Study in Toronto

University in Toronto
Updated 2019-04-30 14:13

Toronto is Canada's largest city and is widely known for its diversity and multiculturalism. Over 140 languages are spoken in Toronto, and more than half of its residents were born outside of Canada. A very inclusive city with a vibrant culture and food scene, there is a lot to love about Toronto.

Routinely named one of the world's most livable cities, Toronto is the place to be for everyone, students and workers alike. With its many world-class universities, it is easy to understand why millions troupe into Toronto every year hoping to beef up their education and compete globally. Toronto ranks 13th in the 2018 QS best student city ranking and 4th by the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 ranking. Besides the top class education ' Toronto features several unique universities and three globally exceptional universities - studying in Toronto as an international student can also put you on a path to Canadian citizenship as the government's strategy is to retain well educated and highly skilled workers through the university system. We will be exploring what sets a Toronto-education apart from similar education elsewhere.

Teaching culture

Higher education in Toronto like the rest of Canada (except for Quebec) falls into two categories: universities that provide both undergraduate and graduate programs, and colleges that offer technical training and grant diplomas. Universities are under provincial jurisdiction, so what's obtained in Toronto's universities may not be obtained in other parts of Canada. Undergraduate programs are typically 3-4-year programs, while graduate and professional programs can span 1-3 years. Most universities in Canada are public universities offering extremely reputable degrees at affordable costs.

The academic school year is divided into three semesters: Fall (September-December), Winter (January-April) and Summer (May-August), with most students having the Summer term off. Programs typically start in September, although it is possible to enter a program at various times of the year.
Instructors and students in Canada interact informally but with a strong level of respect. In the first years of undergraduate courses, students may not have much contact with their instructors, as classes are often taught in lecture halls. Instructors will have set office hours each week where students can meet with their instructor or contact them online. As students advance through their program, there is increasing opportunities for a stronger relationship and mentorship with instructors.

Canadian university classrooms are usually interactive and friendly with a high level of openness. Professional boundaries are maintained between instructors and students, but it is common for instructors to share personal experiences and get to know their students. Consuming food is common in classrooms and students will sometimes arrive late or leave early.

Teaching language

English is the language of instruction at universities in Toronto, and you will generally have to pass an English-proficiency exam as part of the application process if English is not your first language.

Universities in Toronto

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is Canada's largest and oldest public university. Founded in 1827, the University is commonly referred to as U of T and is known for its research-intensive approach and innovation. The University was the birthplace of insulin, stem cell research, and the electron microscope, cementing its reputation on the world stage.

U of T is ranked 32nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings and features 88,776 students spread throughout their diverse academic programs. Twenty per cent of students at U of T are international students from over 168 countries, and the University prides itself on its diversity.

U of T offers over 400 undergraduate and over 200 postgraduate programs. The university belongs to the world's top 20 universities in Arts and Humanities, life science and medical studies.

The main campus, located in downtown Toronto features lush grounds and a mixture of heritage and modern buildings. There are satellite campuses in nearby Scarborough and Mississauga. U of T has a guaranteed housing program for first-year students in their student housing, and there are many options for off-campus housing in the downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. The University of Toronto has more than 100 clubs and student-run organisations, and an active intercollegiate and recreational athletics program.

Read more about studying as an international student at U of T.

York University

York University was founded in 1959 and is Canada's third largest University with 52,000 students, over 6,200 being international students. In addition to offering Canada's most extensive liberal arts program, York U is home to the internationally recognised Osgoode Hall Law School, Schulich School of Business, and Canada's only Space Engineering program.

Being a newer university, York is known for its cross-disciplinary program and progressive approaches. The university was founded on this collaborative and multi-disciplinary research and education style that sees York U partner with over 200 worldwide universities. York U prides itself on being unconventional, flexible, and adaptable. Students can choose to combine majors and minors to match their intellectual curiosity, allowing students to create a program that fits them.

York U has two campuses: the main Keele campus, located 30 minutes from downtown Toronto and the smaller, bilingual (French and English) Glendon campus in downtown Toronto. More than 4,000 students live in on-campus housing, but mainly during their first year of studies.

Read more about studying as an international student at York U.

Ryerson University

Ryerson University is a university in transition from its polytechnic roots to its current combination of theory and professional learning. Ryerson has always been known as a university where degrees lead to jobs and now with its innovation zones, it is positioned to create jobs.
Founded in 1948 as a response to the need-for-skilled tradespeople after World War II, Ryerson has evolved throughout its years. Thirty-nine thousand students attend Ryerson with 1,100 being international students. Located right in downtown Toronto, Ryerson is an urban campus that connects its teaching with industry and the business community. Lectures are reinforced with field trips and work experience where students can gain and apply real-world knowledge.

Ryerson is a pioneer in the exciting zone learning concept where students have the opportunity to work on real projects, real causes, and real companies across 10 zones. As an example, students have created software for businesses to monitor human rights violations in global supply chains and women's undergarments to decrease dry-cleaning costs. This new model helps prepare students for the 21st-century workplace by giving opportunities for students to develop their creativity and entrepreneurial skills. Students can get involved in a zone that interests them, from fashion to clean air to social ventures. The first business incubator, the Digital Media zone, opened in 2010 and has launched more than 265 start-ups.

Most students at Ryerson live off-campus in either downtown Toronto or commute from less-expensive suburbs.

Read more about studying as an international student at Ryerson.

There are two other universities in Toronto: OCAD University or Ontario College of Art and Design University and Tyndale University College and Seminary (the only private university in Toronto that can award degrees.)

Admission requirements

Admission requirements for international students vary by university and country. If your first language is not English, you will need to complete an English Proficiency Exam. If you do not meet the University's English language requirements, there are English language transition programs that you can enrol in, which range from 6 weeks to 8 months.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or resident and you want to study in Canada for longer than six months, you will need a Study Visa. As soon as you have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian University, you should begin the application for the Study Visa as it can be quite time-consuming. You can apply online through the Canadian Immigration website. To apply, you will need to show proof of acceptance to a Canadian University, proof of identity, proof of financial support, and proof of medical clearance. This guide by U of T provides useful information on study visas.

Tuition fees

While studying in Canada can be less expensive than the USA or the UK, it is more costly than many other countries. Undergraduate tuition for international students starts at CAD 14,000 per 8-month academic school year but varies significantly by University and program. Undergraduate humanities and arts programs tend to have the lowest fees, while Engineering and Medicine are the most expensive with fees as high as CAD 72,000/year.

Scholarships, grants, and bursaries are available to international students studying at Toronto universities. These can be based on academic or sporting achievement and financial need. QS Top Universities provides an informative guide to financial supports available to international students studying in Canada. Canada has a formal strategy to retain well educated and skilled workers through the university system. Both the government and universities themselves provide substantial financial support for students with exceptional academic achievements.

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