Studying abroad in Canada: 7 key facts to give you a head start
According to a recent survey that captured the opinion of agents on COVID-19’s impact on international education, Canada won the title of most attractive study destination.
It’s not surprising because Canada has a strong government policy response to COVID-19 as well as an inclusive and multicultural society and a rich choice of top-tier universities.
On top of that, its low crime rates and affordable cost of living makes it one of the top study destinations for students all over the world.
If you’re planning to study in Canada, you might find the process a little confusing especially in the midst of the pandemic. However, you can still make it happen by learning more about what to expect when you’re there.
Before you take the plunge, here’s what you need to know about studying abroad in Canada.
7 Key Facts You Need To Know To Study Abroad In Canada
1. Canada’s Higher Education System & Reputation
In recent years, Canada has put in place an education strategy to bring in more international students.
As of now, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa have the biggest foreign student population, so if you’re heading to any of these states, expect to meet students from all over the world.
Besides that, there are many top-ranked universities including the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and McGill University.
2. COVID Measures By The Canadian Government & Institutions
At the moment, Canada’s borders are open to international students.
However, you would have to apply for a study permit online before travelling to Canada. To qualify, you must ensure that you’re enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Besides that, expect to undergo a 14-day quarantine before the first day of your school term.
3. Post-Graduate Work Opportunities & Visa Permits
If you’d like to explore working in Canada after you graduate, the good news is that you can, thanks to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).
All you’ll have to do is graduate from an eligible Canadian DLI to obtain an open work permit.
Once you gain relevant work experience via the PGWPP, you’ll be able to eventually qualify for permanent residence in Canada if your goal is to live there.
4. Blended Learning Curriculum
In the midst of the pandemic, studying abroad in Canada means expecting a combination of in-person classes and online learning.
This is because Canadian universities have started shifting towards blended learning, to better adapt to the COVID-19 situation.
As you’ll have to undergo both styles of learning, it helps to be prepared so that you can make the most of every lesson – whether in a lecture hall or in front of your laptop.
5. Cost Of Living In Canada
The good thing about living in Canada is that you don’t have to break the bank to do so, as there are wallet-friendly options when it comes to your lifestyle needs such as housing, gym memberships and transport.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment starts from $959 and a gym membership can go as low as $10 a month if you’re able to make do with basic amenities.
6. Food & Culture
The beauty about dining in Canada is that it can be anything you want it to be, whether it’s a fancy dinner at a cosmopolitan fusion restaurant or comfort food at a cosy café tucked away in the outskirts.
As there’s no specific definition of what Canadian cuisine truly is, it helps to simply enjoy the journey and explore local establishments – without holding on to a single idea about what an authentic experience should be.
Having said that, Canada is famous for dishes and ingredients such as poutine, salmon and maple syrup, so that’s something to look out for!
As for culture, Canada is largely influenced by the British and French, as well as the neighbouring USA. Expect a fusion of these influences in its filmmaking, sports, cooking and more.
7. Accommodation Options
There are several different options you can explore when it comes to accommodation, so you can take your budget and specific needs into consideration.
If you plan to stay near your campus and wish to meet fellow students, then staying in a dormitory could be a good idea. However, the kitchen and bathrooms would likely be communal.
Another popular option among international students is to do a homestay with a Canadian family. This would offer the chance to engage in family activities and get involved with the local community.
Lastly, you could always rent an apartment if you wish to have more privacy.
Take The Next Step Towards Your Canadian Study Adventure
Thinking of furthering your studies in the Great White North?
While the process can feel extra challenging due to the pandemic, we’re happy to help!
At IDP, we have an experienced team of education counsellors that can answer your questions and take you through the different universities and course application process in Canada.
Get started with a free counselling session today.
Alternatively, make an appointment to chat with us online by filling up this form.