Top 10 Colleges in Canada for International Students in 2023

When it comes to studying abroad, many students pick Canada as their first choice.

According to the latest data from the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the number of international students studying in Canada has been steadily increasing over the past few years, reaching over 350000 students in 2023.This rise in numbers is contributed by the fact that Canada has some of the best universities with expert faculty, good curricula, a high acceptance rate, and a home-like atmosphere for foreign students.

Canada has over 250 universities that offer high-quality education, excellent resources, and support services for global ed students. Choosing a college or university to attend as an international student can be a daunting task, with so many options available.

Canadian Universities and Colleges

Before we get into the top ten list, there is an important distinction note. For international students, especially if you are from India, it is quite the common practice to use the term ‘college’ and ‘university’ interchangeably. This is not the case in Canada.

While they are both institutions of higher education, the scope of a university is much larger than that of a Canadian college. A college in Canada is typically allowed to offer certificate programmes, diplomas, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate diplomas. They do not award master’s or doctoral degrees. They are smaller and focus more on career training and learning for trades. A university, on the other hand, is far more extensive and more academic and research oriented.

This article looks at the top 10 universities in Canada for students looking to study abroad.

What Are The Benefits Of Studying At The Top 10 Universities In Canada?

These top 10 universities are well-established, meaning they are better suited to impart the required knowledge and skill to the students to tackle the severe competition in the real world.  Now, let us see some of the benefits of studying at the top 10 universities in Canada.

  • World-class education Studying at the top universities guarantees the top-notch quality of education that you can receive directly under the guidance of renowned faculties who are experts.
  • Strong research opportunities The top universities of Canada are well known for their research programs and opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research with top researchers in the field. This provides immense exposure to the students.
  • Access to superb resources Top universities in Canada have access to a wide range of resources, including state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and technologies which in turn help the students excel in their careers.
  • Strong reputation Graduating from a top university in Canada can provide students with a strong reputation and a competitive edge when seeking employment or further education opportunities.
  • Career opportunities Graduates from top universities in Canada are often highly sought-after by employers, which can lead to better job prospects and career opportunities for students worldwide.

How much does it cost to study in Canada?

The cost to study in Canada depends on the subject and university you choose. In addition to tuition fees, there is also the cost of accommodation, food, and other important expenses. Based on a Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs (TLAC ) survey, the average tuition fee for international students is as follows:

The tuitions fee for international undergraduates is CA $36,123 and for graduates is $21,111. This, however, is a simple average. The numbers can vary quite extensively depending on your course, the university or the city that you are living in.

In addition to tuition,

  • 🏠 Living on-campus costs between CAD 20000 to CAD 25000 including all living costs

If you decide to live off campus,

  • 🏡Rent costs between CAD 5000 to CAD 14000
  • 🛍️Groceries cost between CAD 2800 to CAD 5000
  • 💻Internet costs between CAD 500 to CAD 1000
  • 🎒Utilities costs between CAD 500 to CAD 2000
  • 🎟️Entertainment costs around CAD 1500
  • 👔Clothing costs around CAD 800 to CAD 2000
  • 🚌Transportation  Costs CAD 950 to CAD 1500
  • 🛄Insurance costs around  CAD 600 to CAD 900

Source: Western University
Note that these costs are highly subjective and vary by huge margins depending on the program, location, and lifestyle you choose.

What are the scholarship options for the best colleges in Canada?

Scholarship programs for students from abroad trying to study in colleges in Canada are endless. To lend a helping hand to these students with their financial needs, many universities offer scholarship programs based on the student’s excellent academic performance. When researching for scholarships, it is important to look into four types of sources who can fund you. They are

  • The university you are applying to
  • The government of the province that you will be living in
  • The government of your home country
  • Charitable organisations and trusts and support and encourage international students.  

Each university and the schools that constitute the university have scholarships at different points during your programme. You can reach out to us at to get detailed information on these scholarships, their eligibility criteria and the application process.  

That said, here are some of the top scholarship programmes that can benefit you irrespective of the university. 

