PURSUING HIGHER EDUCATION IN CANADA
Canada has been a choice destination for international students for decades. Canada’s education institutions have achieved worldwide reputation and their graduates find admission into prestigious higher education schools and employment in Canada or elsewhere in the world. Most universities regularly appear in international rankings, and are reputed for their academic rigor. Students who undertake a course of studies in Canada benefit from a well-rounded education. They are able to explore various classes or programs, and are also strongly encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Since Canada is a bilingual country, many of its universities offer degree programs in English, in French or in both languages. Most of the French speaking universities are located in Quebec. A few French speaking universities are also found in the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Alberta.
In Canada, post-secondary education is usually undertaken in universities.
Canadian universities offer university degrees at different levels: Bachelor (BA, BBA, B.Ed., BSc, BAS), Master’s (MA, MSc, M.Ed.) and Ph.D. The Bachelor degree is usually obtained after four years of study, the Master’s in 1-2years and the PhD. after 5-6 years. Canada counts 98 universities, which offer a great variety of programs in the fields of Engineering, Arts, Fine Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Education and Business. Some programs that include internship are offered in certain universities. These internships are usually referred to as “co-ops“.
For most of the programs in Canada, admission is based upon the student’s transcripts. In order to determine admission, universities mostly look at grades received in 11th grade and during the first semester of 12th grade. For more competitive programs (engineering, business, etc.), additional information (for instance on extra-curricular activities) will be requested. Fine Arts applicants will be invited to submit a portfolio of their most recent work. Students from outside Canada must pass an English proficiency test.
All Canadian universities accept the TOEFL or the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS requirements are different from one university to another; each student must therefore ascertain what minimum score is required for each program and each university to which they apply. Canadian institutions do not require SATs, ACTs ou APs. However, students who have taken them may provide their scores. Students who score a 4 or a 5 on Aps may be able to receive credit for it. All Canadian universities recognize the French Baccalauréat and many will grant a credit transfer for it. Certain universities will allow Baccalauréat holders to start their course directly in second year, thereby enabling them to obtain their university degree in 3 years instead of 4. Other universities will only grant a few credits, which still lighten up the student’s course load in the first year.
Tuition fees vary based on the course of study and the province. Domestic and international students pay different tuition fees. All universities offer scholarships, whether means-based, or merit-based, or even based on extra-curricular activities. Such scholarship amounts may vary between 500 and 5000 Canadian dollars.
Students who hold a French Baccalauréat diploma are particularly advantaged when enrolling in a Canadian university. Having successfully managed the rigors of the French baccalauréat, they are better able to answer the demands of university studies and can transition into higher education more smoothly.