Want to study in Canada? Here’s what you should do

Welcome to Canada. [Photo: NewYorkTimes]

Are you a Kenyan looking at furthering your education in Canada? James Alan Oloo, an Associate Professor at the University of Windsor in Canada has a complete guide.

Prof Oloo moved to Canada in 1999 to pursue further studies. He has since lived there and obtained permanent residency.

He avers that Canada remains a top destination for international students.

“Canada is a top destination for international students. In terms of quality of living (access to healthcare, safety, etc), it is one of the best countries in the world. Upon graduation, international students have a pathway to remain in Canada as Permanent Residents @CBIE_BCEI,” he remarks.

Data by CBIE Research shows between 2014 and 2017, Canada had a 34% increase in the number of inbound international students.

In 2014, Canada went a level higher to become a top destination for international students. It surpassed education demand in Australia and France.

What exactly do you need to do to make your dream of studying in Canada come true? Here’s a guide by Prof Oloo.

  1. Identify the school you want to attend. Note that cost of living is higher in some parts of Canada and some universities charge higher tuition/fees than others. 
  1. Check application requirements: Some colleges & universities require IELTS (International English Language Testing System). In general, Flag of Kenya students are exempted from IELTS requirement. Confirm with school. KCSE transcripts are honoured. Check if application fee is needed.
  1. In general, masters and PhD programs in Canada are more likely to give financial assistance/funding than undergraduate (bachelor) or diploma programs. Don’t focus on the word ‘Scholarship.’ Assistantship (e.g Research or Teaching Assistantship) tend to be more common.
  1. Applying for admission to the master and PhD program may be more involving. Some universities may expect you to contact a possible thesis advisor (a professor in the respective department/faculty) BEFORE you get admitted to the program.
  1. Once your application for admission is approved, you’ll receive an admission letter from the school. You’ll then start the process of Student Visa application at the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi

Prof Oloo adds that more scholarships are offered for PhD and master’s students than for degree and diploma courses. He noted that most universities abroad charge international students twice the amount they charge local students.

He further opined that the African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program supports young African professionals to become leaders in public policy and administration through funding by the Canadian government.

Also, Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program –builds institutional capacities by training employed nationals from developing countries of La Francophonie.