130,000 overseas students come to study in Canada each year with even more coming to Canada to learn English or French.

Canadians place great importance on learning, and have developed a first-rate education system with high standards. The country spends more on education (as a percentage of Gross National Product) compared to the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, and is highest among G-7 countries.

Foreign students bring a rich culture to Canadian classrooms and their knowledge and skills are welcomed in Canadian schools.

The Canadian Educational System

The basic structures of provincial and territorial education systems across Canada are similar. Each has three tiers - elementary, secondary, and postsecondary - although the grades at which each level begins and ends vary. All jurisdictions provide universal, free elementary and secondary schooling for 12 years, with the exception of Quebec where it is for 11 years. Education is compulsory to the age of 15 or 16 in most jurisdictions. In Manitoba, it is compulsory until the age of 17 and in New Brunswick, until the age of 18 or graduation from high school.


Student Demographics

More than 1.2 million Canadians are enrolled in full-time or part-time post secondary programs at universities and colleges. Canadian students consistently rank among the best in world on international tests of reading, science and mathematics such as the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment - a testament to the outstanding quality of Canadian schools. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is recognized globally as being equivalent to those from the United States and Commonwealth countries.

VISA Requirements for Studying in Canada