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Study in Canada without IELTS in 2024: Unlocking the Gateway


A high standard of living, a world-class school system, and a lot of different cultures are what Canada is known for. A lot of foreign students want to go to school in Canada, but some people have trouble with language tests like the IELTS. But there are other ways to get into Canada to study if you don't have IELTS. This complete guide will talk about the new IELTS requirements for the Study Direct Stream (SDS), other tests that can be used instead of IELTS, universities that offer this option, popular courses, requirements, student visas, work possibilities, and how much it costs to study and live in Canada.

What are the New IELTS Requirements for Canada SDS?

The IELTS standards for Canada's Study Direct Stream (SDS) have changed as of 2023. Currently, students must have a total IELTS score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5. These changes give students who may have had trouble getting better IELTS scores in the past more chances to do well.

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English language skills that is known all over the world. It checks how well you can converse in English and is usually needed for international students in countries where English is the main language. But it's not easy for all students to get the numbers needed, and many universities in Canada are aware of this problem.

What are the Popular Intakes in Canada?

Universities in Canada have different start dates throughout the year, but the most famous ones are in the autumn (September) and winter (January). These start dates work well for foreign students because they are in line with school calendars and give them more course choices. These new students start at the same time as the school year, which makes it easier for them to get used to their new surroundings.

Is it Possible to Study in Canada without IELTS?

You can go to school in Canada even if you don't have IELTS. Canadian schools know that standardised tests of language skills like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) may not truly show how well a student will do in school. In order to do this, they have created new ways to test English ability.

How to Study in Canada without IELTS?

There are a number of other ways to show that you can speak and write English well. You could take an English class at a Canadian language school or college. These classes are often called ESL (English as a Second Language) programmes. These programmes are meant to help you get better at English so that you can meet the language standards for college.

(Read More: What Eligibility criteria must be met to study in Canada post 12th?)

One more option is to take part in journey programmes, which are available at many Canadian universities. These programmes let you take English classes along with your chosen subjects, so you can improve your language skills while you learn. After successfully completing a route programme, you can move on to a degree programme without any problems.

Alternative English Proficiency Tests for IELTS

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic are two other tests you can take to show how well you know English. These marks can be used instead of IELTS at many Canadian universities. You can pick the one that works best for you because these tests check your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Best Universities/ Colleges to Study in Canada without IELTS

Several Canadian universities offer admission to international students without IELTS. Here are a few renowned institutions in Canada that provide exceptional education:

1. University of Winnipeg

The University of Winnipeg is known for being open to everyone, and they offer a special way for foreign students to show they can speak English well without taking the IELTS. You can go straight into the programme you want if you finish the university's English Language Programme.

2. Brock University

Brock University offers alternatives to the IELTS test for English ability, which makes it a good choice for students who want to study in Canada. One way to help you meet the language requirement is through the Brock University Language Preparation Programme (LPP).

3. University of Saskatchewan

Students who don't make the IELTS requirement can still get into the University of Saskatchewan with some conditions. To meet the language requirement, students can take an English language programme at the university. This is a great way to improve language skills and get ready for school.

4. University of Regina

Students who don't have IELTS can still get into the University of Regina as long as they take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme. Students who go through this programme learn the language skills they need to do well in school.

It's worth noting that there are more Canadian universities with similar offerings, so you can explore various options based on your preferences and the program you wish to pursue.

What are the top Courses to Study in Canada?

There are many programmes in Canada, but some are very popular with foreign students. Some of these are engineering, computer science, business administration, and classes related to health care. In these areas, Canada is known for having some of the best schools, and after finishing their studies, grads often find good jobs.

For people really want to study at best colleges for engineering and computer science in Canada,schools like the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia are ranked among the best in the world for these subjects. Also very popular are business administration programmes like the MBA. The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is a well-known pick.

Because Canada has a great healthcare system and a population that is getting older, classes in nursing and medical sciences are in high demand. Some of the best schools in these areas are the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

What are the requirements to Study in Canada?

To study in Canada, you need to meet certain requirements:

  • Educational Qualifications: You should have a high school diploma or something similar. For some programmes, especially senior ones, you might need a bachelor's degree in the subject.
  • Language Proficiency: Even if you don't have to take IELTS, you will still need to show that you can speak and write English well by taking a test like TOEFL or PTE. Taking an English language school can also be used as proof that you can speak and write English well.

