As an international student, studying in Canada can be an excellent way to access a high-quality education and experience life in Canada. Moreover, permanent resident pathways are available for international students who’ve graduated from Canadian universities or colleges and want to settle in the country.
Amidst the province’s growing popularity as a study destination for international students, the number of study permits issued for students moving to Manitoba, Canada, continues to increase. In 2022, Manitoba welcomed 14,755 international students—representing an 18 per cent year-on-year increase in study permit approvals for the province.
In this article:
5 reasons why international students choose to study in Manitoba
There are many reasons why international students choose to study in Manitoba, Canada. Here are some things about Manitoba that resonate with students:
Manitoba offers a high quality of life and a lower cost of living
Whether you’re in the capital city of Winnipeg or in the student city of Brandon, you’ll experience a high quality of life in Manitoba. Manitoba gives students access to essential amenities needed for a comfortable life, as well as a safe, friendly environment. Although the cost of living in Canada may be much higher than what you’re used to back home, it will likely be less expensive to live in Manitoba than in other provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, or Alberta.
Manitoban institutions have relatively low tuition fees
Compared to provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, universities and colleges in Manitoba tend to have a lower cost of education. Even though international students pay a significantly higher fee than domestic students, studying in Manitoba may be more affordable than in other parts of Canada.
Multiculturalism and diversity
Manitoban society is multicultural and, as a student, it isn’t too hard to find a taste of home here. In 2021, the top source countries of international students to Manitoba were India (26.5 per cent), China (12.9 per cent), Nigeria (10 per cent), Bangladesh (6.6 per cent), and Hong Kong SAR (4.7 per cent).
English is the most commonly spoken language in Manitoba
As an international student in Canada, you’ll need to be reasonably proficient in the official language. Language skills are an essential admissions criterion for most universities and colleges and you’ll also need to speak and understand the language to manage your day-to-day tasks in Canada.
English is the official language in Manitoba and it will be the language in which your classes and coursework will be delivered in school, and the official language of communication at work and in your daily life. Compared to French, Canada’s second official language, many international students find it easier to master English.
Manitoba offers ample job opportunities
There is no shortage of job opportunities in Manitoba, especially in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, electricity, oil, mining and forestry. As an international student, it’s not too hard to find part-time work during your studies or full-time opportunities after you graduate.
You can only work part-time while studying in Canada if your study permit allows it. That said, it is an excellent way to get some Canadian work experience for your resume and earn some extra money to cover some of your living expenses in Canada.
If you plan to stay and work in Manitoba after you graduate, you’ll need to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). You may qualify for a PGWP if you studied at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and the length of your study program was at least eight months. Any Canadian work experience you gather will make it easier for you to qualify for permanent residence (PR) later after graduation.
Things to keep in mind before starting your studies in Manitoba
Here are some things you should know before moving to Manitoba for your studies:
- Higher cost of living: Even though Manitoba is one of the less expensive provinces in Canada, the cost of living may still be higher than that in your home country. You can use Arrive’s cost of studying in Canada calculator to budget for your student expenses accurately.
- Student housing is limited: If you plan to live on-campus, be sure to contact your university or college to reserve your spot as soon as you get a letter of acceptance. Student housing is typically in short supply and gets filled up quickly.
- Off-campus housing can be expensive: If you plan to live off-campus in Winnipeg, start your search for affordable accommodation early. Housing costs have increased steeply in recent years, so be prepared to share accommodation. International students are also susceptible to scams, so, if possible, try to visit the property in person before signing a lease, or share a home with someone you trust.
- You may be eligible for 20-day study permit processing: Students from 14 countries, including India, China, and Brazil are eligible for faster study permit processing under the Student Direct Stream. To qualify for SDS, you must purchase a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating financial institution, such as RBC. After you arrive in Canada, you’ll start receiving a portion of your GIC funds, along with interest, to cover part of your living expenses.
