Study in Canada: The Ultimate Guide

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Studying in Canada is becoming increasingly popular among Singaporean students looking to broaden their educational horizons.

With its robust education system and world-leading universities, it is no surprise that Canada has become one of the most attractive educational destinations for international students in the last few years.

The following sections provide all the information needed to help Singapore students understand the processes associated with studying in Canada!

Table of Contents

Overview of Canada: A Short Introduction
Overview of Canada as a Studying Destination (Tertiary Education)
After Graduation
Other Useful Links and Tips

Overview of Canada: A Short Introduction

●        The longest street in the world resides in Canada
●        The longest coastline in the world resides in Canada.
●        The children’s character, Winnie the Pooh, was inspired by a Canadian bear.
●        Over 55,000 insect species call Canada home.
●        Canada’s national parks are bigger than many countries around the world.
●        Part of Albert Einstein’s brain is preserved at McMaster University.


Canada’s Culture, Weather, and Money

Canada is a vast, diverse, and unique country with a culture like no other. Having been shaped by generations of immigrants and Indigenous people, Canadian culture has grown to include elements from all over the world.

With its two official languages, English and French, Canada celebrates both its past and present cultural influences. The country’s cultural mosaic includes everything from visual arts to music to literature: traditional art forms such as beading and carving remain popular among First Nations people across Canada today, while urban centres boast impressive galleries filled with paintings by local artists.

Canadian weather is both diverse and extreme due to its geographical location on the planet — it experiences many different types of climates throughout the year. The east coast has mild winters with temperatures ranging from 0-20 degrees Celsius (32-68 degrees Fahrenheit) while the west coast is somewhat colder, with temperatures ranging from -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

In summer months, temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Canadian cities located near large bodies of water, like Toronto, can experience humid weather during the summer months, while central cities, such as Winnipeg, are more prone to extreme cold spells in winter.

As of the time of writing, the Singapore dollar is almost equal to the Canadian dollar (.99 SGD = 1 CAD). Given the past exchange rate history between the two currencies, the current rate should remain stable – the Singapore dollar and the Canadian Dollar have been trading at similar rates since early 2020.

The Canadian economy has seen many ups and downs in the past few years. However, with the right economic policies and strategies, a stable economy could be on the horizon in 2023.

This can be attributed to several factors, including a strong focus on developing renewable energy sources and meaningful investments in the technology sector.

Popular Student Cities

The following are five of the most popular student cities in Canada.

  • Montreal

Montreal is one of Canada’s most vibrant and diverse cities. It has something to offer everyone — international students flock to the city each year to pursue their studies and realize their dreams.

Montreal offers an array of options with universities such as McGill University, Université de Montréal, Concordia University, and HEC Montréal being some of the top choices.

With these universities come a range of student services like libraries, cafeterias, and sports centers as well as plenty of extracurricular activities that keep students engaged inside and outside the classroom.

Students can not only benefit from a wide variety of educational opportunities In Montreal, but also everything from delicious restaurants and lively nightlife scenes to picturesque parks and outdoor attractions.

  • Toronto

Toronto is one of the most desired places to study in Canada because it provides a great environment and a wide array of educational opportunities. It is home to over 250,000 post-secondary students who have chosen Canada’s largest city for their academic pursuits.

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with people from all corners of the globe represented.

International students can find peers from around the world and build meaningful connections easily in this diverse atmosphere.

The variety of cultural influences present in Toronto also means there are lots of activities to do during free time, ranging from musical performances and festivals to art galleries and sports events.

  • Vancouver

Like Toronto, Vancouver is a marvellously diverse city that offers an abundance of beauty and opportunity for international students.

Located on the West Coast of Canada, Vancouver has stunning beaches and incredible views of snow-capped mountains.

With some of Canada’s top universities located in Vancouver, such as the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, students from Singapore have access to excellent educational programs that will help them succeed in life.

Additionally, Vancouver’s mild climate makes it a great place to study year-round without worrying about extreme weather conditions.

  • Ottawa

Ottawa is a great research destination for Singaporean students seeking a world-class education.

Home to some of the best research facilities in Canada, Ottawa provides international students with an unparalleled opportunity to access cutting-edge technology and skills.

From major research centres like the National Research Council’s Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation and the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Advanced Photonics to interdisciplinary programs such as the Ottawa International Student Initiative at Carleton University, there are plenty of options available for students who desire specialized training in their chosen field.

Ottawa is also home to many parks and gardens, providing opportunities for students to relax amongst nature and take in picturesque views during leisure time.

  • Quebec City

International students studying in Quebec are exposed to both French and Canadian cultures, making their educational journey a multicultural experience.

