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Levels of Study in Canada

Canada Levels of Study

Canada has one of the highest quality education systems for international students. If you decide to get your study permit and come to Canada, it would be beneficial for you to understand the concept of “Levels of Study” in Canada.

Here are the key information points to consider about Canada’s levels of study for international students.

Primary/Elementary and Secondary School
All children in Canada are required by law to attend school. A child may start school at the age of 5, and continue until they are 16 years old. 

The first level of study is the primary/elementary school, which then progresses to secondary/high school. There are a total of 12 grades in the schooling system. When a student completes all the grades, they are granted with a high-school diploma.

International students who want to get admission to a Canadian primary or secondary school don’t need to look for a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). That’s because all the Canadian primary and secondary schools are DLIs.

Post-secondary Level
After the student has received their high-school diploma, they can get admission to a post-secondary institution (college or university).

Unlike primary and secondary schools, not all post-secondary institutions are DLIs. That means if a foreign student wants to come to Canada to get admission to a post-secondary school, the institution must be a compatible DLI enlisted on the official DLI list.

The level system is the same for native and foreign students. However, as post-secondary institutions require a high-school diploma, foreign students have to demonstrate their native diplomas too.

Going from a Secondary School to Post-secondary School
Primary and secondary schools don’t need to be DLI to host international students, but post-secondary schools do. Hence, if you’re currently studying in a secondary school and wish to change institutions and go to a post-secondary school, you will need a new study permit granted by the IBCC.

Types of Post-Graduate Education in Canada
All the study levels after the 12th grade are considered “post-graduate”. However, there are a few different categories under this umbrella.

If you need a degree in a bachelor’s program, you need to go to a university. Be noted that universities may also offer master’s degrees or Ph.D. programs.

If you don’t need a degree but require a diploma or certificate for a career-oriented program, you must choose a college. Colleges are best-suited for obtaining professional skills like graphic designing, marketing, copywriting, and more.

If you need formal education and training in the field of trading, you need to choose a trading college. Such programs don’t usually grant a bachelor’s degree at the end.

If you want to learn technical skills that can put you in the marketplace directly, you should choose a vocational school. Be noted that such schools can also be present at the secondary level of education.

Associate Degree Programs in Canada
An associate degree is referred to as an undergraduate degree awarded for completing two years of education in a certain program of study. After a student has obtained the associate degree, he/she can then enter a Bachelor’s Degree program. 

British Columbia is the only province in Canada that offers associate degree programs.

Immigrate to Canada through the Study-Work-PR Pathway

Get a Canadian Study Permit
Expedite your Study Permit Application through SDS
Work in Canada after your Studies through the PGWP


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