Canada is proud to have developed an open and diverse education standard, welcoming potential students from all over the world. Every year thousands of students become part of the international student community in Canada pursuing their higher level of education to obtain their undergraduate degrees and diplomas, as well as their, Masters degrees and Phd’s.

On average, a bachelor’s degree will take four years, while a master’s can be completed in one to two years. The length it takes to complete a doctorate degree varies widely, but on average, it can take anywhere from four to six years. It’s also important to note that all students, both Canadian and international, are responsible for paying tuition fees.

1. Plan your Finances

Tuition fees will depend on the type of qualification and institution you choose.

To cover this, you will need approximately between CAD 11,000 and CAD 35,000 a year. Courses in humanities, education and arts are a little cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at a postgraduate level, the tuition fee is typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for Masters degrees range between CAD 20,000-35,000.

2. Get your Passport

International travel requires that you have a valid Passport to travel to a foreign country. Make sure that it is not expiring within the next 6 months as some counties will not allow you to enter. Bring photocopies of any other government identification that you may have like a driver’s license or birth certificate.

3. Your Acceptance Letter, apply for a Study Permit

An acceptance letter at an Institution is mandatory in order for you to move forward to applying for a Study Permit.

When applying for your study permit, you will be asked to show proof that you have enough money to support your tuition and day-to-day expenses. Canada requires all international students to prove minimum funds of $10,000 CAD per year, or $833 CAD per month, with additional financial requirements if you are bringing family members with you. In the province of Quebec, you must have $11,000 CAD per year. If you are worried about covering these expenses then you should consider your work options while you study which are listed below.

Work while you study

Students in Canada have the advantage of being able to work while studying. Among other benefits, this allows them to manage their finances without incurring enormous debt. To gain the right to work off-campus, students must:

  • have a valid study permit;
  • be a full-time student;
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level; and be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Work Options for International Students in Canada

If you need to make extra income to cover day-to-day expenses while living in Canada, you can search for a job. Luckily, Canada offers multiple opportunities for students to get work in Canada during and after their studies. The employment options include:

  • On-Campus Employment
  • Off-Campus Employment
  • Co-op Student or Intern
  • Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Post Graduate Work permit (PGWP)

A post-graduation work permit may be issued based on the length of the study program for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.

When determining the length of a post-graduation work permit, officers may consider the duration of the program of study in Canada and confirm it with supporting documents. Regularly scheduled breaks (for example, scheduled winter and summer breaks) should be included in the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit.

The validity period of the post-graduation work permit may not go beyond the applicant’s passport validity date. If the applicant’s passport expires before the validity period of the post-graduation work permit, the officer should note this reason in the “Notes” box, in the Global Case Management System. The post-graduation work permit applicant then has to apply for a work permit extension upon the renewal of their passport to receive the full validity of their post-graduation work permit.

Post-graduation work permits can be extended only when the length of the permit could not be provided at the time of the application, due to the expiry date of the applicant’s passport.

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