How to Work and Study in Canada : Everything you need to know

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Have you ever thought about studying in Canada? Know that this is possible and much more uncomplicated than you can imagine. In addition to the opportunity to experience a new culture and make new friends, studying and working in Canada is a possible dream, especially for international students. 

If working and studying in Canada is also your dream, check out the main tips to make it a reality and everything you need to know before packing your bags and embarking on your professional evolution.

Is it expensive to study in Canada?

The amounts charged to study in Canada vary greatly, as it depends on several variables. The values ​​to study in Canada will depend on the following:

  • Duration of the course;
  • Accommodation;
  • Health insurance;
  • Type of language course;
  • Courseware;
  • Additional services, such as transfer and reception at the airport;

For instance, language schools offer courses from around 1,000 Canadian dollars for a 1-month study to 10,000 Canadian dollars for one year. You can also compete for a scholarship at one of the educational institutions in the country. But during the selection process, only a few vacancies are open for foreigners, and the process is very competitive and challenging. The main requirement is to speak fluent English or French. 

In addition, the student must arrange the registration, as it is generally done through something other than the exchange agencies. A good alternative for those who want to study in Canada is to take a short-term language course (four weeks). When opting for a language course package, the full course, accommodation for the student, teaching materials and health insurance will be included.

Cost of living in Canada

Canada does not have a high cost of living. The country even offers different rates for international students in most of its educational institutions. In addition, it has a sound transport system, which is free for university students.

An essential detail is that the country requires proof that the student can pay for the course and his stay in the country until he completes his training. This proof required by the Canadian government is CAD 1,500 per month. The country understands that this is the minimum amount to live in the main cities of Canada, paying for transportation, housing, food, entertainment, internet, and the like. This proof is usually done through the presentation of bank statements.

What are the basic requirements to study in Canada?

Studying in Canada is less bureaucratic than in the United States, a top-rated destination for studying abroad. However, some basic requirements you need to work and study in Canada are:

  • Student Visa: Once admitted to a Canadian university, college or high school, the institution will issue a letter of admission for the student to obtain a student visa. The visa will be issued after admission and not during the selection process. During this period, students can travel to Canada on a tourist visa.
  • Proof of income: even if the student stays in Canada financed by his parents or another relative, it is mandatory to prove that he will be able to stay in the country, which includes not only the payment of an institution but also accommodation and food. This is a way for the local government to prevent immigrants from arriving in the country without conditions to maintain themselves or to return to their respective countries, thus increasing the rate of poverty and inequality.
  • English level: must be evidenced by TOEFL or IELTS certificates to study high school, undergraduate, graduate or MBA in Canada. You can take proficiency at official institutions, such as large universities, or participate in the Pathway, a program that allows universities to teach English to foreigners.
  • English level for language courses: language courses do not require prior knowledge of English or French. That is, it is the best option for those who want to improve their English or French in Canada! The school itself will test the student to find out their language level to start their studies, which vary from the basics of the language to the advanced level.
  • Tourist visa for a language course: A student visa is not required if you take an English or French course lasting up to six months. For this, an ordinary tourist visa is enough. A student visa will be required if the course exceeds this period, even if it is a language course.

Read also: Free Guide To IELTS Exam

Benefits of studying in Canada

Studying in Canada makes it much more accessible in every sense of your stay. Below are some of the benefits of studying in Canada:

  • Ease of obtaining a visa: getting into Canada is much easier than in the US. In addition, obtaining a student visa with the right to work is much simpler and faster than in other countries.
  • More affordable prices: Compared to the United States, Canada offers much lower prices.
  • High quality of life: Canada has some of the best cities in the world, emphasizing Ottawa and Vancouver, the latter also being considered the fifth safest city in the world. 
  • Transportation: University students can use public transport for free, even foreigners.

Reasons to study in Canada for International Students

If you still have doubts about whether or not to study in Canada, below are reasons why studying in Canada is worth it:

  • When studying in Canada, the student can also take the opportunity to learn French since the country has French and English as official languages;
  • Canada is one of the top ten countries for immigrants in the world, according to research done by HSBC ;
  • Canada is a safe country with complete health and education infrastructure, which raises it to a high standard of living;
  • The country has beautiful places and world-renowned tourist attractions, such as the CN Tower, Banff National Park, Niagara Falls and Butchart Gardens. So it is possible to study and enjoy your free time enjoying one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world;
  • The seasons are well-defined. In Canada, you can travel with the certainty of what awaits you at each time of the year. The country has one of the most rigorous winters in the world, which can reach -15ºC; on the other hand, the summers are hot.

How do I study and work in Canada?

