The Education System in the Canada

Canada is a beautiful country occupying the northernmost region of the North American continent. The country, which consists of 10 distinct provinces and 3 territories, extends all the way from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean. With nearly 10 million square kilometers of land space, Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its southern border, which it shares with the United States, is the longest continuous land border in the world. Canada is a highly developed country, with an excellent system of education. Below we will take a closer look at that education system, and describe the various levels or stages that comprise it.

Canada and Education: Introduction

Education in Canada is a very high priority of the government. The country boasts a state-run system of public education, one that is provided, funded and administered by federal, provincial and local governments. Jurisdiction of the public education system, as well its curriculum, is overseen by each province. As a result, one can expect to see slight variations in the educational systems of each province (the type of programs offered, minimum and maximum age requirements, etc.), but the similarities in those systems far outweigh the differences.
Education across Canada is generally divided into four stages: pre-school or early childhood education; primary or elementary education; secondary education and post-secondary or tertiary education, which includes college and university programs and vocational/technical schooling.
Most Canadian education systems continue up to grade 12 (age seventeen to eighteen). In Quebec, the typical high school term ends after Secondary V/Grade 11 (age sixteen to seventeen); following this, students who wish to pursue university education must attend college.

Structure of Education in Canada

As mentioned above, Canada’s system of education has four general levels: pre-elementary, elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

Pre-Elementary Education in Canada


Pre-elementary programs in Canada—educational programs offered to young children (4-5 years) prior to that student beginning elementary school at age six—are offered by public, private, and federal schools within the country, as well as schools for the visually and hearing

Primary (Elementary) Education in Canada


Primary education in Canada is compulsory for all children, usually beginning at age 6 or 7 with Grade One. Students receive six years of primary education—Grade 1 through Grade 6—typically broken down in the following manner:


  • Grade 1 (ages 6–7)
  • Grade 2 (ages 7–8)
  • Grade 3 (ages 8–9)
  • Grade 4 (ages 9–10)
  • Grade 5 (ages 10–11)
  • Grade 6 (ages 11–12)



Students in the primary grades of education typically study under only one instructor for the entire school year and receive that instruction in a single classroom. Special education programs may also have one to four instructional aides present, depending on the type and severity of the students’ disabilities, to assist the teacher throughout the day.
The curriculum at the primary stage of education encompasses a number of subject areas, including mathematics, reading, language arts (usually English language, but French in Quebec), social studies, history, geography, science, music, art and physical education. Naturally, the difficulty of said curriculum increases somewhat with every passing grade, as students learn to master new skills.

Secondary Education in Canada


Secondary education in Canada consists of two distinct levels: intermediate or junior high school; and high school. Intermediate education
Once students have successfully completed the final year of elementary or primary education, or Grade 6, they are promoted to intermediate or junior high school. Intermediate school is a two-year educational stage, broken down into the following two grades:


  • Grade 7 (ages 12–13)
  • Grade 8 (ages 13–14)



The basic goal of intermediate education is to prepare students to enter the next phase of secondary education, or high school. They are taught many of the same subjects in which they received instruction in primary school, although the difficulty increases substantially. Other subjects are also added to the curriculum in intermediate school, most notably foreign language instruction—French, Spanish, English (for Quebec students), etc.


High School Education

Once students successfully complete the 8 Grade, they are promoted once again, this time to high school—a four year program that breaks down in the following way:


  • Grade 9 (ages 14–15)
  • Grade 10 (ages 15–16)
  • Grade 11 (ages 16–17)
  • Grade 12 (ages 17–18)



The curriculum in all of Canada’s high schools is designed to prepare students for a college or university education and/or provide them with the skills to succeed vocationally once they graduate. Depending on the jurisdiction, a variety of programs —vocational (job-training) as well as academic—is offered at the high school level. Some jurisdictions even offer dual credit courses that simultaneously give students both high school and postsecondary credits.

Post-Secondary Education in Canada
College and University

Once students successfully graduate from high school (Secondary V in Quebec) they are free to apply to the college or university of their choice. In Canada, the term college usually refers to a community college or a technical, applied arts, or applied science school. These schools are post-secondary institutions that grant vocational certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees. Many students use college as a way to prepare further for a university education, gaining transferrable credits that can be applied once they transfer. Other students use college to prepare for a trade or vocation, earning a diploma or certificate that would allow them to immediately pursue employment opportunities following the completion of the program. A university in Canada is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is a corporation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The degree structure at Canadian universities is very similar to that of the United States:


  • Bachelor’s Degree.


A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate degree that typically takes three, four or five years to complete (depending on the province and class availability) for full-time students.


  • Master’s Degree.

A Master of Arts or Master of Science is known as a graduate degree, one that typically takes two years to complete.

  • PhD.

The Doctorate or PhD degree is a specialized post-graduate degree that can take anywhere from 3-6 years to complete.


