A degree from a Canadian university is recognized worldwide and as a result, international students who graduate from Canadian universities enjoy successful and prosperous careers.

Canadian Education System

The Canadian education system encompasses both publicly funded and private schools, from kindergarten through to university.

The following sections provide an overview of the Canadian education system.


   University Colleges

   Community Colleges

   Career Colleges

   Language Schools

   Private Schools

   Public Schools

In general, Canadian children attend kindergarten for one or two years at the age of four or five on a voluntary basis. All children begin Grade One at about six years of age. The school year normally runs from September through the following June but in some instances, January intake dates are possible. Secondary schools go up to Grades 11, 12 or 13, depending on the province. From there, students may attend university, college and Vocational Education.

There are no university or college entrance exams in Canada. For entrance into undergraduate programs, universities evaluate a student's high school transcripts. For most types of study, foreign students must prove fluency in the language in which they plan to study (English or French).

Foreign students enrolled in a full-time, post-secondary study program are automatically authorized to work up to 10 hours a week on the campus of the institution at which they are studying. This would not provide enough to pay for an entire study program, but it can provide some pocket money.

You must have a letter confirming that an educational institution has accepted you before you apply for a study permit. An educational institution includes a university, college or other educational institution. The institution will decide if you meet its academic and language requirements. To obtain such acceptance, you must deal directly with the educational institution in which you are interested.

The entry of international students into Canada is regulated by the Government of Canada. Nevertheless, your admission to an educational institution may be subject to policies in the province or territory where you want to study.

A study permit is not needed for:

   Any program of study that is six months or less that can be completed within the period authorized upon entry into Canada;

   Courses that are not academic, professional or vocational in nature that can be completed within the period authorized upon entry into Canada;

   Courses included in tour packages as a secondary activity for tourists; and

   Nursery schools or kindergartens

You must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must also:

   Satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies

   Have been accepted by an educational institution;

   Prove that you have enough money during your stay in Canada to pay for tuition fees;

   Living expenses for yourself and accompanying family members; and

   Return transportation for yourself and accompanying family members;

You should apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. This will allow you to apply to extend your stay as a student from within Canada. Otherwise, if you do not hold a study permit you will have to apply for one outside Canada.