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Canadian Application Guide -how to prepare your application for studying in Canada

Updated: Jan 20

The application process for any country can be long and troublesome if you are ill prepared. We hope to help you avoid that if we can, so read on for our top tips on how to prepare your application for studying in Canada as an international undergraduate student.

Timing is Critical

Preparing an application

Planning ahead is, of course, very important. One aspect of that is understanding when intakes happen in the country you would like to study in. In Canada, there are 3 major intakes per year:

  • Fall / Autumn intake. This is the main intake and the most popular, so if you would like to start studying in September, make sure you get your application in as early as possible. Application deadlines for the Fall intakes are between January and March.

  • Summer intake. For summer intakes you can expect to begin studying in May, and application deadlines fall between January and March.

  • Winter intake. For winter intakes you can expect to begin studying in January, and application deadlines fall between September and November.

In addition, some institutions offer rolling intake sessions, which means classes begin every couple of months. Other schools offer rolling admission, whereby incoming applications are processed as they’re received, and programs close once filled.

Start applying as soon as your application materials are ready. Ideally, start applying nine months before you’d like to begin your studies. This gives you enough time to apply for immigration documents. In fact, to apply for your Canadian study permit, you will need a Letter of Acceptance from the institution where you will be studying, which can take up to two months after the academic application deadline to be issued. 

What to Prepare and When

Discussing an application

With 12 to 13 months to go, start putting your applications together. Below are documents you’ll want to include:

  • To obtain certified copies of academic transcripts, contact your secondary school. Transcript processing times vary, so it’s best to request these as soon as possible.

  • some institutions will ask you to fill out a third-party authorization form. This gives the university permission to look up information about you, or make transactions relating to your education.

  • Start assembling a portfolio of work if you’re applying to a program that requires one. Design, art, software engineering, or architecture programs may request a portfolio.

  • If you’ve taken time off to work or care for your family, you may be asked for study gap documentation. Documentation may include a letter of reference from your employer, pay slips, or a statement.

  • Don’t forget to include information like copies of the first page of your passport, your emergency contact info, and a reference list (if required by your institution). 

  • If your program asks for reference letters, past teachers or employers are great to ask.

  • Give yourself time to work on a personal statement or essay if your program asks for one, as you might create different versions. It’s a great way to share how you’ve prepared for your studies.

In summary, get the process started as early as possible - this will always be an excellent idea. Plan ahead by organizing documents before they become urgent, because if that does happen, there's a good possibility that it's already too late. When it comes to deadlines, I advise people to treat them just like credit card limits - remember that they are limits and not targets!

As always, you can contact us below with any questions about studying abroad :)

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