Out of the top 500 universities in the world, Canada has the honor of housing at least 21 of them, many of these being private universities. It is worthy to be noted that on the QS World Rankings of the year 2019, 26 of these Canadian universities were featured and three of them managed to land in the top 50 worldwide. These included: University of Toronto, McGill University as well as university of British Columbia.This has obviously impacted the way funding an undergraduate program in Canada is achieved now. It has welcomed thousands of international students to its academic institutes and continues to add to this number each passing year. To this day it remains a top choice for international students looking for higher education abroad. These universities offer an academic education at all 3 levels (bachelor’s>master’s>doctorate) to both local and international students.
Along with these there are around 150 colleges in Canada which comprise of community, technical as well as regional colleges that allow students to achieve short courses and diplomas too. There are specialized career colleges available for students as well and they aim to make both local and international students well-equipped for vocations of their choosing and liking. Any student no matter what modality or academic program they have opted for can find relevant programs in any of the top notch Canadian universities.
Enrolling Into A Canadian University For Your Undergrad
Getting admission into these universities requires all students to go through a rigorous vetting and testing process and the application process varies based on not only your choice of institution but also the province where you have chosen to study. Specific courses have certain specific requirements and they will have to be thoroughly researched while applying. It is advised to apply as early as possible in order to ensure your placement. It gives you a particular edge over your competitors if you have proficiency as well as proof of proficiency in any or both (English as well as French). A proof of proficiency is however usually required in the case when you are not a native speaker.
International undergraduate students in Canada are afforded a unique mixture of a wide variety of opportunities and new experience are a dime a dozen. This they owe to not just their natural resources but the progress they have achieved in the past few decades. However, achieving this anywhere in the world requires the crucial aspect of financing promptly and efficiently and this is what we are going to help you with.
One thing we must mention first is that in comparison to the other English speaking countries such as Australia or the USA, it costs relatively less to study in Canada. However these costs are still a lot in comparison to other countries such as Germany or South Africa for example.
There is a handy online tool for international undergraduate students in Canada for them to figure out what it might cost them to study in any of the Canadian universities. This is called The Council of Minister of Education, Canada (CMEC) and while it allows you to find out the total cost of financing your undergraduate degree in Canada it will also aid you with the list of documentation you will be required to supply to the authorities.
Undergrad Program Tuition Fee
Undergraduate Program Costs in Canada vary across all universities since they are allowed to set their own tuition fee and that is determined on various factors such as the type of program you are opting for or whether you are an undergraduate or a post graduate student. This fee is also determined by whether you are a local student or not.
The cost of undergrad programs for the University of British Columbia for example is CA$116.25 (US~87). There is an option for international students from the developing countries applying for bachelor’s degrees in Canada to get this fees waived as well. Per the last Statistical Analysis conducted regarding tuition fees for international students in Canada, an average of CA$27,159 (~US$20,600) is the average tuition fee for the academic year 2018-2019.
For students who opt for arts and humanities related courses tend to cost less than this. Average cost for these courses for example, will be roughly CA$30,742 (~US$20,600). For courses in business and management studies, the costs are lower with average being CA$26,395(~US$20,000) per year. The predominant language in Quebec is French as well so that might also become a hindrance to the process.
Along with the cost of education at any study abroad destination comes the cost of accommodation, alongside other hidden costs that might pile up in the long run and become an inconvenience. It is therefore smarter to assess these costs beforehand. In order to become an international student in Canada you are not required to have a Canadian Study permit if you are staying there for 6 months hence an entire semester abroad is a possibility for international students in Canada without having to deal with the issues that come with the whole visa process.
However if you want to spend more than 6 months studying abroad in Canada then you will be issued Canadian Student Visa (not a requirement if you plan to study in the country for 6 months or less) which acts as a sort of a permit that allows international students to study any Bachelor’s degree program in Canada and that has its own requirements before its handed over. This will hold you for the entire duration of your planned stay. The whole process of application for this student visa will cost international students around CA$150 (~US$115).
