Applying for University as an International Student

By Concordia University Modified on December 17, 2018

Things to consider when preparing for university as an international student


Applying to study in a university abroad can be both exciting and stressful. It’s crucial to plan ahead by outlining all the steps you need to take, to make sure that your first – and subsequent – years of university runs smoothly.

Here are crucial things to prepare for as you plan for your studies abroad:

  1. 1. Visiting the city and campus of your desired destination
  2. If possible, planning a trip to your desired destination is an important first step. Visit the campus and arrange a campus or department tour. We welcome you to join in on one of Concordia University’s campus tours, led by a current student.

    In addition to visiting a university’s campus, get a feel of the city you would potentially live in by visiting different neighbourhoods nearby. Find out if you’re close to pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, clinics and other necessary stops for common needs.

  3. 2. Admission requirements for international students
  4. Each university has a different set of requirements for international students, depending on their diploma equivalency. Find out what the international students requirements are in Quebec (Canada) for Concordia.

  5. 3. Unexpected necessary expenses
  6. Health and dental insurance When you apply for university and get charged tuition fees, you’ll likely be charged for a health and dental insurance plan. With health and dental insurance, you’ll benefit from partial coverage of necessary services such as visits to the dentist, health clinic or the optometrist for prescription glasses.

    However, even if your plan offers sizeable partial coverage, you’ll need to pay for the rest out of pocket. So it’s a good idea to set some funds aside for health or dental-related expenses in advance, to prevent surprise costs.

    Transportation Depending on where you live, you may need to purchase a monthly pass to access public transportation. Montreal has one of the most affordable fares in North America, with a special discount for full-time students.

    Find out how much public transportation will cost in your destination of interest and budget for it. You should also factor in the cost of trips back home, so budgeting for flights or train tickets is wise.

  7. 4. Immigration documents
  8. Get your admission and immigration documents in order!

    Initial documents: When you’re ready to apply for university, you’ll need to find out the specific steps to take to ensure residence in your desired destination. For instance, studying in Concordia’s province of Quebec requires:

    • First, a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec and secondly, a Canadian Study Permit. It’s crucial for you to obtain these before entering Canada.
    • Evidence of enough funds to cover tuition, books and living.
    • Passing the English language proficiency test if English isn’t your primary language

  9. 5. Living and working abroad
  10. As an international student, you’re subject to certain employment restrictions – find out what those are well ahead of your arrival. In Canada, international students can work up to 20 hours a week after applying for a study permit. Concordia University offers plenty of opportunities for students to earn extra bucks. Check out:
  11. 6. Learning a new language
  12. Will your desired destination require you to speak a second language? If so, find out if there are accessible and affordable opportunities for you to learn a new language.