1. Reasons for the popularity of Canadian education
    1.1 Scholarships and grants
    A feature of the Canadian education system is that usually all school programs for foreigners are fee-paying and post-secondary education is fee-paying, both for Canadians and permanent residents as well as for foreigners. Unlike Canadians who are partially paid by the Government, foreigners pay a full tuition fee for their education. However, many institutions offer scholarships to excellent foreign students, which allows them to reduce their tuition costs and sometimes, with a scholarship that fully covers the cost of their studies, it is possible to offer free education. Private and public foundations can provide study grants for prospective students.

The procedure for receiving a scholarship or grant at each institution is different – some ask to apply for a scholarship after admission, some do not require it, for example, Thompson Rivers Universiry, which enjoys well-deserved recognition from students and employers, does not require a special application for a scholarship, it is enough to apply for admission before May this year, and you will be included in the application for a scholarship. If you meet the requirements, you will receive a scholarship.

1.2 Higher education in Canada is available not only at university, but also at college.

Colleges are designed for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years of study. The peculiarity of studying is to obtain, along with theoretical knowledge, deep practical skills. Studying is economically more profitable, the cost of education in the vast majority of colleges is lower than in the university, admission is held 1-3 times a year, depending on the specialty. As a rule, colleges are accepted without entrance examinations. After their graduation, students get a special certificate (1 year programs on the basis of secondary school – Certificate programs), diploma (2-3 year programs on the basis of secondary school – Diploma and Advanced Ddiploma programs), and after 4 years of study, a college graduate, as well as a university graduate, gets higher education and Bachelor’s Degree programs.

Business specialties offered by the colleges are very popular with students from Russia and CIS countries. This is primarily due to the fact that graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Business or who have completed professional business programs find jobs relatively easily and quickly. In addition, their average salaries are almost always higher than those of graduates in other professions. This is due to the constantly high demand for business management specialists in the Canadian labour market.

Universities teach to a very high standard, and the presence of internationally renowned scientists on their staff creates a strong motivation to engage in research and development, and they have everything they need – equipped laboratories, modern equipment and a rich scientific library. Canadian universities offer undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes. Both colleges and universities have the opportunity to receive scholarships and grants from both government and public organizations for academic achievements and for active participation in the social life of the institution, and to enjoy the cultural and social life on campuses.

So where is it better and more profitable to get higher education – at university or college? A bachelor’s degree from a university is usually considered more prestigious, but it is cheaper to study at college and students spend a lot of time practicing, so it is usually better to be ready for independent work immediately after graduation. But whether a student has obtained a bachelor’s degree from a university or college, an employer will give preference to a candidate whose knowledge is stronger and practical experience is richer. So if you can’t pay for your university or don’t want to overpay for your studies, you can safely go to college. If you study hard, the result will be at least as good, and often better, than a university graduate.
In addition, many colleges also offer 1-2 year post-graduate (post-graduate) programs, where you can continue your studies. Here students with higher education already study. Such programs are intended for further education or retraining for another profession.

Will you be able to afford to study in Canada?

Before you start studying.

Before applying to a college or university, you may need to take an English or French course to pass the IELTS, TOEFL or TCF exams. The cost depends on the school and the length of time you are studying. For example, at Seneca College (Toronto), the tuition fee for foreigners is about C$3200 for a 7-week English course, while at ILAC (Toronto and Vancouver), a 10-week course (30 lessons per week) costs C$3600. If you apply to a college or university program, you will need to pay an enrolment fee of between C$45 and C$100. When you receive permission to study, you must also prove that you can support yourself and the family members who come with you.

Minimum Funding Requirements for a Study Approval (CAD)

Students will need 10,500 per year or 875 per month (in addition to tuition). For the first family member you will need 4225 per year or 352 per month. Each additional family member will require 3,262 per year or 274 per month.

For example, if you come to Canada to study outside of Quebec and bring a spouse and child, you must prove that you have at least C$17,000 (C$10,000 for yourself, C$4,000 for your spouse and C$3,000 for your child).

The difference between Canadian colleges and universities

There are over 100 universities and 150 colleges in Canada and a list of them is available on the Association of Higher Education Institutions of Canada website. In the Canadian education system, colleges and universities are at the same level: A college graduate has the same chance of getting a job as a college graduate. In Russia, college is associated with a technical school and a school where students enter after 9th grade. You will not be accepted to a Canadian college with a 9th grade certificate, you have to finish all 11 grades.

The table below shows the main differences between college and a university in Canada.

College University.
Nature of training Applied Academic
Cost from 15 000 CAD per year from 30 000 CAD per year
Duration of 1-4 years from 4 years
Scientific activity No. Yes.
Certificate programs, certificate (1 year)
Diploma, diploma (2 years)
Advanced diploma, advanced diploma (3 years)
Bachelor degree, bachelor (4 years) Bachelor degree, bachelor (4 years)
Master’s degree, masters degree (2 years).
PhD, doctorate (4-6 years).
Admission of students Several times a year Once a year
College studies in Canada focus on practical skills, while university studies focus on research and development. So if you have plans to do science or become a teacher, go to university. If you want to start working immediately after your studies, choose a program at college. You’ll save money and time.

Colleges work closely with business, which allows you to train specialists who meet the requirements of companies. Even if you finish your annual college program, you can get a job. According to statistics, over 90% of college students find a job in the first 6 months after graduation.

College programs in Canada
Certificate, certificate (1 year). Program for the year for those who already have higher education.
Diploma, diploma (2 years). The program is suitable for those who enter college immediately after school.
Advanced diploma, diploma of in-depth study of the specialty (3 years). Also the program for those who enter after school.
Bachelor’s degree (4 years). Classic bachelor’s degree program. Not as popular as the first two because you can get a job in Canada even after you finish the annual program.
Diploma and Advanced Diploma programmes may also include Co-op semester/term, a semester of practice during study. It may even be paid for, but it depends on the college and the program.

When to apply to a Canadian college…
Admission to Canadian colleges usually starts 8-10 months before the beginning of a semester, and semesters start in September, January or May. That is, if you plan to start studying in September 2021, you should send an application in December 2020 – January 2021. Remember: first come, first served.

Thus in colleges there are no deadlines of applications: you can arrive and a couple of months before the beginning of a semester if there are places left. It takes 4 weeks or more to process an application, after which you will receive a Letter of Acceptance and a tuition deposit bill. Usually it is 2000-3000 CAD (~ 105000-156000 ₽). After receiving your visa, you will pay the full price and in case of refusal you will be returned everything except the registration fee.