Canada, a country with a diverse and beautiful landscape, the world’s best maple syrup, and one of the top destination choices for international students seeking higher education abroad. In this article we’ll explore the process of applying to study in Canada as an international student, and answer some of your frequently asked questions.
Please note: Always review the program requirements before submitting an application to be sure it is complete and that the applicant meets the minimum eligibility criteria. Competitive programs may have a different set of eligibility criteria. Incomplete applications face the risk of rejectection due to missing and/or incomplete documents and not meeting all of the admission requirements.
Step 1: Review the Application Requirements
Students applying to Canadian post-secondary institutions (university or college) are generally assessed based on their past academic performance. Some programs also require supplementary information from the student, such as a resume, to further assess a student’s suitability for the program before making their admission decision.
It is important to ensure that the student meets the academic requirements for the program they are applying to. These academic requirements may include:
Students will be asked to submit proof of prior education as well as their transcript or report cards from previous schools attended. Typically, only the grades in the student’s last two years of study are taken into consideration for admission.
Canadian educational institutions are looking at two things when reviewing prior education: the student’s final Grade Point Average (GPA) and the types of courses taken. In order to be admitted into the school, most educational institutions are looking for a GPA between 65% to 90%, depending on the program and the institution.
Many university and college undergraduate programs require students to have taken Grade 12 equivalent courses in related subjects. For example, students applying for engineering programs frequently need to have taken Grade 12 level math and physics courses.
The prerequisite course requirements vary by program and by school. Be sure to check the requirements specific to the chosen program before applying.
Please note: Admission requirements can vary by program, institution, the applicant’s nationality, and their educational background. Requirements for the same programs can also change over time.
Step 2: Review the English Language Requirements
English Language Requirements
Since English is the primary language of instruction in Canadian post-secondary institutions (outside of Quebec), students applying from a non-English speaking country need to demonstrate English proficiency through an English Language Test as part of their admission applications.
Standardized English language tests evaluate students on their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The following are acceptable accredited assessments that are recognized by Canadian post-secondary institutions:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Pearson English Language Test (PTE)
Some Canadian post-secondary institutions may also accept test scores from other accredited language assessment institutes. In light of the Covid-19 global pandemic, some schools have temporarily started accepting the Duolingo English Test in place of the above mentioned standardized tests.
Language test score requirements vary by program and institution, and sometimes by the home country of the applicant. Some institutions only look at the overall scores, while others have cut-offs for scores in each of the four skills sections of a particular test.
Typically, students need IELTS overall scores of 6.5 (7 for some graduate programs) or TOEFL (iBT) overall scores between 70.0 and 90.0 for admission consideration.
French Language Proficiency
Students wishing to attend a school where French is the primary language of instruction must demonstrate their French language proficiency. Test d’Evaluation du Français (TEF) and Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) are the most commonly recognized French language tests.
Step 3: Gather Supplementary Requirements
Depending on the nature of the program, students may need to provide supplementary non-academic documents or test scores to support their admission application. These could include:
- Statement of Purpose
- Essay on a predetermined topic or an academic writing sample
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
Step 4: Review Application Deadlines
In Canada, admissions are typically offered for entry in Fall (September), Winter (January) and Summer (May) sessions. September is considered the official start of the school year; as such this is the most common intake of choice for students and serves as the largest uptake of students for schools. Many programs are only available for admission in the Fall.
Private colleges and vocational schools often have new classes starting every one to two months. As a result, students can apply to begin their education at any point in the year.
Application deadlines vary by institution, as well as by programs. General application deadlines are outlined below:
- September entry: May – July Deadline
- January entry: September – November Deadline
- May entry: January – March Deadline
Step 5: Apply With HFE Immigration!
Once the student has ensured that they meet the criteria for admission and have gathered all required documentation it’s time to submit the application through HFE Immigration.
NOTE : If you would like HFE to assist you please book your appointment or CLICK HERE FOR FREE ASSESSMENT