Canada offers three prominent intakes. And while the Fall intake sees the most applications, many students are looking to apply for the January intake in Canada for 2024 as well. Since this is a secondary intake, the competition is lower than in the Fall. Consequently, students who choose this intake have an easier shot at getting acceptance letters from their selected universities.
Alongside this, they enjoy other benefits - all of which we will get into in our complete breakdown for Canada’s Winter intake!
How Many Types of Intakes Are There in Canada?
Canadian colleges and universities offer fall, winter, and summer intakes. Some educational institutes in Canada may use “intake” and “semester” interchangeably. Below you will find details about these three significant intakes in Canada.
|Intake||Sessions Start||Application Deadline|
|Fall||September 2024||December 2023 - March 2024|
|Winter||January 2024||September - November 2023|
|Summer||May 2024||February 2024|
Fall Intake in Canada
The Fall intake, aka September intake, is the main intake in Canada, and is the most popular. This intake begins in September and ends in December. Its application deadline remains between December and March. Nearly all universities offer the maximum number of courses when this intake starts.
Many students choose this intake to get admission to Canadian universities. There is enough time for admission preparation for those wrapping up their studies in the spring of the same year. Most importantly, students access the greatest variety of programs from the most number of universities during this intake. Almost all types of financial aid, scholarship, and bursaries roll out in this intake, another reason it is so popular among students.
Winter Intake in Canada
The winter intake refers to the January intake, the second most popular intake after Fall. It starts in January and runs through April. The deadline for this intake falls between September and November the year before.
Compared to the Fall intake, this one sees fewer seats open for fewer programs. Nonetheless, you’ll still find a large enough variety of options and universities to apply to. Students often consider the Winter intake when they miss the Fall intake deadlines.
Summer Intake in Canada
The Summer intake sees the least number of applications, since fewer Canadian institutions offer far fewer programs than the other two intakes. It mainly begins in May and runs till August. The deadline for this intake extends into February of the same year.
Although this intake only brings a few opportunities and facilities, it allows students to enjoy a significant advantage. Students who choose this intake face less competition since there are fewer applications during this time.
The May intake is perfect if you’re planning on taking short summer courses, English preparatory programs, certifications, or diplomas.
Deadlines for January 2024 Intake in Canada
The deadline for the January intake in Canada for 2024 can differ from institution to institution. Hence, you must keep an eye on the official websites of your chosen Canadian educational institutes. FYI, most universities in Canada close admission applications between September and November. You can't apply for the January intake after it hits the deadline.
Thus, regularly visit the official websites of your preferred universities or colleges, check out the intake deadline and admission requirements, and prepare for admission in advance so that you can attend the intake.
When Should I Apply for the January Intake in Canada?
The best practice is to start applying for your target intake one year in advance. If you intend to get admission for the January intake 2024, you should prepare for admission as early as January 2023.
You will have plenty of time to research courses and universities, shortlist your preferred educational institutes, take admission-related exams, and complete other tasks if you prepare for admission up to one year in advance.
Documents Needed for the January Intake in Canada
By this, we mean the essential documents you must submit while applying for admission to various Canadian academic institutions. Which documents you need varies from university to university and program to program (though generally, there some core requirements are the same). So, you must check the admission requirements of your selected college or university before planning for admission.
Below, we share a general outline of the necessary documents most universities will ask you to submit along with your admission applications.
A valid passport
Latest passport-size photographs
Academic transcripts and certificates (make sure you meet the minimum grade requirements of your chosen programs_
GRE/GMAT scores (for postgraduate programs)
Proof of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Academic scores)
Letter of recommendation(s)
Statement of purpose
Portfolio/Research paper (if necessary)
Proof of work experience (if any/if necessary)
How to Plan Your Timeline for the January Intake in Canada
As you already know, preparing for the January intake in Canada up to one year in advance is best. Keeping that in mind, UniSearch experts have come up with a timeline you can reference to prepare for a hassle-free admission.