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 
  • Global Affairs Canada Scholarships
  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Program
  • Fulbright Fellowships
  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral scholarships
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program
  • Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships
  • Aga Khan Foundation Scholarships

This is, in no means, an exhaustive list. There are a wide variety of options, depending on your course of study, your origins, the university, the city, your academic standing and so on. These are some of the general scholarships open to international students across disciplines.  

What are the best universities in Canada for international students?

Top 10 Universities in Canada based on QS World University Ranking

S.No University Name Ranking
1 McGill University 31
2 University of Toronto 34
3 University of British Columbia 47
4 University of Alberta 110
5 Université de Montréal 116
6 McMaster University 152
7 University of Waterloo 154
8 Western University =172
9 University of Ottawa =237
10 University of Calgary 242

Source: QS World University Ranking
Canada is the land of opportunities that scales up a  student’s life on a global level. It is also the host of many prestigious colleges that have advanced curricula aimed at increasing students’ knowledge. These universities are ranked in the top 10 by the QS ranking
Although there are many colleges that a student can enroll themselves in, here is the list of the 10 best-ranking colleges in Canada.

Note: The admissions criteria in the following section looks at undergraduate admissions. If you are looking for postgraduate admission, check our article on the Best Colleges for Master’s in Canada in 2023.

1. McGill University:

Source: Mcgill University
As one of the oldest universities in Montreal, Mcgill university has been producing world-class leaders since its inception in 1821. More than 12,000 students are currently studying on its two campuses.

Why is it good to study here?

Situated in Montreal, a city ranked 1st in Canada by QS Best Student Cities 2023 survey, McGill University is the best college for international students. Mcgill university provides a modern syllabus that has a mix of practical and research-oriented approaches. It also offers more than 400 courses enabling the students to have a wide choice and choose the subjects that are very close to their interests. With a good atmosphere and exceptional curriculum, McGill University is the best choice for students aiming to pursue education abroad.


The tuition fees for studying at McGill University varies widely based on the course the student takes. But on average the tuition fee ranges from CAD 15000 to CAD 60000 for both undergraduate study and graduate studies.

To know the exact fee structure, check their official website.


Depending on the program, the global ed students have different eligibility criteria. Commonly, the required eligibility is as follows:

  • Class 12 completion with an academic percentage between 75-85%
  • IELTS rating of 6.5 and above
  • TOEFL score of 86 and above

Courses offered & admission process

Some of the full-time courses offered include

  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities etc.

The student has to choose 2 programs of their choice and enter the necessary details such as class 12 scores, TOEFL, or IELTS scores during the application process. The next step is the payment of the application fee which ranges from 50 to 305.08 CAD. For complete details, check this link.

2.University of Toronto

Source: Meridean
Being in the top 30 universities for international students consistently, the University of Toronto is a hub of excellent education. The University of Toronto has 3 campuses – Scarborough campus, St.George campus, and Miuga campus that are hosting more than 90,000 students.

Why is it good to study here?

The research-intensive study method with in-campus internship opportunities is a golden opportunity for students who have come from other countries. It also has 40 libraries and is popularly known as having the third-largest library in North America. The university offers accommodation facilities for undergraduate students with a friendly atmosphere.


The fee for programs depends upon the field of study, the level of study (Undergraduate or Postgraduate), and other several factors. But the average tuition fees range from $18000 to $60000, without any scholarship.
Other than academic fees, Incidental and ancillary fees are also charged by the University. You can check out the details here.


The eligibility requirement to get enrolled at the University of Toronto is as follows:

  • Year 12 State Board Exams
  • IELTS score of 6.0 and above
  • TOEFL score of 89 to 99

Courses offered & admission process

The University of Toronto offers 700 undergraduate programs, over 200 postgraduate programs, and MBA. Programs offered by the University of Toronto range from Accounting to Arts with over 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs. You can find the full list of studies here.

For the admission process, global ed students have to submit a University of Toronto International Application or OUAC 105 with a  non – refundable fee of $180. Within a week of applying the university will get back to you for further procedures via mail or post. All the necessary documents are required to be submitted within the deadlines.

