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How to Choose Where to Study in Canada

Updated on 16 November, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

It is always challenging to leave your home country and move to a new country in search of better education. Selecting a university among so many universities can be a daunting task and requires a lot of research and recommendations. There are several factors that students should keep in mind while thinking about choosing where to study in Canada. This article will serve your means in making better decisions regarding the selection of universities. 

How to choose where to study in Canada- Crucial pointers

Tuition Costs- 

Choosing a suitable study destination in Canada depends highly on tuition costs. International students usually pay more than their domestic counterparts, while costs vary across provinces/regions. Canadian universities have higher tuition costs since they are publicly funded, and domestic tuition fees are subsidized for PRs and citizens. International students can also find part-time work to cover some of their living and accommodation costs. Average costs for graduate and undergraduate programs for various study fields are as follows: 

Study Field  Undergraduate ProgramsGraduate Programs

Locational Aspects- 

Selecting the preferred university in Canada requires narrowing down locations and options and other important aspects, which are as follows:

  • Choosing the province where you wish to settle for your studies
  • Checking your preferred university and its campus
  • Ensuring that you find suitable accommodation and work out the transportation cost if it is far from the campus


Most Canadian universities will provide chances for international students to virtually experience their campuses. You should take your time to explore whether the overall campus environment is in sync with what you desire. You should ideally choose a campus that has a library and cafeteria alike. You can find alumni of the institution and ask them about their time on campus. 

Scholarship Opportunities- 

International students can find scholarships for studying in the country. Most of these scholarships are provided by foreign and Canadian governments and several NGOs and international organizations. You should reach out to financial aid offices/establishments of universities while checking eligibility requirements for scholarships. 

Program Curriculum- 

You should evaluate the entire program curriculum before concluding the application. You will automatically understand what is expected of students in this regard. You should familiarize yourself with the learning material and goals and gather details on various study materials, books, and other supplements you will require. Gaining insights into the graduation requirements, credits, and courses will help you once the program commences.

Experience and Hands-On Learning- 

While choosing your institution, check for opportunities for workshops, internships, and co-ops. There are many institutions with tailored educational programs to help students prepare successfully for future careers. Hands-on learning enables better practice and industry exposure, along with fostering improved decision-making.

Choices of Accommodation- 

Accommodation or housing is a crucial aspect when choosing your institution. Halls of residence are pocket-friendly options and will save you time and money on transportation. If you desire private halls/homes, you will have to spend more. Check the inclusions in the rent if you are looking for alternative accommodation. 

Student Figures- 

The population of students is directly linked to the institution's reputation. The large density of students on the rolls speaks volumes about the university environment. Check the student figures and whether there is a diverse and cosmopolitan student line-up from several countries. This indicates how the institution upholds and respects diverse beliefs and value systems. I am running a few minutes late; my previous meeting is running over.

Top Universities in Canada

University of GuelphUniversity of MontrealLakehead University
Saint Mary's UniversityWilfrid Laurier UniversityMount Saint Vincent University
Ontario Tech UniversityUniversity of ReginaSimon Fraser University
Ryerson University

Queen's University

Rankings of Universities- 

Choosing a prestigious institution also means taking a closer look at the global rankings. You can carefully evaluate the world rankings of universities while comparing them on several parameters while considering alumni networks, employment opportunities, sustainable development goals (SDGs), citations per faculty, student-faculty ratio, and more. 

Reviews of Students- 

You can always ferret out student reviews that are mostly authentic and will help you make better decisions. Find reviews/testimonials from alumni and other students, especially those who have just graduated or are currently studying at an institution. 

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Study Requirements- 

You should check out the admission and eligibility requirements for studying at your chosen universities. This usually includes good academic records, scanned copies of your passport, study permit, letters of recommendation, English language proficiency scores, and resume. Examine all program and admission requirements before applying. 

Some other things to remember.

  • When to start the search and discovery process? You can initiate your quest for the best institution as early as possible, right before graduating from high school. Choosing a college is a lifetime decision, and you should cultivate a habit of regularly visiting portals of preferred universities and understanding more about the eligibility and admission requirements. 
  • How should you build up your application? You should invest time and effort into preparing your study application. You should learn more about the documents required, stage-wise application procedures, and transcripts/documents that are needed, along with paying close attention to the proof of funds that will be required. 

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Which part of Canada is best to study?

Some of the best parts of the country for students include Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Quebec, among others. Winnipeg and Calgary are also popular among students. 

How do I choose a course to study in Canada?

You should choose a program that aligns with your interests and requirements, and future aspirations, along with future prospects of the same. You should always apply before the deadline for your preferred program. Make sure you apply a minimum of one year before you wish to begin studying at your chosen university. 

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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