How to fund your studies in Canada- A comprehensive guide

How to fund your studies in Canada- A comprehensive guide

How to fund your studies in Canada- A comprehensive guide. Studying abroad has been the dream of every Indian student owing to the quality education and a wide variety of specializations they offer. Studying abroad also gives better job prospects as Indian talent is recognized globally.

Among the various countries available for abroad studies, Canada is the foremost choice of aspirants, thanks to the student-friendly and immigrant-friendly attitude prevailing there. 

The immigration process to Canada is comparatively easy, and the native population and government are also friendly to immigrants.

Also after studying in Canada, there are plenty of job opportunities to pursue a prosperous career in a highly developed country. And naturally, it has led to the flow of Indian students to Canada, The ultimate student destination.

Many a times, what holds them back is the higher cost of studying abroad.

If you want to know more about how to get an opportunity to study in Canada, it is recommended to read this complete guide on getting an opportunity to study in Canada.

The popular student destinations in Canada are Universities like McGill University, The University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University. The best colleges in the country are situated in cities like Toronto, British Columbia, Montreal.

Which are the most popular courses in Canada?

The most popular higher study courses in Canada would be postgraduate diplomas in areas like Business Management, Media, Engineering, Computer Science and Hospitality.

College or university? which will be better for you?

University degrees do come at a higher financial cost than college programs. For those who would like to obtain their first undergraduate degree, or who are interested in a professional program like medicine and law, universities are a good option.

Colleges typically focus on specific employment skills, career training, and trades. In addition to the specific focus on employability, colleges also tend to have smaller class sizes, with a lower student-to-instructor ratio.

Colleges will be beneficial for students who prefer individualized attention and also provides the ability to engage more directly with teachers. These programs can also provide additional practical experience through bridge-to-apprenticeship training options as well as language and skills upgrading. So college education in Canada can help you with better job opportunities.

Many international students or professionals who are graduates appreciate the shorter certificate and diploma programs offered by colleges in Canada. Especially in the context of continuing education and professional development, college programs can be used to complement a degree from outside of Canada as a stackable credential. Canada also offers one-year programs that make it possible to get PR after 1 year of study. Different programs such as CEC, PNP, etc. serves this purpose.

For your information, 

CEC(Canadian Experience Class)

PNP(Provincial Nominee Program)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program that allows individuals who have worked in Canada for at least one year to immigrate permanently. 

This program is for workers who:

  1. have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
  2. want to live in that province, and
  3. want to become permanent residents of Canada

Funding your studies in Canada

But if you are clueless about how to fund your studies in Canada, you could have a miserable time in Canada. So it is important to know the funding options available to you, before packing your bags. 

How much does it cost to study in Canada?

The tuition fees for studying in the top Universities of Canada are fairly affordable on average, compared to its counterparts in Europe and the USA. The fees range from 2 lakhs to 12 lakhs per year depending on the course chosen.

Should I fully pay for a semester's fee before flying to Canada?

It is advisable to pay off a year’s (2 semesters fee) before going to Canada because we will be able to pay the fee at a discounted rate. Plus semesters get over soon in Canada. So we don’t have to worry about the coming semester fee if we pay off a year’s fee in advance.

Let us have a look at the funding options available…

1. Get an educational loan from bank

The first option that comes into your mind is an educational loan in India. But many find it difficult to obtain an education loan from a nationalized bank. The tough norms like the need for collateral and other conditions make it a cumbersome and lengthy process.

If you’re in need of funds quickly, private banks are the only option available, and be aware that they charge a higher rate of interest than nationalized banks.

It is always advisable to get a loan from a nationalized bank if you are not in a hurry. The smartest thing to do would be to apply for an education loan early from a nationalized bank on the basis of a conditional offering letter issued by the college.

How to check the eligibility of student loans in India to fund your studies in Canada

The general eligibility criteria that are followed by all the banks are as follows…

  • You should be an Indian national
  • You must have a strong academic record
  • You must be seeking admission to a professional, technical, or another course of study.
  • Most banks maintain that the selected course should be job oriented.
  • You must have secured admission to foreign University Institutions.
  • You must be above the age of 18 years or else your parents will have to avail the loan.

Courses for which banks provide a loan to study in Canada?

Those students who wish to apply for the undergraduate, masters, or research programs in established institutions are funded by the banks.

