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International education Canada

Learn about study opportunities in Canada, scholarships, Canadian participation in education events around the world, international education partnerships and Canada’s International Education Strategy.

Services and information

International students

Start your education journey in Canada with everything you need to know about Canada’s education system, educational programs and costs, study permits and work opportunities as well as student life.


Access the International Scholarships Program of Global Affairs Canada to find scholarship opportunities for Canadian and international students and researchers.

Canadian institutions

Work with the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to connect with international partners, access funding and support programs, participate in education events around the world and leverage the EduCanada Brand.

International partners in education

Learn about Canada’s provinces and territories who regulate education, our network of education associations, opportunities to partner with Canadian institutions and courses available for international agents.

Strategy and research

Read Canada’s International Education Strategy and learn more about the impact of international students on the Canadian economy.

About us

Learn more about Global Affairs Canada’s role in international education.

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How Canada's Education System Works


Are you interested in studying in Canada, and want to know more about how our education system works?

Canada is known to have one of the best education systems in the world.

Each of Canada's 13 provinces and territories  runs their own school system and follows government standards to ensure high quality public education across the country.

School is mandatory from about the age of 6 years old to 18 years old.

After secondary school, students may choose between college and university.

Both education systems help students prepare for their futures.

Here's why a Canadian post-secondary education may be a great choice for your future.

At college, students can get hands-on, practical or technical skills training for a specific career.

You can study things like graphic design, web development, culinary arts, occupational health and more.

Colleges often work with employers in different industries to develop the latest curriculum. 

Depending on your college program, you might study anywhere from one to three years.

When you graduate, you'll receive a certificate or diploma. 

At university, students often study in-depth, theoretical subjects, like law, medicine, art history, engineering and much more.

Depending on your program, you might study anywhere from three to seven years.

When you graduate, you'll receive a Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree.

In the province of Quebec, the education system is unique.

After secondary school, you can attend a collège d'enseignement général et professionnel, known as CÉGEP.

There, you may choose a three-year technical program to prepare you for a job in your field, or a two-year academic program to prepare you for continued studies at university.

No matter in which province you study, choosing between college and university depends on your interests and goals.

Consider this: Canadian colleges and universities offer flexibility.

If you study at one school and wish to transfer to another, you might receive academic credit for courses you've already completed. 

Several of Canada's universities appear on well-known university rankings lists.

Some Canadian college and university programs offer co-operative or work-integrated learning experiences where students alternate between studying in class and working in their field of study.

Some people even choose to attend both college and university.

Whatever your choice, Canada is a great place to study.

For more information about studying in Canada, visit

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