|Timeline||Activities to Perform|
|January - April 2023||R&A (Research and Analyze) - Research courses and universities and shortlist your favorite institutions. Also, check the admission criteria, scholarship opportunities, and more|
|May - July 2023||Register, Practice, and Take English Proficiency Tests. If you need to sit for any other admissions tests, now is a good time to work on these too|
|August - September 2023||Collect all necessary documents and complete admission applications|
|October - December 2023||Wait for the admission decision. If you get an offer letter, complete further tasks such as confirming the course enrollment, applying for a scholarship, and study permit, arranging accommodation, and more|
|January to February 2024||Pack your bag and start your study abroad journey|
Here is a more detailed look into the timeline above!
Step 1: Begin Your Admission Preparation (January to April)
It is always better to start the admission preparation as early as possible. If you aim for the January intake in Canada for 2024, you can begin preparing as early as January 2023. You can schedule January, February, March, and April for your research and shortlisting.
During this time, check and analyze courses and different Canadian universities. For the greatest chances of application success, shortlist institutes and programs after checking that you meet or will be able to meet entry requirements. Take intake deadlines, scholarships, the tuition fees as well as average cost of living into account as well.
Step 2: Take English Language Proficiency Tests (May - July)
Between May and July is a good time to take tests like the IELTS or TOEFL. Also, depending on the admission criteria set by your chosen university, you may need to take the GMAT or the GRE General Test to qualify for admission.
Remember that while you can do resits of these tests, they can cost you quite a bit. So you need to prepare to give your best performance on exam day. Make sure you leave enough room for prep and practice when you register for the test. Aim higher than the minimum requirement your chosen universities are asking for, for a better chance of admission.
Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, ensure you have one buffer month if you don't manage the required scores and must retake the tests.
Step 3: Apply to Your Chosen Canadian Academic Institutes (August to September)
You should now start applying for admission to different educational institutes in Canada. You can apply for admission directly on the institutions' websites or via an online application portal called OUAC for universities in Ontario.
No matter how you choose to submit admission applications, you must remember to check the admission criteria and meet the requirements of your preferred colleges or universities before applying. This gives you the highest chances of admissions success.
Step 4: Receive Acceptance Letters and Apply for a Study Permit (October to December)
After applying, you must wait and regularly check your email and application portals to see if you get offer letters from your chosen universities. Once you receive the admission outcomes, we recommend accepting the letter from the educational institute that best suits your requirements.
Now, you can begin applying for a study permit. Getting a study permit for Canada is a complex process, requiring careful work and patience. Carefully follow all the guidelines while applying for a study permit, including getting a medical check-up at a registered panel physician and providing your biometrics.
An error or gap in your study permit application can jeopardize the visa process. So, keep calm, make sure you are fulfilling all the requirements properly, and apply with time to spare.
Step 5: Departure (January to February)
Now, you have an acceptance letter and a study permit - meaning you are all set to begin your journey. It is time to purchase a plane ticket and pack your bags. Before that, though, you need to find a place to stay - either on-campus or off-campus.
You can ask for help concerning housing from your university’s student support department. You will need to sort out your housing before arriving in Canada, since you might have trouble securing a place too close to the beginning of semester. Apply early so you have better options to choose from that are more budget-friendly! Having a place ready to move into is one less thing to worry about when arriving in Canada.
Colleges and Universities Offering January Intake in Canada
Here is a table of the list of the best-in-class Canadian colleges and universities that offer January intake and first-rate education.
|Colleges & Universities||QS World University Rankings 2023||Average Annual Tuition Fee|
|University of British Columbia||47||CAD 44,942.40|
|University of Alberta||110||Starts from CAD 14,568.40|
|McMaster University||152||CAD 43,000|
|University of Ottawa||237||CAD 25,554|
|University of Saskatchewan||473||CAD 25,121|
|Humber College ||-||CAD 11,036.08|
|Lambton College||-||CAD 9,100 |
|Fanshawe College||-||Starts from CAD 11,000|
|Douglas College||-||CAD 18,727|
|George Brown College||-||Starts from CAD 13,000|
Scholarship for January Intake in Canada
Since the tuition fee and living costs can be a concern when studying in Canada, a scholarship can surely help you save some bucks and make your stay worry-free. Below you will find some popular scholarship programs in Canada that can help you financially and aid you in achieving your goal. Remember, universities offer many exclusive scholarships to their students, so be sure to look into them!
