Things International Students Need To Study In Canada

Are you considering beginning your studies in Canada this autumn? It is crucial to note that certain items and documents need to be organized before and after your arrival in Canada.

These items encompass both personal belongings that you may wish to keep in your home country while you travel abroad, as well as essential items that will prove advantageous during your stay and academic pursuits in Canada.


Required Documents for Studying in Canada:

1. Immigration Visa Documents (I-20):

  • Approval or acceptance letter from the university or college you have chosen.
  • Original passport with a validity of at least six months from your expected arrival date.
  • Medical insurance coverage from your home country (can be arranged through a medical insurance company, doctor, or clinic).
  • Personal photo card (not mandatory but useful).

2. Education Documents:

  • Copy of passport or application form, if necessary.
  • All education documents must be originals. One copy of each document is required (submit a separate application form for each item).

3. Letters of Recommendation:

  • If possible, obtain a letter from someone who has previously studied in Canada.
  • Written reference letters should be mailed directly to the University Admissions Office from a school official or professor who has taught or supervised you during your coursework.
  • Avoid providing specific references that could reveal too much information.

Points to Consider Before Applying to Canadian Universities:

1. Study Duration: It’s important to understand the study duration required by different Canadian universities. While some colleges may have a standard four-year program, many offer two-year programs as well. Consider your time commitment and level of experience when choosing a curriculum. It’s crucial to select a program that aligns with your job experience to enhance your prospects in the labor market.

2. Scholarships: Financial aid is highly beneficial for studying abroad, and Canadian universities are known for their generous scholarships for international students. These scholarships can be awarded by the university itself or by private contributors. They cover various expenses incurred during the study period, providing valuable financial support to students.

3. Admission Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific admission requirements of the Canadian universities you’re interested in. Each institution may have its own criteria for academic qualifications, language proficiency (such as IELTS or TOEFL scores), and other prerequisites. Ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements before applying.

4. Program Suitability: Consider the suitability of the programs offered by Canadian universities to your academic and career goals. Research the curriculum, course offerings, and specialization options available in your desired field of study. This will help you make an informed decision and choose a program that aligns with your interests and future aspirations.

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5. Cost of Living and Tuition Fees: Take into account the cost of living in Canada, including accommodation, transportation, healthcare, and daily expenses. Additionally, research the tuition fees for international students at various universities. It’s essential to have a realistic understanding of the financial obligations associated with studying in Canada and plan accordingly.

6. Campus and Student Life: Explore the campus facilities, extracurricular activities, and student support services provided by Canadian universities. Consider factors such as the campus size, location, student organizations, cultural diversity, and opportunities for personal and professional development. A vibrant and supportive campus environment can greatly enhance your overall university experience.

7. Research Opportunities: If you are interested in research, look into the research opportunities available at Canadian universities. Consider the faculty expertise, research grants, and ongoing projects in your field of interest. Engaging in research can provide valuable hands-on experience and contribute to your academic and professional growth.

Remember to thoroughly research and consider these factors to make an informed decision when applying to Canadian universities. It’s essential to choose a university and program that best aligns with your academic, career, and personal goals.

Job Search Support:

Many Canadian colleges have dedicated offices that provide job search assistance to international students. What makes it even better is that once you complete your studies, any job you secure is considered permanent. When selecting a university in Canada, it is advisable to consider options that offer affordable housing choices, as not all universities provide this option.

Acknowledgements: When filling out your application form, it is important to indicate your intention to apply for Canadian permanent residency upon completion of your degree program. Obtaining permanent residency in Canada is relatively straightforward compared to other countries. However, it is worth noting that the process may require additional time if you choose to apply immediately after completing your studies.

Essential Items to Pack:

When preparing for your study trip to Canada, it is advisable to pack a few essential items. While some items may not be necessary as they can be easily acquired from Canadian stores, it’s still important to have certain items with you before leaving home. These may include:

1. Prescription Medications: Ensure you have an ample supply of any prescription medications you require, as well as copies of relevant prescriptions or medical documents.

2. Extra Clothing: Pack additional clothing suitable for different weather conditions, as Canada experiences varying climates throughout the year. This will ensure you are prepared for different seasons and temperature changes.

3. Personal Hygiene Products: Bring along necessary personal hygiene items such as toiletries, towels, and any specific products you prefer to use, especially if you have specific preferences or requirements.

4. Important Documents: Carry essential documents such as your passport, visa, acceptance letter from the university, and any other relevant identification or official paperwork.

5. Electronics and Adapters: If you plan to bring electronic devices like laptops, smartphones, or tablets, ensure you have the appropriate power adapters and chargers that are compatible with Canadian electrical outlets.

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6. Personal Belongings: Pack any personal belongings that hold sentimental value or are important to you, as these may not be easily replaceable or available in Canadian stores.

While many items can be purchased from local Canadian stores or online retailers, it’s advisable to bring along any specific or unique items you may require or prefer. This ensures that you have everything you need during your initial transition period and allows you to settle in comfortably.

