icec study in canada guide

Information for students interested in studying in Canada

Not sure where to begin? We’ll take you step by step in how to embark on your journey studying abroad in Canada. Check out our top resources below so you can get accurate, comprehensive information every step of the way.


Every year, thousands of students come to Canada to study in a variety of postsecondary and higher-education institutions. They acquire valuable skills and knowledge, as well as the enriching experience of living and studying in a new and different environment. When they return home, these students expect that their newly acquired skills and knowledge will be recognized for purposes of further study or for practising their chosen profession or trade.

You should begin with researching the following:

Education system in Canada – types of academic institutions, degrees, application documents, and other important information.
Learn more about fields and programs in demand.
Learn more about study and work permits in Canada.

The resources below by the Government of Canada are a great place to start!

ICEC 22 1200-630(11)
ICEC 22 1200-630(16)
ICEC 22 1200-630(14)
ICEC 22 1200-630(15)

Ensuring that the Canadian program or institution you select will meet your objectives will help you to avoid a potential loss of time and money. Before seeking admission to a Canadian university, college, school, or other type of postsecondary or higher-education institution, it is important to have answers to a number of questions:

Will the studies I would like to pursue at a Canadian institution allow me to reach my goals?

It is advised that you enquire with the competent authorities (e.g., professional organizations, higher-education institutions, government bodies, regulatory agencies governing professions) about the recognition of foreign studies in your country or in the country where you intend to continue your studies or to practise your profession. While no authority can guarantee acceptance of a foreign degree or credentials, it is a good idea to verify the probable value of such a credential before seeking admission to a university, college, or school (in Canada or elsewhere).

How do I find the program/institution that interests me?

A number of provinces and territories, as well as membership associations, maintain databases of the programs offered by their institutions. Some provinces also provide a centralized on-line registration system for prospective international students.

Our Directory of Universities, Colleges and Schools in the Provinces and Territories of Canada, at, lists Canada’s recognized, authorized, registered, and licensed institutions, with links to their Web sites, program listings, and information for international students, when available.

The Imagine Education au/in Canada Web site, a joint initiative of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), at contains information about study programs, visa requirements, and more.

You can see a map of academic institutions, search for programs, and much more on the website here:

The nearest Canadian diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) in your country can also assist you in your search.

You can view articles on Canadian universities’ placement in various national and international rankings such as Times Higher Education World University Ranking, Top Research Institutions, GreenMetric World University Rankings, Corporate Knights Better World MBA Top-40, Maclean’s University Rankings, Employability Rankings, and many others at

toronto-1426205_1920Is the institution/program I chose recognized in Canada?

What is recognition? In Canada, education is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments. Provincial legislation gives universities the right to operate as degree-granting institutions and regulates the establishment of colleges.

To verify whether an institution is recognized or authorized to grant degrees, diplomas, or certificates, consult our Directory of Universities, Colleges and Schools in the Provinces and Territories of Canada, at

Which are the best universities in Canada? There is no formal ranking of universities and colleges in Canada. In fact, it is widely recognized that, across the country, postsecondary programs areremarkably uniform in quality. For a more in-depth study of recognition and accreditation procedures in Canada, see our publication Quality Assurance Practices for Postsecondary Institutions in Canada.

Designated learning institution for international students: To apply for a study permit on or after June 1, 2014 for programs of study of six months or more, you will need to identify a designated learning institution. Read about changes to the International Student Program before you apply for a study permit.

Distance education: Many Canadian universities and colleges offer courses and programs on-line. This means you can get a head start on a Canadian education before coming to Canada by taking one or two on-line courses. If you are not able to come to Canada, you can earn a recognized Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate without leaving home. More information about on-line and distance education is available at


ICEC student resources 1200-630
ICEC 22 1200-630(4)