3. University of British Columbia

Source: Okanagan Campus
Located in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university. In addition to being British Columbia’s oldest university, UBC consistently ranks among the best public universities in the country.

Why is it good to study here?

Studying at the University of British Columbia opens up an array of opportunities for you as a student. A major strength of UBC is its strong commitment to research, focusing on a practical approach to study. The University of British Columbia has produced top-class scholars with its intensive learning method. With over 60,000 students and more than 15,000 faculty and staff, UBC offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programmes.


The tuition fees for undergraduate students who come from abroad can cost anywhere around $6000 to $40000 based on the course and $5000 to $15000 for postgraduate students.
The costs can be vastly reduced with financial aid from scholarships offered by the university. Click on this link to know more about fees and scholarships.


The University of British Columbia expects the foreign students to have

  • Graduation from Class 12 with an average of 85%
  • IELTS score of 8.0 and above
  • TOEFL overall score of 90

Courses offered & admission process

The University of British Columbia offers courses such as

  • Business and economics
  • Languages and linguistics
  • Earth, environment, and sustainability
  • Education
  • Health and life sciences etc.

A single student can apply for up to two degrees on two different campuses. Once done, you have to write a personal profile that highlights your academic experience. With the personal profile, you can submit the online application form for a fee of $125.25. The required documents and further procedures will be communicated to you via email.
The university website gives a detailed admission process.

4.University of Alberta

Source:  University of Alberta
The University of Alberta (UAlberta) is a public research university founded in 1908. UAlberta is one of Canada’s top universities and is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and natural sciences It has five campuses namely – North and south Campus, Campus Saint-Jean, Augustana Campus, and Enterprise Square.

Why is it good to study here?

UAlberta is home to over 200 research centers and institutes, including the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures and the National Institute for Nanotechnology. The quality of education is also top-notch. The University is known for its commitment to research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It offers everything that a student requires such as In-residence, food, etc at an affordable cost. Moreover, a student can be said to have an edge over others worldwide because of the exceptional experience he has gained during his years at this university.


The fee structure of the University of Alberta includes Tuition fees, Non-Instructional Fees, Books and supplies, and accommodation. The tuition fee ranges from CAD 12000 to CAD 30000 per year.
You can use this official cost calculator to get a definitive idea of the overall fee.


Undergraduate admission requires

  • Class 12 completion certificate
  • TOEFL score of 90 and above
  • IELTS score of 6.5 and above

To apply to Campus Saint-Jean, you will need  French language proficiency certificates.
The University of Alberta offers 200+ undergraduate programs and 500+ graduate programs. They include

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business Management
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Life sciences and medicine
  • Natural sciences\

The application process can be done through the university’s official website. Most programs have a deadline on March 1, 2023, to apply. Since the competition is severe, the admission panel takes 1 to 2 weeks to reply. The applicants must submit an online application fee of 125 CAD for undergraduate studies and 100 CAD for postgraduate studies while applying for admission.

5.Université de Montreal

Source: umontreal

Founded in 1878, it is the largest french language university in North America and one of the most prominent universities in Canada. The university has a strong commitment to research and innovation and has produced numerous Nobel laureates and Fields medalists.

Why is it good to study here?

Université de Montréal has secured 81st place in Impact Rankings 2022 by Times Higher Education. Other than the amazing study facility, this university has the very lowest tuition fees compared to all other colleges in Canada. Université de Montréal is the top university chosen by students because of its financial flexibility. More than 60,000 students graduate each year from Université de Montréal and later become world-renowned experts in their fields.


Université de Montréal has the cheapest tuition fees for foreign students with the fee ranging from $9000 to $25000 per year.


The university is a french language institution, so proficiency in French is essential for undergraduate studies. Along with that certificate of completion of class 12 must also be submitted.
Check the full eligibility here.

Courses offered & admission process

The popular courses offered by Université de Montréal is

  • Administration and Management Sciences
  • Arts and Music
  • Communication
  • Economics and Politics
  • Fundamental and Applied Sciences
  • Health Sciences etc

You can apply online by visiting the UdeM application portal. The application fee for undergraduate study is CAD 105.50. Supporting documents must be filed before the deadline to secure a high chance of admission. The official website of the university will guide you through the admission process.

