Every year, over 600,000 international students come to Canada from dozens of countries worldwide to study. COVID-19 has made travel across international borders more complicated in recent years, but demand for degrees and diplomas at Canadian institutions of higher learning remains high.
If you are a student who plans to study in Canada, the team at Insurdinary would like to congratulate you on your academic success. We want you to get the most from your time in Canada.
As you prepare to continue your education in Canada, take advantage of all the resources at your disposal, from help preparing your application to help settling in on your first day in Canada and academic help on your first day of class. Insurdinary wants all international students to have what they need to study in Canada, including help navigating the immigration process, study skills, and help with culture shock.
We wish you a fulfilling learning experience in Canada, and we hope that you choose us for help finding supplemental health and dental insurance coverage for your time in Canada.
As one of the leading international student destinations in the world. There are many benefits to pursuing your education here. Canada is a safe and progressive society built on a foundation of multiculturalism and immigration. It offers some of the highest standards of living in the world and a beautiful environment that welcomes international student with open arms.
Top 4 Reasons to Study in Canada
1. WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION SYSTEM - Canada is known internationally for its excellent education system and world-class universities. Found all throughout the country, international student has the option to study in some of the greatest academic institutions in the world.
2. ELIGIBLE TO WORK WHILE STUDYING - When you choose to study in Canada you have the option to work as a student to help finance your education. After graduation, students are eligible to remain in Canada and pursue employment anywhere in the country. This gives you access to Canada's thriving job market, helping you obtain work experience right out of school.
3. AFFORDABLE - Best of all, Canada is known to be a more affordable option for education compared to other English-speaking countries such as UK, USA and Australia with lower living and tuition costs for international student.
4. ELIGIBLE TO BRING YOUR FAMILY WITH YOU - One of the greatest benefits of studying in Canada is that you are eligible to bring your family with you during your studies. For those looking to immigrate afterward, the educational credentials you earn in Canada make you a great candidate for permanent residence.
Primary and Secondary Education
Suppose you are coming to Canada as a primary or secondary school student or the parent of a schoolchild. In that case, you can be confident that Canada's primary and secondary schools provide a comprehensive education. Canada prepares students for promising careers and advanced study at first-rate institutions of higher learning in Canada and around the world.
Canada has many world-class institutions of higher education. Among the largest are the University of Toronto, York University (in Toronto), The Université de Montréal, and The University of British Columbia.
In addition to large research universities, countless smaller Canadian universities offer master’s programs, doctoral programs, undergraduate programs, and other opportunities to earn credentials and professional development.
For over a century, Canadian universities have been leaders in the arts, medicine, engineering, and scientific thought. Graduate students in Canada conduct groundbreaking work with internationally recognized experts in their fields. Canada supports the arts and the humanities, providing opportunities for funding, educational resources, and vital infrastructure.
How to Get Study Permit in Canada (or Student Visa)?
Understanding what options are available to you when applying for a student visa in Canada is very beneficial to the process of being granted one. For example, you are able to apply from outside the country, inside the country and even at the port of entry. All eligibility requirements however, must be met.
Meeting the Eligibility Requirements
Canada’s immigration website recommends that applicants start preparing for the application process well in advance. Canada has stringent requirements for work visas, and many applicants benefit from having an application checklist with deadlines.
Demonstrating Your Proficiency in English or French
English and French are the national languages of Canada, with many French-speaking Canadians living in the province of Quebec. Students who will apply for a student visa should make arrangements to take one of the approved tests of language proficiency.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the standard test of English language proficiency. French-speaking students have more options for demonstrating proficiency in that language, including:
Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF)
Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française (DELF)
Diplôme Initial de Langue Française (DILF)
Applying to Canadian Colleges and University
Be sure that the Canadian government recognizes any school to which you plan to apply. Canada takes steps to protect itself from student visa scams. Don't fall victim to the scams targeting student visa applicants in Canada. Be sure to only apply to accredited and reputable academic institutions and be wary of any unsolicited offers of opportunities to study in Canada.
Get to know Canadian universities and colleges before you apply. The university you attend will be a crucial source of support through the student visa application process, resolving problems along the way and setting the tone for your academic progress.
Apply to schools where you think you would be a good fit and where the institution has a track record of favourable outcomes for students with your needs and goals.
