Canada has emerged as a leading study destination for international students due to its world-class universities, safe environment, post-graduation work opportunities, and high standard of living. The September intake is the most popular intake for international students due to the wide range of programs on offer and higher acceptance rates.
However, the application process requires careful planning and preparation. This comprehensive guide provides helpful insights on when and how to apply for the September 2024 intake in Canada as an international student.
The September intake presents the ideal opportunity for international students looking to pursue their studies in Canada. Unlike other intakes, the majority of universities in Canada open doors for new students in September when the fall semester commences.
This intake offers the widest array of program choices and slots at most institutions. Moreover, competition is typically less fierce compared to the January or May intakes. By starting their studies in September, international students also get adequate time to settle in before the winter sets in.
However, to take full advantage of the September intake, students must begin the application process well in advance and complete all requirements within the stipulated deadlines. This guide provides a step-by-step timeline to apply successfully for the September 2024 intake.
Timeline for Applying
To gain admission into a Canadian university for the September 2024 intake, students should start planning at least 12-18 months in advance. Here is a detailed checklist of the application process:
Research and Shortlist Universities (April – August 2023)
- Start researching universities and programs of interest in April 2023, if not earlier.
- Identify programs that align with your academic interests, career goals, and eligibility criteria.
- Shortlist universities you wish to apply to and note their application timelines and deadlines. September intake deadlines typically fall between January and March.
- Create a spreadsheet to track important application details and deadlines for each university.
Prepare Application Materials (September – November 2023)
- Take standardized tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE or GMAT by September 2023.
- Request transcripts and letters of recommendation from your previous institutions.
- Draft your statement of purpose, resume, and other application essays.
- Complete financial aid applications or apply for external scholarships.
Submit Applications (December 2023 – February 2024)
- Submit your applications before the deadline; January-February 2024 for most programs.
- Pay close attention to supporting documents required and application fees.
- Track the status of your applications and ensure your documents are received.
Acceptance and Next Steps (March – May 2024)
- Receive admission decisions from universities, usually by April 2024.
- Accept your preferred university’s offer and pay seat deposits.
- Apply for your Canadian study permit and visa immediately after accepting the offer.
- Make travel and accommodation arrangements.
Arrival in Canada (June – August 2024)
- Land in Canada in time for new student orientation programs, usually in late August/early September.
- Attend orientation programs to familiarize yourself with the university.
- Collect your temporary resident visa and study permit.
- Find suitable student housing/rental accommodations.
- Get settled before classes start in September!
When applying for the September 2024 intake in Canada, you must complete certain common requirements. Typically, these include:
- Online application forms for each university.
- Academic transcripts – need to be attested and translated if not originally in English or French.
- English language proficiency scores like IELTS or TOEFL. Minimum cutoff scores depend on the university and program.
- GRE or GMAT scores – required for most graduate programs.
- 2-3 letters of recommendation from professors or employers.
- Statement of purpose outlining your academic and career goals.
- Updated resume/CV detailing your educational and professional experiences.
- Portfolio, essays or admission interviews may also be required for specific programs.
- Proof of financial support documents like bank statements or scholarships.
- Non-refundable application and processing fees. Amounts range from $100 – $250 per university application.
Top Universities for September Intake
Canada is home to some of the world’s top-ranked universities offering excellent education to international students. Below are some of the best Canadian universities accepting international students for the September 2024 intake across popular programs:
University of Toronto
- Offers over 700 undergraduate and 500 graduate programs.
- Excellent for studying engineering, business, social sciences, law, medicine, and more.
- Highest-ranked Canadian university – 22nd worldwide in 2023 QS Rankings.
- Located in the vibrant, multicultural city of Toronto.
- Second highest-ranked Canadian university, at 41st globally.
- Strongly reputed for medicine, sciences, arts, engineering, law, and business programs.
- Beautiful campus in downtown Montreal – a friendly city for students.
- Over 300 programs including arts, engineering, music, and languages.
University of British Columbia
- Ranked 47th in the world in the 2023 QS Rankings.
- Located in Vancouver, consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live.
- Strong in programs like computer science, psychology, law, and earth sciences.
- Also offers agriculture, music, nursing, and dentistry programs.
University of Alberta
- Based in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta province.
- Excellent research and teaching in sciences, engineering, business, and medicine.
- Home to over 500 graduate programs.
- Vibrant campus life and student diversity.
Benefits of September Intake in Canada
Why is September the most ideal intake for international students in Canada? Here are some major advantages:
- Widest range of programs and courses open for enrollment before winter sets in.
- Higher acceptance rates compared to more competitive January or May intakes.
- Scholarships and funding opportunities most accessible for September intake.
- Ample time to settle down and adjust before winter begins in Canada.
- Can experience the beautiful Canadian fall season.
- Make friends more easily during orientation and freshers’ activities.
- Aligns with the usual academic calendar, especially for those coming from India, Europe, and other countries.
- Internship and job opportunities open up for the summer break after the first academic year.
Application Tips for September 2024 Intake
Follow these top tips to strengthen your application for the September 2024 intake in Canada:
- Begin preparation 12-18 months in advance for a stress-free application experience.
- Research thoroughly and shortlist target universities by April-May 2023.
- Create a spreadsheet to track deadlines and requirements for each university.
- Keep copies of all documents required for your applications.
- Apply well before the deadlines to avoid last minute rush.
Write a Strong SOP
- Draft and refine your statement of purpose over multiple iterations.
- Showcase both your academic excellence and unique personal traits.
- Align your career goals with the program’s offerings.
- Verify eligibility criteria like academic scores, work experience etc.
- Take English proficiency tests like IELTS/TOEFL by September 2023.
- Start visa application soon after getting acceptance letters.
- Don’t limit yourself to just one or two universities.
- Apply to a balanced mix of ambitious, moderate, and safe options.
The September 2024 intake presents the ideal opportunity for international students aspiring to realize their Canadian education dreams. With careful preparation and by completing all application requirements before the deadlines, you can make the most of this intake. Remember to apply to multiple universities, choose programs strategically, and highlight your attributes effectively in your application materials. Start planning your application journey today!