10 Best Colleges in Ontario for International Students in 2024

Colleges in Ontario see a huge influx of international students every year. With cities like Toronto and Ottawa, universities in Ontario Canada provide world class education and job opportunities to thousands of students.

Canada, you may know, is divided into ten provinces and three territories for administrative convenience, under the Canadian constitution. Ontario is one of the Canadian provinces.

Located in central Canada, Ontario is the fourth largest jurisdiction in total area but the most populous with over 38% of the country’s population living there. This province is also home to Ottawa, the Canadian national capital, and Toronto, the international business hub of Canada and its most populous city.

So, in this article, we will be looking at…

Why is Ontario good for international students?

In the last few years, Canada is fast becoming the most sought-after global study destination, especially when compared to its southern counterpart, the U.S. Here’s why.

  • Canada has globally recognized top universities and colleges.
  • It is an international commercial and business hub.
  • It is primarily an English-speaking nation, even if French is one of its official languages.
  • It has a wide range of job opportunities, especially for international students. Whether you are a student of Medicine, STEM, Social Sciences, or the Humanities, there are enough opportunities. By distinguishing yourself among your peers, you have the opportunity to be absorbed by some of the top recruitment firms.
  • The Study Permit allows you to work (for a maximum of 20 hours a week) during your course. After that, you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) that allows you to be employed as a skilled worker for a period of three years. The PGWP can be upgraded to a Permanent Residence.
  • Higher quality of life is guaranteed. Canada is known for its tolerant, accepting, and even welcoming attitudes toward immigrants. It is also one of the safest countries in the world.
  • The cost of living is also comparatively lower when compared to parts of the US and Europe.
  • Its multicultural landscape and diverse population make it one of the most hospitable countries in the world.

Why Ontario?

Having looked at the advantages of living and studying in Canada, why is it that nearly 40% of the population chooses the province of Ontario?

The colleges and universities in Ontario for international students are some of the best in the country and also have global reputation and recognition. With Toronto as the provincial capital, it is also an international commercial hub. It also has the largest number of universities and colleges in the country, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to schools and work. Most of the higher educational institutions in Ontario are recognized globally.

Ontario university graduates have the highest employment rate in Canada at 92%. Its location is close to major U.S. cities such as New York, Boston, and Washington which allows for personal and career development through internships, student exchanges, postgraduate studies, and employment opportunities. It is also the safest province in Canada, ahead of British Columbia and Quebec.

The province of Ontario is also renowned for its stunning natural beauty. The lakes, forests, and national parks, along with the diverse topography of the province give students numerous opportunities to explore and seek out adventure. Compared to the harsher climatic conditions of Northern Canada, Ontario experiences all four seasons and is easier for international students to acclimate to. Moreover, Ontario offers more PR routes, such as their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), compared to any other province of Canada.

What are the types of Colleges in Ontario, Canada?

Before we get into the types of colleges in Ontario, let us clarify one thing. In Canada, universities and colleges do not mean the same thing. They are not synonymous and cannot be used interchangeably. The scope, goals and courses in colleges and universities are different.

A college in Canada typically has full-time or part-time diploma courses, certificate courses and even a Bachelor’s degree in certain applied areas of study. It is why you will have many colleges named as ‘College of Applied Arts and Technology’.

A certificate program is one year while a diploma can go up to 2-3 years. The point is a college is more career-oriented than a university. Your course in a college might also include apprenticeships, skill-upgrading and even language training.

In contrast, universities are larger institutions that grant degrees. They confer Bachelor’s, Master’s or even Doctoral degrees. You get to combine majors, graduate with a double degree or with “honours” (fourth year of a typical undergraduate program). A university is typically more knowledge-oriented than career based.

Universities in Ontario for international students

  • University of Toronto
  • York University
  • Western University
  • University of Waterloo
  • Ontario Tech University
  • Queen’s University, Kingston

In this article, we are looking at colleges rather than the universities in Ontario for international students. You can check out the top universities on our Insights page.

That said, colleges in Canada are typical of two types: Public and Private.

Public Colleges are entirely funded by the government of the provinces that they are located in. They are accredited by various higher education bodies in Canada. They essentially represent the community colleges.