Applying for a Student Visa
To obtain a student visa, applicants to study in Canada need to apply to the Canadian government, either online (recommended) or via a paper application. Your application will include information such as:
a statement from the university or other institution of learning that has accepted you for study
proof that you have not committed crimes
proof that you will not run out of money while you are in Canada
evidence that you paid the application fee
You will need to include a letter stating your intention to apply for the visa. The letter should tell the visa officer about the university you will be studying at, the course of study, your field of choice, and your reasons for studying in Canada.
One reason for the letter of intent is to reassure Canadian immigration officials that you will follow through on your academic program and acclimate well into the cultural and intellectual climate. Evidence of social responsibility, academic achievement and professional success will work in your favour on your student visa application.
Read the application carefully and be sure that you have included all the materials that Canada requires, including photographs of yourself. A visa officer will review your application and approve or deny your application in three months or less.
Review your application before submitting it. Mistakes or omissions in your application could delay your approval or lead to Canadian immigration denying you permission to enter Canada as an international student.
How Much Does it Cost to Study in Canada?
The good news is that studying in Canada is affordable. Canadian tuition fees are generally lower than those in Australia, the U.S. A. and the U.K.
In the 2018/2019 school year, the average annual tuition for an undergraduate international student in Canada was $27,159 CAD. The average tuition for the same year spent at an American university can be compared at $45,950 USD.
You can use this EduCanada tool to find tuition costs for college and university programs in Canada, as well as the estimated costs of books and supplies.
When deciding where to study abroad, cost of living is also an important factor to consider. The cost of living in Canada can be very affordable compared to most other top destinations for international students:
Student Housing Cost in Canada
There are many options for living as a student in Canada. From living in university residence, to apartment rental, students can pick the living style that suits them best. Typically, large cities, like Toronto and Vancouver, have higher housing costs than smaller cities and towns.
In Montreal, the cost of living is low compared to other major North American cities. The University of Montreal estimates a monthly student housing cost of $550 CAD. The city of Montreal remains a very popular study destination for international students, and recently ranked fifth in the world for best study destination.
In Saint John’s, Newfoundland, one of Canada’s smallest cities, the cost of living is 10-30% lower than other Canadian cities. The average monthly cost of a two-bedroom rental is just $710 CDN, or $350 per room.
Similar to housing, cost of food and transportation varies between provinces. Let’s stick with the three examples from above to explore the price of amenities in cities in Canada.
All international students in Canada must have healthcare coverage. Certain provinces automatically give international students access to Canada’s public healthcare system, but others do not. Students in certain provinces that do not offer health insurance to international students must purchase private health insurance. Schools in these provinces generally offer health insurance plans for international students which may be added to your tuition and student fees.
Getting Eligibility to Work in Canada
Many students need to work to pay for school costs in Canada. Many students are eligible to work on-campus or can work off-campus if they meet Canada’s eligibility requirements. Your student visa will indicate your eligibility to work in Canada. Be sure to confirm your eligibility to work with your employer before starting work.
Applying for a Work Permit
If your study permit includes language that prevents you from working, you can apply to amend your student visa. If your program has a co-op work requirement, the institution you are studying at can provide a letter attesting that your program includes a work requirement.
Getting a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Permanent residents and citizens of Canada should have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The SIN indicates your eligibility to work in Canada. International students get SINs beginning with “9.” Don’t forget to apply for a social insurance number before starting to work in Canada. Protect your SIN to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
What to Prepare Before Coming to Canada
There's a lot of preparation that goes into moving from one country to another. More than just packing a suitcase, you're planning for a whole new life. The list below provides an excellent snapshot of what you need to account for. For a more detailed outlook on life as a newcomer, be sure to read this article.
Money for Essentials
Setting up a savings or checking account with a Canadian bank might take time. Be sure that you have money on hand for:
A laptop if you need one
Food, including foods from your home country, which might be expensive
Any fees involved with immigrating to Canada
Supplemental health insurance
When you create your monthly budget for your living expenses in Canada, include monthly health insurance premiums from private supplemental insurance. Private insurance covers costs that the provincial government does not cover.
Develop A Support Network
Whenever you move to a new place, it helps to have people to ask for help, share your concerns, or just be there if you feel uncertain, anxious, or alone. Before moving to Canada, reach out to kindred spirits in Canada and let them know you are applying to Canadian schools.
Make contact with current faculty and students with whom you might be working. Current students can help you figure out where to live, avoid common pitfalls, and make new friends. Getting to know people will give you a sense of how open they are to the idea of working with you and an inside perspective on life at your school.