The province of Quebec is home to the francophone majority in Canada — French is the main language of this province.

The province’s history has been influenced by both the British and French settlers who lived there for centuries, and as a result, students in Quebec have access to a curriculum that includes both Franco-Canadian culture and English-Canadian traditions.

Overview of Canada as a Studying Destination (Tertiary Education)

  • Canada’s higher education system offers one of the best values for its certification in the world (approximately CAD $13,000 to CAD $15,000 per year).
  • International students can become permanent Canadian residents while studying in Canada (only 2 years of study for full eligibility).
  • Canada offers special programs for international students to find jobs.
  • Canadian is one of the most popular destinations to study among foreign students


Canada is a popular tertiary education destination for many Singaporeans who wish to pursue their studies abroad.

Canadian universities rank among the highest in the world, offering courses in almost every field imaginable. Furthermore, tuition fees are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and Australia.

The following are the global rankings for Canadian universities for 2023 as per the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023[i] and QS World University Rankings 2023[ii].

Currently, the University of Toronto has the highest number of international students enrolled out of all the universities in Canada.

QS Times Higher Education
1)    McGill University311) University of Toronto18
2)    University of Toronto=342) University of British Columbia40
3)    University of British Columbia473) McGill University46
4)    University of Alberta1104) McMaster University85
5)    Université de Montréal=1165) Université de Montréal111
6)    McMaster University1526) University of Alberta118
7)    University of Waterloo1547) University of Ottawa=137


University Networks

In today’s global higher education landscape, networks of universities are becoming increasingly common. Many Canadian universities have taken part in this trend and have joined many of their universities with local inter-institutional networks.

These networks provide a range of advantages such as access to shared resources, collaborations on research projects, and opportunities for student exchange programs.

Through Canada’s university networks, Singaporean students can find and build meaningful connections with peers and faculty members – these networks help make international study easier by connecting international students with like-minded people on campus.

The following are 5 of the most prestigious university networks in Canada.

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (U15)

This network includes 15 research-intensive institutions from all parts of Canada, such as the University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Toronto, and Université de Montréal.

The group aims to foster collaboration between members to promote research and advance higher education in Canada. In addition, they collaborate with government and industry partners on initiatives such as policy development and commercialization processes.

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) is a non-profit organization that represents 97 universities, university-degree-level colleges, and community colleges across the country. It works to ensure the quality of education offered by its members while advocating for students and faculty’s rights.

Since its inception in 1911, AUCC has been an influential voice on many important issues. It actively engages with governments at all levels to support policies that promote access to postsecondary education as well as research funding, international collaboration, and innovation.

AUCC also provides services such as data collection and benchmarking studies on topics related to higher education sectors in Canada.

Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA)

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national organization representing students across Canada. It was founded in 1995 and, since then, has been a proponent for post-secondary students on issues such as tuition fees, student debt, quality of education, and public investments in post-secondary education.

CASA’s mission is to ensure Canadian students receive quality higher education that is accessible to everyone regardless of their background or financial circumstances.

Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to international education. CBIE works with partners in Canada and around the world to promote international understanding, support students, and foster mobility between countries.

Through its programs, initiatives, and activities, CBIE strives to build an inclusive global community where individuals can learn from one another and create positive change.

Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is a student-run national organization representing over 500,000 students at colleges and universities throughout Canada. Founded in 1981, the CFS represents graduate students where they attend school, as well as provincially via its regional affiliates.

The CFS is committed to creating and upholding policies that improve access to quality post-secondary education, lower tuition fees, increased government funding, improved services such as health care and childcare, more academic resources, and better working conditions for student employees.

Areas of Specialisation

Singaporeans hoping to pursue higher education in Canada can choose from an extensive range of areas for specialization, from traditional disciplines such as business and engineering to more specialized studies like marine biology.

The following is an overview of Higher Education Schools in Canada, categorized by specialty:

Business:University of Toronto
University of British Columbia
McGill University
Computer Science:University of Toronto
University of Waterloo
University of British Columbia
Dentistry:University of Toronto
Nursing:University of Alberta
University of Toronto
McMaster University
Performing Arts:McGill University
University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
Psychology:University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
McGill University
Veterinary Science:University of Guelph
University of Alberta


*Not an exhaustive or conclusive list, compiled with reference to the QS World University Rankings by Subject[iii], Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject[iv],

International students planning to study in Canada often wonder which career path is the best one for them and while the decision process may seem daunting, the following steps can make the process a lot easier.

