Canada's research-based science programmes especially draw many international pupils. The co-operative education term sandwiched in many programmes requires students to do paid work in a relevant job. Taking the applied approach further, co-operative education plans to launch a Master's programme in Literatures of Modernity with a practicum — requiring learners to work with a literary journal, newspaper, write a book or play and such like.
While Canada's weather is challenging for Indians, the multi-cultural country promises a valuable exposure to pupils. According to official figures, over 5700 Indians were studying in Canadian institutions in 2007-08. It is learnt that the High Commission issued 2531 study permits apart from another 50 for short-term courses last year.
One of the reasons Canada wants to internationalise its educational institutions is to fulfil its manpower requirements. Last year, 240,000 immigrants, including about 23,000 Indians, landed on its shores. The country has a growing economy, though expected to slow down. In its latest monetary policy update, Bank of Canada said the country's GDP would grow by 1.8 per cent in 2008, as against its October estimate of 2.3 per cent.
Hot for what?
Indian students mostly opt to read subjects like Engineering, Business Administration, Finance and Commerce, Computer Science and Information Technology, Animation, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences. The latest interest is CPL and aviation training, informs Maria Mathai of the Canadian Education Center-India. As per official data, compared to Canadian students, international students in the country are over-represented in Maths, Computer and informatics sciences, Architecture and Engineering and Business Management and Public Administration.
How to ser the ball rolling
Session commences: the university and college session runs from September through May. Some institutions have a January intake as well.
When to apply: begin the application exercise a year ahead of the academic session you intend to join.
Except PG diploma aspirants, Masters admission hopefuls and MBA are required to have completed 16 years of education.
How to apply: except for institutions located in the province of Ontario, most Canadian institutes issue their own application forms. You may apply to many institutions online directly from their website or obtain a free application form from the Canadian Education Centre (CEC) in India. Those wishing to study at universities in Ontario should route their applications through the Ontario .
Universities' Application Centre (www.ouac.on.ca), an online, centralised admissions service organisation based in the province. Through the OUAC form, applicants may apply to three institutions for free, or pay to select more. There is no need not apply to more than three institutions, if you do your research well in time.
Deadline: for the fall (September) session, which has the biggest intake, the application process ends sometime from December to March.
Application docket should have…
Completed application form
Mark sheets [Class X, XI and XII (pre-Boards) in case of UG aspirants or college/university results for Masters or doctorate contenders] attested by your school/institute or the CEC. If your school gives you predicted grades for XII, include these as well.
TOEFL or IELTS score (if the test has not yet been taken, indicate its date). Some institutions prefer to receive your test scores directly from TOEFL or IELTS. Some institutions give applicants their own assessment tests for English and French.
GRE/GMAT scores (for PG studies, if applicable)
Statement of Purpose (SoP)
Full portfolio (for creative subjects like Animation, Performing Arts and Fashion Studies)
For admission to Business, Information Technology or Computer Science and Engineering programmes, your Class XII grade in Maths is very critical.
Standardised test scores: the more popular language qualifying test required for entry to most Canadian institution is the TOEFL or IELTS. A TOEFL (IBT) score of 80-90 and IELTS from 6 to 7 are considered good. Sometimes Canadian institutions may waive the requirement based on a candidate's years of education at an English-medium school of repute. A SAT score is not required at most Canadian universities and colleges. It is not compulsory to take the GRE while 90 per cent of business schools insist on a GMAT score.
Average tuition fees: C$11,903 for one school year (eight months) in an Arts or Science programme.Annual cost of living: CAD$ 10,000.
Accommodation: students may go for on- or off-campus housing, which is in the form of shared apartments or home stays. However, it is best to find on-campus accommodation at least for the first few months at the institution. Scout for an appropriate place along side your application work.
Scholarships: undergraduate awards are fewer compared to PG scholarship. A number of universities offer entrance scholarships based on candidates' Class XII marks and some are introducing new ones for international students. Graduate students have a number of options, such as scholarships, bursaries, teaching or research assistantships, grants and fellowships.
Part-time jobs: international students are allowed to work 20 hours a week on campus and 20 hours off campus after six months of enrolment, if you comply with the attendance and grade requirements.
Student visa: the CEC offers visa counselling services either in person or through long distance for all applicants for a study permit to Canada. Your study permit application is dependent on your study programme, letter of admission and your ability to bear the cost of study. For more information, visit www.studycanada.ca/india and www.india.gc.ca
Job opportunities: Canada's Post-Graduation Work Permit Program now allows international students completing eligible programmes of two or more years' duration to work there for up to three years across Canada. In April, the Canadian government removed the restrictions on the type of job and the requirement of a job offer. For eligibility requirements, go to www.studycanada.ca .