Private Colleges, as the name suggests, do not receive any governmental funding. Therefore, it is natural that their fee structure is comparatively higher. However, their student population is much smaller, giving you more attention and an intimate setup for learning. They also offer a lot of vocational programs.

How much does it cost to study at universities in Ontario?

Tuition Fees:

If you are applying for an undergraduate course, you can expect the fees typically to range between 6,000 and 30,000 CAD. The range is so wide, depending on the nature of the college and the course. As mentioned earlier, private universities are more expensive, just like how STEM courses are more expensive than those of the humanities.

On average, a diploma course costs between 9,000 – 15,000 CAD. The fees of post-graduate diploma courses are higher.

Application and visa fees:

The application fee ranges from 70 CAD to about 150 CAD. In addition, it costs about 150 CAD to apply for your Study Permit

Cost of Living:

Even within Ontario, the cost of living is not consistent. Toronto is probably one of the most expensive cities to live in, in Canada while Windsor is one of its cheapest cities.

  • If you are looking at the accommodation on campus, the cost can be anywhere between 3,000 – 7,500 CAD per annum.
  • Off-campus accommodation can also range from 2,500 CAD to 10,000 CAD per year, depending on your choices, roommates, etc.
  • Keep aside about 1,000 CAD for insurance and about 400 CAD for your phone bill.
  • Food will cost around 4,000 CAD per annum
  • Public transport can be budgeted at around 500 CAD
  • Plus, remember to budget for some fun and entertainment.

In total, you can expect to spend anywhere between 12,000 – 20,000 CAD on your life in Ontario, in addition to your tuition. This figure, of course, depends primarily on your choices, spending practices, and such. It does help to talk to some of the international alumni of the college that you are applying to, in order to get a first-hand account of the places that are available or where you can cut costs.

Note: All figures are per annum.

What are the scholarship options for colleges in Ontario?

Looking at the costs involved, it is natural to seek some kind of financial assistance. Most of the colleges in Ontario have the option to provide scholarships/ fellowships for international students. This is particularly more applicable to public colleges, as opposed to private ones. These financial aids are based on merit, need, or both. Many times, simply writing to the college, requesting financial aid is a good way to begin the scholarship application. Let us take a look at some of the popular scholarships in different Ontario colleges.

What are the career opportunities after graduating from top colleges in Ontario?

Choosing to be an international student and pursuing your career goals abroad is an investment. So it is important that we talk about the return on investment as well.

Work permit and Immigration: First, let us get the legalities out of the way. Having completed your course from any of the colleges in Ontario, in order to establish your career, you must apply for a PWGP (post-graduation work permit).

You are given up to 180 days after graduation to apply for your permit. The length of your permit is typically proportional to the length of your course. It can range anywhere from 8 months to three years.

After having gained one year of professional experience under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, or B, you can apply for the PR (Permanent Residence) program.

Some in-demand job roles: According to Global News Canada and Immigration Canada, these are some of the in-demand jobs in Canada. The numbers in brackets show estimated median annual salary.

  • Registered Nurses (CA $76,050)
  • Software Developer (CA $68,000 to $155,000)
  • Sales managers (CA $102,375)
  • Cloud Architects (CA $102,375)
  • Civil, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineers (CA $66,000 to $131,000)
  • Healthcare professionals ($68,000 to $94,000)
  • Digital marketing specialists (CA $62,000 to $122,000)
  • HR roles (CA $75,000 to $156,000)

Top industries in Ontario: According to the provincial government’s website, Manufacturing (especially automobile), agriculture, forestry, mining and the services industry (76.9% of the province’s economy) are some of the biggest industries.

Cities with the most opportunities in Ontario: Toronto, Ottawa, Brantford, Kitchener, Waterloo and Hamilton.

Disclaimer: This video reflects details and rankings from 2023

What are the top colleges in Ontario for international students?

S.N College Location Courses Fees
1 Humber College Toronto A multitude of

  • diploma courses (2-3 years),
  • advanced/ postgraduate
  • diploma (1-2 years),
  • certificate courses (1 year),
  • Bachelor’s courses (3-4 years)
12,000 CAD to 22,000 CAD
2 George Brown College Toronto 14,000 CAD to 20,000 CAD
3 Seneca College Greater Toronto Area, King City, Peterborough 8,000 – 24,000 CAD
4 Mohawk College Hamilton $910 per credit course
5 Conestoga College Kitchener-Waterloo 10,500 CAD to 12,000 CAD
6 Sheridan College Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton 8,000 – 10,000 CAD for its certificate courses
7 Georgian College Barrie 16,990 to 29,200 CAD.
8 St Clair College Windsor 25,000 to 30,000 CAD, including living expenses
9 Niagara College Niagara 15,000 – 18,000 CAD per annum
10 Durham College Oshawa 7,000 CAD to 22,000 CAD.