Banks also provide loans for the Student Partners Program (SPP) programs. Nationalized banks generally do not offer education loans for vocational, short-term, or diploma courses. As banks are always concerned about getting the amount back from the student who is seeking funds, they always prefer to disburse loans for job-oriented courses.

Study in Canada - funding options

2. work on freetime or get a part-time job

It’s the most popular way of funding your education after you reach Canada. Salary for part-time jobs can vary according to the work they get. For example, the average salary for a part-time job in Canada is around CAD 22 per hour, But, students are paid for part-time work at around CAD 10 per hour.

Is possible to break a course to pay off your fees?

Yes, of course, unless you are opting for a fast track course which does not have a semester break. Non-fastback courses allow you to work full time legally during this break. The average Part-Time salary in Canada for students is $37,050 per year or $19 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $27,300 per year while most experienced workers make up to $62,985.

This can help you to finance your studies up to an extent. But the Canadian education system gives importance to the course work. The performance of the student is based on his per year cumulative performance on the basis of his attendance, viva, etc, and not solely based on his performance in semester exams. If you lose a subject it would be difficult to clear it later.

It will be very difficult to do a part-time job while studying in college just like students do in India.

Canada has a flexible system in which students have classes with flexible time schedules. ie you don’t have to be full time in college. The classes would be in 2 sessions morning and evening. but it is a good idea to work weekends if you can manage your studies.

2. Opting for an internship

Should you opt for an internship for your course.?

Internships in Canada – better known as ‘co-op‘- is an attractive feature of Canadian education. It is a great option for students who are economically weak. They will be able to fund their education by working part-time and with their stipend.

For those who are lucky enough, an employer may bridge you in after your fourth work term. For those who don’t get bridged in, the co-op provides a little edge when you head into the job world and need to compete with other intelligent university grads for employment. Even some colleges support students to get an internship through their own portal.

3. Get a scholarship

Merit and need-based fee waivers are awarded to international students. Candidate with strong academics, good performance in standardized exams and extracurricular achievements would be eligible for scholarship awards and financial assistance. To benefit from these opportunities, one has to make sure to send all the required documents by particular deadlines. In addition to this, the presentation of the application is also important because one is judged by the image one projects.

Documents required: The documents generally needed for a scholarship application are given below, but the requirements can differ as well.

  1. Academic records and photocopies
  2. A recent CV
  3. A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
  4. Certificate of language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS scores)
  5. Letters of Reference (LOR)

4.Get a student loan


Because most provincial student aid programs are restricted to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, international students will likely need to borrow from a private lending institution or a bank. If you want to explore loans, a good place to start is the Canada Student Loan program.

5.Loans for International Students in Canada

International students can now apply for a student loan without a co-signer if they are enrolled at select Canadian schools. International student loans are offered through private lenders, and each lender will have their own requirements and rules on eligibility.

What is a GIC account and why you need it in Canada?

If you are a student aspiring to study in Canada, then you should be knowing everything about GIC Account. Especially what it is and how to send money to it from India.


GIC or Guaranteed Investment Certificate is a short-term liquid investment for a period of one year offered by Canadian banks with a guaranteed rate of return. It is for Indian students who aspire to study in the SPP (Student Partners Program) colleges in Canada.

GIC is needed for the following purposes-

  1. It serves as a symbol of surety/guarantee to the Canadian government that you have sufficient funds to take care of your living expenses for a period of one year in Canada.
  2. It is needed for easy and quick Canadian visa/study permit application and processing.
  3. To gain a Canadian study permit/visa, students need to submit proof of sufficient funds.
  4. A GIC of C$10,000 from an approved Canadian bank acts as evidence of funds for your Canadian study permit/visa.

Students would have to deposit a fixed amount of money in this account (Usually CAD 10,000 + CAD 200 = CAD 10,200). This money would be released to the student every month for 12 months for meeting study and maintenance expenses.

Canada is an ocean of opportunities for students. If you use it well it can be a big advantage. Happy Canadian life.

Ashin S Anish

Mr. Ashin S Anish is a financial market analyst, certified from the Indian School of Business. A certified Money manager from the University of California, Irvine, Cybersecurity tools, and cyberattacks specialist certified by IBM, Certified in Artificial Intelligence from deep learning.ai, Certified in Portfolio and Risk Management from the University of Geneva and Certified in Microeconomics Principles by the University of Illinois. He is also an avid money manager who believes that you have to be agile as a monkey with money matters...

Leave a Reply