So, why should you pick Canada for your higher studies? For several reasons, including the fact that the country has one of the world’s best education systems offering options for high-tech research across all levels of study
. A wide array of study programmes.
. Value for money (vis-à-vis cost of education and living).
Option of permanent immigration: Canada created an immigration programme called the Canadian Experience Class, specifically for international graduates. This programme is meant to help those with Canadian degrees and/or work experience in a skilled trade or profession or technical occupation in Canada to immigrate permanently. For more details, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, www.cic.gc.ca.
. Sizeable Indian population with friendly people.
. Beautiful country, considered safe, with a good quality of life.
Indian numbers: The published figures for 2009 are not available. As for the previous year, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 3244 Indian students went to Canada in 2008, while their total population there that year was 7314
Programmes popular with Indian students: These include engineering (computer, electrical, mechanical etc), business (MBA and BBA), computer science and information technology, animation, arts (psychology, political science, international relations, sociology, gender studies etc).
Session commences: The university and college session begins in September. Some institutions have January intakes as well.
When to apply: Deadlines vary, but in general you should apply at least eight months before your desired programme commences. Check with individual institutions where you wish to study.
How to apply and to/ through whom: Most institutions and provinces now have an online application form. Application forms for most institutions can be downloaded directly from their websites. Some provinces have a common application form. For Ontario, the central point is the Ontario Universities’
Application Centre (www.ouac.on.ca) while for Alberta, it’s the Alberta Learning Information Service (http://alis.alberta.ca).
British Columbia has the Post-Secondary Application Service of BC (www.pas.bc.ca).
Deadlines for UG and PG programmes: For the fall (September) session, which has the biggest intake, the deadlines can be as early as December to March.
Popular courses like engineering and business get filled up quickly. If seats are available, colleges will accept applications till April-May.
What all is required in the application: Every Canadian institution has its own policy on entry requirements. Therefore, shortlist your target university and contact it for details.
Generally, the following are required.
. Completed application form
. Mark sheets [Class X, XI and XII (pre-Boards) in case of UG aspirants or college/university results for Master’s or doctorate contenders] attested by your
school/institute. If your school gives you 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 test scores directly from TOEFL or IELTS.
Most Canadian universities and colleges do not require the SAT score.
. GMAT scores (for MBA studies, if applicable).
. Statement of Purpose (SoP) or study plan.
. Recommendation letters.
. Full portfolio (for creative subjects like animation, performing arts and fashion studies).
Annual tuition fees: The annual tuition and student fees for colleges and universities is somewhere around C$8,000 to C$18,000.
Visit www.educationau-incanada.ca for more details, including study costs.
Groceries for one person: C$200 - C$300 (per month).
A dozen eggs: C$2-3.
A bag of rice (2 kg): C$2 to C$6.
One-way local bus fare: C$2.25.
Average restaurant meal: C$10 to C$25 per head.
Accommodation options: Available in most institutions. Room and dining costs may be around C$5,000 to C$10,000 a year. Private accommodation generally tends to be cheaper. The monthly rent for a one-room apartment can be C$500 to C$1100, depending on the city, according to www.studyincanada.com.
You may roughly need between C$15,000 and C$30,000 for your tuition and living expenses. Contact your chosen college/university for more information.
Scholarships/ financial support: A number of universities offer entrance scholarships based on candidates’ Class XII marks. Graduate students have several options, such as scholarships, bursaries, teaching or research assistantships, grants and fellowships. For more details, check out www.scholarships.gc.ca.
Part-time jobs: An international student is allowed to work on campus (without a work permit), and off campus for up to 20 hours a week during terms and full time in scheduled breaks, provided s/he maintains “satisfactory academic results”, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. More details are given on (www.cic.gc.ca)
Student visa: Visa application forms and checklist are available through the Canadian High Commission website www.canadainternational.gc.ca/india-inde/.
Job opportunities after graduation in the country: Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows international students
completing eligible programmes to work there for up to three years across Canada. The permit cannot be valid for more than the duration of your study programme.
Further details on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work.asp.