Canada remains one of the world’s favorite destinations for students. We think about the passport, the study permit, and the insurance but we hesitate about what to do… in this article, we invite you to identify what you need to know before you pack your bags.
Canada remains the preferred destination for students to study abroad, with one of the largest numbers of expatriates and a steady increase in enrollment.
With French or English-speaking universities, large cities or small campuses, and lower tuition fees than in the U.S., the country has many advantages. However, in order to settle down, it is necessary to follow some key steps and fill out many documents… Follow the guide.
1 – Choosing a Canadian university a year in advance
The first step in preparing to study in the land of the maple leaf is to choose the university you want to attend. In Canada, international students must apply to a designated educational institution (DEI).
This must be done at least one year in advance and there is an English test for English-speaking universities. Ask your university’s international relations office for information on deadlines and the steps to follow to apply.
And beware: each Canadian university has its own university registration dates. Tuition fees vary on average between $20,000 and $33,000 for international students, but they also depend greatly on the province and city you choose. They can be much lower in less populated areas: you can search for your institution and program on this link.
2 – Apply for a study permit
The price of a study permit is $150 and it is mandatory to stay in Canada beyond six months of study. Currently, it takes about 12 weeks to get one and you have to apply online. This permit is not a visa, but a visa can be issued at the time of application.
Please note that in order to obtain a study permit, you will need many documents, starting with proof of acceptance into your EED, proof of identity and financial resources, and a family information sheet.
If you wish to study in Quebec, you will also need a CAQ (Certificate of Acceptance from Quebec). Other documents are recommended, such as your English test results, copies of your diplomas, and a letter of explanation of your goals.
3 – Have a valid passport…
This may seem like the basics, but it should be checked! Once you have been accepted by an institution and received validation of your application for a study permit, you will need to prepare your entry into Canada.
You will need a valid passport and you will need to use the ArriveCAN application which allows you to transmit “mandatory travel and public health information before and after you enter Canada”, says the Canadian government.
… And check the conditions of entry to Canada
You will also need to have the letter of introduction from the visa office that you received when your study permit was accepted, as well as a copy of the acceptance letter from your institution.
Another condition of entry: “To hold an electronic travel authorization or a visa corresponding to the reason for your stay (studies, work, etc.). Generally, these are issued at the time of application for a study permit.
Other conditions that will be verified upon your arrival in Canada include having enough money for your stay, being in good health, and, of course, “not having been convicted of criminal activities or immigration offenses”. A personal undertaking attesting that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay.
Finally, on the health side, you will need to be fully vaccinated, unless you are under 18 – but then you will need to study in certain institutions only, which have a Covid-19 rapid response plan.
Finally, it is advisable to place these documents in an accessible file and out of your checked luggage”, in order to have them in hand when you arrive at the borders.
4 – Have insurance and notify your bank
In Canada, medical expenses are much more expensive. And especially, outside of Europe, you will not be covered by health insurance, so it is essential to have it and will be required by your university.
Some insurance companies in your country may have special arrangements for students who go abroad. You should also inform your bank of your departure, and be aware of the exchange rate.
5 – Having accommodation before your arrival
Having a place to live before you arrive is also an important step in order to leave with peace of mind and avoid unpleasant surprises. Especially if you want to live on campus, because this process will be done quite early, for example as early as March 1st for the University of Montreal.
You should also know that the fees are relatively high, but decrease if you share a room. At the University of Montreal, they vary from 412 dollars per month for 8 m² to 776 dollars per month for 18 m² and a bathroom; but they are at least 1,300 dollars at McGill University, from 1,000 to 1,700 dollars at the University of Ottawa…
You can also find private housing on your own, or with a roommate to reduce costs. Prices vary greatly from one Canadian city to another, between 900 and 2,000 Canadian dollars according to the government website dedicated to international students.