It is also necessary for students to portray a minimum of CA$10,000(~US$7,750) along with the pertinent tuition fee requirements of their university of choice. This cost is more if you’re planning to study in a popular province such as Quebec: CA$11,000(~US$8,260) along with the pertinent tuition fee as mentioned before. It is however recommended that international students going for a Bachelor’s degree program in Canada aim for an amount that is actually higher than these aforementioned costs cumulatively.
International Student Life In Canada – Cost Of Living
This is all very much depended on your lifestyle as well and if you are someone who enjoys living in large cities and enjoy lavishly spending every time you go out then you must aim for an even higher number in your bank account. A Mercer Cost of Living Survey was conducted in 2018 and it was found that both Toronto and Vancouver are the two most expensive cities for international students in Canada when it comes to accommodation as rent prices soar higher with each passing year.
While talking about accommodation we must mention that 3 types of educations are afforded to students going for a bachelor’s degree in Canada. These include homestay, university accommodation as well as private accommodation and they all have their own particular costs attached to them.
For example international students in Canada opting for on campus accommodation are supposed to pay in the range of CA$3,000-7,500 (US$2,550-5,640). If you are someone who is opting for private accommodation then it must cost you in the neighborhood of CA$8,400(US$6,320) and this is while exempting the cost of bills and the rest of trivial costs. It is usually cheapest and hence comes highly recommended for students to opt for university accommodation where a lot of the hidden costs of living abroad are resolved on their own.
For example, you get meal plans at some universities and this affords you the opportunity of getting meals from on-campus outlets. You might also be required to receive a temporary residence permit for the length of our stay based on your nationality and this goes into procession at the same time as your student permit does.
An estimate was established by the University of Montreal and they found that a cumulative CA$10,050 per year will be needed by any international students while funding an undergraduate program in Canada. This includes all the basic necessities of everyday life from phone bills down to your course and book supplies and other expenses unaccounted or thought of that might arise. Another university in Vancouver, University of British Columbia, assessed according to the BC Health Plan that this living cost to be as low as CA$864 per year. Some of the estimated costs of accommodation for international students in Canada figured out last year (2018) were as follows:
Restaurant Meal (1 person): CA$15(~US$11)
Public Transport (One-way ticket): CA$3(~US$2.25)
Loaf of Bread: CA$2.79(~US$2.10)
Movie Ticket: CA$13(~US$9.78)
Gym fees (Monthly): CA$49(~US$37)
Along with all these, it is also compulsory for international students in Canada to get health insurance which costs in the range of CA$600-800 (~US$450-600) per year.
Grants And Other Options To Consider
If financing your undergraduate degree in Canada sounds tough so far then despair not because there are several options for international students to avail scholarships as well as grants or bursaries at all levels of higher education.
If you are someone who excelled at a particular aspect in your academic career even if it’s regarding extracurricular activities such as sports then there are scholarships based on that available as well.
Not just on the national level but universities on their own would also like to issue these financial aid programs for example “International Tuition Award”, to international students in Canada and if the university of your choice offers that or better yet you aim to go for university with this added glimmer then it becomes easier to juggle undergraduate program costs in Canada.
However, international students must keep in mind that a lot of these depend on first come first served basis and it is a highly competitive arena as far as funding is concerned since the reserves are limited and selective. Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship is a program that provides financial aid to students on their list of commonwealth countries. Another option when it comes to achieving funding is that international students find out about any scholarships supplied by the study abroad programs locally as well.
Part Time Jobs Can Help Too
International student life in Canada also involves earning there to support your living costs and other expenses. Another option for international students looking for financing their undergraduate degree in Canada is getting a job while studying there. This will, of course be a part-time job and international students are allowed to work either on-campus or off-campus for up to 20 hours at a time during the course of their academic career while on their vacations they can take the liberty to work full time.
This does not require you to receive any work permit and can be undertaken only with the required that you not only hold a study permit while studying full time but that you also be enrolled in a higher education institute while attempting either an academic or professional or even vocational training programs that will afford you a degree in either 6 months or less.
You will however, need a social insurance number in order to attempt this part time job which is issued by Service Canada and affords workers certain benefits from the government.
We wish you all the very best in your pursuit of studying abroad in Canada for your undergraduate degree. Not only does a study abroad undergrad experience polishes you professionally but also enhance your interpersonal skills and personality exceptionally.