It’s no surprise that Canada is a popular international study destination; world-class education, growing career opportunities, global culture, world’s best cities, immigrant-friendly policies — it has a lot to offer. If you are planning to study in Canada but are wondering where to get started, then here’s everything you need. This quick guide will provide you with an overview of the country, its universities and colleges, admission requirements, estimated tuition fees, living costs, information about work permits and PR, and steps to start your admission process. So read on.


Canada boasts 10 of the world’s top 250 universities. Its higher education institutions have a reputation for providing a world-class learning environment for a wide range of programs. Further, Canada also ranks among the most welcoming countries for international students and has 3 of the top 20 student cities in the world.

English and French

Official language

Canadian Dollar


3.8 crores



Quality of life index


Total universities and colleges


Study visas granted in 2021

Why study in Canada?

Studying in Canada offers a variety of benefits that make it an ideal destination for international students.

  • High-quality education
  • Home to 10 of the world’s top 250 universities
  • Affordable tuition and living expenses
  • Work while studying
  • Friendly and welcoming culture
  • Post-study work permit of up to 3 year
  • Friendly and welcoming culture
  • Opportunity to get permanent residence

Canada’s post-secondary education

As of 2020, there are 96 public universities, 57 private universities, and 183 public colleges in Canada. Both public and private institutions offer world-class education covering diverse fields of study, including business, technology, health & medicine, and arts. Further, post-secondary education in Canada comprises two kinds of institutions: colleges and universities.

The colleges are focused on providing students with technical training, employment skills, and practical experience. They offer diploma and certificate credentials with a program duration of one to three years. International students looking to obtain quick credentials and practical training generally opt for colleges. While universities typically have an academic approach to education. They provide academic and professional programs and grant bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Also, these programs are more extensive than college.

Top universities and colleges in Canada

1 University of Toronto
2 McGill University
3 University of British Columbia
4 Université de Montréal
5 University of Alberta
6 Seneca College
7 George Brown College
8 Conestoga Collge
9 Humber College
10 Centennial College


Unlike India, where college/university admissions are conducted once a year, the Canadian education institutes offer three academic intakes. These include:

Fall Intake

Starts in September

Winter Intake

Starts in January

Spring Intake

Starts in May

While most of the programs are available in all three intakes, you can get more information about the program’s availability on the college/university website. This will help you ‌plan your admission well in advance.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements may vary depending on the field of study and program credential you choose. However, the standard requirements include your previous field of study, academic record, and English language proficiency. Here are the details:

  • For undergraduate and bachelor’s programs, you’ll need 12 years of full-time education (A 10+2 or secondary school certificate).
  • For postgraduate and master’s programs, you’ll need 16 years of full-time education. (A three or four-year bachelor’s program).
  • For MBA, you’ll need an acceptable GMAT or GRE score.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS/TOFEL)
  • Statement of Purpose/Letter of Intent (For university admissions)

Popular programs for Indian students

Canada offers nearly 15,000 exceptional study programs. This means you have plenty of options to choose from — which may include your favorite and even yet-to-be-discovered career interests. Some of the popular programs of studies among Indian and other international students include:

Business and Management Studies

IT and Computer Science

Finance and Accounting


Media and Communications

Medicine and Health Sciences

Arts, Humanities, and Social sciences

Agricultural and Environmental Science

Cost of studying in Canada

Studying in Canada is more affordable than in countries such as the US, UK, and Australia. The major expense of studying will include tuition fees, GIC deposit, and living expenses. Here’re the details.

Tuition fees

Most universities and colleges’ tuition and ancillary fees range between 13,000 CAD and 50,000 CAD. The fees largely depend on the type of institution and your program of study.

  • Undergraduate program tuition and ancillary fees can be between 13,000 to 18,000 CAD per year.
  • Postgraduate or master’s program tuition and ancillary fees can be between 15,000 to 25,000 CAD per year.
  • MBA degree tuition and ancillary fees can be between 25,000 to 45,000 CAD per year.
GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate)

To qualify for a student visa, all international students have to deposit a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) of a minimum of 10,000 CAD into a Canada-based bank. This money serves as proof that you have the funds to pay for your living expenses as a student in Canada. And once you arrive in Canada, this amount will be released to you every month over the period of 12 months.

Estimated living expenses

Some of the basic living expenses include house rent, food, and travel. Again, this expense depends on the city you live in and your preferences, but some standard expenses are as follows:

  • House rent: 400 – 1000 CAD
  • Food: 300 – 600 CAD
  • Travel: 80 – 200 CAD

Scholarships for international students

To help students reach their academic and career goals, the Canadian government and education institutions offer various scholarships and bursaries. For many international students, these scholarships have helped ease their financial load and fulfill their study abroad dream. Here are some of the popular scholarship programs that you can consider:

  • University of Waterloo International Master’s and Doctoral Awards
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships
  • University of Calgary Graduate Awards
  • Carleton University Awards for International Students
  • Carleton University Awards for International Students
  • Dalhousie University Scholarships
  • Fairleigh Dickinson Scholarships for International Students
  • McGill University Scholarships and Student Aid
  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program
  • NSERC Postgraduate scholarships
  • Queen’s University International Scholarships
  • University of Saskatchewan International Student Awards
  • Simon Fraser University Financial Aid and Awards
  • Western University International Admission Scholarships

Part-time work opportunities

  • As an international student in Canada, you also get to work alongside your studies. As per the current policies, you can work part-time for 20 hours a week during the academic sessions and full time during the academic breaks. Some of the popular work opportunities include on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs, and paid co-ops and internships.
  • This not only is a wonderful opportunity to earn as a student but also provides you with vital work experience in the Canadian job market.

Work permit and PR

  • Upon completion of your studies, you’ll be eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This is the pathway for Permanent Residence (PR) for all international students. While a work permit applies to all kinds of programs — be it diplomas, certificates, or degrees — its duration depends on the length of your studies.
  • For an academic program of one year, you’ll be qualified for a one-year work permit. You can extend the work permit if you enroll in another one-year program. And for a two-year or longer study program, you’ll be eligible for a three-year work permit.
  • Generally, upon completion of a work permit, and gaining work experience in Canada, students are eligible for various permanent residence programs.

Getting started with your admission process

Since now you have some information about studying in Canada, here’s what you need to do next:

  • Understand your education requirements
  • Shortlist universities, colleges, and programs
  • Attempt an English language proficiency test and get acceptable scores
  • Apply for the programs, get an offer letter, and pay the fees
  • Apply for the study permit visa
  • Prepare to move to Canada

And if you need any help to make your study in Canada dream come true, feel free to reach out. We at Sarem Education are here to assist you at every step — from study counseling to short-listing the course to admission to assistance with fees to visa application and beyond.