Understanding How to Get Around
Canada is a vast country, but much of the population lives in larger cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Via Rail and several bus companies and airlines in Canada provide travel between Canada's cities and larger towns.
If you have a foreign driver’s licence, check whether it is valid for use in Canada when you arrive. Once in Canada, you will have 90 days to obtain an international driving permit if you want to continue driving in Canada.
Getting Acclimated to Canada
Canada has a significantly cooler climate than most parts of the world. If you are travelling to Canada in the winter months (from October through March), bring warm clothing to wear as you leave the airport and bring enough warm clothing to wear while you shop for winter clothes.
Snow and ice are a regular part of Canadian weather. Prepare for inclement weather in the following ways:
If you plan to drive in Canada, become familiar with how to drive safely on icy or snowy roads
Be aware that cold, dry air can irritate the lungs and nasal passages
Wear gloves and a scarf on cold days to protect your hands and face
Have appropriate footwear, such as boots, to reduce the risk of falls
Arriving in Canada
Before you board your flight to Canada (or bus or train for students coming through the United States), have the proper documentation, including your passport and student visa permit. Be courteous and respectful to the immigration officer and honestly answers questions they might ask you in person or on written forms during your entry into Canada.
Arrange for transportation from the airport to your accommodation. Remember that you might be tired and suffering from jetlag after your trip, and an unfamiliar airport can be confusing. If possible, allow some time between your arrival in Canada and your start of classes.
Getting Used to Canadian Culture
Culture shock can be a problem in any environment, and it is essential to appreciate the differences between customs in Canada and the customs in your company.
Canada is a welcoming country that shows tolerance and goodwill to visitors and immigrants worldwide. However, disputes and arguments might still arise from time to time. Sensitivity and understanding can go a long way in preventing misunderstandings and allowing everyone to enjoy their stay in Canada.
Canada is a diverse country. Major cities in Canada are home to residents and citizens from many national backgrounds with different faiths and life experiences. Your time studying in Canada will go better for you and your classmates if you avoid any jokes or statements that disparage people of different faiths and nationalities or people with disabilities.
Take the opportunity while living in Canada to join organizations and clubs that relate to your interest. Some international students feel isolated in the first weeks or months in Canada. Separation from friends and family members and challenges can lead to anxiety and homesickness. Celebrate holidays, seek support, and enjoy life with new friends that you make in Canada.
Studying In Canada
Living in a new country can be challenging, and getting to know Canada will take up some of your time. You might have to be more efficient in your study habits to make time for new responsibilities and maintain a healthy social life. Try the following tips to get the most from your time as a student in Canada:
create a weekly schedule that includes enough time for studying
form a study group with your classmates
talk to your teachers or professors early if you fall behind in your classwork
find ways to connect what you are learning to your home country or your new surroundings in Canada
Supplemental insurance from private health insurance companies is the best way to prepare for health emergencies without harming your budget.
The Canadian National Health System
Like many countries in Asia and Europe, Canada's National Health Service provides taxpayer-supported healthcare. International students in Canada are, as a rule, eligible for national health care through their province.
Some provinces have a waiting period before immigrants to Canada can receive health coverage. In these circumstances, you might be able to obtain traveller’s insurance or gap insurance to maintain continuous coverage while you settle in during your first term.
When you get to Canada, apply for a provincial social insurance card to access health benefits as soon as you are eligible. Some schools provide health coverage for their international students, so they do not receive public health insurance benefits.
You can learn more about health care rates for Canadian private health insurance at the Health Rates website. Learn everything you can about the different health insurance plans and what they offer you.
Get Student Health Insurance Rates with Insurdinary
Being in a foreign country does not mean giving up top-notch health care or worrying about unexpected medical bills. Canadian doctors and hospitals provide exceptional care for Canadian citizens and visitors alike. We know that every student is different, with different needs, different concerns for the future, and different professional aspirations. We help students create custom plans that work best for their circumstances.
Insurdinary is an insurance broker that provides insurance rates for high-quality supplemental insurance plans by established insurance providers in Canada. We help Canadian citizens, entrepreneurs, and students find the health plans they need.
If you choose to settle in Canada permanently after completing your course of study in Canada, consider other ways that Insurdinary can help you. Turn to us for competitive rates on disability insurance, life insurance, critical care insurance, home mortgages, and more. Contact us for low insurance rate quotes from Canada’s most prominent insurance companies.