Home Studying Abroad Study in Canada after 12th – Universities, Courses, Application, Working while studying in Canada
Study in Canada after 12th

Study in Canada after 12th – Universities, Courses, Application, Working while studying in Canada

by Dushyant Patni

Study in Canada after 12th – Located in the northern half of the North American continent, Canada is home to a wealth of forests, lakes, mountains and multi-cultural diversity. With both English and French being used by the Canadian government officially, the country is also bilingual. Students looking to study in Canada after 12th have the option of studying in elite universities in one of the most developed nations in the world. A total of 26 universities in Canada feature in the QS World University Rankings of 2020, with 3 of them in the world’s top 50 and 11 more ranking in the world’s top 300!

The following article seeks to provide students with information regarding undergraduate courses, admission requirements, visa and other factors. 

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Study in Canada after 12th – UG Courses 

Undergraduate degrees in Canada can last for 3-4 years, depending on the university and courses. There are different types of institutes of higher education in Canada like: 

  • Universities – These carry out research and provide both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
  • Community/Technical/Applied Arts/Applied Science Colleges – These grant certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. 

Universities in Canada are managed by the provincial governments and as such, they have slight differences in the way they carry out their programs. Quebec is particularly unique in terms of the timing of semesters and the length of study.  

Apply for colleges in Canada in 2020! Read College application deadlines Canada article here.

The following is a list of some of the most popular courses in Canada for undergraduate students: 

  • Management Courses
    • BBA (HR Management)
    • BBA (Finance)
    • BBA (Marketing)
    • BBA (Retail Management)
    • BBA (Accounting) 
  • Engineering and Technology Courses (BE or B.Eng.)
    • Mechanical Engineering 
    • Civil Engineering 
    • Chemical Engineering 
    • Electrical Engineering 
    • Computer Engineering 
  • Science Courses (B.Sc. or BS)
    • Biology
    • Physics 
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
  • Commerce Courses (B. Com)
    • Accounting
    • Digital Marketing
    • HR Management 
    • General Management 
  • Design Courses 
    • Bachelor of Environmental Planning and Design
    • Bachelor of Interior Design 

Planning to pursue MS in Canada? Read the article.

Study in Canada after 12th – Application and Admission Process

In Canada, applications and admissions are handled individually by the university you apply to and the process is generally straightforward. As such, it is important for students to visit the website of the university they are interested in and ensure that they meet all the admission requirements listed there. 

Some of the most common documents required during the application process are:

  • Relevant school completion proof 
  • Academic transcripts
  • Language proficiency results (TOEFL, IELTS etc.)
  • Statement of Intent/Purpose
  • Letters of reference (where applicable)
  • Evidence of extra-curricular/athletic/community service activities (where applicable)

International students should also be aware of DLIs or Designated Learning Institutes. These are schools that are approved by the government to offer enrolment to international students. DLIs are recognized as legitimate institutes of higher education and you will need an acceptance letter from a DLI when you apply for a study permit. You can search this list to find the institutions that have been recognized as DLIs. 

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Study in Canada after 12th – Study Permit and Visa Information 

The most important document before an international student arrives in Canada is a study permit. Some things you need to know about the study permit are: 

  • You must apply for a study permit if you are coming to study in Canada for a course that lasts longer than 6 months.
  • Before you can apply for a study permit, you need to have a letter of acceptance from an institute of higher education that is on the DLI list. 
  • You also need a valid passport or travel document prior to applying for a study permit.
  • You must apply for a study permit as soon as you secure a letter of acceptance from a DLI, as it might take 3 months or more to secure the study permit, depending on the country of your origin.
  • If you need to take preparatory courses before you are accepted into your program, your study permit will only be applicable for the duration of those courses. Once you secure your acceptance letter, you will need to apply for a study permit extension.

Worried about tuition fees? Why not apply for scholarships to study in Canada? Read Canada Scholarships article here.

There are 2 ways of applying for a study permit – 

  • Online 
  • Through a paper application sent by mail which can be acquired from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. 

As an international student who has been granted a study permit, you must:

  • Maintain enrolment at a designated learning institution
  • Make progress towards finishing your study program
  • Respect the conditions listed in your study permit 
  • Stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements 
  • Leave Canada when your permit expires

If your course duration is less than 6 months, you’ll need to apply for one of the following visas as an international student: 

  • Travel visa in your passport 
  • ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)

To find out which visa you need,  you can visit this link.


