Basic Information on Canadian Education

  • University: There are 96 public and private not-for-profit universities that offer a vast choice of undergraduate and post-graduate programs, as well as professional designations, certificate and diploma course.
  • Community College: There are over 150 members of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. They are public institutions offering credentials that are sanctioned by provincial and territorial governments. Public colleges may also be known as institutes of technology, community colleges, polytechnics, colleges of applied arts and technology, and in Quebec, colleges d’enseignement général et professional (cégeps). They offer a wide range of education programs in a vast array of technical and professional fields. Programs take from a few months to four years.
  • High School and Elementary School: There are public and private primary and secondary schools. Public schools usually do not provide boarding facilities. They are intended for local students but they also accept international students and provide a homestay program with Canadian families. Many private schools provide residences and welcome international students. In all provinces except Quebec, students may seek admission to university after 12 years (Grade 1 to Grade 12) of primary and secondary schooling. In Quebec, there are only 11 years of elementary and secondary education. Students intending to enter university must first study two or three years at a CEGEP (college of general and vocational education).

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