Education | Education Tips

Studying in Canada: Time-Frame Options for Students

When choosing to study abroad in Canada, it becomes important to choose a time frame that will meet all of your personal and educational goals. Some terms may be better choices than others depending on what you’d like to do. For example, if seeking any sort of credentials such as a diploma or longer, you’ll want to remain in Canada for at least a year. However, if you’re more interested in improving some English skills, you may only need 6 months or less!

Long-term or Short-term Stay Language program at Language School

Length: 1-week ~ (could be more than a year, depending on the school and level of students)
Age: over 16 at most of the schools

Most of the language schools have their program start dates every Monday (except for holidays) so students can set their own program starting date and length of the program. In addition to the regular programs (class 5 days a week + activities after class and on weekends), some schools offer special programs, such as IELTS, academic subjects etc.

Summer or Winter Program at Language School or High School

Length:1-week ~ 4-weeks (you may or may not be able to choose program length, depending on the schools)
Age: usually 12-18

Schools offer special activities for summer and winter. All of the students would be around the same age so it may be easier to makes friends.

Experience/ Trial Local High School

Length: 1-month ~ (usually only Sept-June)
Age: high school

Students can join in the local high schools in Canada to experience local high school life. These are offered in the various seasons for a month at a time.

Completing High School in Canada

Length: 1-semester ~ (for Semester schools), 1-year~ (for Linear schools). Usually 1~5 years. Usually from Septemeber.
Age: high school

Courses students take at high schools in Canada can be credited for high school graduation.**If students are wishing to transfer the credits to schools in their home countries, they must contact both schools before they apply.

College or University ESL Program

Length: 1-semester (4 months)~ (some schools may offer one-month programs)
Age: requires high school graduation

Students can study with other international students who are currently studying at post-secondary institutions in Canada. Lesson contents may include more academic topics than language schools.

Completing Post Secondary studies in Canada after the completion of high school diplomas in their home country

Length: 1-year ~ (certificate), 2-years~ (associate degree/diploma), 3 or 4 years~ (Bachelor degree)
Age: requires high school graduation

The majority of students can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after the completion of post-secondary studies. (Eg: 3 years of PGWP can be issued after the completion of min 2-year program at public institutions) with which students can earn 1 year of work experience in Canada, in order to apply for Permanent Residency status in Canada. Students who already have a degree in their home country may complete a second degree in Canada to apply for PR status too. Students also have an option to start with community college and transfer to a university to save money. Finally, they also may use pathway programs at designated language schools to exempt English proficiency exams.

Take one-year off from colleges/universities in their home countries and study one-year in Canada

Length: 1-year
Age: Post-secondary students

Students have varieties of options of what they can do – studying at language school/ postsecondary school, Co-op/ Internship. They probably need to contact their colleges/universities before they actually take a break, especially if they are wishing to transfer credits earned in Canada back to their colleges/universities in their home countries. For Co-op and Internship, students may need specific visas for each and can choose from many time frames.

Experience/ Trial Local College or University

Length: 1-semester~
Age: Post-secondary students

Students can join in the local colleges or universities in Canada to experience local college life. This is usually for about 1 semester, so about 4 months.

Graduate Studies

Length: 2-years~ (masters), 1 or 2-years ~ (graduate diploma/ certificate)
Age: requires a Bachelor’s degree (in Canada or aboard)

The majority of students can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after the completion of post-secondary studies. (Eg: 3 years of PGWP can be issued after the completion of min 2-year program at public institutions) with which students can earn 1 year of work experience in Canada, in order to apply for Permanent Residency status in Canada. Graduate studies could be one of the options for students who already have a Bachelor’s Degree but are wishing to study in Canada. Lastly, students also may use pathway programs at designated language schools to exempt English proficiency exams.

Working Holiday Visa Stay

Length: 1 year unless specified
Age: 18~30 years old
Students can study, work and travel in Canada during their 1-year time frame in Canada. The working holiday program in Canada is valid only once in a lifetime for each individual. Other restrictions may vary in each country so it is highly recommended to do research before they apply.

All in all, depending on what you’re hoping to accomplish in Canada you’ll need to choose an appropriate time frame. There are numerous options out there such as working holiday visas, graduate studies, ESL programs, 4-year bachelor’s degrees and more! So, before you decide on the time frame and program make sure you’ve determined your goals for your stay in Canada.

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