|Scholarship||Offered By||Benefits||Application Deadline|
|Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program||University of Toronto||Covers tuition fees, books, full residence support for four years, incidental expenses, etc. ||January 16, 2024|
|International Entrance Scholarship||University of Calgary ||Awards up to $20,000||December 1, 2023|
|The Graduate Global Leadership Fellowships (GGLF)||University of British Columbia||Offers up to $18,200 on tuition for four years||February/March 2024|
|Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award||University of British Columbia||Covers tuition fees and living expenses||November 15-December 1, 2023|
|International Master’s Award of Excellence (IMAE)||University of Waterloo ||Awards up to $2,500 per term for a maximum of five terms||December 2023|
|University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF)||University of Manitoba||Offers up to $14,000 per year at the master's level and $18,000 per year at the doctoral level||February 2024|
Advantages and Disadvantages of the January Intake in Canada
Every intake offered by Canadian universities has some advantages and disadvantages. The January intake isn't an exception. Here are some pros and cons you will encounter while applying to Canadian universities and colleges during the January intake.
Advantages of Applying for the January Intake in Canada
Students get plenty of time to prepare themselves for admission. They face less competition since fewer students apply for the January intake than for Fall. As a result, the chance of securing a seat in their target program at their chosen university is higher.
Also, international students may have a better shot at winning scholarships since there is less competition for this intake. Some students prefer the smaller class sizes and greater one-to-one attention possible during the Winter intake too.
Drawbacks of Applying for the January Intake in Canada
While the January intake offers some advantages, it comes with some cons too. Many students find it challenging to cope with the cold climate in winter in Canada. For students from mostly tropical and equatorial places, like Bangladesh, this might be a big adjustment to make right away.
Alongside this, students have fewer options when choosing universities and programs for this intake. You may not have as many options in electives and courses for your program. And while smaller class sizes are a plus for some students, others may prefer a livelier experience with packed classrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the January Intake in Canada a Good Intake to Apply for?
Indeed, the January intake is a good one to apply for since it allows you to avoid heavy competition while applying for admission in the Fall. This one is a great alternative for those who miss the Fall intake or want to increase their chances of getting accepted by a Canadian university.
Which Intake in Canada is Better for Bangladeshi and Indian Students?
Fall intake, aka September intake, is the popular intake among international students, including Bangladeshi and Indian ones. This intake allows students to apply to many universities, choose their favorite courses, and apply for lucrative scholarships. It is the prime intake in Canada that many students aim to apply for to fulfill their dream of studying in Canada.
Nonetheless, if you can’t make the Fall intake deadline for some reason, the Winter intake is a great alternative. You will still find a good number of universities and programs on offer for this intake. It’s also a great choice if you don’t wish to wait another year to enroll in the next Fall.
Which Intake Has a High Visa Success Rate in Canada?
The visa success rate for Canada can vary over time. In 2019, the country saw approval rates of 60%. Despite a drop in 2020 due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions, this percentage bounced back to 60% again in 2021. Approval rates can vary across the source countries of the applications too. It’s more difficult to pinpoint whether there is a tangible difference in visa success across intakes though.
Our Concluding Thoughts
The January intake in Canada is an excellent opportunity for international students who miss the September intake or want to avoid the high competition and secure a guaranteed seat in their favorite courses.
If you are planning on aiming for the January intake in Canada for 2024, we suggest you start preparing now for a successful application. We hope you found this guide informative and helpful and enjoyed reading it. Learn more about studying in Canada in our extensive guides!