Published Date: 10th January 2023


Every year, more and more students from around the world decide to study in Canada. And it's easy to see why! Not only does the country boast an excellent education system, with plenty of world-renowned universities, but it also offers students a unique cultural experience. Canada has something for everyone, from its breathtaking natural scenery to its vibrant cities.


International students arrive in Canada with a wealth of information and experience, but many of them face challenges when it comes to choosing the best intake for them. This blog is for students who are facing these challenges and want to learn about how to choose the right intake for them in Canada. 


Which Intake is Best for International Students in Canada?


Intakes in Canada

Intakes are the particular time of the year when the classes begin at the universities. Mainly, January and September are the Intakes in Canadian universities for students coming from other countries. Both these intakes are important for both students and universities in Canada

September Intake: Pros and Cons

The Fall Intake for new international students usually begins at the end of August or early September. This is when universities receive the most applications. Here are the pros and cons of applying during the Fall Intake in Canada as an international student:

Pros of Applying for a September/Fall Intake

  • The greatest advantage of the September Intake is that you would have a lot more options of courses available compared to the Spring intake. Most colleges in Canada offer almost all courses in the Fall Intake, thereby, allowing you to opt for any course offered by any college you like.
  • The scholarship opportunities for international students are more in the Fall semester.
  • The acceptance rate of international students is high in the fall intake.

Cons of Applying for a September/Fall Intake

  • Taking into account that not that many universities in Canada offer spring admissions, the applicant pool can get relatively more competitive. This may make it harder to get into your chosen university.
  • Upon completion of your studies, the competition for relevant jobs may also be slightly high due to the large number of graduates entering the job market. 
  • As there are more international students in this intake, you may face housing facilities filled and struggle to get one. Did you check this out: Accommodation in Canada for International Students

January Intake: Pros and Cons

Beginning in January and concluding around May, the spring intake is another intake when the major universities in Canada accept applications. Discussed below are the pros and cons of applying during the Spring Intake as an international student in Canada:

Pros of Applying for Spring/January Intake

  • Competition may be somewhat less than the Fall Intakes in Canada. So, the chances of getting admitted to your dream university abroad in Canada during the January Intake abroad are pretty great.
  • Upon completion of your studies, the competition for relevant jobs may also be slightly less as the number of graduates entering the job market in Canada would also be less.
  • Availability of Fast-track program
  • International students who have missed intake for Fall can get another chance to apply in the January intake. 

Cons of Applying for Spring/January Intake

  • January Intake in Canada admits usually would not have the same number of financial aid or scholarship options, as compared to the September Intake students.
  • Job opportunities during course-works may be fewer for Spring applicants as all available posts would have already been taken up by Fall students in Canada.
  • As the students will be beginning their studies in the middle of the academic year, fewer on-campus opportunities will be available.
  • Fewer seats are available in the January intake compared to the spring intake. 

How to choose between the January and September Intake to study in Canada?

It is important to know how to choose between the January and September Intake to study in Canada. Listed below are some of the steps you can take when choosing the right admission intake in Canada.
Step 1: Shortlist your Desired Universities and Courses

The first step should be deciding on the course you wish to study and the university in Canada. This will help you narrow down a major decision, as some courses are only available during the fall Intake, while others may only be available during the spring Intake. Some courses may be offered during both intakes, giving you more opportunities to apply to your preferred course and university.
Step 2: Read the Admission Policies and Requirements

The next important step is to thoroughly read the admission policies and requirements, as this is where you will find relevant information about admissions during different admission intakes. Moreover, the admission policies for each university and course will define the admission intakes for each course and the application deadlines for different admission intakes in Canada.
Step 3: Collect Your Documents

Submitting the required documents with your admission application form is an important part of any admission process. Some of these documents may take some time to gather, which means you may not have all of the required documents by the application deadlines. If you do not have all of the required documents when you submit your applications, you will find it easier to apply for the next admission intake.

Which Intake is best for International Students in Canada?

When deciding which semester to apply to Canadian University, there are numerous factors to consider. It does, however, take some time to plan and navigate the entire process. Various factors should be considered when determining which intake is better for your admission.

  • Universities

You must first check whether the universities of your choice in Canada accept applications for both intakes. Many do not have any admission available for the Spring season. So, if you want to apply for the Spring semester, do some research on your chosen university/courses to see which intakes are available.

  • Acceptance Rate

Many Canadian universities have set admissions quotas for each semester. Because class sizes are much larger for the Fall Intake, you may have a better chance of being admitted. If your profile is above average, the odds are in your favor for the Spring Intake.

  • Courses

Universities in Canada usually offer a lot more courses in the fall Intake students, so you will have a lot of courses to choose from. It also means that if you are looking for a unique course that isn't popular among students, there are higher chances it won’t be available in the Spring semester.

  • Extracurricular Activities

If you are more interested in extracurricular activities, joining organizations and student clubs, then applying for the fall semester in Canada may be the best option. If you join the excitement later in life, it will be difficult to obtain leadership positions in student clubs. If your goal is simply to be a part of an organization, you can choose any intake.

  • Readiness

Most students apply for the fall intake because they have finished their undergraduate studies by then. However, some students may require additional time to settle down. If you think you will not be ready to begin your studies by September, you should not rush your applications.

Conclusion of Fall vs Spring Intake in Canada

In a nutshell, the answer is simple: it is entirely up to you. It all depends on what you require and your plans. To begin, be clear about what you expect from a college education in Canada when applying for a job, as you are the best judge of your own career. T there is no problem with applying to any intake.

You should also read the following articles

Do's and Don'ts for International Students in Canada
How to Apply to Universities in Canada?
List of Universities in Canada

About the Author:

Twinkle is an active listener and observer. She has a boundless curiosity to improvise her all-round knowledge. She is always open about her thoughts and her personality is filled with thirst for acquiring knowledge about different fields. Her favourite pastime is to pen down her thoughts and knowledge. Her strength is the simplicity of language yet being artistic.

Categories: Canada

Tags: Study Abroad

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