How to Study in Canada for International Students

Canada continues to be popular among students as there are a lot of opportunities awaiting there. Aside from the top-level universities, there is a lower cost of living but a great quality of life! You can also look forward to enjoying the beautiful attractions of the country.

Currently, 297,900 international students are studying in universities and colleges in Canada. This number accounts for 15.3% of the whole student population. You can be one of those students if you choose to study in Canada for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in your preferred academic program.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Canada currently has 132 universities, from which 110 universities are a part of the public sector and 22 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Canada you should definitely check out are University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University.

Being able to study in Canada as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Canada, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Canada

When choosing a university, you also need to consider the tuition fees and your budget. Before applying to a university in Canada, it’s best to have a general knowledge of the tuition fees there. The annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students range from 4,932 CAD to 73,100 CAD, while for master’s degree studies, the yearly tuition fees are between 1,063 CAD and 83,200 CAD.

Cost of Studying in Public Universities in Canada

To give you an idea of how much it costs to study in Canada, here are the tuition fees in these public and private universities:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Saint Mary’s University, Halifax 20,900 CAD - 25,100 CAD 12,300 CAD - 45,800 CAD
Red Deer Polytechnic 15,000 CAD - 28,000 CAD
Confederation College 23,900 CAD
St. Lawrence College 23,400 CAD - 24,600 CAD
Durham College 17,900 CAD - 18,200 CAD
Algonquin College 16,200 CAD - 22,000 CAD
College of the Rockies 15,600 CAD
Conestoga College 15,500 CAD
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 21,300 CAD - 26,600 CAD
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 20,500 CAD - 24,600 CAD
North Island College 7,932 CAD
Yukon University 12,000 CAD
Saint Francis Xavier University 9,938 CAD - 10,400 CAD 1,063 CAD - 7,882 CAD
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University 23,900 CAD 24,100 CAD
University College of the North 14,000 CAD - 16,400 CAD
Algoma University 19,500 CAD
Canadore College 13,200 CAD - 15,700 CAD
Loyalist College 14,400 CAD
Fanshawe College 16,000 CAD - 16,900 CAD
George Brown College 18,200 CAD
Assiniboine Community College 20,500 CAD
Georgian College 23,200 CAD - 25,800 CAD
Cambrian College 14,100 CAD - 16,400 CAD
Humber College 20,100 CAD - 21,000 CAD
Centennial College 18,600 CAD - 28,400 CAD
Holland College 11,900 CAD
Red River College Polytechnic 19,200 CAD
Saskatchewan Polytechnic 4,932 CAD - 21,400 CAD
Mohawk College 14,100 CAD - 18,900 CAD
Niagara College 16,400 CAD - 32,000 CAD 17,900 CAD - 18,600 CAD
College of the North Atlantic 7,590 CAD
Fleming College 16,100 CAD - 18,100 CAD 16,900 CAD - 33,600 CAD
British Columbia Institute of Technology 17,200 CAD - 25,500 CAD 12,800 CAD - 26,300 CAD
University of Saskatchewan 20,200 CAD - 27,400 CAD 6,543 CAD - 18,100 CAD
University of Regina 21,500 CAD - 25,200 CAD 6,980 CAD - 12,600 CAD
Polytechnique Montréal 12,500 CAD
Royal Military College of Canada 14,900 CAD - 15,400 CAD
Universite Laval 21,000 CAD - 23,400 CAD 15,900 CAD - 16,900 CAD
University of Prince Edward Island 14,000 CAD - 24,200 CAD 11,900 CAD - 19,800 CAD
Alberta University of the Arts 17,100 CAD 31,300 CAD
Bow Valley College 22,700 CAD - 27,100 CAD
Lethbridge College 15,100 CAD - 25,600 CAD
McGill University 23,700 CAD - 55,400 CAD 9,577 CAD - 13,600 CAD
HEC Montréal University 28,000 CAD 30,000 CAD - 59,000 CAD
Concordia University 39,700 CAD 21,500 CAD - 31,800 CAD
Bishop’s University 26,300 CAD 25,500 CAD
University of King’s College 25,800 CAD - 28,100 CAD 26,600 CAD - 29,800 CAD
University of Guelph 30,400 CAD 15,700 CAD - 30,100 CAD
Université Sainte-Anne 10,200 CAD
University of Ottawa 36,800 CAD - 53,400 CAD 28,100 CAD - 64,900 CAD
Wilfrid Laurier University 29,300 CAD - 35,200 CAD 19,500 CAD - 83,200 CAD
York University 30,400 CAD - 37,400 CAD 14,400 CAD - 55,200 CAD
Carleton University 29,000 CAD - 42,900 CAD 17,900 CAD - 34,400 CAD
Brock University 29,300 CAD - 30,700 CAD 23,600 CAD - 35,500 CAD
Brescia University College 34,800 CAD - 49,500 CAD 21,500 CAD - 39,900 CAD
University of Waterloo 42,500 CAD - 63,000 CAD 23,100 CAD - 68,400 CAD
University of Windsor 29,400 CAD - 32,400 CAD 23,000 CAD - 33,300 CAD
Western University 36,300 CAD - 51,500 CAD 12,700 CAD - 36,800 CAD
Nipissing University 19,400 CAD - 23,200 CAD 18,400 CAD
OCAD University 37,000 CAD - 44,400 CAD 52,500 CAD - 73,200 CAD
Trent University 26,700 CAD - 27,100 CAD 22,800 CAD - 23,100 CAD
Dalhousie University 16,900 CAD 16,900 CAD
Cape Breton University 17,100 CAD 9,602 CAD - 12,500 CAD
NSCAD University 20,900 CAD 21,100 CAD
Saint Mary’s University 19,700 CAD - 21,200 CAD 14,700 CAD - 19,200 CAD
St. Francis Xavier University 19,300 CAD 12,100 CAD - 22,300 CAD
University of Toronto 25,000 CAD - 67,200 CAD 26,300 CAD - 65,000 CAD
McMaster University 41,000 CAD - 61,800 CAD 55,500 CAD - 68,400 CAD
Laurentian University 26,000 CAD - 35,500 CAD 14,500 CAD - 46,000 CAD
Lakehead University 26,500 CAD - 34,000 CAD 23,000 CAD - 41,100 CAD
Toronto Metropolitan University 33,500 CAD - 38,600 CAD 26,400 CAD - 33,900 CAD
Queen’s University 33,900 CAD - 55,000 CAD 15,000 CAD
Ontario Tech University 26,600 CAD - 34,700 CAD 21,700 CAD - 30,100 CAD
Mount Saint Vincent University 19,600 CAD - 20,000 CAD 13,400 CAD
Mount Allison University 19,100 CAD 3,340 CAD
St. Thomas University 18,100 CAD - 18,300 CAD 10,300 CAD
University of New Brunswick 17,600 CAD - 23,600 CAD 23,200 CAD - 29,200 CAD
Acadia University 19,000 CAD 13,400 CAD - 19,200 CAD
Brandon University 14,900 CAD - 16,500 CAD 8,021 CAD - 8,407 CAD
University of Winnipeg 15,300 CAD - 18,400 CAD 10,200 CAD - 26,800 CAD
Université de Saint-Boniface 11,900 CAD - 13,600 CAD
University of Manitoba 16,600 CAD - 28,900 CAD 7,618 CAD - 34,300 CAD
Memorial University of Newfoundland 20,000 CAD 4,833 CAD - 7,800 CAD
University of Alberta 24,100 CAD 9,320 CAD
Kwantlen Polytechnic University 20,600 CAD
Thompson Rivers University 36,800 CAD 1,150 CAD - 15,100 CAD
Royal Roads University 21,700 CAD - 24,000 CAD 15,900 CAD - 52,200 CAD
Simon Fraser University 32,200 CAD - 36,100 CAD 3,971 CAD - 38,700 CAD
University of Northern British Columbia 23,900 CAD 7,494 CAD - 25,500 CAD
University of British Columbia 42,600 CAD - 58,700 CAD 9,313 CAD - 67,600 CAD
University of the Fraser Valley 15,700 CAD 26,500 CAD - 27,300 CAD
University of Victoria 28,000 CAD - 30,400 CAD 5,176 CAD - 22,000 CAD
Vancouver Island University 21,800 CAD 8,224 CAD - 12,000 CAD
Capilano University 20,400 CAD - 32,100 CAD
University of Calgary 22,200 CAD - 30,100 CAD 21,600 CAD
University of Lethbridge 20,300 CAD 4,902 CAD - 11,500 CAD
Emily Carr University of Art and Design 14,800 CAD - 21,900 CAD 15,300 CAD - 26,300 CAD
MacEwan University 13,700 CAD
Mount Royal University 23,200 CAD - 24,900 CAD
Athabasca University 13,700 CAD - 19,800 CAD 21,200 CAD - 24,000 CAD