Best universities in Manitoba, Canada, for international students
Manitoba is home to several prestigious universities, and many international students come to the province for post-secondary education. Some of the top universities in Manitoba include:
The University of Manitoba
According to the QS World University Ranking 2024, the University of Manitoba is ranked #23 in Canada. The University of Manitoba has two main campuses in Winnipeg, as well as several satellite campuses. The school enrolls over 30,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.
Programs offered by the University of Manitoba
The school offers over 100 undergraduate programs, 99 master’s programs, and 47 doctoral programs. You may be able to find study options across the faculties of agricultural and food sciences, architecture, art, business, education, engineering, environment, health sciences, kinesiology, law, music, social work, and science.
International student tuition fees at the University of Manitoba
- Undergraduate programs: Annual international student tuition fee for undergraduates usually ranges between $11,838 and $29,761.94, depending on your study program.
- Graduate programs: International student fees for graduate programs typically ranges between $13,000 and $23,600 per year. However, the fee for some specialized programs such as orthodontics can be as high as $90,113 per year.
- Doctoral or Ph.D. programs: The annual tuition fee for most doctoral programs is $6,000. International and domestic students typically pay the same tuition fees for Ph.D. programs.
Scholarship options for the University of Manitoba
- International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarship: These scholarships are offered to international students enrolling in an undergraduate program at the University of Manitoba directly from an international high school. To qualify, students must have an admissions average of 85 per cent or higher, and the award amount ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.
- International Undergraduate Student Scholarship: These scholarships are awarded to meritorious international students who’ve completed at least 24 credits in an undergraduate study program at the University of Manitoba with a GPA of 3.5 and above.
The University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg is one of the top universities in Manitoba. The school has a campus in Winnipeg, the provincial capital. Over 8,945 students attend the university, including 1,486 (16.6 per cent) international students.
Programs offered by the University of Winnipeg
The school offers over 50 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs across five faculties — Arts, Science, Business & Economics, Kinesiology & Applied Health, and Education.
International student tuition fees at the University of Winnipeg
- Undergraduate programs: The average international student tuition fee for undergraduate programs at the University of Winnipeg is between $16,245 and $20,599 per year, depending on the study program you choose.
- Graduate programs: The annual fee for international students ranges from $13,175.83 to $30,972.72, depending on the graduate program chosen.
Scholarship options for the University of Winnipeg
- International Special Entrance Scholarship Program: This program awards incoming international students enrolling in an undergraduate program at UWinnipeg with a GPA equivalent to 85 per cent and above. Students entering UWinnipeg within six months of graduating from an international high school are automatically considered for this scholarship ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.
- University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders: International students entering the first year of any program at UWinnipeg can apply for this entrance scholarship provided they have an admissions average of at least 80 per cent and can demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities.
Located in Brandon, the second-largest city in Manitoba, Brandon University is one of the most popular regional schools in Canada. Nearly 3,200 students attend the school each year of which approximately 500 are international students.
Programs offered at Brandon University
The school offers 19 undergraduate, six graduate, and three certificate programs with specialization options in arts, science, education, health studies, or music.
International student tuition fees at Brandon University
- Undergraduate programs: On average, the international tuition fee for bachelor’s programs at Brandon University is between $15,850 and $17,538 per year.
- Graduate programs: The graduate-level tuition fee for international students is approximately $6,500 per year, depending on the program.
Scholarship options for Brandon University
- Brandon University African Student Scholarship: This award is offered to meritorious international students from African countries entering a graduate program at Brandon University.
- Brandon University Commonwealth Scholarship: This scholarship is offered to students who are citizens of Commonwealth countries, except Canada, (such as Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan) who have completed at least one year of studies at Brandon University while demonstrating academic excellence.
- Brandon University International Undergraduate Student Scholarship: This award of $5,000 is offered to continuing international students who have obtained the highest GPA at Brandon in a full-time undergraduate program.
Top colleges in Manitoba for international students
Although international student enrollment in Manitoba’s colleges is increasing, the province’s universities still hold more appeal. If you’re planning to study in Manitoba, it’s a good idea to explore the program options available at the following colleges:
Assiniboine Community College
Known as one of the top colleges in Manitoba, Assiniboine has two campuses in Brandon, as well as one each in Winnipeg, Dauphin, and Southport, Manitoba. The school enrolls over 650 international students from 25 countries.
