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Study in Canada

Why Study in Canada?

Canada's Best Universities

QS World University Rankings 2020 – Top 10 Universities in Canada

Canada Rank Global Rank University
1 =29 University of Toronto
2 =35 McGill University
3 51 University of British Columbia
4 113 University of Alberta
5 137 Université de Montréal
6 =140 McMaster University
7 =173 University of Waterloo
8 211 Western University
9 233 University of Calgary
10 =239 Queen's University

The other 16 top universities in Canada are:

  1. 11. Dalhousie University – ranked 280 th  in the world
  2. 12. University of Ottawa – ranked joint 281 st
  3. 13. Simon Fraser University – ranked joint 314 th
  4. 14. University of Victoria – ranked joint 364 th
  5. 15. Laval University – ranked 416 th
  6. 16. University of Saskatchewan – ranked joint 439 th , up 22 places.
  7. 17. Concordia University – ranked joint 462 nd
  8. 18. York University – ranked 511-520
  9. 19. Université du Québec – ranked 561-570
  10. 20. University of Guelph – ranked 571-580
  11. 21. University of Manitoba – ranked 601-650
  12. 22. Carleton University – ranked 651-700
  13. 23. Université de Sherbrooke – ranked 651-700
  14. 24. University of Windsor – ranked 651-700
  15. 25. Memorial University of Newfoundland – ranked 701-750
  16. 26. Ryerson University – ranked 801-1000

Canadian degrees are recognised worldwide and are hailed for being the most accessible from anywhere in the world. Not only that, Canada is popular for being a budget destination. Students looking for the best higher education in English and French language options find Canada’s generally lower tuition fees and living costs compared to other developed nations offering quality standards of higher education.

Combined with flexible immigration pathways to work and reside in the country, studying in Canada might just be the most attractive overseas education opportunity yet

Tuition Fees

While being an international student in Canada is considerably cheaper compared to being an international student in the UK and USA, Canada is still a major urban Western country, and prior planning must be done in order to fully enjoy your time in the cold continent of North America.

Courses in Canadian universities vary in price in different universities and provinces due to the varying living costs but are still subject to the nature of the field. Arts and business courses are the cheapest in the group, while engineering and medicine will be the most expensive of the lot.

Average Tuition Fees (per year) as of 2019

Study Level CA$ MYR
Foundation/ Pre-U 8,000 - 10,500 24,900 - 32,700
Diploma 13,500 - 19,500 42,000 - 60,700
Bachelor's Degree 14,000 - 25,000 43,600 - 77,800
Master’s Degree 13,000 - 40,000 40,500 - 124,500
Doctorate Degree (PhD) 8,000 - 10,100 24,900 - 31,500

* Tuition prices in MYR are subject to conversion from CA$

Entry Requirements

As Canada is a Commonwealth country, English is its national language, shared with French. IELTS results are the most common language requirement to apply for Canadian Universities in the English areas, but TOEFL and Cambridge English: Advanced results are also acceptable.

Should you wish to apply to a university in the francophone areas, proof of proficiency in French is similarly required.

Typical acceptance criteria (STPM/Foundation/Pre-U Results)

  • SPM, while is recognised as a high school leaving certificate, may not be sufficient enough during applications to a Canadian University. You will need to earn a proper Canadian Grade 12 certificate, available in Malaysia through Canadian Pre-U or Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP).
  • STPM can be used to apply for undergraduate studies at a Canadian university. Some subjects may require credits in specific units.
  • Credit transfer from other academic qualifications is also permitted if you have already previously enrolled in a Diploma, Degree Transfer or Undergraduate programmes.

*If you are over 25 and have completed your previous degree over two years ago, you will be considered a ‘mature student’ and will be required to submit additional credentials on employment background detailing the practical skills you have developed.

In addition to your academic transcripts, potential future students applying to study in Canada must also prepare a resume noting other curricular achievements, volunteer and work experience.

You must also curate a Letter of Intent (LOI) stating why you are applying to the university of your choice and what you want to achieve academically.

Accommodation & Living Expenses

Canada’s top universities are spread out all over its large country, and the high flow ofinternational students and migrants have brought stunning life to many of its cities.

