The education system in Canada is a bit like the Russian one. The stages of education are similar: preschool, primary, secondary and higher education. Secondary education for citizens is free. For talented students, studying at a university will also not require financial investments – the country has a developed system of grants. However, as you know, the devil is in the details. And if you plunge into the study of the topic with your head, it becomes clear that we are talking about completely different approaches to learning. But first things first.

Secondary education in Canada


To begin with, secondary education in Canada for citizens is compulsory and free. A child comes to school at the age of 5–6 and finishes it at the age of 15–16. Training can be extended for another 2-3 years. This stage is optional and involves preparing the student for admission to the university.

For foreign students, secondary education is paid. On average, 1 year costs 10,000-15,000 Canadian dollars [3] in public schools and from 30,000 to 60,000 Canadian dollars in private schools. Despite the higher price, private schools (primarily boarding schools) are more in demand among foreigners. This is explained by the desire of parents to provide their child not only with a significantly higher level of knowledge, but also to solve the migration issue, the problems of living and feeding the child, and control over his private life. In addition, some private schools in Canada implement the International Baccalaureate program, which allows successful students to enter many universities in the world without exams.

Among the prestigious private schools in Canada is Appleby College, located in Oakville, Ontario. Tuition fees here are approximately C $ 60,000 [4] with meals and accommodation already included. Another private school, Bodwell High School, located in Vancouver, is no less popular among foreign students. The cost of an academic year with accommodation is approximately CAD 35,000, and the cost of full-time tuition is approximately CAD 18,000 [5] .

For admission to private schools in Canada, you must provide report cards for the previous several years, as well as successfully pass the SSAT or CAT, TOEFL or IELTS tests [6] . It is also necessary to collect a package of documents translated into English. An oral interview with school administrators may be required.

When choosing a public or private day school, it is worth considering that, according to Canadian law, students with citizenship of other countries are required to have a local guardian and a guaranteed place of residence for the duration of their studies. Usually we are talking about the registration of guardianship by a local family, in whose house the child lives.

The curriculum and organization of the educational process in Canadian schools may seem strange to our compatriots. The fact is that in Canada there is no single educational approach: each province in these issues is guided by the needs of the region, its historical and cultural characteristics. For example, education in the east and southeast of the country is mainly conducted in French, while in the rest of the regions – in English. It is also worth saying that in Canada it is possible to choose a school by gender: for girls, for boys, and also mixed.

Both public and private schools provide special classes for foreign children to learn English or French (depending on the province). Usually, after a few months, the child begins to speak a new language fluently, and after a year and a half, he loses a specific foreign accent and completely socializes.

Higher education in Canada

According to the research results of the British company QS “Rating of countries with the best higher education system (TOP-50)” 2016 (QS SAFE National System Strength 2016) [7] , Canada is among the five leaders in terms of:

effectiveness of education;
accessibility of education;
the presence of world-class universities;
the amount of budget financing and sponsorship investments.
Only this data can become a powerful incentive to enroll in a Canadian university. But far from the only one

Let’s start with the fact that the higher education system in Canada is two-pronged:

College education.
Education at the university for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
College education
It is focused on obtaining special education by students in the applied field: technical, in the field of art, tourism, health, hospitality, management, etc. That is, the task of these institutions is to prepare specialists who are ready to start their professional activities immediately after graduation.

College studies last from 1 to 4 years and include a large number of internships. The program practically does not include academic disciplines. The price per year of study is 11,000-15,000 Canadian dollars [8] .

Among the most famous colleges:

Seneca College (Toronto);
Humber College (Toronto);
Columbia College (Vancouver);
Centennial College (Toronto);
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary);
Conestoga College (Kitchener);
Algonquin College (Ottawa).
To enter college, a foreigner needs:

send an application or fill out a registration form on the website – in any case, you will need to pay a registration fee from 75 to 100 Canadian dollars;
provide a certificate of secondary education translated into English and certified by a notary. By the way, Canada is one of the few countries in the world that recognize a Russian school certificate;
provide a certificate (translated and certified copy) with the results of the TOEFL exam (at least 80 points – for the Internet version) or IELTS (at least 6 points), DALF – for institutions teaching in French. The cost of taking language tests is about 500 Canadian dollars.
sometimes – provide a motivation letter, portfolio, pass a personal interview or pass exams in the disciplines of the specialty in the chosen college, etc.
University studies
The most prestigious and long-term form (3–11 years) of higher education, which differs from the college by its greater academic character. The training is three-stage. To obtain a bachelor’s degree, you need to spend 3-4 years at the university, a master’s – plus 2-3 years, a doctor’s – another 4 years after receiving a master’s degree.

Among the top universities in Canada in 2016 were (according to the British rating agency QS) [9] :

McGill University;
University of Toronto;
University of British Columbia;
University of Alberta;
Universite de Montreal;
McMaster University.

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