How to Apply to an International University in Canada in 2021

Whether you are searching for a Master's degree, a multicultural environment or internationally acclaimed universities, Canada could be ideal for international students like you. Universities and colleges, technical schools, as well as applied arts and science institutions provide a wide range of study options to consider.

Over 30 Canadian universities are ranked in the top 300 global universities in the world, according to worldwide rankings made by Times Higher Education, Shanghai University, and QS Rankings. This further confirms the overall quality of Canadian higher education.

If you think Canada might be the right place for you, here's how the university application process looks:

Find Masters in Canada

1. Popular degree subjects in Canada

There are plenty of disciplines you can study in Canada. Here are just a few of the most popular options:

2. Canadian universities to consider for your studies

Top universities in Canada you should consider for your study abroad adventure:

3. Prepare to apply

After coming up with a shortlist of university options, double check to see if they are a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This means that Canada recognizes them as trustworthy places of study and you won't risk falling victim to education scams.

Also consider tuition fees, which can add a lot to your costs of studying. They vary depending on your country of origin, but universities offer more details on their websites for each academic programme. You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies in Canada.

  • Research the subject you’ve chosen and the language of study. Canada is bilingual, so you can select a Master's degree taught in English, French or both.
  • High grades are important in the application process. Many of the institutions require grades of 70% above the average ones. The higher your grades, the higher your chances to enrol in a good university.
  • If you are over 25 and you have graduated the last programme at least two years before your application, you may be required to provide information about your previous jobs. 

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4. Meet the language proficiency requirements

Students in Canada can choose from a wide range of English as well as French-taught Master's degrees. Depending on which language you choose to study in, you will have to prove your proficiency level.

The main English language tests accepted by top universities in Canada:

Some universities may accept other English tests, like:

  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)
  • CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)

French tests accepted by universities in Canada

  • DALF
  • DELF
  • TEF
  • TCF
  • TestCan

5. Gather the rest of your university application documents

Each university sets its own admission requirements but here are the most common ones:

  • Graduation certificate/diploma
  • Filled-in application form
  • Resume or CV
  • A letter of intent
  • Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your studies in Canada
  • Two letters of academic reference that attest the preparation for Master's/PhD studies (including letters from employers)

Translated documents should be certified by a professional translator. You will have to include the original versions of the documents as well.

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6. University application deadlines in Canada

International students planning to study abroad in Canada have the opportunity to start their studies during two enrolment sessions:

  • The application deadline for winter enrolment is 1st of September.
  • Summer enrolments start on 15th January for Master's students and earlier for Bachelor's students.

Deadlines vary between institutions and different degree courses at the same university may have different deadlines. That's why you should always check the official website of the study programme for up-to-date information.

To increase your chances of being accepted, you should submit your application 8 to 12 months before courses start. You will receive an official letter of acceptance from the university one or two months after applications have closed.

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7. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

After meeting the requirements, completing the application process, and getting accepted at the university, you will have to go through a few extra steps:

  • Settle your health insurance. The amount covered varies depending on the Canadian province where you will live.
  • Find out if you need a Canadian study permit (Canada student visa) and apply as soon as possible after receiving the acceptance letter, to make sure you will be allowed to enter the country. Some countries from the European Union (EU) don't need to apply for a student visa, so check if your country is one of them.
  • Buy a plane ticket to Canada only after getting your visa confirmation.
  • Students must officially enrol at the university after arriving in Canada to confirm that they will start their classes.

Ready to start applying for your future university in Canada? We wish you the best of luck!

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