Canada is the world’s second largest country boasting vibrant cities and outdoors full of wildlife. The country has yielded vast amounts of oil, timber and other natural resources, which in turn have propelled Canada to a very enviable standard of living, demonstrated through the high value the Canadian Government places on their education system.
Study Canada provides relevant information for international students wishing to study in Canada.
Planning your studies in Canada
General Study in Canada
Education au/in Canada and CEC Network present useful information to prepare your transition from Australia to Canada.
Read more Canadian Government websites
- Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
- Department of Citizenship and immigration
- Departments of Education by Province & Territory
Canadian embassy and consulates in Australia
High Commission of Canada in Canberra along with contacts for three other consulates.
Australian embassy and consulates in Canada
Contact information for the Australian High Commission in Ottawa and the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.
Tertiary studies in Canada
Individual provinces and territories provide the majority of funding to their public post-secondary institutions, with the remainder of funding coming from the federal government, tuition fees and research grants. There is no federal ministry of education or formal accreditation system.
In western provinces, a bachelor’s degree usually consists of four years of study. Alternatively, Ontario and the Eastern provinces students can obtain a bachelor’s degree within three years and can earn “honours” or a double degree within four years of study.
Professional subjects such as law and medicine are studied at the postgraduate level. Master’s degrees typically take two years to complete and PhD’s take between four and seven years to complete. The academic year runs from August/September to April/May.
Extensive summary of the Canadian educational system and curriculum at AUCC's Director of Canadian Universities.
The Study in Canada website allows you to search nearly all forms of educational opportunities including: elementary and secondary schools, undergraduate school, graduate/professional schools, language schools and online-distance learning courses.
Fees and funding
The average annual price of tuition in Canada for a resident undergraduate attending a public university is CAD$4,724 and substantially higher for private institutions. Tuition for international students independently enrolling at Canadian institutions varies by university and program of study and can cost between CAD$5,500 to CAD$17,000.
Australian students enrolled in a Canadian exchange program pay their home tuition rather than the Canadian tuition fees. You will need to budget for living and travel expenses.
Article by The Daily (Canada's official statistics release bulletin) pertaining to average undergraduate tuition costs for the 2008/09 school year.
Interactive map with average university tuitions based on geographic location.
Overview for international students enrolling in the Canadian educational system.
Living in Canada
Costs and Budgeting
Living costs depend on the type of housing you choose below are some typical cost ranges Home stays CAD$400-800/month On-campus dormitories CAD$3000-7500/year Room in private apartments CAD$250-700/month Own private apartment CAD$400-1500/month
In addition, you will need to budget for: Books – CAD$990/year Food/groceries – CAD$2460/year Public transportation – CAD$804/year Miscellaneous expenses – CAD$2664/year
Canadian government websites for studying in Canada
Visa and entry
Australian citizens are not required to obtain a visa to travel to Canada; however, a study permit is required. Before you can apply for a study permit, you must have been already accepted to a Canadian institution of higher learning. In some cases, a study permit is not required to go to school in Canada. For example, you do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that lasts six months or less. Please consult your host institution for further information.
In Quebec, you also need to apply for a CAQ (Quebec Certificate of Acceptance) before being eligible to apply for a study permit even for part-time courses.
Government website on the rules and regulations of obtaining a study permit.
Quebec’s immigration website with information about applying to study in the province.
Managing and accessing money – banking
In Canada international students can open accounts in any of the big five national banks: Royal Bank of Canada; Toronto Dominion Bank; Bank of Nova Scotia; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Bank of Montreal. University credit unions and local banks will also accommodate you with necessary bank accounts.
Virtually all Canadian cities have ATM’s so dollars can be withdrawn from an account from your home country. Major cities also have currency exchange booths. Popular credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, & American Express. There are also reliable and secure internet facilities for your online banking needs
A thorough source from The University of British Columbia providing tips on how to acquire a bank account.
The majority of international students studying in Canada live on campus. Your host institution’s international student services department will likely provide you with several options of living accommodations.
Concordia University’s perspective on the advantages of living on campus.
Health care and insurance
If you are studying in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan you are covered under their provincial health care plans. Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec do not cover international students under their provincial health care plans. If you are intending to study in one of these provinces you must organise medical coverage through a private insurance provider. If you are intending to study at a university in Ontario (excluding the University of Windsor) you are obligated to enrol in the University Health Insurance Plan.
An excellent overview for international students studying in Canada.
Conditions regarding Working in country
It is possible to work in Canada while you are an international student, either on- or off-campus. Check the Citizenship and Immigration website for details.
International student work regulations can be found at Studying in Canada.