessary steps to cover the gaps in your application.
Most reputed management schools in Canada expect the MBA applicants to have had 5-6 years of prior work experience. Therefore, a shorter duration program designated as Master’s in Management, Masters in Global Marketing or MS in Management have become popular among students with limited or no prior work experience. Therefore, if you are looking for a 1 year Masters program in Canada, some of these programs will possibly match your requirement. For those not keen on quantitative methods but interested in qualitative aspects of branding, communication and other strategic areas, Master’s in Marketing will be a good option to explore.
Some of the top universities in Canada for MS may be offering Master’s in Finance that prepares one to work in the investment banking, private equity or other corporate finance positions. If one wishes to study MS in Finance one should be comfortable in analytical subjects and ideally look for a STEM designated program. Alternatively, to study in Canada with a specialization in finance, one can also explore a general Masters program or MBA program and seek concentration in finance.
Preparing to Study in Canada
Study in Canada requirements includes good academic, extracurricular and research credentials (for graduate). Your preparation to study in Canada should begin early. For an undergraduate applicant we would recommend you prepare as early as Class IX/ X so that you have enough time to take up many extracurricular and community activities to help you create a profile considered desirable by the admission committee. While for undergraduate study in Canada universities do not have a prerequisite of SAT, a good SAT score is always an advantage and admission committees do take those into account. IELTS/TOEFL is mandatory for all foreign students. AP exams are other means to strengthen your application. You should ideally complete your SAT/IELTS/AP during your Class XI leaving you with enough time to concentrate on many other requirements amidst your busy academic preparation for Class XII/ IB Board examinations.
The minimum study in Canada requirements for any Masters program is GRE or GMAT depending on the program along with TOEFL/ IELTS. While many universities waived GRE/GMAT requirements due to the pandemic – a good GRE/GMAT score is always a plus while seeking admission to the best universities. Similar to the undergraduate application, an applicant for a Master’s in Canada too needs adequate time to build the right profile centred on academic and professional skills.
While therefore there may be possibilities for waiver for SAT/GRE/GMAT depending on a university and program, study in Canada without IELTS is not an option.
Cost of Study in Canada
There are two components in Study in Canada cost viz. the tuition fee payable to the university and student living expenses for lodging and food. The living expenses for a student will vary between CAD 500-1500 per month depending on the nature of accommodation and location. The tuition fee however will have a wide range from CAD 15000 – 30000 per semester for an undergraduate program. On an average a student will require to spend about CAD 280000 over a 4 years’ bachelor’s program in a reputed Canadian university.
The fees for a Master’s program will vary between CAD 6000-20000 per semester, depending on the program and the university. Typical MS fees in Canada in a college in the top 20 ranks will be between CAD 20000-25000 per semester. Therefore, the overall cost of MS in Canada running over 3 semesters will be about CAD 75000. The same for a one-year master’s in management program will range between CAD 15000-50000-.
Study in Canada costs are relatively higher than those in UK and other European countries. Most universities provide scholarships to study in Canada to attract brighter students. Many of our students over the years have managed to receive scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate studies, reducing the burden of funding. A notable attraction of the undergraduate program in University of Toronto is the highly prestigious and competitive Lester Pearson Scholarship. This is a complete 100% scholarship covering the tuition, books, housing for complete 4 years. Masters scholarship in Canada is offered usually in the form of partial fee waiver for students with high academic and research credentials. Both the undergraduate and master’s scholarships in Canada are generally awarded in the early part of the admission cycle. Therefore, to improve your chances of getting scholarships to study in Canada, or for any other program - we recommend the students to complete their application process before the end of November.
Study and Work in Canada
Unlike in USA, the universities offer a unique opportunity to study and work in Canada. Co-op program as they are named, allows students to work part-time when academic sessions are ongoing and full-time during the semester break. This possibly features as an important reason as to why study in Canada for an international student. University of Waterloo - which is a public research university located in Waterloo, Ontario runs the largest co-operative education program in the world. With over 20,000 students enrolled in it, this is the best example of study and work in Canada and runs for the duration of the entire program alternating between study and work terms, depending on the student's sequencing. Another distinction of study and work in Canada is that - it is relatively easier to obtain a work permit to continue working in Canada after completing one’s education. These features therefore provide additional incentive to study in Canada for international students.
Why Choose Lesli
Study in Canada is not only expensive but also can have a defining impact on your career and life. Guided by our broad expertise on the areas of academics, skills, and career we can objectively guide you to choose the best program and university. Based on more than 15 years of experience of our counsellors who have successfully guided 1000s of students to study in Canada, we at Lesli are committed to help you achieve the best admits and thereby chart a successful and exciting journey. Not only that, but most of our students have also received scholarships ranging from 10-100% of the total fees. We will help you structure and enhance your profile and guide you to make the best application, prepare you for your interviews and be with you until you receive your student visa.