Canada is one of the most attractive destinations for international students who want to pursue higher education abroad. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Canada hosted more than 642,000 international students in 2019, ranking third globally after the United States and Australia.
Among the provinces and territories of Canada, Ontario stands out as the most popular choice for international students. In 2019, Ontario had the greatest number of international students in Canada, with 233,226 short- and long-term students representing 44.5% of all international students in the country12.
But what makes Ontario so appealing for international students? Here are some of the reasons why you should consider studying in Ontario:
Ontario has a world-class education system that offers a wide range of programs and credentials in various fields of study. You can choose from over 900 programs at 24 publicly funded colleges and over 400 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs at 21 publicly funded universities3.
Ontario’s colleges and universities are recognized internationally for their academic excellence, innovation and research. Many of them rank among the top institutions in the world according to various rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Diversity and Inclusion
Ontario is a multicultural and welcoming society that embraces diversity and inclusion. You can find people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and religions living together in harmony. You can also enjoy a variety of cuisines, festivals, arts and entertainment that reflect the rich diversity of Ontario.
Ontario’s colleges and universities also promote a culture of respect and inclusion on their campuses. They offer various services and supports for international students, such as orientation programs, academic advising, language assistance, health insurance, counselling, career development and student clubs.
Opportunities and Benefits
Ontario is not only a great place to study, but also a great place to live and work. Ontario is Canada’s largest and most populous province, with a vibrant economy and a dynamic labour market. It is home to many industries, such as manufacturing, technology, finance, health care, education and tourism. It is also home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto.
As an international student in Ontario, you can benefit from many opportunities and advantages, such as:
• Work while you study: You can work up to 20 hours per week off-campus during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks if you have a valid study permit3.
• Work after you graduate: You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) that allows you to work in Canada for up to three years after you complete your studies if you meet the eligibility criteria3.
• Live/work in Ontario permanently: You can apply for permanent residence in Canada through various immigration programs, such as the Express Entry system or the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The OINP has a specific stream for international students who have graduated from an eligible Ontario college or university3.
How to Apply as an International Student
If you are interested in studying in Ontario as an international student, you will need to follow these steps:
• Choose a school and a program: You can research different colleges and universities in Ontario and their programs on their websites or on ontariocolleges.ca or ouac.on.ca. You can also get important information about admission requirements, tuition fees, scholarships and financial aid from their course calendars or admissions offices.
• Apply online: You can apply online through ontariocolleges.ca if you want to study at a college or through ouac.on.ca if you want to study at a university. You will need to create an account, fill out an application form and pay an application fee. You will also need to submit your academic documents and transcripts, proof of language proficiency and other supporting documents as required by your chosen school or program4.
• Get accepted: You will receive an offer of admission from the school or program that accepts you. You will need to confirm your acceptance by following the instructions provided by the school or program.
• Apply for a study permit: In most cases, you will need to apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. A study permit is a document that allows you to study in Canada for a specified period of time. You can apply for a study permit at the Canadian visa office in your country or online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You will need to provide your letter of acceptance from your school or program, proof of financial support, proof of good health and other documents as required by IRCC3.
• Prepare for your arrival: You will need to make arrangements for your travel, accommodation, health insurance and other necessities before you come to Canada. You can also contact your school or program for information and assistance on preparing for your arrival and settling in Ontario.
Studying in Ontario can be a rewarding and enriching experience for international students. You can enjoy the quality education, diversity and inclusion, opportunities and benefits that Ontario has to offer. You can also explore the beauty and culture of Ontario and make lifelong friends and connections. If you are ready to take the next step in your academic journey, apply to study in Ontario today!