1. Humber College

The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is what is commonly known as Humber College. Founded in 1967, it has two main campuses: the Humber North campus and the Lakeshore campus.

Source: humber.ca


Etobicoke, Toronto

Why is it good to study here?

This college has over 150 programs – bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificate courses, postgraduate certificate courses, and apprenticeship programs in over 40 fields of study. Their pathway programs are particularly popular. These programs guide you into a specialized degree with a definitive career path. The skill development opportunities here are practically endless.


The annual fees for international students typically range from 12,000 CAD to 22,000 CAD, depending on the course.


Class 12 exams (ICSE/ CBSE or State Board) with a minimum score of 70%.
IELTS score of 6.0 or above or a TOEFL score of 90 or above in the iBT.

Top Courses and Admission Process

  • B.E/ B.Tech
  • The graduate certificate in Business Administration
  • Arts and Media Design
  • Nursing courses
  • Pharmaceutical Management course
  • Hospitality and Travel courses

As one of the top colleges in Ontario Canada providing diplomas, Humber usually gets more applications than the seats available. So, you first need to pick your program and see the availability. Then, you submit the completed application form with the necessary transcripts. International applicants may be asked to submit an ICAS or WES evaluation to check eligibility. Depending on the program, you might also be asked to submit a statement of purpose, a portfolio, letters of reference, and so on.

2. George Brown College

A fully accredited college of applied arts and technology, George Brown College was chartered by the Government of Ontario in 1966. The college has over 160 full-time programs in art and design, business, community services, early childhood education, construction, and engineering technologies, health sciences, hospitality and culinary arts, and preparatory studies, as well as specialized programs and services for recent immigrants and international students.



Toronto, Ontario

Why is it good to study here?

This college, with its emphasis on career, provides intense certificate and diploma programs that are a blend of both theory and hands-on experience. The emphasis of this school is on real-world learning and therefore ensures the interaction of their students with real-world industry professionals. It is also located in the economic hub of the country, providing more opportunities for internships and recruitment, making it one of the top colleges in Ontario, Canada.


At the undergraduate level, the tuition fee ranges between 14,000 CAD and 20,000 CAD. it might go up to 20,000 CAD for a postgraduate certificate course.


Admission requirements differ quite significantly, depending on the country of origin as well as the course. However, for an undergraduate-level diploma or certificate program, you must have finished 12th grade with a minimum score of 60%. Your English score must be over 50% in both standards 10 and 12. For some of the STEM-based courses, a minimum score of 50% in Maths is required. In addition, an IELTS score of 6 or above or a TOEFL iBT score of 85 or above is needed.

Top Courses and Admission Process

The following are some of the top courses

  • BHM
  • BBA
  • Fashion Management
  • Computer System Technician
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Event planning
  • Business Management
  • Marketing Management

Typically, the college takes about 5-6 weeks to process your application. For a course beginning in September 2023, the application deadline is December 2022. It gives you a sense of how much earlier you need to apply.

3. Seneca College of Applied Arts

Seneca opened in 1967 as part of a provincial initiative to establish an Ontario-wide network of colleges of applied arts and technology providing career-oriented diploma and certificate courses as well as continuing education programs to Ontario communities. Over the years, the college has expanded to accommodate thousands of international students as well.

Source: Seneca


Greater Toronto Area, King City, Peterborough

Why is it good to study here?

One of the most vibrant colleges in Ontario, Seneca has a vibrant and diverse learning atmosphere. It is also a world-class college that is recognized globally. There is a huge range of post-secondary programs, both from within the college and as co-ops with other universities/companies. On average, the college gets about 1,500 international students from over 150 countries.


From 8,000 – 24,000 CAD, depending on the course.


