Applying to study in Canada is daunting for many international students. There’s an overwhelming amount of information to digest, so it’s not surprising if students feel confused.
At Studee, Our NAFSA-trained experts speak to prospective international students on a daily basis. Students ask a variety of questions in relation to studying in Canada, but certain questions regularly recur.
To improve engagement, it's useful to know what students are asking. We suggest you cover the answers to the following questions on your website and marketing material.
How long is the Canadian admissions process?
International students like transparency. They like to know what to expect and when to expect it, as it helps them plan efficiently. A lack of clarity causes stress and anxiety, and leads to students applying elsewhere.
Provide students with timescales, even if they’re approximate. Explain each stage and how long they last. This will pave the way for a more positive application experience.
Can students work alongside their studies in Canada?
For international students, working in Canada alongside studying is seen as a great way to gain skills, experience and connections.
illustrate the type of jobs international students can do, the likelihood of securing employment and how they can find work.
It’s also sensible to mention any restrictions, for example, if they need a specific visa or if there’s a maximum number of hours they can work. This information will enable students to stay within the rules.
Can graduates work in Canada?
Working in Canada after graduation is a dream goal for lots of international students. For many, the industry skills, knowledge and experience on offer in Canada are unavailable in their home nations.
Explain the graduate employment prospects in Canada. Outline the eligibility criteria and the steps students need to take in order to work in Canada after their studies.
It's vital to tell students what their options are. By doing this, you’ll show you understand them and what they want. They’ll get the information they need, which is helpful. This resonates with students and it can lead them to choosing your institution.
Can students bring dependents with them to Canada?
It’s not unusual for international students to have their own family before they start university. Unsurprisingly, most students would prefer to live in Canada with their family during their studies.
Clearly explain your university’s dependent policy and criteria. Also explain how students can apply, what they need and how long it takes to receive a decision.
By sharing this information, you’ll provide empathy and support, which can be a deciding factor to choose your university.
Can students study without an English placement test?
Many students are unaware that an English placement test (EPT) is a compulsory requirement for most universities in Canada.
Explicitly outline if an EPT is mandatory to study at your university. Also explain which type of EPT you prefer e.g. TOEFL.
It’s also helpful to address any exceptions, for example, whether an EPT is needed if students are from an English speaking country.
How long is the visa process?
International students prefer to apply for their visa in good time, the last thing they want is to ruin their study plans by applying too late.
Tell students how long the visa process generally takes and how early they can apply. This way, students can reduce the risk of disappointment by submitting their application at the right moment.
What can applicants do if their visa gets rejected?
International students want to know if they can challenge a declined visa application. Explain if students can appeal the decision, how they can do this and if there are any financial costs associated with appeals.
Visa rejections can be stressful for students.. Reassure them by recommending useful services where they can get helpful advice, guidance and support.
Do graduates need work experience for a master’s?
Most international master’s students we speak to don’t have experience in the workplace. They think this will hinder their chances of gaining a place on a master’s program in Canada.
Explicitly state if work experience is a requirement to study a master’s course at your institution in the course eligibility criteria. Also state if work experience isn’t necessary.
How do students apply for a scholarship?
Many students dream of studying in Canada but they can’t afford it. If your university offers scholarships, It’s helpful to mention it. It’s also useful to explain the eligibility criteria, application process and how competitive scholarships are to secure.
Will your university help students find jobs in Canada?
Finding a job in Canada is a nerve wracking prospect for a lot of international students. After all, for many, Canada is an unfamiliar environment.
Direct students to your university’s careers advice center if it has one. Clearly explain how your university can help them find work. This will provide them with a sense of support.
We also recommend compiling a careers section specifically for international students, as they’re eligibility to work in Canada will be different to home students.