International Students Choose to Study in Canada

February 18, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

In 2018 alone, the enrollment of international students rose by 110% and it’s still increasing this year. If you are searching for somewhere to study overseas, why not study in Canada? Many international students are making it their first choice due to prestigious universities as well as celebrated diversity across campuses. According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, Canada is recognized as one of the top-most welcoming countries in the world when it comes to foreign nationals. Gaining study experience in Canada can provide international connections and boost work opportunities in the future.

There are several avenues for graduates to take towards permanent residence while still living and working in the country. Find out why so many international students choose to study in Canada and eventually immigrate to it by reading more below.   

Top Universities

Canada is home to some of the best universities in the world. Due to the country’s diversity and multiculturalism, these universities are encouraged to enroll many international students. This also means that there are plenty of support programs to help new students settle in and get to know Canada.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (UT) is known for having a wide variety of international students enrolled in its campuses as well as having a focus on research. The university is ranked 19th in the entire world and draws students from over 160 countries. It’s no wonder that most of the students applying from abroad want to study at this iconic institution.

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is ranked as the 34th best university in the world and is also one of the oldest to be found in Canada. International students flock here for the esteemed academic faculty while also hoping to receive a globally recognized education.

University of Calgary

Lastly, the University of Calgary is in the top 250 universities in the world with around 10% of its entire student population being international students. Its biggest faculties include engineering and commerce, offering a lot of internships and co-op opportunities for students to engage in locally.

How to Study in Canada

There are a few ways that foreign nationals can study in Canada but the most direct way is to obtain a study permit. This will allow candidates to study anywhere in Canada while being able to change their degree, field of study, and institution.

Study Permit

Those who are looking to study at a recognized Canadian institution need to first apply to the university and upon receiving their Letter of Acceptance, apply to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) body for a study permit or student visa. This permit will allow students to live in Canada for the duration of their studies. To be considered eligible for the study permit, applicants will need to check the following boxes:
  • A Letter of Acceptance from a recognized university;
  • Sufficient financial support for the duration of the studies;
  • A police clearance certificate;
  • A medical exam that proves good health;
  • Ties to home country proving return after completion of studies;
  • and $10, 000 CAD to finance every year you spend studying.

Permanent Residence

Once you have graduated, you will have 90 days before your study permit expires. You will then have to either leave the country or apply for a temporary work permit which will allow you to continue working in the country for a period of three years. Within this time, you can also apply for one of the programs below to be considered for permanent residence.

Popular Canadian Immigration Routes

With over 80% of recognized Canadian employers stating that they are partners in co-ops and internship opportunities, there is plenty of opportunity for international students once they are done with their studies. The following are the most popular immigration routes to take after graduation.

The Express Entry System

The Express Entry system was created in 2015 to umbrella the three federal programs and fast-track them to be processed in as little as six months. These programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. To apply, candidates need to create an online profile detailing their backgrounds. This profile will then be measured against criteria outlined by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which is detailed below. CRS Criteria Awards Points For:
  • Age
  • CLB Language proficiency (English and French)
  • Level of Education (In and outside Canada)
  • Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
  • Arranged employment
  • Provincial Nomination achieved
  • Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
  • Your spouse’s profile (if married)

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was designed to address specific labour market concerns happening locally in each of the 11 participating provinces and territories. The following are streams that are specifically aimed at graduates of post-secondary qualifications.
Provincial Nominee Programs
Province/Territory Stream
  • Alberta Opportunity Stream
British Columbia
  • Skills Immigration - International Graduate Category
  • Skills Immigration - International Post-graduate Category
  • Express Entry - International Graduate Category
  • Express Entry International Post-graduate Category
  • International Education Stream
New Brunswick
  • Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream
Newfoundland and Labrador
  • International Graduate Category
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
Nova Scotia
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  • Human Capital Category - Masters Graduate Stream
  • Human Capital Category - Ph.D. Graduate Stream
  • Employer Job Offer Category - International Student Stream
Prince Edward Island
  • Labour Impact Category - International Graduate Stream
  • Saskatchewan Experience Category - Students

Let Us Help You Study in Canada

We are three Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who have all been through the immigration process before. We can help you to develop a personalized immigration strategy and will help you every step of the way. Choose the best to get evaluated today and be wary of websites that could be a scam - Let our certified trusted consultants help you apply for a study permit or Canadian student visa. 

Sign up to get evaluated by us and get started, either with your studies in Canada or with plans to immigrate post-graduation. We’re here to be your helping hands on your journey and can help with everything from a study permit to tell you about the over 60 different immigration streams offered by the Canadian government.