  • There might be requirements for submission of biometric data when applying for a study permit. If required, you will have to visit a VAC or visa application centre near you to submit the biometric data. Also note that if biometric data is required, you will not be able to submit your study permit application by mail and will have to do it in person. 
  • Canada also recently introduced the Student Direct Stream program, in which students from India, China and the Philippines or Vietnam can apply in order to get their study permit faster. The requirements are the same as a regular study permit, with the exception of language requirements:
    • Score of at least 6 in IELTS  
    • Score of at least 7 in Niveaux Competénce Linguistique Canadiens for French 
    • Graduation from a Canadian-curriculum high school 

Know more about Canada Student Visa here.

Study in Canada after 12th – Financial Requirements

Tuition fees in Canada are generally less expensive compared to other popular study abroad destinations like USA, UK and Australia, however they are still significant. Prospective students can utilize an online tool provided by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) to calculate the costs of studying at different universities in Canada. This will allow you to get an idea of the financial requirements as well as information regarding the documents needed to apply. The tool can be found here

Universities in Canada set their own fees and these vary depending on factors like the course you are pursuing and whether you are studying at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels. According to the latest report from Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada rose by 7.6% for international undergraduates in 2019/2020. The following list breaks down the average tuition fees for undergraduate students: 

  • Humanities – CAD 5,542 
  • Medicine – CAD 14,162
  • Business and Management – CAD 6,827 

The Canadian student visa requirements also say that you must have at least CAD 10,000 on top of your tuition fees as living expenses. This however will vary depending upon your location and spending habits, with metropolitan areas generally being more expensive. Given below are average living expenses in major cities: 

  • Montreal – CAD 14,700 per year (inclusive of accommodation and utilities)
  • Vancouver – CAD 15,500 per year (inclusive of accommodation and utilities)

Study in Canada after 12th – Working While Studying 

If you are worried about the cost of living and wish to supplement your funds through work, you can qualify to work on or off-campus for 20 hours per week during university semesters and full-time during the winter or summer holidays, without the requirement of a work permit. To qualify for part-time work while studying you must:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • Be a full-time student
  • Be enrolled at a DLI at the post-secondary level
  • Be enrolled in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration
  • If you are studying in Quebec, you must be enrolled in a vocational program at post-secondary level.

Your study permit becomes invalid 90 days after the completion of your study program and you will need to apply for a post-graduation work permit if you wish to continue working in Canada after your studies. 

Note: You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada that will allow you to avail benefits and services of government programs. 

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Study in Canada after 12th – FAQs

Q. How do I choose an institute to study in Canada after 12th? 

Canada is home to 26 universities that rank highly in the QS World University Rankings for 2020, with 3 of them being in the top 50. Your decision should be based on your interests, academic background and budget. Narrow down your choices based on these criteria and also keep in mind the intake timings for your preferred course. 

Q. What is the application process for Canadian institutes?  

Applications in Canada are handled directly by universities through their online portals. Prospective students are required to visit the websites and send in their applications directly to the institutes. Many of them have unique requirements in terms of documents required and applicable test scores. 

Q. Which English language tests are accepted by Canadian institutions? 

IELTS or International English Language Proficiency Testing System is the most commonly accepted language proficiency test which is accepted by the majority of institutions of higher education in Canada. However, there are other options like TOEFL and French Language Proficiency tests which are accepted by certain universities. You can visit the website of your chosen institute to find out which tests are accepted by them. 

Q. Do I require a student visa to study in Canada?  

Instead of a student visa, Canada requires prospective international students to apply for a study permit instead. You must apply for a study permit if the duration of your chosen course is longer than 6 months, however you must secure an acceptance letter from a Canadian institute to do so. For visa requirements you can visit this link, which will inform you if you have to apply for a visa along with your study permit. 

Q. Can I work while studying in Canada? 

Yes, international students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during an ongoing semester without having to apply for a separate work permit, if they are enrolled in a DLI. These hours can be increased to full-time employment during the winter and summer breaks. However, these conditions are dependent upon the terms listed on your study permit which will indicate whether you can work on or off campus or if you need to apply for a work permit.

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