6. McMaster University

Source: Mcmaster University

McMaster University was established in 1887 making it one of the oldest universities in Canada. With time comes excellence and likewise, this university has produced over 1,90,000 intelligent students since its inception. Currently, the university has a student population of more than 35000 students on its 4 campuses – Downtown Hamilton, Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Niagara.

Why is it good to study here?

Mcmaster University is the proud holder of the Global Teaching Excellence Award. Students of Mcmater university are trained to receive practical knowledge with research and instilled theoretical knowledge by expert faculties. The friendly yet competitive learning atmosphere of Mcmaster university is ideal for international students to develop their skills.  The university also has a high acceptance rate of 58% giving the students a bright chance of selection.


Mcmaster University offers a wide range of courses from certification courses to degrees. As such, the fees range anywhere between CAD 15,000 to CAD 60,000.


The eligibility criteria for students to enroll in Mcmaster university is

  • Completion of Class 12.
  • 6.5 and above in IELTS and 86 and above in TOEFL

The university also gives an option for students to apply who do not meet the English proficiency requirement after doing a one-year diploma course in MELD.

Courses offered & admission process

The wide range of courses include

  • Arts and Science
  • Bachelor of Technology
  • Business
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Health and society etc

You can see the complete list in the programme section of their website.

The application and admission process happens completely online. The required documents have to be submitted to the application committee. The required documents include Academic transcripts, IELTS or TOEFL Scores, and High school completion certificates. Usually, the university gets back to the students within 4 to 5 weeks after the application process.

7. University of Waterloo:

Source: University of Waterloo

Starting with just 72 engineering students in the year 1957, the University of Waterloo is now home to more than 42000 students studying here annually. Including more than 4000 international students

Why is it good to study here?

The University of Waterloo has ranked 24 in graduate employability as per QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2023.  Graduates from this university receive global visibility and can accomplish their dream careers with the experience and skills gained from their experience at this university. They also offer on-campus internships to get work experience and placement opportunities to help the students get ahead of the competition. This university helps hone your skills in the field you love and develops you into an expert ready to be of immense value.


The tuition fees for global ed students range from CAD 40000 to CAD 65000 based on the program. Other than that books and supplies cost CAD 2370 and will be added to the tuition fee.  You can check the detailed fee structure here.


The eligibility criteria for students to enroll  at the University of Waterloo is

  • Completion of grades 10, and 12.
  • 6.5 and above in IELTS and and
  • A Minimum score of 90 and above in TOEFL

Courses offered & admission process

The University of Waterloo offers 100+ Undergraduate programs and 180+ graduate programs. Some of the top streams offered include,

  • Civil Engineering
  • Data science and analytics
  • Finance
  • Business administration
  • Arts
  • Accounting etc.,

The admission process starts almost a year before the actual program starts, so make sure you know the deadlines. The application form along with the required documents mentioned in the eligibility requirements has to be submitted with an application fee of CAD 156  through the Ontario Universities Application Center. Usually, the wait time is around 4 weeks till you hear back from them via email.

8. Western University:


Western University, also known as the University of Western Ontario, is a public research university founded in 1878. It has more than 43000 students studying for their degree from over 120 countries. The western university has One of the highest national entrance averages of first-year students at 91% making it the most sought-after university by students.

Why is it good to study here?

Western University has a good reputation nationally and internationally, which can open up opportunities for students after graduation. Wester University is situated in Ontario is a city with a good quality of life, a relatively low cost of living, and a safe and welcoming community which makes it a good place to study and explore Canada. Western University is known for its research capabilities, with many of the university’s faculty members actively engaged in cutting-edge research. So, Students have opportunities to conduct research alongside top researchers in their field. The Western university has a 92.5% employment rate 6 months after graduation making students confident that they are guaranteed to reach success.


Western university’s tuition fee ranges from CAD 41,000 to $57000. The university gives a guarantee to international students that the fee will not be increased by more than 4% per year, after Year 1.