(Read More: Guidelines to ace the TOEFL exam preparation)

  • Proof of Funds: You need to show that you have enough money to pay for your Canadian school fees, living costs, and other costs while you are there. To get a student visa, this is a very important necessity.
  • Acceptance Letter: You need a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. DLIs are schools that have been given permission by the Canadian government to accept students from other countries.
  • Clean Criminal Record: To show that you don't have a crime record, you must show a report from the police. This is important for Canada's safety and security.
  • Medical Examination: To show that they are healthy, some students may have to go through a medical check.

It's important to check the specific requirements of your chosen university and program, as they can vary.

How to apply Student Visa in Canada without IELTS?

You can still apply for a Canada student visa (study pass) from India through SDS without having taken the IELTS test. This process requires showing proof of admission, being financially stable, and meeting other criteria.

Here are the steps to obtain a student visa for Canada without IELTS:

  • Acceptance Letter: As we already said, you need an acceptance letter from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This letter shows that you are enrolled in a valid programme.
  • Financial Proof: You must show that you have enough money to pay for your tuition, living costs, and any other costs that come with learning in Canada. This is usually done with bank records, scholarship awards, or a promise from a sponsor to help pay for school. The exact amount needed might be different depending on where it is and what school it is.
  • Medical test: To make sure you are healthy, you may need to go through a medical test times. The results of this test may be needed for your visa application.
  • Police Clearance Certificate: To make sure Canada is safe and secure, you may need to show a police clearance certificate or proof from your home country that you have never been convicted of a crime.
  • Biometrics: Since 2019, people from certain countries who want to get a visa in Canada have had to go through a biometrics programme. You will need to give fingerprints and a picture. Check to see if this condition applies to you, then finish the biometrics process.
  • In order to get a visa, you must take your application and all the necessary papers to the Canadian embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your home country.
  • Interview: Sometimes, you may be asked to come in for an interview at the Canadian embassy or consulate. You should be ready to talk about your plans to study in Canada, your finances, and other parts of your application.
  • Processing Time: The time it takes to get a visa depends on the country and things like the time of year and the number of applications. To make sure your visa is handled in time for your planned start date, you should apply a long time in advance.
  • Biometrics Appointment: If you have one, go to your biometrics appointment and pay the fee that goes with it.

You will get a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction once your student visa is accepted. This letter tells immigration officers that you have been given a study pass, which is necessary for you to enter Canada. You might have to show this letter along with your ticket when you get to Canada.

How to Work in Canada without IELTS?

One great thing about learning in Canada is that you can often work while you're there and even after you finish your programme. Here are some important things to think about when looking for the most-demand jobs and internships while studying in Canada:

Working While Studying

As a foreign student in Canada, you can usually work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time during breaks like the summer and winter breaks. This could help you get useful work experience and make extra money.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

You might be able to get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after you finish your programme in Canada. How long the PGWP is will depend on how long your programme is. If you have a PGWP, you can work in Canada for as long as your programme lasts, up to three years straight. With this work experience, you might be able to move to Canada permanently.

Permanent Residency

Canada is a popular place for foreign students to study because it has many ways to immigrate that can lead to permanent residency. The PGWP can be very helpful on your way to becoming a permanent resident.

What is the Cost of Studying in Canada?

The cost of study in Canada depends on a number of things such as the school, the programme, and the area. Here is a list of the most important costs:

Study in Canada depends on a number of things

  • Fees for School: There are a lot of different types of fees for foreign students. In general, the cost will be between CAD 10,000 and CAD 35,000 per year, though this will rely on the school and programme.
  • Textbooks and Supplies: You'll need to set aside money each term for textbooks, course materials, and supplies, which can add up to a lot of money.
  • Place to stay: The price of your room varies on whether you live on campus, off campus, or with a host family. Prices for housing on campus can run from CAD 6,000 to CAD 20,000 per year, and prices for housing off campus depend on where you live.
  • Food: Depending on your eating habits and what you like to eat, a normal monthly food budget is between CAD 300 and CAD 500.
  • Transportation: The cost of getting around will depend on where you live. There are discounts for students on public transport in most places, which can help you save money.
  • Health Insurance: If you want to study in Canada, you'll need to get health insurance. The price varies by area and school, but is usually between CAD 600 and CAD 800 per year.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: This group includes personal costs, activities, and phone plans. Set aside about CAD 300 to CAD 500 a month for these costs.