Prominent Scholarships for African Students in North America:

There are abundant scholarship opportunities available for international students, including those from Africa, in the United States, Canada, and other North American countries. These developed nations offer various financial aid options to support students from around the world.

Studying in countries like the United States or Canada provides significant advantages for students, particularly those from Africa, who seek expanded academic opportunities. In this post, we will focus on scholarships, how to apply for them, and explore some countries that offer greater educational prospects than their home countries.

Please note that scholarship offerings may vary over time, and it is essential to conduct thorough research and verify the latest information from reliable sources. Additionally, individual scholarship requirements, eligibility criteria, and application procedures may differ. It is recommended to visit the official websites of scholarship programs for comprehensive details.

Here are some prominent scholarships available in North America for African students:

1. Fulbright Foreign Student Program (United States):

  • The Fulbright program offers scholarships for graduate study in the United States.
  • It provides funding for tuition, living expenses, and health insurance, among other benefits.
  • African students can pursue various fields of study at U.S. universities through this prestigious program.

2. African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholarship Program (Canada):

  • The ALT Scholarship Program supports African professionals pursuing post-secondary studies in Canada.
  • It focuses on areas such as public administration, public policy, and public finance.
  • The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel expenses, living allowances, and more.

3. Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (Multiple Countries):

  • This program provides comprehensive scholarships for academically talented African students to study at partner universities in the United States, Canada, and other countries.
  • It supports both undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields of study.
  • The scholarship covers tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other necessary expenses.

4. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program (Multiple Countries):

  • The Aga Khan Foundation offers scholarships to outstanding students from developing countries, including African nations.
  • It supports postgraduate studies at universities around the world, including North American institutions.
  • The scholarship includes tuition fees, living expenses, and travel grants.

These are just a few examples of the many scholarships available for African students in North America. It’s important to explore other scholarship programs specific to your field of study, university preferences, and country of interest. Additionally, consider researching scholarship opportunities offered by universities and government organizations in Canada, the United States, and other North American nations.

Remember to carefully review the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and required documentation for each scholarship. Start your scholarship search early and prepare a strong application to increase your chances of success in securing funding for your academic pursuits in North America.

Countries in North America Offering Enhanced Study Opportunities:

1. United States of America

  • The United States hosts numerous institutions that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs across various academic disciplines, including education, health sciences, natural sciences, arts, and more.
  • Many universities in the U.S. provide full or partial scholarships to international students who meet the requirements and criteria established by the respective institutions.
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2. Canada

  • Canada is known for providing excellent study opportunities to international students. Several Canadian institutions offer full or partial scholarships to international students with a high school diploma or relevant work experience.
  • This allows students to fund their education without being burdened by tuition costs, with the focus shifting to covering living expenses such as housing, food, and travel.

3. Mexico:

  • Mexico is becoming an attractive destination for international students seeking study opportunities in North America.
  • Many universities in Mexico have scholarship programs specifically designed for non-Mexican students from low-income families who aspire to pursue their education in the country.
  • These scholarships can assist students with tuition, housing, and meal expenses, and are awarded based on merit or financial need.

It is worth noting that each country offers distinct advantages and study opportunities. The United States and Canada have a wide range of universities and programs to choose from, while Mexico provides unique scholarship programs tailored to the needs of international students.

When considering studying in any of these countries, it is crucial to research specific universities, their scholarship offerings, admission requirements, and the overall academic environment to make an informed decision that aligns with your educational goals and personal preferences.

Top Scholarships in North America for African Students:

1. Fulbright Scholarship

  • This prestigious scholarship is awarded to academically outstanding high school students with leadership abilities.
  • Applicants must be admitted to a university or higher education institution in the United States or other qualifying nations such as Canada or Mexico.
  • Completion of an undergraduate degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or above on a scale of 4.0 is required.
  • Application deadline: May 31st.

2. Mastercard Foundation Scholarships for African Students

  • This scholarship is open to both women and men from Africa who wish to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at a recognized institution in Canada, the United States, or other eligible countries.
  • Applicants attending schools in qualifying nations, including Canada, the United States, or Mexico, are eligible to apply.
  • Successful candidates must complete their undergraduate degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above on a scale of 4.0.
  • Application deadline: March 1st.

3. Liberal Arts Undergraduate Excellence Awards:

  • These scholarships target undergraduate students commencing their first year of college in the United States or Canada.
  • Recipients of the awards must complete their undergraduate degrees with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or above on a scale of 4.0.
  • Application deadline: May 31st.

It’s important to note that these scholarships provide exceptional opportunities for African students pursuing higher education in North America. However, it is advisable to check the specific eligibility criteria, application requirements, and deadlines for each scholarship program. Conduct thorough research and visit the official websites for comprehensive information.

Remember to plan and prepare well in advance to maximize your chances of securing these scholarships. Pay attention to document requirements, essay submissions, letters of recommendation, and any additional materials needed. Good luck with your scholarship applications and future academic endeavors!

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