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Study in Canada

Country flag: Canada

Sometimes overlooked by UK students searching for higher education destinations, Canada has a wealth of choice when it comes to postgraduate study

The Canadian education system

As you might expect from the second largest country on the planet by area, Canada has a strong reputation for further study and has a high-quality education system. More than 200,000 international students descend upon on Canada each year.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14 places four Canadian universities in the top 100: the University of Toronto (20th); the University of British Columbia (31st); McGill University (35th); and McMaster University (92nd).

There are currently 98 institutions in the 13 provinces and territories in Canada, with the majority found in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

Each province has its own rules and regulations regarding higher education. However all universities are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), a 'unified voice and forum for collective action'.

You can find a helpful list of all accredited Canadian institutions at AUCC - Our Universities .

Entry requirements

Each university will have its own policy regarding entry requirements. Applications for postgraduate study are made online, directly to the university in question. Canadian institutions accept applications one year before the start date.

Course fees

Tuition fees are more expensive for international students than for Canadian nationals. However the average cost of courses in Canada is generally lower than that in other English-speaking countries such as Australia and the U.S.

A full-time Masters degree in environmental science at the University of Toronto will cost an international student $34,000 (£20,365).

Funding to study in Canada

The Canadian government, universities and other organisations offer a number of different scholarships, grants and bursaries.

For example, all international students studying on research-based graduate programmes at the University of British Columbia are offered an International Tuition Award, which helps reduce fees significantly.

For a useful, up-to-date list of available funding for international students, which can be sorted by country, visit Government of Canada - Scholarships for non-Canadians .

Canadian exchanges and placements

If you're searching for exchanges and placements then opportunities do exist in Canada. Some sites worth looking at include:

It's also worth asking your university to see if any links to Canadian institutions already exist.

Student visas

After being accepted onto a course, some foreign students looking to enter Canada will need to apply for a study permit.

There are things you must do to acquire this permit, such as:

  • prove there is enough money in your bank account to cover tuition fees and living expenses;
  • a possible medical examination or police check into your background;
  • provide evidence that you will return home after your study period ends.

Some foreign nationals will also need a visitor visa to enter Canada, but British citizens are exempt from this list. To discover what you require, head to Citizenship and Immigration Canada - Find out if you need a visa .

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
November 2013

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