Applying to Canadian Universities from Abroad
The enrolment methods used by Canadian universities vary greatly from institution to institution. Although the universities in this nation are publicly funded (partially), they are allowed great power in deciding the criteria for admission, and there is no standard procedure that they are required to follow.
You are best advised to select several universities based on the degree you wish to earn and on whether or not they offer a program that matches your plans. Thereafter, do some research on these schools to determine which one best meets your needs. Once you have narrowed your choices down to one, you can contact the university's administrators and find out exactly what they require you to do in order to win admission to their undergraduate or graduate degree program.
Note that becoming a university student in Canada is not an instantaneous process. You can expect to spend up to a year making all of the necessary arrangements, so be sure to allocate plenty of time and be patient. If you manage to get in sooner, count this as an unexpected windfall, but plan on the longer period so that you are not disappointed or frustrated by delays.
Most Canadian universities offer courses in either English or French, and occasionally both. You will be required to provide evidence of your relative fluency in whatever language the school teaches in, a requirement that is basically universal, even if all other admission policies differ. English fluency is usually proven with a standardized test, such as the TOEFL, while French fluency is proven through whatever method is adopted by the university as there is no standardized test for the French language.
Handling your Entry into Canada
Getting entry into Canada is another hurdle that must be passed in order to begin your academic career in this country. The final decision rests with the Canadian government, and not with the university; however; providing evidence that you intend to attend a college in Canada will smooth your entry. If you are planning to study for only a brief period of time (half a year or less) then you do not need any special paperwork other than perhaps a visa. If you are planning to study in Canada for a longer period of time – for example, if you want to earn a four-year degree – then you will need a study permit. Note that study permits, much like visas, can only be applied for while you are outside the country.
Temporary resident visas are a requirement for citizens of many countries, though those belonging to the “first world”, such as the United States and Western Europe, are generally exempted from this requirement provided they are genuinely studying at a Canadian university. People from other nations of the world will need a temporary resident visa, which, again, is much more likely to be granted if you already have proof of enrolment at a Canadian school.
Health Insurance for Individuals Studying in Canada
Health insurance is mandatory for all international students who are planning to attend a Canadian university, so as to avoid them becoming a burden for officials and hospitals should they contract an unexpected illness. Some provinces have health insurance programs for students, while in others, insurance must be obtained from a private insurance provider.
When you are shopping for health insurance in order to study in Canada, you should have a clear idea of what type of coverage is required for your admission, and be aware that you will need to pay premiums for the entire duration of your stay. Be sure to ask your university if they require you to buy into their health insurance program, or if you can buy a private insurance policy on your own.
One pleasant feature of health insurance for studying in Canada is that the coverage is extremely cheap, especially by the standards of students arriving from the United States. To those who come from America, an annual total premium of $400 to $500 for complete medical coverage may sound like an impossible dream, especially in light of the many American insurance plans which cost $1,500 or more monthly.
As a foreigner wanting to study in Canada, health insurance is a necessary but fairly affordable part of your overall university “package”, and should not be too difficult to arrange.
Whether you are freshly arrived at the brink of the working world and want to maximize your success or want to refocus an existing career to get better work and better pay, studying in Canada is a constructive step towards achieving that goal. Over 100,000 international students follow that route every year.
About the Author
Johnny Mangiante is an online journalist. He is also the editor and webmaster for many websites. For more information on Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada see his website http://www.visitorstocanada.com/.