Canada is a country located in the northern part of North America, sharing its southern border with the United States. It covers an area of 9,984,670 km2, making it the second-largest country in the world by area.


It has 10 provinces and three territories, with Ontario as the most populated area. Its capital city is Ottawa but the major cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are all recognized globally, particularly when it comes to hosting international students.

  • Capital City: Ottawa
  • Largest City: Toronto
  • Official Languages: English and French (mostly used in Quebec Province)
  • Time Zones: UTC-3 to UTC-8 and UTC-2.5 to UTC-7 during summer

Why Study in Canada

According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education, the country is home to 530,540 international students. Why does Canada attract a large population of international students?

Global Education Ranking

Canada is among the first-world countries that offer international students the opportunity to gain academic excellence with its consistent global education ranking.

  • Based on the QS World University Rankings 2021, 17 Canadian universities were among the top 500, with the University of Toronto clinching the 25th spot.
  • The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 has eight Canadian universities in the top 100.
  • The Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities included 19 universities in its top 500 universities in the world.
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked Canada as the top-performing country in reading literacy, maths, and sciences, with an average score of 523, way above the 486 OECD average.
  • The country is also considered the third-best country for education, according to the 2020 Best Countries for Education by the U.S. News & World Report.
  • Educations.com Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad 2021 found Canada as the top country for international education, holding the spot for two consecutive years.

Given all these numbers, the certifications and degrees acquired in Canadian educational institutions are recognized globally and valued highly in the international job market.

Top Faculties and Research Excellence

Aside from being the home of some of the top universities in the world, Canada has also made considerable investments in improving its teacher’s skills, only hiring the best instructors in the world to help students further their education.

Ontario, for one, only recruits teachers who belong to the top 30% of the college graduates.

Besides formulating improved recruitment strategies, Canada’s Ministry of Education has also invested significantly in retaining top talents. Part of this strategy involves providing teacher education programs and offering competitive salary rates that are often higher than the OECD average teacher salaries.

Through the Universities Canada’s management of the Global Excellence Initiative, Canada was able to showcase researchers by offering assistance to deserving talents.

Canada is also ranked 4th in the world for scientific research. According to the Council of Canadian Academies, Canadian institutions showed excellence in historical studies, clinical medicine, information and communication technologies, psychology and cognitive sciences, physics and astronomy, and visual and performing arts.

Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec were regarded as the country’s powerhouses in the science and technology niche.

The country is also ranked 7th by the Nature Index 2020 Annual Tables in natural sciences research.

Conducive Learning Environment

Canadian’s teaching style encourages students to grow as independent learners. Instructors allow students to express and communicate concerns that may hinder learning. Students are treated as adults capable of being creative and analytical thinkers.

Canada’s education system is highly career-focused, allowing students to adapt to the current needs of the job market and increasing a graduate’s employability rate.

A 2019 survey conducted by Colleges and Institutes Canada showed that as much as 91% of Canadian believe that colleges and institutes are effective at equipping students with the technical skills necessary to achieve workplace success.

Affordable and Accessible Education

Canada is among the countries recognized for offering a wide range of courses for international students at an affordable rate. Compared to the UK, the United States, and Australia, Canada offers relatively affordable courses, particularly for short-term courses.

Despite the higher tuition fees for international students, the existing government funding is significant in reducing the financial burden for students. Plus, the government also offers a number of scholarships for international students.

Some of the available scholarship programs offered to international students are:

  • Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute
  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Programme
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • National Research Council of Canada
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships (University of Toronto)
  • Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship
  • York University International Student Scholarship Program
  • University of British Columbia Scholarships for International Students
  • Partnership Grants by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
High Quality of Life

Canada has proven to be among the best countries where people can have the best quality of life.

  • According to the U.S. News & World Report, Canada ranks 2nd in the 2020 Best Countries List.
  • Based on the OECD Better Life Index, more Canadians believe that they have a better quality of life, ranking a 7.4 grade, which is higher than the 6.5 OECD average. About 82% of people living in Canada also feel safe, which significantly contributes to their general well-being.
  • Numbeo also listed Canada as among the top countries with the highest quality of life.
  • The Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index ranked Canada as the 6th safest country in the world, a position it has held for six consecutive years.
  • U.S. News & World Report has also named Canada the second safest country in the world, by perception.

