(From this year, The Indian Express will bring to you foreign countries and universities which provide affordable education. Experts will guide us on how to choose the right institute, the scholarships available, housing costs and post visa permits.)
Studying abroad can burn a hole in a student’s pocket, and with rising inflation and universities increasing tuition fees, the gap may grow much wider. However, aspirants must not be deterred by the cost of studying abroad and should put affordable destinations on their radar. Pursuing higher education on a budget, especially courses like BTech, is possible.
Canada is one of the most preferred countries among Indian students planning to study at a foreign university. Home to 20 top-ranking universities, on average, the tuition fees for an undergraduate course in Canada range from Rs 5 lakh to 15 lakh per year. In addition to this, student accommodation can vary from Rs 1.4 lakh to 5 lakh a year. This makes Canada one of the most pocket-friendly destinations, offering excellent education quality.
While Canada offers affordable education to international students, planning the process can be difficult, especially if students have limited information about studying abroad. Here are a few points students must know to plan their higher education in Canada.
Choosing the right university
Choosing the right university that aligns with your future goals is the first step when planning to study abroad. While affordability can be the defining factor for many considering the financial constraint, students must not compromise on the quality of education. Fortunately, a few of Canada’s top universities excel on several of these crucial parameters.
Additionally, when searching for universities to study in Canada, students need not restrict themselves to one location and can customize their search to several locations. Canada has many territories, and the cost of higher education may vary accordingly. Hence, students must always look out for universities geographically.
Some of the top universities in Canada that offer BTech on a budget are
1. Simon Fraser University – 9.10 lakhs/year; 14990 CAD per year.
2. University of Alberta- 13.67 lakhs/year; 22503 CAD per year.
3. McMaster University- 15.96 lakhs/year; 26285 CAD per year.
4. University of Windsor – 14.96 lakhs/year; 24730 CAD per year.
Location-wise, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and British Columbia are the most affordable and popular cities for higher education in Canada.
Scholarships for additional funding
Scholarships make studying abroad much easier for those looking for higher education on a budget as the overall cost further decreases. The Canadian Government has special scholarships for international students studying in the country.
A few financial aids that students planning to pursue B Tech in Canada can apply to are — Euclid scholarship, Bursaries, CCS profiles, Merit-based and Need-based scholarships, Student Awards, and Financial Aid (SAFA). However, students must meet the respective eligibility criteria to obtain the scholarships.
Study and post-study work permit
Students must apply for a study permit along with a student visa to study in Canada. A study permit is mandatory to pursue higher studies in the country. It is important to know that when checking for the courses, students should also check if the course offers a co-op program (a
program where they can work in an industry related to their field of study). If it does, students must apply for a co-op permit along with the study permit. If the course is a non-co-op one, the study permit should suffice. Being on a student visa, a student is allowed to work 20 hrs/week and 40 hrs/week during vacation, on-campus or off-campus.
Canada allows students graduating from their universities to work in the country. Once students graduate from the university, they will have 90 days to apply for their post-study work permit VISA. This permit is valid for 1-3 years, depending on the duration of the course. While applying for the post-study work permit VISA, students must confirm:
– They have attended and completed the program.
– The name of the program.
– The duration of the program.
To evidence the above, students need to submit the following documents –
– The degree completion certificate
–The transcript of the student
– An official letter from the student’s university.
The work experience that students gain while working in Canada may help them qualify for permanent residency. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, although the initial phase of planning might feel intimidating, especially for students on a budget. However, with proper planning and assistance from experts, students can navigate the seemingly arduous process smoothly.
Where to stay?
Lastly, accommodation greatly determines the overall cost of higher education, irrespective of the destination. There are on-campus and off-campus accommodations available for international students. While they may have priority access to on-campus stays, the cost may be slightly higher than the off-campus ones. On average, on-campus housing in Canada costs around 2,870 CAD/year, while off-campus ones cost around 1,500 CAD/year. So while applying for universities, students must check their fees for accommodation so that they can take a call accordingly.
Apart from these, students must always check for additional discounts on transportation, food, flight tickets, internet, libraries, etc, while studying abroad. That said, part-time jobs and paid internships also help students manage their finances.
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, although the initial phase of planning might feel intimidating, especially for students on a budget. However, with proper planning and assistance from experts, students can navigate the seemingly arduous process smoothly.
The author is Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect.