Studies in Canada
Canada’s attractive features include the fact that the country possesses an ever-growing jobmarket, making finding employment following education easier. Canada also is one of the most welcoming countries in the world when it comes to immigrants, as demonstrated by the various policies the government embraces to facilitate the process of moving to Canada. Canada also possesses one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Germany, like Canada, is known as one of the warmest countries when it comes to reception of foreigners. Germany is also known as one of the most organized and well-managed countries, which can go a long way in making the lives of recently arrived immigrants easier. The education itself is free in most cases, which is excellent news for most international students,especially Africans.
Let’s start with some generalities.
One of the most confusing subjects, especially for those emerging from high school, is what major they should pursue, particularly in the present educational climate when there are so many fields and sub-fields of study. The best advice for an uncertain undergraduate student is to apply for a general program and decide upon a specialty later on.
When applying for studies in Canada, make sure you go about it six months or more in advance to avoid last-minute surprises (if you are targeting the primary or secondary school) and a year in advance if your target is a post-secondary program. The latter are the types of programs that are offered at universities or colleges for those who have finished high school. For those aiming for tertiary education, choosing the right type of school is important. In Canada, there is a difference between what’s referred to as colleges and what’s referred to as universities
What you should go for will depend on your overall objectives. Universities are for those targeting long studies and careers in academia, things like teaching and research, while colleges are for those with short/applied type of career objectives at the end of their mind studies.
Another general fact about Canada and one of the things that make studying in Canada particularly attractive for professionals is that in Canada someone can be admitted to tertiary education even if they do not have the required diploma. These are referred to as mature students and are professionals older than 25 who have been out of school for at least 2 years. In this case, other factors are used in place of the usually required academic credentials: these include things like practical and theoretical skills acquired during to employment, individual interests, and intellectual maturity.
The cost of studies in Canada
Compared to some other countries like the US, Canada is a relatively cheap destination for studies. Note that in this country, on average, when it comes to tuition it is less expensive to go for graduate studies. Regular university programs such as those of graduate schools cost less than professional degrees like engineering medicine and business, to name a few.On average, tuition in Canada can range from CAD 21000 to CAD 65000 for undergraduate degrees, and from CAD 10000 to CAD 67000 for an executive MBA.
Living costs on the other hand are a different matter and of course vary from one individual to the next. Depending on personal preference when it comes to housing, approach to feeding oneself (meal plan or groceries), cell phone plans, and spending money, a person should budget about 10000 to 12000 Canadian dollars per year to cover these cost-of-living expenses.
There are a variety of requirements for students seeking admission to a university or college in Canada. Making sure you take these into account when selecting a school to apply to is important because failure to do so can lead to a mismatch and your application being rejected after all the pain and financial sacrifices you went through applying. Several key factors dictate what will be required of you in terms of eligibility, including but not limited to whether you are going for an undergraduate or a postgraduate program, plus the nature of the program (your targeted fields of study) and the city where the university or college is hosted. Below are some generalities concerning your average school.
Admission requirement 1. Your grades.
How well you performed in high school or during your undergraduate studies is a factor that will weigh heavily in the school’s decision to offer you admission. Checking the institution’s website is important because the set margin mentioned there varies from one program and institution to the next, with the most prestigious universities, for example those found in the biggest cities, often setting a high bar for admission. On average, the safe margin for most tertiary institutions will be 70%. Those with higher grades (an average of 85% and above) have better chances of being admitted to top-ranked institutions.
The importance of grades lies in the fact that, more often than not, this will be the determining factor concerning whether or not the admission committee will bother to consider the rest of your application. Having high grades is ideal because it gives you an edge over the competition.
To get to the next level of study, there is a minimum that is required when it comes to the level of studies you need to have completed. When it comes to undergraduate studies, for instance, you need to have completed your secondary education, while for graduate studies, you need to have completed your undergraduate study. Note that some programs can accept people in graduate studies without the usual undergraduate prior accomplishment (in the case of special circumstances). Check the website of your prospective department for more information. Note that you do not need to have a Canadian education to qualify to study in Canada as international accreditation is accepted as well. For undergraduate programs, for instance, a government-accredited high school diploma will qualify you for admission to a Canadian university. The same applies to a higher level of study, but in this case you need to have your credentials evaluated and established to be equivalent to the corresponding Canadian credential. If the given diploma isn’t established to be equivalent to the Canadian required credentials that would have qualified you for entry into a given program, you can still apply as a transfer student. Let’s say that a student is applying for a master’s degree in Canada and during the credentials evaluation step it is established that the bachelor’s that he or she earned in his or her country isn’t equivalent to a Canadian bachelor’s. What will happen is that the student will be encouraged to apply for a bachelor’s program instead as a transfer student. In this case, the student will not be admitted to the 1st year of undergraduate studies but to the 2nd or 3rd year and can start working towards getting a Canadian bachelor’s degree. Once this is done, he or she can go ahead and apply for the master’s program.
