Canada remains the preferred destination for French students. Passport, study permit, insurance… Here’s what you need to know before packing your bags.
In 2018 and 2019, according to Campus France, Canada has been the preferred destination for French students for their studies abroadwith over 17,000 expats in 2019 and a steady increase in the workforce.
French or English-speaking universities, large cities or small campuses, lower tuition than in the United States, the country has several assets. To settle there, you still need to follow the main steps and fill out a lot of documents… Follow the leader.
1 – Choose a Canadian university, one year in advance
The first step in your preparation for studying in maple leaf country: choosing the university you want to go to. In Canada, international students must enroll at a DLI (designated educational institution).
we have to go about it at least a year in advance and there is an English test expected for English speaking universities. Check with your university’s international relations office: they will tell you the deadlines and steps to follow to apply.
And beware: each Canadian university has its own enrollment dates. Tuition fees average between $20,000 and $33,000 for international students, but it also depends a lot on the chosen province and city. They can be much lower in less populated areas: you can find your institution and program at this link.
2 – Request a study permit
A study permit costs $150 and is required to stay in Canada beyond six months of study. Currently, the time to get it is around 12 weeks and you must apply online. This authorization is not a visa, but a visa may be issued to you at the time of application.
Please note that to obtain a study permit, you will need a lot of documents, starting with proof of acceptance on your DLIproof of identity and financial resources, and a family information sheet.
If you want to study in Quebec, you will also need a CAQ (Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec). Other documents are recommended, such as your English test result, a copy of your diplomas and an explanation letter containing your objectives.
3 – Have a valid passport…
This may seem basic, but it has to be verified! After being accepted by an institution and receiving validation of your study permit application, you will need to prepare your entry into Canada.
You will need a valid passport and you will need to use the ArriveCAN app which allows you to transmit “compulsory travel and public health information before and after your entry into Canada”, specifies the Canadian government.
…and check Canada entry requirements
You will also need to have the visa office covering letter received when your study permit was accepted. (see point n°2), as well as a copy of your establishment’s letter of acceptance.
Another input condition: “Possess an electronic travel authorization (AVE) or a visa corresponding to the reason for your stay (studies, work, etc.)”, specifies the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These are issued at the time of the study permit application.
Among the other conditions that will be verified upon your arrival in Canada, have enough money for your stay, be in good health and, of course, “not having been convicted of any criminal activity or immigration-related offence.” You must also prove that you will be leaving Canada at the end of your stay.
Finally, on the health side, you will have to be fully vaccinated unless you are under 18 — but then it will be necessary to study only in certain establishments, having a rapid intervention plan in response to Covid-19.
The Canadian government advises not to put “any of these documents in your checked baggage”, so you have them on hand when you arrive at the borders.
4 – Take out insurance and notify your bank
In Canada, medical costs are much more expensive than in France. And, especiallyoutside Europe, you will no longer be covered by French health insurance. Insurance is therefore essential and will be required by your university anyway.
Several French insurance companies offer schemes for students going abroad. Also inform your bank about your departure and pay attention to the exchange rate: to date, 1 euro is worth 1.3 Canadian dollars.
5 – Find accommodation before your arrival
Finding accommodation before entering the territory is also an important step to leave with peace of mind and avoid unpleasant surprises. Especially if you want to live on your campus as the process will be done very earlyfor example, from March 1st to the University of Montreal.
know that the fee is relatively large but decreases if you share a room. At the University of Montreal, they range from $412 per month for 8 m² to $776 per month for 18 m² and a bathroom; but worth at least $1,300 at McGill University, $1,000 to $1,700 at the University of Ottawa…
You can also find private accommodation next door or a roommate to cut costs. Prices vary greatly from one Canadian city to another, between 900 and 2,000 Canadian dollars according to the government website dedicated to international students.