Completed high school (class 12)
Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 85 (iBT)

Top Courses and Admission Process

  • Three-year Accounting and finance diploma
  • Diploma in computer programming and analysis
  • Fire and fire-safety-related courses
  • Aviation
  • Hospitality and Travel
  • Engineering

A completed application along with the necessary transcripts must be uploaded to your account on the Seneca college website. An application fee of 90 CAD must also be paid. The college will get in touch with you if shortlisted.

4. Mohawk College

Mohawk College is named so after the region’s ties to the indigenous Mohawwk people. It is one of the largest colleges in Ontario with over 30,000 full-time and part-time students.

Source: mohawkcollege.ca


Hamilton, Ontario

Why is it good to study here?

The college has over 180 degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeship programs in fields including healthcare, biotechnology, business, engineering, arts, skilled trades, and professional services. It is also in a collaborative degree scheme with McMaster University, allowing easy transfer to university education. The college is also a hotbed for apprenticeships.


The international student fee is $910 per credit course. So the fee depends on the number of courses you take.


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma, or the equivalent as determined by the college (12th standard)
  • Or, an applicant must be 19 years of age or older at the time of starting the program.
  • English Proficiency (IELTS/ TOEFL)

Top Courses and Admission Process

Recognized as one of Canada’s top research colleges, Mohawk is particularly known for its technology and health education. There are about 40 tech programs including aviation technology, biotechnology, civil engineering, computer systems, environmental technology, and urban planning, to name a few.

In health, students can choose from 28 programs such as behavioural science, pharmacy tech, medical radiation sciences, expressive arts, nursing, personal support work, and recreation therapy, as well as a new degree program in digital health.

The Mohawk’s business program is also quite successful. With numerous specializations, you can up-skill yourself with any of their certificate programs.

Also Read: How to Study in Canada for Free in 2023?

5. Conestoga College

Another of the top colleges in the Ontario, Canada, Conestoga is known for its courses in polytechnics. You receive one-of-a-kind opportunities and state-of-the-art facilities.

Source: blogs1.conestogac.on.ca


Kitchener – Waterloo

Why is it good to study here?

Conestoga College provides opportunities for students to participate in applied research. You get to work with real-world industry clients and develop solutions for them. This keeps you updated on the latest needs of the industry and shapes your career accordingly. The school also has over 300 programs, giving you a wide variety to choose from.


For international students, the tuition fee is about 10,500 CAD to 12,000 CAD per annum.


Each program has a different academic requirement to qualify for admission. However, a basic minimum of high school education is necessary. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 88 is also required to be eligible.

Top Courses and Admission Process

  • Applied Computer Science & Information Technology
  • Business
  • Community Services
  • Creative Industries
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Hospitality & Culinary Arts

6. Sheridan College

Internationally recognized for its courses in business administration, animation, digital media, and communications, Sheridan has produced many Academy Award-winning animators. It is one of Ontario’s largest colleges.

Source: sheridancollege.ca


Its main campuses are located in Mississauga, Oakville, and Brampton

Why is it good to study here?

Sheridan describes its programs as “purposeful”. They are intense, well-planned courses, be it bachelor’s, advanced diplomas, or certificate courses. The college’s emphasis is on learning outcomes, career readiness, social responsibilities, life, and work skills.


The tuition fee ranges from 8,000 – 10,000 CAD for its certificate courses. Diplomas are slightly more expensive.


  • Grade 12
  • IELTS score of 6.5 or above or TOEFL iBT of 88 or above

Top Courses and Admission Process

  • 4-year animation degree
  • Film and television
  • Community service studies
  • Business and Accounting
  • Performing Arts

7. Georgian College

Its vast co-op program makes it one of the best colleges in Ontario. It has a diverse campus with over 4,500 international students from 80 different countries. Source: barrietoday.com


Barrie, Simcoe City

Why is it good to study here?

The college has a long list of industry and community partners who contribute on an everyday basis to the learning experience. It also offers a relevant, cutting-edge curriculum, quality work placements and co-op experiences with top employers. The goal is to build innovative change-makers.


A diploma from Georgian will cost you anywhere between 16,990 to 29,200 CAD.


  • Higher Secondary Certificate / Intermediate Certificate / Pre-University Certificate
  • Statement of Marks
  • Maths and English credits at the grade 12 level
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Read more about course-specific criteria, here.