Admission requirements 2. Language.
Your mastery of the language in which your courses will be taught is important. In Canada, courses are offered in either English or French. Check the website of the university to verify the language that applies to your particular situation. If you are applying to a university with courses being offered in English, for instance, having this language as your first language is a great advantage, for it means that you automatically satisfy this requirement. Those seeking education in a language different from their mother tongue need to provide proof that they have mastery of the school language.
When it comes to this requirement, it is important to check with the school because many institutions are extremely demanding in this regard and force citizens of English-speaking African nations to still take the English proficiency test. This is an unfair situation but has to be faced.
When it comes to English there are a variety of proofs that can be accepted – check with your university. The main two and the ones we would recommend because all universities list them are either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The latter is the preferred test for Canadian universities even though on average both are accepted. When it comes to testing scores, it is important to note that universities set minimum scores to be achieved, so make sure to check the website of your university. This minimum varies from university to university with most prestigious universities having a higher score margin to be accepted unconditionally in the program.
Admission requirement 3. Filled in application form.
This is a crucial requirement and is the heart of your application. After a complete application has been submitted and all supporting documents provided, your application process is deemed complete and the next step is awaiting an admission decision from the school. In case of admission, a letter that will constitute one of the central pieces of your study permit application will be sent to you.
Admission requirement 4. Resume or CV.
This is an important part of your application that many universities or colleges ask for as part of their application process. This document aims to tell the admission committee more about you. What they need to know more about are things like your academic, social, and professional activities (before and after school activities), volunteer work, awards and other accomplishments, etc.
Admission requirement 5. A letter of intent.
What are your plans when it comes to your studies in Canada? What are you planning on studying? Why? How does that connect to your former background? What is it about the current study program that you find especially attractive and that justifies your choice of the program? And so on. Those are the type of questions that a school can ask you to address in the form of a letter of intent.
Admission requirement 6. Evidence of financial standing.
Going to Canada to study is different from moving to Canada to stay indefinitely. Proving to the embassy officials that you have no intention of staying in Canada indefinitely is important. Backing your claim with proof is the best way to approach this situation because anyone can state that they have the intention of returning home after their studies. Answering the following question honestly will go a long way to help you: what proves that you will come back after your study? It is important to have a convincing answer to that question because if you are not sure, the Visa official won’t be sure either and that means that your Visa will be rejected. Do you have goods that cannot be left unattended for a long period? Do you have a family that can’t be abandoned? Do you have a job offer letter? Are you going to Canada to study and come back to take care of the family business, etc.? Those are examples of evidence that can strengthen Canadian officials in their conviction that you are indeed planning on returning home. Having official documents that can help you attest to these facts can only help you.
Eligibility to enter Canada for studies
There are a variety of documents and proofs required for admission into Canada and below are listed a few.
- A strong financial status. This attests to the fact that you have more than enough money to cover tuition and living expenses during your studies for yourself and any family members who accompany you to Canada. Having this on top of enough money to buy the return ticket for you and everyone else tells Canadian border officers and embassy officials that you are in control of the situation.
- Being a recommendable or rather law-abiding individual is another factor. This is someone with no criminal record – providing proof of this is important.
- Going to Canada to study is different from moving to Canada to stay indefinitely. Proving to the embassy officials that you have no intention of staying in Canada indefinitely is important. Backing your claim with proof is the best way to approach this situation because anyone can state that they have the intention of returning home after their studies. Answering the following question honestly will go a long way to help you: what proves that you will come back after your study? It is important to have a convincing answer to that question because if you are not sure, the Visa official won’t be sure either and that means that your Visa will be rejected. Do you have goods that cannot be left unattended for a long period? Do you have a family that can’t be abandoned? Do you have a job offer letter? Are you going to Canada to study and come back to take care of the family business, etc.? Those are examples of evidence that can strengthen Canadian officials in their conviction that you are indeed planning on returning home. Having official documents that can help you attest to these facts can only help you.
- There are many alternatives when it comes to the source of this funding: these include personal funds, family/relative funds, a scholarship, and for those who embark on graduate studies, these can include graduate assistantships and even research grant money.
- Being in a state of good health is another condition to study in Canada. The type of health-related factors that are monitored during a medical examination include the following: weight, height, hearing, vision, blood pressure, pulse, heart, lungs, abdomen, flexibility, and skin.