How to Choose a College in Canada: Tips for International Students

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for students who want to live and learn abroad. In fact, it ranked as the number one choice among international students for two years running.

Colleges across the country offer a wide range of quality programs that can help you develop new skills and prepare for new career opportunities.

Plus, college programs tend to be shorter and more affordable than university programs. If you want streamlined training that can get you job-ready quickly, college is an excellent choice.

But there are so many colleges in Canada to choose from. How can you find the right fit?

Here are some helpful tips on what to look for.

1. RECOGNITION AS A DESIGNATED LEARNING INSTITUTION

If you’re not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you’ll need a study permit. And you can only qualify for a study permit if you have an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI).

A DLI is a school that’s been approved by the provincial government to accept international students.

Your options for DLIs include universities, vocational schools, language schools, and private career colleges. Make sure the institution you’re considering is on this list from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

 

2. RESPONSIVE AND SUPPORTIVE STAFF

If you’re travelling across the world for your education, you want to make sure the college staff will be there to address your questions and concerns.

Look for a school that offers personalized support with everything from course selection and admissions requirements to the process of applying for a visa and settling in Canada.

When Sergkei Theocharis came from Greece to study in Montreal, he wanted training in interior design. He’d worked as a freelance designer in Greece, but he needed to expand his knowledge of building codes and design software.

He chose Herzing College because the staff made the whole process quick and easy.

“I first discovered Herzing online, just by Googling interior design colleges. When I inquired, I found the admissions staff was super positive and helpful—and the process was very quick. With other schools, it was more difficult and confusing.”

 

3. FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

Do you have to fit your training around work or family commitments? Then you’ll want to look for a college that lets you choose daytime, evening, or online classes.

Some colleges even offer a hybrid option, where you can study online but also come to campus to use the facilities or chat with the instructor.

Sergkei says convenience and flexibility were key factors that convinced him to go with Herzing College.

“Class hours were good and worked well with my schedule. Plus, Herzing was conveniently located in downtown Montreal.”

 

4. OPPORTUNITIES FOR REAL WORK EXPERIENCE

Don’t underestimate the value of hands-on experience.

Colleges that provide co-ops or internships give international students like you the chance to apply your skills and learn how the Canadian labour market works, even before you graduate.

Having some Canadian work experience on your resume will make you more appealing to potential employers. It can help bridge the gap between training and employment.

Be sure to check if the institution will arrange the work placement or if you’re expected to do that yourself.

At Herzing College Montreal, all of our international student programs include guaranteed internships. And many students get job offers directly from their work placements.

 

5. A HIGH GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT RATE

The whole point of taking a college program is to help you qualify for a job. So it’s important to choose a college that produces graduates employers actually want to hire.

Every school has data on what percentage of students find jobs after completing their training. This is called the graduate employment rate.

A rate of 80% or higher is a good indication that companies trust the quality of the institution’s programs.

Not all schools post the graduate employment rate on their website. If you can’t find it, be sure to ask admissions directly.

 

6. ELIGIBILITY FOR THE POST-GRADUATION WORK PERMIT

The post-graduation work permit (PGWP) gives international students who graduate from Canadian institutions the ability to work for almost any employer in the country.

To be eligible for the PGWP, you must complete a recognized program at a designated learning institution. But not all DLIs or programs are eligible for the PGWP, so it’s important to check.

All programs at Herzing College Montreal qualify for the post-graduation work permit. That means successful students are eligible for (though not guaranteed to get) a PGWP.

 

LOOKING TO STUDY IN MONTREAL?

Herzing College Montreal is a designated learning institution that welcomes hundreds of international students each year.

You can choose from a wide range of career-focused programs in business, technology, design, and education. All are led by experienced instructors and include internships for real work experience.

Click below to learn more about us and the programs we offer.

Explore All Programs at Herzing College Montreal

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