Cost of Studying in Private Universities in Canada

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
New York Institute of Technology Vancouver 36,700 CAD - 54,500 CAD
Yorkville University 12,000 CAD - 19,300 CAD 20,800 CAD - 24,600 CAD
University of Fredericton 7,500 CAD 13,000 CAD - 15,700 CAD
Tyndale University 15,200 CAD 11,500 CAD - 16,500 CAD
St. Stephen’s University 6,845 CAD - 10,500 CAD
St. Mary’s University, Calgary 26,500 CAD - 33,700 CAD
Redeemer University 18,600 CAD
Providence University College and Theological Seminary 15,600 CAD - 38,200 CAD 21,000 CAD
Kingswood University 11,800 CAD
Burman University 15,900 CAD
LaSalle College Vancouver 33,000 CAD
Crandall University 17,900 CAD - 20,000 CAD 16,800 CAD - 25,000 CAD
University Canada West 32,100 CAD - 73,100 CAD 36,900 CAD
Langara College 18,800 CAD
Booth University College 11,200 CAD - 12,400 CAD 12,400 CAD
St. Mary’s University 23,800 CAD - 30,400 CAD
Ambrose University 19,900 CAD 7,320 CAD
Redeemer University 17,700 CAD
Canadian Mennonite University 9,536 CAD - 12,000 CAD 6,169 CAD
Trinity Western University 22,300 CAD 8,025 CAD - 15,000 CAD
Concordia University of Edmonton 17,500 CAD - 18,400 CAD 12,900 CAD - 17,000 CAD
King’s University 19,800 CAD

If you’re looking for the most affordable universities in Canada, check out the Cheap Universities in Canada!

Besides tuition fees, you also need to consider other expenses like books, accommodation, and living expenses.

2. Requirements to Study in Canada for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Canada, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Canada, English is the main language of instruction. An academic institution in Canada may require non-native English speakers to prove language proficiency by taking standardized English tests, such as the International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS, and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. You can also check out if your target university is accepting a Duolingo English Test score because some universities in Canada are accepting Duolingo scores. When you take any of these tests, note that you’ll need to get at least the required minimum score to qualify for your preferred university.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Canada and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Acadia University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Alberta University of the Arts

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Algoma University

Bachelor’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Canada

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Canada have online applications available on their websites, like University of Toronto and University of British Columbia. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Canada.

University of Toronto

University of British Columbia

McGill University

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Canada differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Canada.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Canada

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Canada. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Canada as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Canada. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Study Permit .

To start your student visa application in Canada, you will need to present the following:

  1. Valid travel document
  2. Passport-sized photos
  3. Proof of financial capacity to fund studies and living expenses
  4. Letter of acceptance from the university
  5. Medical exam
  6. Letter of explanation indicating the reason for studying in Canada
  7. Quebec Acceptance Certificate issued by the government

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Canada is 150 CAD.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Prepare the required documents.
  2. Apply online or by paper. The instructions and other forms are available on the Canadian Government website.
  3. Visit the nearest Visa Application Centre in your home country.
  4. Pay the visa processing fee.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Canada. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!