Studying in Canada: Choosing a school, college or university

There are many different types of schools and institutions in Canada. For more information and listings of schools, contact the organizations listed below for each institution type, or consult:

Many schools and institutions across the country offer opportunities to study in French.

Primary and secondary schools

These are schools that teach students up to the grade 12 level. Find out more information about schools from the Ministry of Education of the province in which you would like to study.

Post-secondary institutions
(universities and colleges)

Post-secondary schools include colleges, universities and technical schools. Each post-secondary school has its own set of rules on how to apply, and decides what level of English or French you will need to be accepted. For more information on post-secondary schools, contact:

Also visit Education In Canada to get detailed profiles, requirements, application and admission information for programs of study at Canadian CEGEPs, colleges and universities.

Important: Each province and territory in Canada is responsible for designating schools at the post-secondary level that may enrol international students. The designated learning institution list includes universities, colleges, private career and vocational schools, as well as language schools. If you apply for a study permit application and your letter of acceptance is from an institution that is not designated for international students, your application will be refused.

Private career and vocational schools

Provincial governments do not necessarily regulate private schools. Make sure that the private school you apply to meets provincial education requirements. For more information on private career colleges, contact the National Association of Career Colleges.

Language schools

There are many schools in Canada that teach English or French as a second language. Provincial governments regulate language programs at public institutions.

Most provincial governments do not regulate language programs at private schools. For more information about private language programs, contact:

How to apply to a school, college or university

Once you have chosen a place to study you will need to apply to that school, college or university. Every school has different rules on how to apply.

Make sure you apply early for your course of study. Apply at least six months in advance to primary and secondary schools. University and college students should apply a year before they want to start their studies.

Contact the school where you want to study to learn how to apply. They will give you the right application forms and be able to tell you about:

  • the cost of applying;
  • tuition fees;
  • health insurance;
  • rent and how much it will cost to live in Canada;
  • language tests.

Fill out the application form for the school or schools of your choice, and submit it according to the instructions provided. If the school admits you as a student, they will send you a letter of acceptance. You need a letter of acceptance in order to apply for a Study Permit.

Health insurance

The Government of Canada does not pay for the medical costs of foreign students. Health coverage for foreign students varies between provinces. Contact the school at which you are applying to receive more information about medical coverage and health insurance.

Application form

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