Learning in Canada: high quality of life and “American type” universities

Canada, particularly Quebec, has been a popular destination for French students for a long time. There is quality education, organized on the same model as in the United States, but with more limited costs. Presentation taken from the book “Leave to study abroad” by Sophie Collet.

Each year, approximately 16,000 young French people go to study in Canada. A fine score that crowns maple leaf country’s many assets in terms of higher education.

A quality “American style” education

In addition to its culture, Canada shares many similarities with the United States when it comes to higher education. The campuses are gigantic and well equipped, the services are of high quality and the teaching is renowned. Canadian degrees enjoy international recognition, especially in the areas of new technologies, exact sciences, but also ocean studies, natural resources and agriculture.

The studies are organized according to the American model. As in the American neighbour, establishments are divided between “universities” and “community colleges”. The degrees awarded are divided into three levels: bachelor’s, master’s (maître, in Quebec) and doctorate.

To know more, visit StudyinCanada.com, Canada’s official higher education website for foreigners.

Quality of life and sense of welcome

Canada is regularly ranked among countries that offer a very good quality of life. Cleanliness, efficient infrastructure, security, proximity to nature… Life is good here. On campus, you’ll find all of these aspects, with hyper-secure American-style residences and high-tech facilities on green lawns.

Thomas, who is doing his postdoc in materials engineering, works on one of these campuses in Vancouver. Like a good European, he gets a little irritated with this normalized life that seems to him devoid of fantasy: “Here, There are laws for everything! Don’t smoke on the beach, don’t drink in the park… You have to be careful in Canada! Sometimes I think it lacks charm: everything is new, the places have no history…”

But what the young man appreciates, on the other hand, is the hospitality that reigns in the city. 🇧🇷We feel that here the proportion of immigrants is very high. Met some Canadians from Vancouver. My colleagues come from India, Iran, Germany. And on my roommates’ side it’s the same thing! I live with two Canadians, a Romanian and a Hungarian. As a result, people are used to seeing newcomers and helping them. On the bus, for example, the driver gives information, tries to help passengers find their bearings…”

Read too 🇧🇷 Studying in Canada: 7 good reasons to dream about it

measured costs

Difficult to establish an average of tuition fees in Canada, because they differ from one institution to another. Education remains a sector devolved to Canadian provinces and autonomous territories.

While remaining cheaper than their American counterparts, Canadian universities raise their fees for international students. It takes approximately between 10,000 Canadian dollars per year in the first cycle and 5,000 Canadian dollars per year in the second cycle. You will only have to pay these amounts if you go alone. As part of an exchange agreement, you will be exempt.

Life is generally cheaper in Canada than it is in France. To live a year of study, estimates vary between 7,000 and 10,500 Canadian dollars. Thomas still laments that a cheese costs at least $10 Canadian for even mediocre cheddar. “Delicatessen also continues to be a rare pleasure!” he exclaims. With the exception of these very French delicacies, rents, tours, food and services are still more affordable than at home. “I found a large shared room in a house for 650 dollars a month, close to downtown Vancouver”, explains the young researcher.

Enroll in a Canadian university

Looking at the programs, evaluating the reputation of the establishments, obtaining good results in the language tests, studying the importance of the financial impact: enrolling in a Canadian establishment is very similar to the American procedure. The same way, it is also advisable to start the process more than a year in advance.

On the AUCC (Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) website, you will find a university directory with a beautifully designed training search engine – by language of instruction, province or discipline.

Québec heritage

One-third of French students going to Canada choose Quebec. It must be said that practicing French is not the only advantage of the Belle Province.

Enrollment (slightly) reduced

In Quebec, through an agreement dating back to 1978, French students who leave alone (“free movers”) pay the same tuition fees as Quebecers, without the surcharge normally reserved for foreigners. As of September 2015, this is no longer the case: tuition now amounts to €4,100, which is the rate charged to students from the rest of Canada. This is even less important than for other foreign students (between €9,000 and €10,500).

The CREPUQ agreement

The CREPUQ (Conference of Rectors and Rectors of the Universities of Quebec) represents its second asset. It brings together 19 Quebec establishments (including three in English) and around 180 French establishments. Like most scholarships, this program is based on waiving tuition fees for participating students.

If you want to take advantage of it, there is only one solution: enroll in a partner university. Consult your institution’s international relations department.

social protection

Finally, the Franco-Quebec Memorandum of Understanding, a 1998 bilateral agreement on social protection for students, states that French students benefit from simplified social protection at no additional cost.

Work Holidays & Co.

Canada also offers a non-student mobility component, the International Experience Canada, reserved for young people aged 18 to 35, of which the PVT (working holiday program) is the spearhead. in total, International Experience Canada is made up of four categories: Internships, Summer Jobs, CDDs and Working Holidays. Do not hesitate in asking !

To know more, see the website of the Embassy of Canada in France, section “Expérience internationale Canada”.

What are the formalities to enter the territory?

French people do not need a visa to go to Canada. In contrast, for any academic stay of more than six months you will need a study permit, which you will obtain by presenting, in particular, a letter of acceptance from an establishment and proof of financial support. This document is issued in three to six weeks and is only valid for the specified duration of your study period. It costs around €100.

If you are going to Quebec, first you need to apply online for a CAQ (certificat d’acceptation du Québec), which costs approximately €75.

To learn more, see:

• on specific formalities in Québec, migration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca, section “Foreign students”;
• about visas, the website of the Embassy of Canada in France, section “Visas and immigration”.

Finally, To do an internship in Canada, a temporary work permit is essential. You will have to apply for it at the embassy. It will cost you around €160.

To discover in Éditions de l’Etudiant:
“Going to study abroad”,
by Sophie Collet.

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