Study abroad for a semester in

Canada

Canada, the second-largest country in the world by territory, is renowned for its natural splendor, cultural diversity, and high standard of living. It’s an ideal destination for international students seeking a blend of academic excellence and a vibrant lifestyle. From the bustling urban centers of Toronto and Vancouver to the historic charm of Quebec City and the natural wonders of Banff National Park, Canada offers a unique and enriching environment for students. Canadian universities are globally recognized for their rigorous academic programs and research initiatives, making it an ideal place for higher education and personal growth.

Canada is best known for

Stunning Natural Beauty 🌲: With breathtaking landscapes ranging from the Rocky Mountains to pristine lakes and vibrant cities, Canada offers unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Cultural Diversity 🌍: Canada is celebrated for its multicultural society, providing a welcoming environment for international students from all over the world.

High Quality of Life 🌟: Known for its safety, healthcare, and high living standards, Canada offers a quality of life that is among the best in the world.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance πŸ›‚

Embarking on your educational journey to Canada requires securing the appropriate visa and health insurance. These essential steps ensure you comply with legal requirements and have access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are key to a smooth and safe study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Study Permit: Required for programs longer than six months. It allows students to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada.
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV): Required in addition to a study permit for students from certain countries. It allows entry into Canada.
  • eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization): Required for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air.

Application Process

  1. Apply to Canadian Institutions: Gain acceptance to a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
  2. Receive Letter of Acceptance: Your institution will provide you with an acceptance letter, which is required for your study permit application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents including your passport, acceptance letter, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Online Application: Fill out the study permit application form on the IRCC website.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee for the study permit.
  6. Biometrics Appointment: Schedule and attend a biometrics appointment if required.
  7. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  8. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Letter of acceptance from an accredited institution in Canada.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (approximately CAD 10,000 per year, plus tuition).
  • Passport: Valid for the duration of your stay in Canada.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and submitted online.
  • Biometrics Fee Receipt: Proof of payment if biometrics are required.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Interview Preparation: Prepare for potential visa interviews by practicing common questions and answers.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Canada. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • Provincial Health Insurance: Some provinces offer health insurance to international students.
    • Cost: Varies by province, often free or low-cost.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical services.
    • Limitations: Coverage may begin after a waiting period, and some services might not be covered.
  • University-Sponsored Health Insurance: Many universities offer health insurance plans for their students.
    • Cost: Varies by university, typically between CAD 600 and CAD 1,000 per year.
    • Advantages: Convenient enrollment and comprehensive coverage.
    • Limitations: Coverage may be limited to university-affiliated hospitals and clinics.
  • Private Health Insurance: Some students opt for private health insurance to supplement provincial or university coverage.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. IMG offers competitive and comprehensive plans.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than relying solely on provincial or university insurance.

Country-Specific Requirements

Provincial Health Insurance: Depending on the province, students may need to register for provincial health insurance upon arrival. This registration is crucial for receiving comprehensive healthcare coverage.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Canadian authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with IMG with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Canada.

Choose IMG

IMG is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Canada

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder

FAQ

What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Canada?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Canada. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Government of Canada – Study in Canada: Provides comprehensive information for international students looking to study in Canada, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in Canada.
Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE): Offers detailed information on studying in Canada, including immigration advice, health insurance guidance, and practical tips for international students.

2. Cost of Living πŸ’°

Living in Canada offers a balance of urban excitement and natural tranquility, but it’s important to understand the cost of living to manage your budget effectively. From the bustling streets of Toronto and Vancouver to the serene beauty of the Canadian Rockies, the cost of living can vary widely across the country.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies based on location and type of housing.
CAD 500 – CAD 2,000/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
CAD 350 – CAD 650/month
Transportation: Getting around Canada is convenient with several options.
CAD 80 – CAD 150/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
CAD 100 – CAD 200/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying Canada’s vibrant culture and social life.
CAD 150 – CAD 250/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
CAD 100 – CAD 150/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. Canada offers a variety of housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from historic university halls to modern student apartments.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Residences): Typically provided by universities, these offer convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: CAD 400 – CAD 1,000/month
Shared Apartments: Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: CAD 500 – CAD 1,200/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: CAD 800 – CAD 2,000/month
Homestays: Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: CAD 600 – CAD 1,000/month
Specialized Student Housing: Managed by private companies, these accommodations often include various amenities.
Price: CAD 700 – CAD 1,500/month

Find accommodation in Canada

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The ones you see on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, so you can be more at ease choosing them.

4. University Information πŸŽ“

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. Canada, home to some of the world’s top-ranked institutions, offers a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Find universities in Canada

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information πŸ› οΈ

Transportation

Canada’s transportation network is extensive and efficient, making it easy to explore the country and beyond.

Public Transportation πŸš†: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses, subways, and trams. Monthly passes range from CAD 80 to CAD 150, with student discounts often available. Cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver have extensive public transportation networks.

Bicycles 🚴: Many Canadian cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Biking is a cost-effective and healthy way to navigate urban areas.

Trains πŸš„: Canada’s train system, operated by VIA Rail, connects major cities and regions. The train journey from Toronto to Vancouver is one of the most scenic routes in the world.

Tips πŸ’‘: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes and consider buying a multi-trip pass if available. For intercity travel, booking train tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Canada offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include RBC, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, and CIBC.

Documents Required πŸ“‘: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, study permit, and a local address.

Currency πŸ’΅: The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips πŸ’‘: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like Xe.com for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Canadian society.

Punctuality ⏰: Punctuality is highly valued in Canada. Arriving on time for classes, meetings, and social events is expected.

Greetings 🀝: A firm handshake is a common greeting in Canada, especially in formal or business settings. In casual settings, a friendly β€œHi” or β€œHello” is sufficient.

Mealtimes 🍁: Canadian mealtimes are generally flexible, but lunch is usually around 12-1 PM, and dinner is typically between 6-8 PM. Canada has a diverse culinary scene, and tipping (usually 15-20%) is customary in restaurants.

Public Behavior 🀫: Canadians value politeness and respect in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially on public transportation and in residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.