Top Courses

  • B.E/ B.Tech
  • Health Sciences and Wellness
  • BBA
  • Automotive Business
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Community Safety

8. St Clair College

With its main campuses located in Windsor and on the shores of Lake St Clair, this is one of the fastest-growing colleges in Ontario.

Source: stclaircollege.ca



Why is it good to study here?

A public community college, St Clair is known for its excellence in applied learning and its state-of-the-art facilities. The college also spends over $3 million on scholarships each year. The number of students choosing St Clair has almost doubled in the last five years.


You can expect to spend about 25,000 to 30,000 CAD, including living expenses.


  • High school diploma and Grade 12 transcript. (Bachelor’s degree transcript if applying for a PG Diploma)
  • IELTS 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5, or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Level 51, Duolingo score of 100.

Top Courses and Admission Process

Health, Nursing, and medicine-related courses are the forte of St Clair College. Their courses on Cardiovascular technology, Nursing, Diagnostic Medicine, and Child, and Youth care are often over-subscribed. Social Justice and legal studies programs also garner high levels of interest.

9. Niagara College

Located in one of the most picturesque locations in the world, the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public college. Every year, more than 7,000 students from this college take part in internships, co-ops, field placements and other such practical opportunities.

Source: niagaracollege.ca


Niagara region, Ontario

Why is it good to study here?

Most recognized for its student satisfaction, this college provides globally recognized higher education for oer 9,000 students each year. The college ensures access to top employers for both placements and networking opportunities.


15,000 – 18,000 CAD per annum for most typical courses


  • 10+2 English (60%)
  • All required courses (50%)
  • TOEFL iBT (including Special Home Edition Test) – Minimum score of 79 with a minimum of 20 in writing and 20 in speaking, OR
  • IELTS (including Indicator Test) – Minimum score of 6.0, with no individual band score under 6.0, OR
  • CAEL score of 60 with no individual band score under 55, OR
  • PTE – Overall score of 57+, OR
  • Duolingo – Overall score 109+, OR
  • Cambridge English Exams (B2 First/FCE, C1 Advanced/CAE or C2 Proficiency/CPE) – Minimum score of 169, with no skill below 162,

Top Courses

  • Diploma in Computer Programming
  • Diploma in Business General
  • Diploma in Business – Sales and Marketing
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management
  • Diploma in Business – Accounting
  • Graduate Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Culinary Management courses

10. Durham College

Sharing a campus with Ontario Tech University, Durham College has made this list for its excellence in multiple disciplines. The school also has numerous vocational programs that allow you to begin your career earlier. The School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology (START) trains in various professional skills such as automotive technology, carpentry, construction, electrical engineering, HVAC, and welding, complete with numerous co-op and apprenticeship opportunities.

Source: durhamcollege.ca


Oshawa, Ontario

Why is it good to study here?

  • Exceptional faculty
  • Renowned placements and internship opportunities
  • Great financial aid for students in need


The tuition fee ranges from 7,000 CAD to 22,000 CAD.


  • Grade 12
  • Proof of English Proficiency

Top Courses

  • Diploma in Practical Nursing
  • Diploma in elevating device mechanics
  • Courses in electrical techniques and automotive service are also wildly popular
  • The college’s course on construction techniques is the only one of its kind in Ontario.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Numerous other colleges of great repute also exist in the Ontario province. You have Boreal College in Sudbury, Centennial College, Lambton College, Cambrian College, Algonquin College, Fanshawe College, and St Lawrence, to name a few more.

Let’s get you into top courses with no stress

Considering the amount of research and paperwork involved to get into colleges in Ontario, it is easier to outsource your application requirements to an expert in the field. Enter TC Global.

A one-stop shop for all your international education needs, TC Global provides an entire range of services from aptitude tests and conselling to help you find the right course, identifying the right colleges, putting you in touch with them, filling in your application, editing your SOP, all the way till your immigration processes.

With our expert Relationship Members and partner universities across the globe, let us help you get into your dream college. Get on board with TC Global.


Getting Started

To move forward with us, download our app or visit tcglobal.com and sign in to create an account on our student platform! 🚀 Once you’re logged in to your platform, onboard with us by giving us some initial information! ✅

Once you’ve done this, visit Calendly.com/tcglobal to pick a Relationships team closest to you and choose a slot that works well for you for an e-meet with our team 🤙🏻🥳

Let’s shape your future together

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