University students can also pursue any number of advanced specialized degrees in fields such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, and the Law.
All college and university education in Canada is the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories. Provincial governments provide the majority of funding to their public post-secondary institutions, with the remainder of funding coming from tuition fees, the federal government, and research grants. Nearly all post-secondary institutions in Canada have the authority to grant academic credentials (i.e., diplomas or degrees). Generally speaking, universities grant degrees (e.g., bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees) while colleges, which typically offer vocationally-oriented programs, grant diplomas and certificates. However, some colleges offer applied arts degrees that lead to or are equivalent to degrees from a university. Although the college and university system of Canada is very similar to that of the United States, unlike the U.S., Canada has no accreditation body that oversees its universities. Institutions of higher learning in Canada have degree-granting authority via an Act of Ministerial Consent from the Ministry of Education of the individual province.
Only one federally-funded university in Canada possesses degree-granting power: The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). The RMC is the military academy of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Vocational Schools and Apprenticeships

In addition to community colleges, which offer some vocational training, students can also learn a vocation or trade at one of the many private vocational and technical schools scattered throughout the country, or via an apprenticeship program.
Apprenticeships in Canada allow students to learn the skills they need for a given trade by working hands-on in that environment under a qualified supervisor. Apprenticeship training involves a contract between an apprentice and an employer—registered with the province or jurisdiction—in which the employer provides the apprentice with training and experience for a trade. Programs such as these vary in length depending on the type of trade or program, ranging anywhere from two to five years. Registered apprenticeship programs combine real-world experience with classroom education. In most provinces, the classroom portion of the course is conducted during the apprenticeship training, although in Quebec, classroom instruction must be taken prior to beginning an apprenticeship program.
There are over 200 registered trades in Canada, each with specific standards and training requirements outlined by the provinces. In some of these trades, apprenticeship training and certification is compulsory to enter into and to practice the trade.





There are more than 3000 Universities/Colleges in the USA. Please make sure you go to an accredited College or University. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions meets minimum acceptable level of quality. More than a million students enrolled in the US for higher education in 2015/2016 (that represents around 5% of total students enrolled in higher education in the US).


British Columbia


New Brunswick


Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island



5 Reasons You Should Study in Canada | International Student Canada

Canada is one of the top international student destinations in the world. In 2016, 353,000 students decided to come to Canada to study. Here are the top five reasons why you should study in Canada!


One of the biggest reasons students choose to come to Canada is the quality of a Canadian education. A Canadian degree is widely recognized as equal to one from the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom, and Canadian universities consistently do well in international rankings. In fact, in one study in 2016, three Canadian Universities were ranked in the top 50 universities in the world.

There’s a wide array of Canadian institutions to choose from, but whether you attend a university, college, or vocational school, there’s no doubt that a Canadian education is world-class.


Cost is the most significant barrier for most students hoping to study abroad. Canadian international students have to pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. That said, the average annual tuition for an international student’s Canadian undergraduate degree was $16,746 USD in 2014. Compare that to the U.S. ($24,914 USD), Australia ($24,081 USD) or the United Kingdom ($21,365 USD ).

Aside from paying tuition, international students also need to find housing and finance their daily lives. The cost of living in Canada is seriously affordable compared to most other top destinations for international students. In 2014, the average cost of living per year for international students in Canada was $13,021 USD. When you combine the average annual cost of living and average annual tuition fees, Canada is clearly the most affordable option.

CountryAverage Annual Tuition & Cost of Living (USD)
Canada $29,947
United Kingdom $35,045
United States $36,564
Australia $42,093



Even though Canada is a relatively affordable option, there’s no doubt that studying abroad is expensive. Luckily, international students in Canada are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and full-time (30 hours/week) during scheduled breaks like summer vacation. Most students don’t need a work permit to work while they study, whether their job is on campus or off campus. Your study permit will indicate whether you’re allowed to work off campus.


Another big reason why students choose to come to Canada is personal safety. Studying abroad can be scary, especially if you’re leaving your friends and family behind. The Institute for Economics & Peace ranked Canada as the 8th most peaceful country in the world in 2016. Unlike most other countries, Canada is pretty isolated in terms of location. It’s protected on three sides by oceans, and only shares a border with the United States. That distance provides a bit of a buffer from most international conflicts.

Canada has a democratically elected government, and the fundamental rights and freedoms of those living in Canada are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada has a well-deserved international reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society. Immigrants make up a fifth of Canada’s entire population, and Canadian laws ensure that all people, regardless of their circumstance, are protected from discrimination.


When you travel abroad to study, you usually get temporary status in the country you’re studying in. That status usually expires when your program ends, so you have to return home when you graduate.

Canada has a lot of programs designed to encourage international students to transition to permanent residence after their studies. Options like the Post-Graduation Work Permit let graduates stay and work on an open work permit after graduation and give them an opportunity to get some Canadian work experience. Most Canadian provinces have Provincial Nominee streams for applicants with experience studying or working in the province, and Canada’s federal economic immigration streams offer additional points for Canadian work and study experience. In 2015, 51 percent of international students planned to apply for Canadian permanent residence.


Canada is one of the largest economies in the world, so there are a lot of working opportunities for graduates. As a student, you have the opportunity to network with leaders in your field. While you study, or after you graduate, you can gain experience working for industry leading companies in Canada.

If you choose to return to your home country, your Canadian education, and improved language ability in either English or French, could help open doors to working in international companies. Canadian work experience and education are highly valued everywhere in the world, so they could also increase your chances of receiving a job offer from employers all over the world.

If you choose to stay in Canada, Canadian employers tend to prefer Canadian work experience over work experience from elsewhere in the world, so your student and work experience could increase your chances of receiving a job offer!


The Canadim Team’s Study-2-Immigrate program can help you get started studying in Canada. Our dedicated experts will help you find the right program based on your needs, and help you apply to the school. Once you’ve been accepted into a Canadian school, we’ll be able to help you apply for a study permit.

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