It's essential to research and plan your finances carefully to ensure that you have the necessary funds to cover your expenses during your stay in Canada.

What is the Cost of Living in Canada?

The cost of living in Canada can vary significantly depending on the province and city you choose to study in. Here's a general breakdown of living costs:

As we already said, on-campus living can cost anywhere from CAD 6,000 to CAD 20,000 per year. It can range anywhere from CAD 800 to CAD 2,500 per month to rent an apartment away from campus, based on the city and the type of housing.

  • Food: Your shopping bill can be different every month, but 300 to 500 Canadian dollars a month should be enough to cover your basic food costs. Going to places to eat will cost you more money.
  • Transportation: Depending on where you live, the cost of transportation each month can run from CAD 80 to CAD 150. Transportation costs tend to be higher in bigger towns.
  • Health insurance: If you are going to school in Canada, you will usually need to have health insurance. Insurance for health care costs between CAD 600 and CAD 800 a year, but this varies by state.
  • Costs for fun and other personal things can change a lot depending on your tastes and way of life. Plan to spend about CAD 300 to CAD 500 a month on personal things.

It is very important to make a budget that fits your spending habits and the place where you will be living. It costs more to live in some places than others, like Toronto and Vancouver, so be smart about where you go.

(Read More: List of the most desirable cities to live in Canada)


1. Do I need to take the IELTS to go to school in Canada?

A: No, a lot of places offer other ways to test your English skills.

2. What is Canada's Study Direct Stream (SDS)?

A: SDS is a faster way for foreign students from some countries, like India, China, and the Philippines, to get their study permits. It has certain IELTS standards that were changed in 2023.

3. I don't have IELTS. Can I still work in Canada?

A: Yes, foreign students can work full-time during breaks and part-time while they are in school. With a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), you can also work in Canada after you finish your programme.

4. How can I get a student visa for Canada if I don't have IELTS?

A: You can apply for a student visa if you can show proof that you are accepted to school, that you can pay for it, and that you meet any other standards. In some cases, you may need to prepare for a visa interview.

5. Are there scholarships in Canada for kids from other countries?

A: Yes, many schools in Canada do give scholarships and other forms of financial help to international students based on how well they do in school and other factors. Find out about the grants that are out there and then apply for them.


Many foreign students can study in Canada without taking the IELTS test because Canadian schools are open to new ideas. There are a lot of options, such as alternative proficiency tests, English language classes, and colleges that let you in with certain conditions. Canada is still one of the best places in the world to study because it has a lot of high-quality courses, job opportunities after college, and a friendly atmosphere. You shouldn't let IELTS stop you from seeing the beautiful sights of Canada and getting a top-notch education. You can have a successful academic journey in the Great White North if you plan ahead and think about your choices carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions

The common notion is that foreign universities are expensive, although with scholarships this is an exaggerated issue. What many fail to consider are time and effort. Studying in an Indian college leads to a lower average salary than earned by our western counterparts. This salary sets the tone for all future promotions since companies often look at your previous salaries during compensation appraisals. Additionally, most senior positions tend to be scooped up by individuals who have an international outlook through global exposure.  Finally, studying in a foreign country is an incredible learning experience helping students get a better academic as well as soft skill development.

Canada has been one of the market leaders in education for decades. However, what currently sets Maple Country apart is immigration. Canada is wholeheartedly inviting students to study in their universities to fill job vacancies that are always growing in the country. Students who study in Canada (especially a Master’s Degree) are practically assured of a Permanent Residency Visa.

A good score doesn’t automatically qualify a candidate for a scholarship, however, it is one of the primary factors that the admissions department looks for in a scholarship application. There are other attributes such as a candidate’s academics, extra-curricular, financial background, and application essays (SOPs).

We get this question a lot. Many candidates know which career path they want to take, but are at a loss for how to take that journey. Understanding the job role and the industry that you want to get into is the first step to picking the right university.

Carefully consider the immigration options of the country that the university that you are considering is in. This is more important when you intend to stay back in the country after the completion of your course.

Also, review the placement history of the university as well.

The first step is to list your preferences. By listing your preferences and strengths, describe your course of preference. Extensive research on the modules, software and its length for your preferred subject is necessary.


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