Temporary Residence > Education System of Canada

Education System of Canada

A foreign national from any country needs a Student Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and a Study Permit to study in Canada. Any study program longer than six months would require a Study Permit. A foreign national needs a Student Visa or an ETA to enter Canada, while a Study Permit is required to stay and be authorized to study in a Canadian educational institution (Designated Learning Institution), such as a school, college, university, etc. A Study Permit is usually valid for the length of a study program, plus an extra three months to prepare to leave Canada or apply for an extension. Some categories of persons do not need a Study Permit: minor children in Canada, family or staff of foreign representatives, members of foreign armed forces, and registered Indians in Canada.

Canadian Education For International Students

Choosing a right program and school is an important step to take when you decide to study in Canada. The length and type of a study program and an educational institution might affect your future immigration plans as well.

There are many advantages of studying in Canada. The education system of Canada for international students is well-known for high-quality, affordability, and individual approach for every student. Moreover, studying in Canada could be a path to getting a post-graduation work permit and becoming a permanent resident.

Before making your decision, you need to know that the Canada education systemhas its peculiarities. Each province and territory are in charge of their education system. International students can only study at a Designated Learning Institution, which is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools (grades 1-12) are designated; however, it is not the case with the higher education system in Canada. Therefore, you can check whether your post-secondary educational institution is designated in the list of Designated Learning Institutions.

Further, we discuss three education types and major requirements for international students at the primary, secondary or post-secondary school.

Primary And Secondary Education Levels In Canada

Those are educational institutions that teach students up to grade 12. Primary as a rule means grades 1-8 and secondary – classes 9-12. International students have an opportunity to enrol in all primary and secondary schools. But be aware that there is a special policy for minor children who are under the age of 18 or 19 years old depending on the province.


Minors Studying In or Travelling To Canada

Minors studying in or travelling to Canada must be accompanied by parent(s), legal guardian, or a custodian.

Custodian must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and sign the Custodian Declaration that obliges him or her to take care and support the child in Canada.

Parents must sign the same Custodian Declaration that is also must be notarized.

A minor child needs a study permit to study in Canada. In addition to general requirements for a study permit, the Custodian declaration must be submitted with the application for a study permit for a minor. To apply for a school and get a Letter of Acceptance, you have to contact a District School Board in the province, which is Toronto District School Board in Ontario.

However, minor children do not need a study permit if they are attending a kindergarten (usually until the age of 4,5 years old), they or their parent(s) are refugees or refugee claimants, or whose parents are allowed to work or study in Canada.


Domestic Fees for International Students at Elementary And Secondary School

Moreover, minor children whose parents hold a valid work permit might benefit from paying domestic tuition fees and are exempted from the international fees. Basically, they are not paying fees at all as compared to international students’ elementary school fee of $13,000.00 CAD or $14,500.00 CAD for secondary school (grades 9-12).

Post-secondary Or Higher Education In Canada

Colleges, universities, private career colleges, vocational and technical schools belong to the post-secondary education. Each higher education institution has its code of behaviour and rules of applying. In most cases, you can apply online through the college’s or university’s website.

Get more information on higher education:

-Colleges and Institutes Canada – colleges and institutes information.

-Universities Canada – full information of Canadian universities, a great study programs catalog and assistance in planning your university study.

-National Association of Career Colleges – learn more about schools that specialize in trades and vocations.

-Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials – information on how to confirm your past education to Canadian standards.

Especially important is the level of English or French that you need to be accepted to the post-secondary institution. For most 2-year diploma programs you would need IELTS 6, while post-graduate 8-month or 1-year programs require IELTS 6.5 average score at the college level. University programs have higher English or French language requirements, which is IELTS 7 and higher.

Language Courses and Schools

The language aspect is a strong point of almost every Canadian school. Many of them teach English or French as a second language. You can improve your language level and develop your skills with the help of the language schools. Language courses are offered at private language schools, such as ILAC, and colleges and universities, such as University of Toronto’s English Language Program. To compare fees, you would pay $5,997.20 for Academic English 12 weeks course at the University of Toronto or $5,040.00 for the same length Power English course at the ILAC.

Studying in French

There are numerous ways to get an education in French across Canada:

-French-language education in Canada has information on institutions and schools that have courses in French.

-The Association des universités de la Francophonie Canadienne has information on higher education programs in English, French, or both.

How to Apply for A Study Program

The application process can be divided into five main stages:

-Choose a post-graduate institution.

-Choose a program of interest.

-See admission requirements.

Submit your application online.

-Get Your Letter Of Acceptance. You will need this letter to apply for a Study Permit.

It is a good idea to apply well in advance to get a Letter of Acceptance and have time to apply for a study permit.

Therefore, one year in advance is considered standard, especially for study programs that are high in demand!

Health insurance

The Government of Canada doesn’t fund medical costs for international students.

Health coverage for international students may vary depending on where you live. For more specified information, you should contact the school you are applying to.

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April 2019