Study in Canada
Student Culture in Canada
Having maintained its place as one of the Top 10 Places to Live in the World for the last 20 years, it’s no surprise that Canada has long been a firm favourite with international students. It also has a very low crime rate, which is a great attraction to students who want to feel safe when they’re away from home.
Less expensive than the USA, standards of education in Canada are high with five of their universities being ranked in the top 100 in the world.
A beautiful country which is extremely varied and diverse, Canada has both English and French as its official languages which adds to its cultural interest.
Manners and Behaviour
Canadians are known for their friendliness, politeness and welcoming nature. They value their individuality, are not inclined towards a social hierarchy, and consider lateness rude.
Tipping is a big part of Canadian culture and is worth researching before arriving in the country as failing to tip or even under-tipping is frowned upon. Tipping etiquette is similar to the USA (around 15% of the total bill), and you can find lots of helpful guides online.
Each area of Canada has its own specialities, but it’s worth trying out a few of these if you can:
Specialities to try:
- Nanaimo bar
- Butter Tart
- Beaver Tails
- Pea Soup
- Saskatoon Berry Pie
- Maple Syrup
- Motreal-Style Bagels
Cost of study in Canada
Depending on where and what undergraduate degree you choose to study, you can expect to pay anywhere between CA$75,000 and CA$150,000 in tuition fees.
Please bear in mind that these fees are indicative only, and are subject to both increase or decrease depending on which course you choose to study and where.
Student Accommodation in Canada
Living costs in large Canadian cities will obviously be more expensive, but even Canada’s largest cities such as Vancouver and Toronto can still be cheaper than other comparable cities in the world.
You can expect your living expenses to be on average CA$13,000 per year in addition to your tuition fees. You will also need to budget for private healthcare costs.
Average monthly costs in Canada might look something like this:
- Accommodation: CA$800 (Toronto could be as much as CA$2300)
- Utility bills: CA$150
- Mobile Phone: CA$30
- Broadband internet: CA$50
- Study materials: CA$80
- Travel: CA$150
- Groceries: CA$200
- Typical night out: CA$30
- Cinema ticket: CA$13
Work and Study in Canada
You will need to check your Study Permit to see what conditions have been imposed on your right to work whilst you are studying in Canada. It will tell you whether you’re entitled to work on- or off-campus during your studies.
You can check the criteria you must meet in order to be able to work here. If you feel that you meet all the criteria listed, but your right to work isn’t stated on your Study Permit, you can apply to have it added for no additional charge.
You will also need to apply for a Social Insurance Number before you can undertake any form of employment in Canada.
Scholarships and funding
There are scholarships available to help you cover the cost of studying in Canada. These include scholarships for sporting and academic excellence, as well as subject-specific schemes.
Firstly you should check for scholarships offered by the university you wish to study at, and you should apply as soon as possible as competition for these awards can be fierce.
You can find good information about the scholarships available in Canada here:
International Scholarship Options for non-Canadians
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Canada visa guidance
Most students travelling to Canada to study will require a study permit. If you are from China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam, you might be able to apply via the Student Direct Stream which will enable you to get your Study Permit faster (within 20 calendar days). One thing to be aware of is that the language criteria are stricter in this stream, so ensure you check the requirements before applying.
Types of Canadian student visa
The visa in Canada is known as the Canadian Study Permit. You will only need one of these if your course will last longer than 6 months. As the Study Permit is not a visa, you may also require a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) in addition. If you do need one of these, it will be issued to you as part of your Study Permit application.
Canada student visa requirements
You can apply for your study permit online from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. An offline option is also available, but will take twice as long to process as an online application.
Some evidence you will need to provide includes:
- Proof of funds to support yourself during your studies in Canada. This is currently around CA$10,000 per year, but you should check this information prior to applying for your visa. If you’re studying in Quebec, there may be different requirements so it’s best to double check.
- An acceptance letter from your chosen university, which must be a designated learning institution.
- A valid passport
You should allow plenty of time to apply for your Canadian Study Permit, and check the processing times. You may also need to provide biometrics as part of your application which you will need to allow extra time for.
The fee charged for your student visa is dependant upon your country of origin, you can check for the latest update on visa fees here.
Canada visa fees
Canadian Study Permit fees are currently around CA$150, but your should check on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website as these fees can change regularly.