Primary and secondary schoolsSchools that teach students up to the grade 12 level are known as primary and secondary schools. Primary usually means grades 1-8 and secondary usually means grades 9-12.
All primary and secondary schools in Canada can enrol international students.
There are special rules for minor children studying in Canada.
Post-secondary schoolsPost-secondary schools are:
- private career colleges and
- vocational and technical schools.
Language schoolsMany schools in Canada teach English or French as a second language. For more information about private language programs, contact Languages Canada.
Studying in FrenchThere are many ways to study in French across Canada.
- French-language education in Canada has information on schools and institutions that offer courses in French.
- The Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne has information on university programs in French, English, or both.
Designated learning institutionsProvinces and territories approve (or “designate”) schools that can enrol international students. These schools are known as designated learning institutions (DLI).
If you need a study permit, your acceptance letter must be from a DLI. If it isn’t, we will refuse your application.
All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs. You can search a list of the post-secondary schools, such as colleges and universities, and language schools that have been designated.
How to apply to a school, college or universityOnce you choose a school, college or university, you must apply to go there. Every school has different rules on how to apply.
Make sure you apply at least:
- six months in advance if you want to study at a primary or secondary school,
- a year in advance for a post-secondary program at a university, college, etc.
- the cost to apply
- tuition fees
- health insurance
- rent and how much it costs to live in Canada
- language tests.
If the school admits you as a student, they will send you an acceptance letter. You need this letter to apply for a study permit.
Health insuranceThe Government of Canada doesn’t pay for the medical costs of foreign students.
Health coverage for foreign students is different depending on where you live. Contact the school you are applying to for more information about health insurance.