The provinces and cities of Canada have so much to offer, but each comes with different living costs as an international student.

When to apply to study in Canada?

Most Canadian universities and colleges follow the academic term of commencing in early September and concluding at end of April or early May; with a short break between December and January to separate the semesters.

Tip: As an international student, admission to a popular course offered by a Canadian university may be subject to limited slots, so planning in high advance is a must.

The most advisable time to begin submitting applicants to the Canadian university of your choice should be as early a whole year before the start date of the semester, or at latest by March of the same year for the September intake. You also need to provide proof of finance showing ability to sustain living costs and tuition fee in addition to language proficiency certification.

As soon as you receive a letter of offer or acceptance to the university in Canada, you may begin applying for your travel necessities such as the student permit, health insurance, passport renewals and other important documents needed for going overseas.

How to get a Canadian study permit?

To apply to study at any Canadian institution or university as a first-year undergraduate,future students must fulfil the requirements of applying for a study permit through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website. A study permit is not equivalent to a visa, and there are limitations to travel and work. As a full-time student, however, the study permit should cover all necessary areas.

*The fee to apply for a Canadian Study Permit is C$150 (equivalent to RM470 as of 2018 conversion rates)

As an international student holding a Canadian study permit, the following terms and conditions must be adhered to for the duration of your study permit validity.

  • Remain enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • Attend the applied level of study

If you wish to continue your studies beyond the level you applied for, e.g. undergraduate to postgraduate, you will need to apply for a study permit extension.

*The study permit is valid for only ninety days within programme completion.

You will not need a Canadian study permit if your course/program lasts under six months, but it would be a good step to apply for one anyway in case you decide to continue. Should you only make up your mind in pursuing more in Canada after six months without having a prior application, you will have to leave Canada and submit your student permit applications through a visa office.

** For those applying to study in the province of Quebec, you will need a certificate of acceptance (CAQ) prior to applying for the entire study permit.

As an international student, health care insurance is a must-have. Availability of coverage will vary from province to province; some will have health insurance readily available for international students after a certain period of stay, but other provinces (such as Quebec) will require you to arrange insurance privately.

Canadian government health care coverage may have some limitations when extended to temporary residents, so be aware of what medical services you as an international student are entitled to.

To supply medical information required, a visa officer will contact you with instructions. Take note, it might extend the processing time by over three months.

As for proof of financial sustainability to study in Canada, you must provide the document in the form of either:

  • Bank statements
  • Sponsor letter
  • Receipts of tuition and accommodation fee payments
  • A bank draft in convertible currency
  • Evidence of an existing Canadian account if supplying through transfer
  • Proof of owning a Canadian scholarship or
  • Proof of taking a Canadian-funded course.

As of 2018, officials have determined that you need about CA$10,000 (approx RM30,900) yearly, (CA$11,000 (approx. RM34,000) yearly in Quebec) + tuition fees and funds saved for transportation back to home country.

Once you have received the green light, travel to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada! You will be issued your Canadian study permit and be allowed access into Canada for the duration of your degree.

After-graduation Opportunities in Canada

Canada is extremely popular for its immigration opportunities, and its high multicultural population is proof. Even if you haven’t yet decided to stay as a resident, Canada still offers many work opportunities as a global powerhouse.

International students who opt to stay a little while longer after the completion of their post-secondary studies have the option to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWPP).

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is an effort by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to encourage international graduates of Canadian education to stay and impart the skills they have developed in higher education back into the Canadian economy. Not only will you be able to stay in Canada and work for three more years, but you will also gain a larger chance to become a permanent resident of Canada.

To be eligible for application for the PGWPP, you must have already completed your full-time studies of over eight months at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that offers degree programs authorized by the province.

Things to note!

The PGWPP is only eligible for application to international students who are still under a valid study permit. Should you wish to leave Canada and re-enter as a PGWPP holder, you might need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to be able to return to Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Yes, International Students can work on campus. However, working off-campus is only permitted after 6 months of studies. 


During normal weekdays, you can work up to 20 hours/week. However, you are allowed to work up to 40 hours/week on semester breaks.

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