How To Get Into Canadian University As An International Student

Top Scholarships and Schools for International Students In Canada

If you are looking to get into a Canadian University as an international student, you have come to the right place. Getting admission into a Canadian university, requires that you have the right strategy. This starts from the time you decide that studying in Canada aligns with your plan. You will need to take the application process serious. It is the same as applying for a job.

The interesting thing is that you can apply to study in Canada from one year before the start date. This gives you enough time to put together your application package. So, start early. You should plan to apply by March of the proceeding year, for the September intake, However, if you’ are applying for a competitive course, apply earlier so as to increase your chances of success.


As the application process varies depending on province and the institution, research the entry requirements of the specific course you want. Then, apply directly to the university as early as possible.

Two Major Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for international students who wish to study in Canada can be summarized into two. These are language proficiency and sufficient finances. Both English and French are spoken in Canada, French is the official language in Québec province. So, Canadian universities offer courses in both languages. If you are not a native speaker, you may be required to submit proof of language proficiency. Also, the university will also want to know how you intent to fund your university education. This is in case you don’t get a scholarship.

Below are the steps we have identified to ensure you get admission into a Canadian University as an International Student.

How to Get into Canadian University as an International Student

Step 1: 

Do your research about the courses and universities you wish to apply for. Our suggestion is to have at least three options.

Step 2: 

Once you narrow down your options to at least three courses and universities, check out their admission requirements for international students.

Step 3:

Submit all the required documents. This may include, but not limited to, the following:

  • A certified copy of your diploma or certificate
  • A complete application form for your course
  • An updated CV (may be required for some courses)
  • Letter of Intent: This is the letter that states your intention to enroll for the course in the university.
  • Some university may require you to submit English or French language proficiency results that are no more than one year old
  • Proof of funds to show that you can support yourself and anyone who immigrates with you during your studies
  • Most application for a PhD or Masters program requires that you submit two letters of Academic Reference, along with previous Letters of Employment and
  • Some universities in Canada may expect you have your education assessed with an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)
Different Provinces and Territories Accept Different ECAs

Here is a list of the ECA bodies you can apply for based on your location.

  • Alberta: International Qualification Assessment Service
  • British Columbia: International Credential Evaluation Services
  • Manitoba: Academic Credentials Assessment Service
  • Quebec: Centre d’expertise sur les formation acquises hors du Québec
  • Saskatchewan: International Qualification Assessment Service
  • Ontario: World Education Services, Comparative Education Service and International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • Northwest Territories: International Qualification Assessment Service
Step 4: 

If your application is successful, you will get your “Offer of Admission” which is also called an Acceptance letter. This is the end of the first milestone.

Step 5: 

Congratulation! You have your acceptance letter now. This is the beginning of another major milestone and it is time to apply for your study permit.  The fact that you have been given admission doesn’t guarantee that you will automatically get a study permit. It is a totally separate application process.

Once you have your letter of acceptance from a recognized university, prepare to submit your study permit application. For universities in Québec, you will also need a certificate of acceptance from the government. This is required as part of your study permit application package. You can easily get obtain a Canadian student visa application package from the CIC website.

The next step is to create a MyCIC account, where you will fill in your details, and pay your application fees. You will be submitting all required documents online  As part of your application package, you will need to prove that you:

  • you have enough funds to support yourself throughout the duration of your course
  • Have a medical certificate from an approved doctor from the Canadian panel of physicians (if you plan to study in Canada for longer than six months);
  • are coming to Canada for the sole purpose of studying;
  • Inform the Canadian Immigration Office that you intend to leave after your studies are complete; and
  • Provide Police Clearance also known as a police certificate

It is important to note that you must have health coverage while you study in Canada. This is because you cannot qualify for public health care unless you are either a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Once your study permit application is approved, it is time to start preparing for your trip.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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