Unique Student Experience

A picturesque nation with a known commitment to supporting people from all walks of life, Canada has cemented itself as one of the countries in the world that offer the best experiences.

On top of learning, international students can also take advantage of other opportunities in Canada.

Part-Time Work for International Students

The Canadian government understands that international students should be given opportunities to support their studies and other activities while in the country. With their student visas, they are allowed to work part-time as soon as their student program begins.

Online Communication

Working On-Campus

International students can work part-time given the following conditions:

  • Even in the absence of a work permit, students can work on-campus provided they are enrolled as a full-time post-secondary student:
    • at a public post-secondary school or CEGEP in Quebec
    • at a private college-level school in Quebec (at least 50% government-funded)
    • at a private school that legally award degrees
  • with a valid study permit
  • with a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Available Jobs On-Campus

In instances when the students have various campuses, a student can work in a different location if they are working as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or when the scope of work is related to a research grant.

Available Jobs On-Campus
Working Off-Campus

Working Off-Campus

Students can also work off-campus if they have a student visa given the following criteria:

  • They are enrolled as a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • They are enrolled in a post-secondary academic program or vocational training
  • Their study program lasts for at least six months
  • Their study program earns a degree, certificate, or diploma

Part-time students can only work off-campus if they are able to meet all the requirements stated above. Students on authorized leave of absence from their studies or in the process of switching schools are not eligible to work off-campus.

Once all requirements are fulfilled, students can work up to 20 hours per week or full-time during regular school breaks. Full-time work does not have set hours but employers are required to follow overtime pay and time between shifts.

Internship Opportunities

In some cases, students are allowed to have work experience as part of their curriculum requirements. In such instances, students can work as an intern if:

  • they can present a valid study permit
  • the work is mandatory for completing a Canadian program
  • valid letter from school stating the work experience is necessary to obtain their degree
  • the internship is equal to 50% or less of the study program

Students may not be eligible for an internship if they are taking French or English as a second language, enrolled in a general interest course, or if the course is a prerequisite to another program.

Internship Opportunities
Leisure and Recreation

Leisure and Recreation

As an international student in Canada, it is important to assimilate well into Canadian life and culture. While the country has a diverse community, the local’s way of life is heavily influenced by the British and French culture.

Despite this fact, most Canadians encourage students to freely retain and share their culture. The country has plenty of outlets and avenues that encourage a fruitful experience for all students, no matter where they come from.

After school, students can still have an active social life by traveling to different parts of Canada with friends. While studying, students can also find time to relax by engaging in sports or supporting sports teams.

Like its culture and traditions, the food and dining scene in Canada takes inspiration from a milieu of British and French fares. However, this does not mean that students will not find something that will remind them of home.

Application Process

For those interested in studying in Canada, here are some important details to take note of:

Admission Seasons

Canadian universities and colleges follow three admission seasons: January, May, and September. Since the month of September has the maximum intake, applicants are advised to start the application process at least 12 months to 18 months before.

Additionally, universities would usually close the applications at least five to six months before the actual intake.

Students who want to apply right after their high school graduation should note that the Canadian education system has three options. Students can either take a diploma course (2 years), an advanced diploma course (3 years), or a bachelor’s degree program (4 years).


  • For students applying for a diploma and advanced diploma, a minimum score of 55% in the best four subjects is necessary. They should also get an overall IELTS score of 6.0 bands, with a minimum score of 5.5 bands.
  • Getting a bachelor’s degree needs at least a score of 80% and an IELTS score of 6.0 bands.
  • For postgraduate and master’s degrees in Canada, students must have a minimum of 16 years of academic education. They should also have a minimum score of 70 to 75% and an overall IELTS score of 6.5 bands, with 6.0 bands in each.
  • Acquiring an MBA degree requires 15 years of academic education plus a one-year minimum work experience. They should also have a GMAT score of 580 to 600 and an overall band score of 6.5 for IELTS.

Download Canada Study Guide