Canada is one of the top destinations for Nigerian students. In fact, studying in Canada can be a very exciting experience.
However, the process of becoming a student may not be straightforward if you don’t know the right steps to take. For example, Canada has two official languages: English and French. So, you might have to consider then planning to study in the country. However, most parts of Canada are English speaking. The French-speaking population is in the Quebec province. If you’re looking to study there, you will need to present French proficiency as part of your requirements.
In this post, we have provided a step by step guide for every prospective student.
Study in Canada from Nigeria: Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Choosing A University
There are many factors you should consider when selecting a university, such as tuition fees, location, available course and many more.
Most colleges and universities in Canada are fully publicly funded and accredited. And many of these institutions provide scholarships for international students.
Once you have chosen the school of your choice you can then apply to the school.
Step 2: Apply for a visa
The visa application process is the next step once you have received a provisional admission letter. Usually, the processing time for a Canadian study visa could take up to 3 to 5 months. However, this time frame varies depending on the number of applications received by CIC during that period.
Overall, you should avoid the risk of last-minute visa applications by ensuring that you apply early to the educational institution in Canada so that they provide you with the necessary documents (letter of acceptance), which you will need for your visa application. This enables you to have enough time to prepare necessary documents and meet other requirements for your visa application.
The process doesn’t require a physical interview by a visa officer at the Canadian Consulate when applying for your study permit. However, if the visa officer finds a reason for you to be interviewed, you will be invited to come to their office for an interview but this rarely happens.
Step 3: Finding accommodation
Once you have been issued a visa, the next step is to prepare to travel. Accommodation is also an important consideration in the preparation for your travel plans.
There are several options to choose from but most importantly, staying on campus could be the most convenient if you’re looking to maximize certain benefits such as ease of access to university facilities like the library, halls, clubhouse, and savings on transport cost.
Also, depending on your budget, you can choose to stay in a family’s room for rental or with a host family as most people do. Some students take the latter as the better option as it provides them with the feeling of being at home.
Step 4: Finding part-time jobs and internships
As a student, your visa allows you to work up to twenty hours per week while you study. You can also work during the holidays. There are various part-time jobs available on and off-campus for students.
Additionally, you can choose to stay and work full-time once you complete your studies.
Step 5: Open a bank account
You will need to open a bank account to keep your money safe and avoid having too much cash on you once you arrive in Canada.
Most banks in Canada do not charge a withdrawal or deposit fees. Also, most Canadian trade deals are cashless. Also, you can check with other students to understand which banks they use and compare the benefits and find what fits you.
We’ve also included some frequently asked questions when it comes to working in Canada
1. When should I start planning for my studies in Canada?
It is recommended that you start planning for your study in Canada between 4 months to 1 year in advance. This is particularly important as it could take CIC up to 3-5 months to process an application for a study visa to Canada from Nigeria.
2. How long does it take to secure admission at a Canadian college or university?
Generally, it takes one to two months after completing your requirements and sending your application for you to get a response.
Colleges have a faster turnaround time compared to universities. Also, there is a faster turnaround time for undergraduate programs compared to graduate or doctoral (PhD) programs.
3. When can I commence my studies in Canada?
Typically, the main intake for study in Canada is during the ‘Fall’ (September) session while the other intake is ‘Winter’ (January) session.
The session you choose is dependent on your program and the institution that he/she is applying to. Additionally, there are some institutions (a few of them) may have the ‘Summer’ (May) intake.
However, if you’re hoping to get a scholarship from the Canadian educational institution, then your best bet will be the September intake, as most Canadian universities only consider ‘Fall’ (September) applicants for entrance awards/scholarship.
4. What are the requirements for admission into Canadian universities?
Each Canadian university has its own policy regarding admission requirements. You can find the admission requirements on the school’s website. You can also contact the university directly if you have other questions.
For undergraduate courses, students interested in studying in Canada are expected to have a WAEC or NECO result with at least five/six credits including English and Mathematics. For postgraduate students, a minimum of a Second Class Lower (2:2) with a high GPA in the last two years of their undergraduate studies or Second Class Upper (2:1) is required.
5. Can I do a Master’s program in Canada with HND or Third Class?
Currently, Canadian universities do not accept HND or third-class undergraduates directly into their Master’s program.
In this case, you will need to do a post-graduate diploma (PGD), post-degree certificate/diploma or an advanced certificate in Canada. Then, if you have good grades in the post-degree diploma/certificate program (usually a minimum of B average), you should be able to secure admission into a Master’s program afterwards.
Another option is to use your HND or a third-class degree to pursue an undergraduate degree in Canada, whereby some courses will be waived for you, so you only get to spend 2-3 years to obtain an undergraduate degree in Canada.
6. Do I have to write an English Language Proficiency Test?
Generally, if you’re applying to an undergraduate program in Canada and you have a minimum of a C5 or C6 in your WAEC/NECO result, you may be exempt from the English Language proficiency requirement.
For postgraduate studies in Canada, if you studied at a Nigerian university, you may be exempted from the English Language proficiency requirement since undergraduate degrees in Nigeria are taught in English Language. However, the Canadian educational institution reserves the right to ask a student for a Proof of English Language proficiency at any point.
7. Do I need to write GMAT or GRE for a Master’s Degree in Canada?
There are universities that do not require GMAT/GRE for a Master’s Degree. However, if you want to have more options, then you may have to write the GMAT/GRE, as some educational institutions require GMAT/GRE for a Master’s Degree.