“Yours to Discover” is the slogan on the Ontario license plates, and this couldn’t be more true for international students. As of April 1, 2016, Canada’s population is estimated to be over 36 million. Ontario is the most populous Canadian province with an estimated population of over 13.7 million. Ontario is also home to the largest concentration of Canadian universities and colleges in Canada: there are 21 universities and 26 community colleges with multiple campuses. In the landscape of post-secondary education, career colleges are another group of learning institutions in Ontario. By all accounts, the University of Toronto is the largest university in Ontario. According to one report, the university is the top institution in Canada and ranked 19th globally.
In 2014, Ontario was home to over 143,000 international students with study permits, and more than 43,000 of those students were at Ontario universities. Additionally, once you have entered into an Ontario college or a university and taken courses, there is an established pathway for transfer credits among Ontario institutions.
Ontario has very well established centralized application services for its universities and colleges: Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) and Ontario College Application Service (OCAS). With its six divisions, OUAC facilitates applications for students applying to undergraduate, graduate, faculties of law, rehab sciences, education, and medicine.
Ontario also has vast geography; the province is larger than France and Spain combined! This means its universities and colleges are spread out among large, medium, and small cities. Depending on your lifestyle and intended program of study, students can enjoy what smaller localities have to offer. For instance, the University of Waterloo has one of the world-renowned computer science and information systems programs of study.
As an international student, you can work on campus or at the institution where you are studying without a work permit. You can also work off-campus while being a full-time student and attending a designated learning institution. Additionally, your spouse or common-law partner is eligible to apply for a work permit for the duration of your study permit.
To start the process of getting a study permit, you need to locate your nearest Canadian visa office. In Ontario, and Canada as a whole, there is a well-established pathway for international students to become permanent residents and Canadian citizens. To apply for permanent resident status, some eligible master’s and Ph.D. graduates from Ontario’s publicly funded institutions are not required to have a job offer to apply to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
Finally, yes, Niagara Falls, located in Ontario, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world!