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Your Guide To Studying In Canada

Are you considering studying in Canada? From undergraduate courses in nursing and teaching, to postgraduate MBA studies, your dream career is within reach.

Canada is known for being a friendly and multicultural country, with a reasonable cost of living, prestigious universities, and permanent residency options. It’s the perfect destination to study, travel and meet new people.

Here is a guide for you about the benefits of choosing to study in Canada, preparing for your move, and finding work while you’re studying. 

Benefits of studying in Canada

The number of international students enrolled at Canadian universities has been increasing over the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why. Let’s understand the reasons which make Canada a top choice:

You’ll receive a world class education

According to QS Top Universities rankings, Canada has 10 of the top 250 top universities worldwide

You’ll feel safe and welcome

Canada embraces cultural diversity

It is politically stable

You’ll have access to an excellent healthcare system

Violent crime rates are low 

You can have the student life you’ve always dreamed about

Canada is one of the most popular student cities in the world (source: World University rankings).

It has 3 of the top 10 most livable cities Calgary (#5), Vancouver (#6) and Toronto (#7) (source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Livability Index)

Job prospects after graduation are promising

In the last decade, 1.6 million new jobs were created for university graduates in Canada

It’s affordable and cheaper than other English-speaking countries

Canada offers some of the lowest university tuition fees among countries where English is the main language, with an average cost of CAD $29,714 per year for an undergraduate degree

It’s less expensive to study in Canada compared to the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand

It helps with your pathway to permanent residency

Having a degree gives you an extra 30 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for your Express Entry Permanent Residency (PR) application.

Other PR programs also require relevant work experience, so you’ll need to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit before you start your new job

Checklist for moving to Canada to study

Being well prepared makes moving to a new country a lot smoother. When you arrive in Canada, you’ll no doubt be very busy, so here’s some important steps you can take beforehand so that you can concentrate on getting settled in:

Apply for a Canada study permit (CAD $150)

This allows you to study at a designated learning institution in Canada, and is valid for your entire study program, plus an extra 90 days.

It enables you to apply for a job, internship or volunteering position –  these are great ways to demonstrate experience on your CV

You will also be issued with a visa or electronic travel authorisation (eTA) at the same time, there’s no need to apply for this separately

Apply for a social insurance number (SIN)

This is a 9 digit number that you’ll need to keep safe. It allows you access to government programs and benefits.

If you’re working off-campus, your employer will ask for this number

You can apply for it online

Check if you’re eligible for a scholarship

These tend to be more applicable to post-graduate students, and are awarded based on outstanding academic achievement, though some recognise volunteer work and work experience. Contact your university for more information.

Find student accommodation

You can choose to live on-campus or off-campus:

On-campus accommodation

Usually shared dormitories

Many universities have accommodation that comes already furnished. This is a great idea for students who are beginning their first year to settle in quickly, adjust to university life and make new friends

Off-campus accommodation

If you don’t have family members to stay with, or you’d like to live independently, you can check online, on social media, and on campus noticeboards for advertisements about:

Renting a house, unit or apartment

Subletting

Homestay

Check if your current driving license is valid

Driving licenses are issued by each Canadian province separately, so it’s best to check beforehand how your current license can be transferred over.

Some provinces may require you to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you arrive.

Budget for other items that you’ll need to purchase

Aside from your visa, tuition fees, flights and accommodation, expenses can pop up without any notice, particularly if you’re making a big move. The good news is that you can start saving and budgeting for the following items long before you go:

Furniture and appliances

Clothes for cold weather

Car

Open a bank account

You’ll need spending money when you arrive, so it’s best to have this set up and ready to go before you leave.

Apply for an international bank account, or

Apply for an international student bank account online

Banks which offer special accounts for international student banking include HSBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO, TD and RBC 

Speak to an IDP migration agent to apply for overseas student health cover (OSHC)

It’s always good to have peace of mind just in case your travel or study goals don’t go to plan. It’s compulsory for international students in Canada to take out insurance for:

Private health

Travel: covers cancelled or delayed flights, missed departures or lost or stolen luggage and personal belongings

Home and contents

Vehicle insurance

Double check all your documents

When you arrive at airport immigration, the border services officer will need to see the following documents:

Valid passport

Letter of introduction from the visa office with your permit reference number

Proof that you are able to financially support yourself during your stay in Canada

Reference letters

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) or visitor visa (temporary resident visa)

Any other documentation required by the visa office

Job outlook and growth in Canada

Currently, job growth in Canada has been heavily reliant on the easing of quarantine restrictions. As businesses continue to re-open in Canada, employment trends are shifting towards remote work and digitisation in many industry sectors.

Industries most likely to experience future job growth

To help guide your career choice, here are the most in-demand industries of 2021, according to Randstad Canada:

Information technology

Office administration

Manufacturing

Logistics

Engineering

Finance and accounting

Sales and marketing

Human resources

Customer support

Working while you study

In April, it was announced in Canada’s Budget 2021 that the government aims to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year as part of its post-pandemic economic recovery plan. This includes 500,000 new training and work opportunities, including 215,000 for youth.

For international students who are looking for a job, this is welcome news. Here are some ideas for roles that may be of interest to you, or suit your skills:

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Upcoming IDP events

As an international student in Australia, you can attend a range of events throughout the year hosted by IDP Education and its partners

Visa Services

IDP free visa help

IDP offers a combination of services designed to take the stress and confusion out of the process of applying for a visa overseas, and adhering to your visa conditions.

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