The Western university requires to have

  • Completion and Results of 10th class and 12th class
  • IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5
  • TOEFL  minimum overall score of 83

You can check the complete details required here.

Courses offered & admission process

The Western university offers 400+ modules to choose from for undergraduate studies and 155+ modules for graduate studies. You can check out the complete list of courses offered from their official website.
As soon as you choose the program that you want to enroll in, you have to submit your application to OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre). The step-by-step application process can be found on their platform as well. Once the application is submitted within the deadlines and required details, all you have to do is wait for the reply.  It may take 4-6 weeks for the university to respond.

9. University of Ottawa

Source: University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa, also known as uOttawa, is a bilingual public research university founded in 1848. The University of Ottawa is home to a large and active international student community, which provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students from abroad.

Why is it good to study here?

The University of Ottawa is committed to creating a sense of belonging within the community, a global perspective for the students, and providing a hands-on learning experience to its students. They offer more than 500+ graduate and undergraduate studies taught by top-class faculties. Additionally, the university is also known for its active student life and community involvement. The University of Ottawa also offers various scholarships to foreign students. Moreover, Ottawa is one of the most affordable cities in Canada for foreign students to stay and study.


Tuition fee largely varies, but to put it in a bracket, it can be estimated that the tuition fee may range from CAD 18000 to CAD 30000.
It is recommended that students coming fomr abroad check the university’s website for detailed and updated information about tuition fees and other expenses here.


A student applying for undergraduate studies is required to have completed the 12th class with a minimum percentage of 75. Other than that the scores of English proficiency tests are expected to be Overall 6.5 or above for IELTS and Overall 86 or above for TOEFL. Similarly, a student applying for a master’s program should have a Bachelor’s degree with an Overall 6.5 or above for IELTS and an Overall 79 or above for TOEFL.

Courses offered & admission process

Linguistics is one of the popular courses at the University of Ottawa. Other than that, the major courses that are offered in the Undergraduate program fall under

  • Arts
  • Engineering
  • Social science
  • Health Science
  • Common Law
  • Education
  • Science
  • Management
  • Medicine

You can see the full list of courses here.
They also offer Microprograms, Graduate diplomas, Masters, and Ph.D. in various fields of study.

10. University of Calgary

Established in the year 1966 with 400 students, the University of Calgary has now grown to have more than 33000 students studying in it due to its sheer commitment to creating a deep impact. The University of Calgary has 5 main campuses – Main Campus, Downtown Campus, Foothills, Spyhill, and another campus outside of Canada in Qatar.

Why is it good to study here?

The University of Calgary is the study home to students from more than 155 countries worldwide. It was ranked as one of the top 50 research universities nationally by Research Info Source Inc. in 2023. Also, it is one of the colleges that has the highest graduate employment rate of 94.1%. They also focus on non-academic activities which are reflected by the 14 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by the students of this university.


The average annual tuition comes up to about CAD10,000 to CAD 50000. The full fee details depending on your course can be calculated here.


  • Grade 12 Completion
  • TOEFL score of 86 and above or IELTS score of 6.5 and above

Courses offered & admission process

Over 170 degrees are offered by the University of Calgary across 65 graduate programs, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Open Studies, and Continuing Education. The courses offered cover a variety of topics that you can choose from and can be found here.
The application process can be done via student UCalgary eID. For undergraduate programs, the application fee is 125 CAD, and for graduate programs, it is 145 CAD for foreign students. Refer to the deadlines and documents that they list on their website.

Apply to top Canadian Schools with TC Global

While becoming an international student is very exciting, the prep and the paperwork of it all can get overwhelming. The easiest way to reduce your stress is to sign up with TC Global.

We simplify international education, learning, and mobility through connecting students, universities, and a global community on a single platform where there are over 1000+ education providers and over 80,000+ courses.

Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas and departure – we see you through it all.

To move forward with us, download our app or visit and sign in to create an account on our student platform and onboard with us in quick, easy steps.! 🚀

Then simply set up a visit to pick a Relationships Team closest to you and choose a slot to meet with a Relationship Member. With the support of our RM, find yourself as one of the international students studying in a government college in Canada.

Let’s shape your future together.

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