Canada allows international students to work in the country, enjoying the same labor rights as native workers. The exception is salary, which can be different in some companies according to legal provisions. This is a great way to enter or relocate to the job market. To take advantage of this benefit, students who wish to study and work in Canada must take a course of at least six months. In addition, the course must be aimed at your professional life—for example, marketing, business administration, information technology, etc. 

An interesting fact is that the visa that allows you to work in the country is valid after completing the course for the same training period. For example: if the higher education course lasts a year and a half, the student has another year and a half to continue in Canada working with the same visa after completing their studies.

Before knowing all the advantages of studying and working in Canada for international students, you need to know how this is possible. There are some institutions that the Canadian government designates to offer programs that allow foreigners to study in the country and also gain work experience. See what they are:

College

Colleges are public or private institutions that prepare candidates for the job market. These courses are focused on training professionals following the demand of the region in which they are located. The student will receive a certificate upon completion, usually for courses lasting one year or less, or a diploma for courses from 2 to 4 years. 

The student has the right to work in Canada from the beginning of the course until a period after graduation, as long as they meet specific requirements and is enrolled in a public college. 

However, you are only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week while studying. During school holidays, you can work up to 40 hours a week. Although the courses have a varied workload, if the student wants to immigrate to study and work in Canada, he must opt ​​for full-time courses. This is because part-time courses do not count towards immigration programs or the PGWP (Post Graduation Work Permit – work visa), as we will explain later.

University

Universities have long-term academic courses, such as undergraduate and graduate courses. Unlike college courses, universities focus on theory and research, lasting an average of 3 to 4 years. They are self-managed but may also receive government subsidies. It is essential to know that the academic journey in Canada is quite rigorous and can consume a lot of student time, making it impossible to divide time with work.

Modalities to study and work Canada

Other options are available for students who want to study and work in Canada. They are:

Co-op

Co-op is a kind of internship granted directly with the teaching institution in partnership with private entities. The work is directly linked to the branch of your course and may or may not be paid. For example, if you are a student in the Administration area, your internship will be in the administrative sector of a company. Generally, the courses that offer this modality are a little more expensive, as the student will be able to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom directly in the job market. There’s no guarantee that co-op will land you a permanent job at the company, but it’s a great opportunity to connect with people in your field of study.

Post Graduation Work Permit

  • Students who completed graduation with good grades can apply for Post Graduation Work Allow up to 90 days after the end of studies. Currently, it is only awarded to students enrolled in Canadian government-designated schools. However, not all designated institutions are endorsed to grant work permits. The rules for PGWP eligibility are:
  • Programs over two years: Permission valid for three years;
  • Programs between 8 months and two years: Permission is granted for the same duration as the program (e.g., you studied for one year, your permission will be for one year);
  • Programs of a maximum of 8 months: Not eligible for the PGWP;

If you have completed more than one program, combining both duration, as long as they meet the above rules, it is possible to obtain a more extended permit. Your passport must be valid the entire time you are in the country.

Requirements to study and work in Canada

As we mentioned earlier, a student must first meet some prerequisites to study and work in Canada. As institutions are self-regulated, it should be noted that requirements may vary slightly from institution to institution. The most common are the following:

  • English level: from intermediate to advanced, according to the requirements of the intended course. The proof is done through exams such as IELTS (for English) and TEF (for French);
  • Educational level: evidence of Complete High School. Some cases require a higher education diploma and history;
  • Student visa: required for courses lasting more than six months;
  • Health insurance: Before pursuing your dream of studying and working in Canada, remember to take out health insurance. This is because, in Canada, international students are not entitled to free medical care;
  • Study permit: in this case, the study or tourist visa to enter the country should not be confused with the study permit. In reality, it is a document issued by Canadian authorities that allow foreigners to study at educational institutions in the country.

Why study and work in Canada?

Quality of life

Canada is a country with an excellent quality of life. It even ranks twelfth in the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) 2022, ranking among the most peaceful countries in the world. The factors analyzed to compose the ranking are security, employability, low levels of corruption, and a favorable scenario for business development.

Receptiveness to immigrants

In addition to the above advantages, those who intend to study and work in Canada should consider another positive point: receptivity towards immigrants. This is mainly due to the country’s cultural diversity, which receives many foreigners in search of good professional training.

Possibility of learning a new language

Still, we must mention another advantage of studying and working in Canada, which is the language factor. This is because the student has the opportunity to practice a second language (English) and also learn a third language, French, the native language of some Canadian provinces such as Quebec, for example.

Conclusion

Many have bet on Canada as the ideal destination for work and study. Of course, the student will have to meet the requirements and submit to some rules according to the chosen course. As you can see, the immigration process to study and work in Canada is complete.

Gregory Nyesom

I'm Nyesom Gregory, the Founder, and CEO of Examspot. My love for education and career is the drive behind this blog. I hold a bachelor's degree in Economics and Development Studies. I am an educationist, avid reader, a researcher, and data scientist.