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If you have decided to study in Canada, the next step is choosing the right college and course for you.

Where to Study

There are many types of colleges and institutes. Some are formally recognized by governments, which partly manage them and provide most of their funding out of taxpayer dollars. They have a variety of names: “colleges,” “community colleges,” “colleges of applied arts or applied technology,” “institutes of technology or science,” or “collèges d’enseignement general et professionnel” (CEGEPs) in Quebec. Other colleges and institutes are entirely private and are usually called “career colleges.”

Public and private colleges and institutes usually offer programs of study that last one to three years. They issue diplomas and certificates that qualify graduates to work in specific professions within many different fields. These fields include business, computer and mechanical technologies, health, social services, agriculture, trades (such as carpenter, electrician and plumber) and many others. Some colleges and many institutes specialize in a particular field, while others offer a variety of programs across many different fields. In Quebec, trades are offered by school boards.

A growing number of recognized “colleges” also offer bachelor’s degrees and, in some cases, master’s degrees, in addition to college diplomas and certificates.

Choosing a program of study and applying to post-secondary institutions

To learn about different programs of study offered at Canadian universities, colleges and institutes, visit Education in Canada.

Once you have found one or more post-secondary programs that interest you, the next step is to apply for admission. To do this, you will need to get information about the admission requirements and procedures directly from the university, college or institute that offers the program you wish to take. You can also find general information about admissions at Canadian Information Centre for International Students (CICIC)

Admission to many post-secondary institutions in Canada is competitive and you may not be accepted unless you meet the admission requirements. In cases where spaces are limited, you may need to exceed the requirements. If you plan to pursue post-secondary studies, make sure to research programs and application procedures well in advance. Most institutions have firm deadlines and non-refundable application fees for applications, so you may have to apply as long as six months before the program begins.

If the language of instruction in the program you are applying to (English or French) is not your native language, you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency in that language by taking a language test. For general information on language proficiency tests, see our section on Learning English & French.

Most universities and colleges have services that provide extra support to students who speak English or French as a second language.

Source: Welcome to Canada: What you should know

www.cic.gc.caCitizenship and Immigration Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2013.