Step 1: Choose a program that meets your goals
The first step in applying to schools in Canada is choosing your program. If your long-term plan is to work in Canada, you may want to consider choosing a program that teaches skills that employers in Canada need. Here is a list of occupations that have been determined to be in-demand and for which there is insufficient domestic labor supply (according to Economic Social Development Canada’s Global Talent Occupations List):
- Engineering managers
- Architecture and science managers
- Computer and information systems managers
- Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- Mathematicians and statisticians
- Information systems analysts and consultants
- Database analysts and data administrators
- Software engineers and designers
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- Web designers and developers
- Information systems testing technicians
- Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
- Digital media designers
You may have absolutely no idea what area you want to study in and many people may tell you that it’s OK, that you can take your time figuring it out. However, the longer you take to make a decision, the more it is likely going to cost you. If you don’t know which direction you want to go in, you should chose to take a number of different courses in areas that interest you. Spend your own time researching different areas and different careers that you think you’d like. Do not apply for “General Studies” and take courses that do not interest you or that are not going to help you decide what occupation you ultimately want to pursue. International tuition fees are not cheap and this will be a waste of money.
If you don’t know, you can apply for a “General Studies” program, but be strategic and mindful in choosing the specific courses you take under that program.
2. Choose your school
Once you have the area of study chosen, you can begin your search. Start with the province(s) you would prefer living in; you may want to consider where you have family, if any, what things you like to do, the weather you prefer. The three most populated provinces in Canada are Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia; however, there are many great institutions across the country.
From there you can research the different schools and programs available in those provinces. When choosing the school you want to ultimately apply to you, you should consider the following:
- Do they accept international students and how much support do they give
- Do they have the program you are interested in
- What are the international student fees to attend
- Where is the campus located? Is it close to transit, groceries, the city center?
- Is on-campus housing available?
- How long has this school been around? Does it have a good reputation amongst employers and students?
- What kind of extra-curricular activities do they offer?
- Do you have family in the area?
I would recommend that you apply to a number of different schools to increase your chances of acceptance.
3. Find out if you are qualified
After you’ve chosen which programs and schools you’d like to apply to, it’s time to make sure you meet the admission requirements. This information is usually relatively easy to find.
There will likely be requirements for the specific program you are applying for and then there will be separate requirements and documents that you need to provide as an international student. The specific program requirements should be listed on the school website on the same page where you found a description of the program. The international student requirements will likely be something you can find via a simple Google search or by searching “international students” in the search bar on the school website. You should be able to find the admission requirements and the international tuition fees in the same place.
Schools and institutions in Canada will require you to provide an English proficiency test. The most commonly accepted test is the IELTS and most schools will require a score of 6.5 and a minimum band score of 6.0 or 5.0.
Additionally, most if not all programs in Canada will at least require you to have completed the equivalent of Canadian grade 12 (high school). Therefore, you will have to provide a certificate showing that you have completed that level of education and you’ll also be asked for your transcripts. These are documents that you should have available before applying to schools in Canada. This will speed up the entire application process.
Spend time on the websites of the schools you are interested in before you start applying to schools in Canada. You’ll find a lot of useful information about the services offered, the student/campus-life, scholarships offered and how you can get the most out of your experience there.
Are you interested in applying to schools in Canada? Contact AllCleared to find out how we can help.