All about Canada

The history of Canadian education dates back to the 17th century when the Jesuits founded the College of Quebec, the first educational institute in Canada, in 1640. However, the education was limited to the elite class. The education system was church-controlled back then, and it lasted from the early 1700s to the mid-1800s. In the early 1900s, Canada saw the development of provincial departments of education as well as an increase in the number of well-trained teachers, a more consistent curriculum and the beginning of provincial government financial support for the academic institutions.

Some of the top scholarships sponsored by Canadian government are:

  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program
  • IDRC Research Awards
  • NSERC Postgraduate scholarships
  • Organization of American States (OAS) Academic Scholarship Program
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program

The non-governmental scholarships include:

  • Anne Vallee Ecological Fund
  • Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation Scholarships
  • Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships

Some of the institution based scholarships are:

  • Carleton University Awards for International Students
  • Concordia University International Undergraduate
  • Dalhousie University Scholarships
  • Fairleigh Dickinson Scholarships for International Students
  • HEC Montréal BBA Entrance Scholarships
  • International Student Scholarships at Humber College Canada
  • McGill University Scholarships and Student Aid
  • Queen’s University International Scholarships
  • UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award
  • UBC Graduate Scholarships
  • University of Alberta International Scholarships
  • University of Calgary International Scholarships
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships
  • University of Saskatchewan International Student Awards
  • University of Toronto Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • University of Waterloo International Funding
  • Simon Fraser University Financial Aid and Awards
  • Western University International Admission Scholarships
  • York University International Student Program

These above-mentioned scholarships can offer up to CA$60,000 depending on the merit and financial need of a student. While applying for any of these scholarships or fellowship, one needs to make sure all the required documents are attached with the application as those will help those organizations to determine the potential of the applicant. For a scholarship application, following documents may be required.

  • Photocopies of the academic records
  • A recent CV
  • A letter of intent
  • Proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS scores)
  • Letters of recommendation

These scholarships can help a student to fund his study in Canada to a great extent. However, only a few numbers of Indian students are awarded such scholarships. Rest of the students can apply for bank loans if they are struggling to manage the fund to join an abroad study program. Most of the Indian banks offer student loans at a competitive interest rate. These loans need to be repaid within a certain period of time with interest, so one needs to read the terms and conditions carefully before applying for a loan. There are also few criteria to meet when a student is applying for a student loan. Loan offers may differ depending on the courses and the level of study. Few banks may not provide loans for certain courses, which is why a student needs to visit the bank and talk to the branch manager about the criteria and terms of a student loan before applying for it. These loans can cover the entire tuition fees and the other fees to some extent.

When a student lands in a foreign nation, one of the biggest issues that he/she needs to take care of is accommodation. It is more convenient if the student has arranged his/her accommodation before starting the course. It saves a lot of time and allows a student to get acquainted with the place before the academic program starts. In fact, there are several choices of accommodation for international students, and some of them are arranged by the respective institution the student is supposed to join. These options are discussed below.

  • On-campus residence:
  • Dormitories, townhouses, and hall of residence are the on-campus accommodations that are usually arranged by the institution. These are perhaps the most convenient accommodations for the students as they are in the radius of the campus. In dormitories, one may need to share the kitchen and bathroom with other residents as there are fewer rooms with attached bathroom, and kitchen facilities. The townhouses, on the other, do not require a student to share the room with other students. The bathroom and kitchen are, however, in on the main floor and are available to second to fourth-year university students and graduate students.
  • Off-campus shared apartments:
  • Off-campus shared apartments are much like the townhouses. However, the institution may not provide the student with such accommodation. There are agencies which can help a student get such place where a single room can be shared with one or more roommates. These off-campus housings can be little costly, and it can vary from one city to another. For instance, the rates are higher in larger cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
  • Homestay:
  • These types of accommodation allow an international student to live in a homely environment with a Canadian family, where one may get a sense of security while starting a new journey in a foreign land. It can also provide a student to experience Canadian lifestyle up close and acknowledge Canadian culture from the natives of the land. This accommodation comes with a single-occupancy room and one to three meals per day. A student can arrange such accommodation on his/her own, or the institution can help him get a nice Canadian family to stay with.
    Apart from these few options, a student can also accommodate himself or herself in a furnished/unfurnished rented property. These accommodations are little expensive, and the rent doesn't include other expenses like food, electricity, phone, and water bill. This option is for those students who want to live on their own and have enough funds to afford such place. To get better and cheaper deals, a student should apply for accommodation as soon as possible because once the enrollments start taking place, all the good accommodation options get occupied.

Applying for a student visa for Canada can take three months to process. Don’t be surprised because that is how it works. For this reason, one should apply for the student visa at least three months prior to the commencement of the course. However, a student can only apply for a student visa, once he/she has received the college acceptance letter. Here are the things that a student may require while applying for a student visa for Canada.

      • Proof of acceptance
      • Proof of financial support
      • A valid passport of the applicant
      • Two passport size photos

A student will also need to appear in an interview for the approval. There he may need to provide additional documents like:

      • Transcripts from the institutes he/she has attended previously
      • Scores of significant tests like TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT

A student can apply online or apply in person for the visa. There’s a processing fee for the visa which needs to be cleared during the submission of the application. He/she needs to visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to give the biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).

A student visa for Canada can provide an International student with a work permit. This work permit allows a student to work part-time which can help him/her to support his study financially. However, there few other criteria to gain a post study work permit in Canada which are:

      • The student needs to pursue a full-time course in Canada
      • The length of the course must be more than eight months
      • The work permit is valid for the duration of the course. If the student is pursuing an 8-month course, he will receive an eight months' work permit.

For on-campus tasks like helping a Professor with his research won’t require a work permit. But off-campus works certainly need a work permit. A student can apply for an off-campus job after successful completion of six months of study. The permit allows an international student to work up t0 20 hours a week off-campus.

Once a student finishes his/her study from a Canadian institute, he may not get a job immediately, as there's no concept of on-campus recruitment in Canada. Most Canadian Universities have a cell named Career Services Center that helps the student to get a job by preparing him for an interview. Companies that recruit fresh graduates through Universities do not usually offer them a permanent job immediately. They usually offer the students with internship or co-op programs and observe them for few months before giving them a full-time position at the company.

In fact, there are a lot of job opportunities in Canada as well. Industries like IT, Engineering, Hospitality Management, healthcare and medicine are expanding in the country, and the employers need manpower to implement the expansion. This is the reason why Canada is receiving a lot of immigrants who are coming to the country looking for a job and a better life.

Canada is the largest country in the North America with ten provinces and three territories, and it's located in the northern part of the continent. It is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and it promotes a high standard of living. The weather of the country varies from one place to another since the country covers a large amount of area with five different time zones. During summer the temperature stays around 22 degree Celsius which can drop to -15 degree Celsius during the winters. Vancouver is a warmer place compared to other popular cities like Montreal or Toronto. The crowd in Canada consists of a multicultural and diverse population. They are known for their openness, and they don't judge people by their race, ethnicity or physical appearance.

Studying in Canada can be interesting as the people are very friendly and the standard of living is very high. Interestingly, Canada has a large number of Indian families which is concentrated in the large cities like Toronto and Vancouver.