The Ten Questions Every New Student Planning to Study in Canada Should Ask

It’s difficult to assess your own readiness if you have never been through the process. Why don’t you start today?

1. How much should I budget per month as an international student? 

Whether you’re living in a large urban centre or a smaller rural environment – and in an apartment, residence, or homestay – you’ll need an absolute minimum of $850 a month for living expenses and rent. This number is also the approximate amount Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) expects you to have at your disposal when you apply for your study permit.

If possible, we strongly suggest you pay your first years’ tuition fees up front to show your intentions are serious. All schools have a comprehensive refund policy (and you should study these carefully) they most often give full refunds in case of rejection by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

2. Is location a part of my decision-making process? 

It should be. Location can determine a number of things, including lifestyle, work, and networking opportunities. Some provinces also have more expensive – or affordable – public education. If you are planning on qualifying for permanent residency, it may mean a provincial nominee option that may not exist elsewhere.

3. What emphasis should I put on class size

Smaller class sizes are reported to work very well for international students, to whom a larger setting may be intimidating and alienating. Work in small group also allows international students to open up to others, learn valuable communication skills in a new language or cultural context, or gain acceptance socially.

4.How important is reputation in my choice? 

On balance, Canada has consistent, quality post-secondary programming. But specific school reputation can mean a number of things: some universities are historically known for specific programs – such as business or law- while others are known for their solid pathways to certain in-demand fields or employment. The question of reputation will depend on your intention. Are you looking for a broad education or a specific license or accreditation in order to start a career? Do you want to stay in Canada or return home?

5. Do I have both temporary (student or worker) and permanent residency (immigration) goals? 

This question is really important. If you are definitely planning to immigrate to Canada – or considering it at any level – you’ll need to factor this into your decisions, particularly around which level of study you would like to complete, how long your program will be, and if the institution offers any programs that the Government of Canada is actively trying to recruit graduates from.

6. Can I list five reasons why I want to come to Canada? 

If you cannot, you should get started right away. It will help you reflect on your goals as well as make other decisions down the road.

7. Should I pay someone to help me with my application? 

There may be very good reasons why a student would choose to appoint an educational agent. Some agents charge you fees directly and some work on a commission basis, but either way they expect their assistance to be compensated. Please understand the quality of these agents varies considerably and look out for unscrupulous consultants.

8.When do I want to start? 

Whether you would like to start immediately or in two years time will affect many of your planning choices, and depending on deadlines, may create barriers or opportunities for you.

9. Can I get documentation (such as diplomas or transcripts) from the last schools I attended in my home country? 

Getting documentation in a timely matter will be incredibly important to the admission process.

10. Am I going to commit to this fully? Are there any things I should plan for? 

It’s difficult to assess your own readiness if you have never been through the process. Why don’t you start today?

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