  1. Start by looking at your current skills and interests. What do you excel at? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
  2. Consider how each option would fit into your long-term goals and preferences regarding work environment and job duties.
  3. Look at the salary expectations or potential growth opportunities for each option to see if it meets your criteria for both categories.

Some other questions you may wish to ask yourself include:

  • Does the university I am interested in offer the career path I want?
  • Is the location of the school I’m considering offer opportunities associated with my field of specialization?
  • Is the culture of the university I’m considering conducive to the environment I’m most comfortable with?
  • Is the university degree/certification recognized by the relevant authorities in Singapore?

To find out whether or not your chosen school offers certification in accordance with Singaporean regulations, contact the Singapore ministry associated with your chosen field (e.g., in the case of law, it would be the Singapore Ministry of Law).

Application Affairs & Process

For Singaporean students who are looking to apply to universities in Canada, the application process can be somewhat complicated as the Canadian university system is different from Singapore’s – a variety of academic qualifications and visa requirements need to be taken into consideration.

When applying, it is important to research the various university programs and their admission criteria thoroughly. Depending on the program different documents may have to be provided for assessment, such as transcripts and test scores. It is also important to check if there are any additional requirements, such as language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

Students must also pay attention to the deadlines set by each university as well as budgeting for tuition fees and other expenses involved in studying abroad.

With that being said, the following will be needed to apply for a Canadian student visa:

For more information regarding how to apply, who can apply, and further application details visit the Government of Canada Study Permit Page.

Working While Studying in Canada

In most cases, international students on a study permit may need to apply for a work permit with the Canadian government before they start working.

The most applicable work permit is an open work permit that allows international students to work anywhere in Canada, and any job they like while they study. However, in some cases, international students may need a closed or restricted work permit depending on their occupation or employment situation.

Currently, full-time students are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the semester* and take up more than 1 job if their study permit authorises them. Meanwhile, you can work full-time during academic breaks after you’ve commenced your studies.

*Do note that the Canadian government has temporarily relaxed the 20-hour cap until the end of 2023.


There are many scholarship opportunities for international students wishing to study in Canada. These funds are often awarded as scholarships or bursaries and provide access to an education that might otherwise not be possible due to economic constraints.

The exact criteria for each scholarship vary, but common ones include academic excellence, financial need, community involvement, leadership skills, and research initiatives

To show you what’s on offer, we’ve listed two potential scholarships below.

Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program·         Not a full scholarship

·         Awardees are required to conduct short-term study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions in areas that contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

·         Open to undergraduate and graduate candidates

·         Application period ends in March (annually)

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholarship·         Open to students in year one or two of a full-time doctoral program

·         Field of study must be broadly related to the humanities or human sciences of direct relevance to the future of Canada

·         Doctoral work must relate to at least one of the Trudeau Foundation’s four themes


After Graduation

·         Canadian workers typically get 14 days of annual leave after 1 year of continuous service with the same employer and have a 40-hour work week.


Post-graduation opportunities for international students graduating from Canadian universities are very encouraging.

Singaporean students, in particular, have seen great success when it comes to finding employment after graduation.

  • 68% of Singaporeans who graduated from a Canadian university found full or part-time employment within four months of graduation.
  • 45% of those employed were able to find positions related to their field of study.
  • 93% of employers were satisfied with the knowledge and skill sets displayed by Singaporean graduates coming out of Canadian universities.

The outstanding success rate enjoyed by Singaporeans graduating from Canadian higher learning institutions is largely due in part to excellent career preparation programs offered by Canadian universities before graduation- such preparation programs help equip students with the necessary know-how and confidence they need to enter the job market in Canada.

Post Work-Study Visas

Post-work-study visas are an excellent option for international students who wish to study and work in Canada. Here are the types available:

Post-work study visas in Canada also allow international students to work full-time for up to three years in any field.

1) Post-graduation work permit


·  Validity of 3 years for program that was at least 2 years long

· 59 days processing time for paper application, 161 days for online

·  Your degree/programme must be from an eligible institution

· Must apply within 180 days of graduation (if applying inside Canada) and have a valid study permit


Since this visa is an open work permit, it does not require employers to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring workers.

Other Useful Links and Tips

If you would like more information on tuition fees and visa requirements for Canadian universities, government websites such as Education in Canada will provide you with the particulars you are looking for.

Other links that you might also want to check out include:

Canada is an excellent choice for international students. With its high-quality education, diverse culture, and many cities to explore, the country offers a unique learning experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

International students who choose to study in Canada will benefit from a safe and welcoming environment, as well as a dynamic educational system that provides the perfect opportunity to gain new skills and build relationships with people from around the globe.







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