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Study in Quebec, Canada

Population: 8,080,550

Province overview

One of the largest of Canada’s ten provinces, Quebec is also arguably the most distinctive. With French rather than English as the predominant language and numerous historical calls for independence it would be an understatement to say that Quebec has a different personality from the rest of Canada.

Whilst studying in Quebec you could find yourself skiing off piste, dancing with two million people at Quebec City Summer Festival, getting lost in North America’s oldest shopping district, or taking part in an ice hockey tournament – the possibilities are endless.

Education profile

For those looking to study postgraduate courses, Quebec has a great deal to offer.

French is the predominant language of Quebec, with 80% of the population speaking it as their first language, which means that many of the province’s universities are Francophone – there are only three English language universities in the entire province.

Quebec’s highest performing universities in terms of graduate programs are:
All of these universities offer a wide range of graduate programs in a number of academic areas. Masters degrees generally take one year, whilst PhDs take between three and five years.

Immigration and visas

Most foreign nationals will need a study permit to study on a graduate course in Canada and others may need to apply for temporary residence in Canada.

Generally people taking a postgraduate course in Canada that lasts less than six months will not be required to gain a student visa. Regardless of whether or not you need a permit everyone must demonstrate:
  • Acceptance from a university or educational institution in Canada.
  • Ability to pay tuition fees, living expenses and return fares to their home country.
  • Satisfy health requirements.
You can find out more about students visas and immigration in Canada at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website -

Life in Quebec

When those from overseas think of Canada, it may be that ski slopes, snow sports and outdoor pursuits are the first things that spring to mind. While it may not be accurate to think of the entire country in this way, there is more than a little truth in it when it comes to Quebec.
There is much more to Canada’s largest province than its snowy image, however.

For shopping, Quebec offers something different - from its historic Old City, quartier Petit-Champlain and the oldest shopping district in North America, to its numerous craft fairs. If books are your interest, you will want to visit Salon International du Livre – Quebec’s annual literary fair.   

On 23rd June, Canada’s national holiday, students in Quebec mark the end of their exams by spilling out onto Quebec City’s Grande Allee, in a celebration that has been described as ‘a cross between Mardi Gras and Spring Break.’ 

Working in Quebec

Staying in Quebec to work after the completion of your postgraduate course could offer you a huge variety of opportunities – from film production in Montreal to working for the country’s booming tourism industry. After Ontario, Quebec is Canada’s second most economically important province.

Thriving sectors in Quebec include IT and aerospace, bio and pharmaceutical technologies. On a more local basis, Montreal is best known for engineering, telecommunications and finance, whilst Quebec City for areas as diverse as the computer games industry and defence.


Large cities like Montreal and Quebec City have thousands of students – in terms of living, Montreal has been ranked the tenth best place in the world to be a university student. McGill Ghetto, a Montreal neighbourhood close to McGill University, is home to hundreds of students.

The majority of universities offer accommodation on campus for those who are studying postgraduate courses. If you live on campus you will benefit from being very close to the lecture halls, and all your bills and utilities will be included in your rent. You will live with other students, usually in a shared flat. Depending on your choices and the amount you want to pay you may share a double room.

If you decide to live off campus in a shared flat or house it is likely you will be responsible for paying utilities and bills yourself.

Weather and climate

The climate of Quebec varies due to its size – the northernmost parts of the province have an arctic climate, while the south and west have warm summers, extremely cold winters and four distinct seasons. In the east and central areas the subarctic climate means long, cold winters and short but often warm summers. Severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms and tornados may occur occasionally, throughout Quebec.

What to do next

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