Educational credentials offered at Assiniboine Community College
Assiniboine College offers over 60 certificate, diploma and advanced credential programs across disciplines like culinary arts and hospitality, business, agriculture and environment, health and human services, trades and technology. The school also offers apprenticeship programs for several skilled trades.
International student tuition fees at Assiniboine Community College
The international student fee ranges based on program type and duration, as well as the credential you receive. Typically, advanced diploma programs have an annual fee ranging from $15,270 to $16,220, while diploma programs cost between $15,270 and $19,520. Certificate programs have an annual tuition fee of $17,395 to $22,780.
Scholarship options for Assiniboine Community College
- Diane Shamray International Award: This $1,000 entrance scholarship is offered to six international students with an entrance GPA of 3.0 and above. To apply, you’ll need to submit an essay explaining why you chose Assiniboine, your reasons for choosing your study program, and how your international education experience will benefit you.
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology is one of the leading colleges in the province. The school has three campuses in Winnipeg and enrolls over 4,000 students.
Educational credentials offered at Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
MITT offers over 30 certificate, diploma, and post–graduate programs across the fields of applied business, human services, information and communication technology, design and manufacturing technologies, health care, and skilled trades. The curriculum for each program focuses on employability skills to make your transition to the workforce easier.
International student tuition fees at Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
The average international student tuition fee ranges between $12,500 and $19,850 depending on the program type and duration.
Scholarship options for Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
- MITT International Scholarship: This $500 scholarship is awarded to meritorious international students who are currently halfway through a study program at MITT. Interested students must apply for this scholarship and submit a written personal statement.
Red River College Polytech
Red River College Polytech is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research. The institute has eight campuses across Manitoba, including three in Winnipeg and five regional campuses.
Educational credentials offered at Red River College Polytech
RRC offers 100+ programs in the areas of business and management, community services, IT, creative arts, culinary, education, engineering and construction technology, health sciences, Indigenous education, skilled trades, and transportation technology. The school offers the entire spectrum of credentials including degree, advanced diploma, certificate, diploma, and postgraduate diploma programs.
International student tuition fees at Red River College Polytech
The average international student tuition fee ranges between $9,228 and $21,548 depending on the program type and duration.
Scholarship options for Red River College Polytech
- RRC Polytech Students’ Association International Student Scholarship: Four merit-based scholarships are available for international students attending post-secondary programs at RRC. To qualify, students must have a GPA of at least 4.25 in their first term at RRC and must submit a one-page essay on their student experience in Canada and at the school.
International College of Manitoba
The International College of Manitoba is a unique institution that offers pathways for students to transition to the University of Manitoba. Based in Winnipeg, within the University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, the school enrolls international students from over 80 different countries.
Educational credentials offered at the International College of Manitoba
The school offers University Transfer Programs at two levels: Foundation or UTP 1, into which students can enrol after grade 11 or equivalent, and UTP 2, into which students can enrol after high school. The UTP 2 undergraduate program options include agricultural and food sciences, arts, business, engineering, environment, recreation management, and science.
International student tuition fees at the International College of Manitoba
Students must pay a total fee of $19,689 for UTP 1 and a fee of $20,690 for UTP 2.
Scholarship options for the International College of Manitoba
- Entrance Scholarship: ICM offers entrance scholarships to incoming students with the best personal essay on why they want to study at ICM or University of Manitoba. The award value ranges from $1,500 to $2,000.
- Academic Distinction Scholarship: Five awards are available for students currently enrolled at ICM. To be eligible, students must have demonstrated academic excellence in the previous term of study.
- Exceptional Academic Performance Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to six students who are top performers in each UTM 2 pathway program. The award value is equal to $750.
As an international student planning to study in Manitoba, Canada, you’ll have several prominent universities and colleges to choose from. Not only is post-secondary education in Manitoba cheaper compared to other provinces in Canada, but the province’s diversity also makes it easier for international students to adapt to their new life and feel at home in Canada.