Applying to schools in Canada as an international student

In Canada, each province and territory is in charge of its own education system.

Primary and secondary schools

Schools that teach students up to the grade 12 level are known as primary and secondary schools. Primary usually means grades 1-8 and secondary usually means grades 9-12.

All primary and secondary schools in Canada can enrol international students.

Post-secondary schools

Post-secondary schools are:

  • colleges
  • universities
  • private career colleges and
  • vocational and technical schools.

Each post-secondary school has its own set of rules on how to apply, including the level of English or French you need to be accepted.

The Benefits of a College or Institutes Canada

The Role of Colleges and Institutes

Canadians have access to many different pathways to achieve their education and career goals thanks to a variety of widely recognized credentials (degrees, diplomas, and certificates) and flexible points of entry. In addition, thousands of articulation agreements between colleges, institutes, and universities facilitate transferability between post-secondary institutions.

Canada’s colleges and institutes are essential education hubs where experienced professionals and educators work in partnership with local businesses, communities and industries to offer students the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving job market.

Designated learning institutions

Provinces and territories approve (or “designate”) schools that can enrol international students. These schools are known as designated learning institutions (DLI).


World-class universities +

Canadian universities are known for their high quality and excellence in academic standards and are consistently ranked among the top universities internationally.

Affordability +

While Canada’s quality of education and standard of living is among the highest in the world, the cost of living and tuition fees are generally lower than in other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

A wealth of options +

Canada’s universities offer more than 15,000 undergradu­ate and graduate degree programs – as well as professional degree programs, diplomas and certificates – in a broad range of disciplines.

Open to the world +

Come experience the research-enriched learning environ­ment on Canada’s globally-minded campuses and develop the invaluable critical thinking and analytical skills global citizens require.

Experiential learning +

Canadian universities offer a wide range of programs that provide students with hands-on experiences, including co-op learning, which alternates classroom education and on-the-job training and internships.

Support services +

International students benefit from services to help them transition to living and studying in Canada: orientation activities, student advisors, language support, academic associations, social clubs and other programs at their educational institutions.

Cultural diversity +

Canada ranks among the most multicultural nations in the world. Regardless of ethnic origin, international students feel at home in our diverse and welcoming communities and campuses.

Opportunity to stay in Canada after graduation +

International students have the opportunity to work during their studies and after they graduate. University graduates may also be eligible to transition to permanent residence in Canada. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.

How to apply to a school, college or university

Once you choose a school, college or university. Every school has different rules on how to apply.

Make sure you apply at least:

  • six months in advance if you want to study at a primary or secondary school.
  • a year in advance for a post-secondary program at a university, college, etc.

Our team will give you the list of all the documents you need to send us and we will be able to tell you about:

  • the cost to apply
  • tuition fees
  • health insurance
  • rent and how much it costs to live in Canada
  • language tests.

Once your application is done, we will send you an acceptance letter from school or college and this acceptance letter is an initial stage to get a study permit.

Health insurance

The Government of Canada doesn’t pay for the medical costs of foreign students.

Health coverage for foreign students is different depending on where you live. If you want more information on insurance plans, we might help you to find the cheap and best rate of insurance coverage during your study.

Study in Canada: Pre-departure guide

Canada is a progressive, warm and welcoming nation. Canada is a multicultural society with two official languages—and we’re proud of our diversity. Canada consistently ranks among the top 10 countries in the United Nations Quality of Life Index since 2004. In fact, right now, we rank #1 among all nations.

Come find out what all the fuss is about. In addition to our friendly, well-educated people, you’ll also discover the beauty of Canada. From east to west to our Arctic shoreline, Canada inspires visitors and leaves so many in awe.

About Canada

Did you know that there are only 4 people for every square kilometre in Canada?

Getting to Canada

Planes, trains and automobiles. There are plenty of ways to get to Canada. Just a warning, though: You may never want to leave!

Culture shock

Life in a new country can be full of surprises. It’s also an amazing adventure. Find out what it means to experience culture shock as an international student—and how to deal with it.

Tips for managing culture shock

  • Learn about Canadian culture before you leave home.
  • Use the Internet to research culture shock and how to manage your adjustment to a new country.
  • Pack some things from your country that will remind you of home when you are missing your family and friends.
  • Ask questions if you are unsure of something.
  • Get involved in group events, student clubs, sports or other activities in Canada.
  • Try new experiences and be open to new ideas.
  • Talk to other international students about their life in Canada.
  • Use the professional support services available to you at your college or university.
  • Remember that everyone adapts at their own pace to life in a new country. Take the time to adapt to your new life in Canada.

Working in Canada

Interested in working as a student in Canada or staying here after graduation? Canada offers all you need to know about employment in Canada.

Work in Canada as an international student

Many international students decide to work part-time while they attend university or college in Canada. Many begin to find local leads to a successful career after graduation. This section will lead you to information about working during and after your studies, wages in Canada, opportunities for your future career as well as advice to guide your job search and work life.

Canadian currency and banking

Canadians carry two types of plastic—credit cards and our colourful polymer banknotes. As an international student in Canada, discover what you need to know about Canadian cash and banking.

Canadian currency and banking

Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar (CAD). It’s available in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar paper notes.

Canadian coins circulate as:

  • 5 cents (nickel)
  • 10 cents (dime)
  • 25 cents (quarter)
  • CAD 1 (loonie)
  • CAD 2 (toonie)

You’ll rarely see a 50-cent piece, although these are minted for special occasions.