Get Admission to a Canadian Educational Institution
After selecting an educational institution and study program in Canada, prospective international students will need admission to their school of choice.
Preparing an application to a Canadian study program is a crucial step in the journey to becoming an international student in Canada. While the exact admission requirements and procedures vary from school to school, the following factors should all be considered when preparing an application. It is important to note that prospective students wishing to study in Canada must first apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) study program.
Canada’s two official languages are English and French. To qualify for an academic program, most English-speaking schools may ask students for whom English is not the first language to either pass an English examination test, such as Teaching of English as a Foreign Language test (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL), or enroll in their language program, or at an ESL partner school. French-speaking institutions may ask for a recognized French test or have their language assessment methods.
There is no Canada-wide entrance test for post-secondary study programs. Each institution sets its own admission standards and assesses the qualifications of each applicant individually. Therefore, an applicant must verify that they meet the admission requirements of an intended study program before applying. Candidates may contact individual institutions for further information or consult the relevant website.
Application deadlines vary from school to school, with some schools accepting applications only at specific points during the year. After an application is submitted, it may take four to six months to receive a decision from a school. Therefore, it is essential to apply to a program well ahead of the intended start date to ensure the applicant has enough time to obtain a Study Permit and travel to Canada before the study program begins. This process can take between eight and 15 weeks. Therefore, it is good to gather the necessary documents and information approximately one year in advance.
The academic year usually runs from September to May. Some schools are on a semester or trimester system, with all courses available even in the summer. Other institutions may offer a more limited course selection and timetable during the summer months, and it is often optional to enroll in summer courses. Some programs also have a January intake.
Studying English or French as a Second Language
Prospective international students studying either French or English as a second language at a private institution in Canada can verify that the program is of good quality on the Languages Canada website. This organization provides a quality assessment of language schools across Canada and offers approved programs and members lists.
In Canada, the provincial and territorial governments are in charge of education. Through provincial legislation, colleges are regulated and designated, and universities are given the right to grant degrees. International students must pursue studies at a DLI; this status is regulated by the province in which the institution is located. Therefore, before applying to an institution, prospective international students should verify that the desired institution is a DLI. Please refer to the Designated Learning Institution List to complete all DLIs by province.
While there is no governmental ranking of Canadian universities and colleges, many education publications and popular media sources rank Canadian institutions highly on higher education institutions worldwide.
Individuals unable to come to Canada to study at a post-secondary institution may wish to consider the many online programs offered by Canadian universities and colleges. These programs can provide individuals with a Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate by taking some courses online before arriving in Canada. A student may come to Canada with these courses completed to attend an institution for the second or third year of a study program.
Individuals who need help to finance their Canadian studies may, as a first step, contact the government of their country of citizenship. There may also be scholarships, low-interest loans, or other awards you qualify for. In addition, the financial aid office of the university or college you wish to attend may be in a position to offer assistance. Finally, certain institutions may have financing options available to international students.
To determine if credits can be transferred from another post-secondary institution, a student must contact the Canadian university or college he intends to move to, as each institution has its own policy regarding transfer credits. A student’s current educational institution may agree with specific institutions in Canada to permit credit recognition. Applicants will obtain a Letter of Acceptance, which may be used to apply for a Canada Study Permit.
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