If as an international student and you are dreaming of becoming a pharmacist in Canada, you have an admirable goal and we will show you the steps to follow to achieve your goal in this guide.
There is no better place to receive a top-notch education than in Canada. and in this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about studying pharmacy in Canada as an international student.
From the requirements to the application process, we’ve got you covered. Pharmacists are in high demand across Canada, which means, you will be gainfully employed after graduation.
How to become a pharmacist in Canada for international students
To become a pharmacist in Canada, you need the right certificate and the right license.
Check if you are eligible
To begin your journey, make sure you meet the following prerequisites:
- Educational background: You’ll need a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) or equivalent degree from a recognized institution.
- Language proficiency: You also need to prove your proficiency in English or French, you can do this by taking any of the recognized language tests like IELTS or TOEFL (for English) or TEF (for French).
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC):In addition to your education and language proficiency, you need to complete the Evaluating Exam and the Qualifying Exam offered by PEBC.
These exams are used to assess your pharmacy knowledge and skills; this is to make sure that you have the required skills to practice pharmacy in Canada.
Secure admission to a Canadian pharmacy program
Your next step is to secure admission to a pharmacy program in Canada. You have to look for programs that are accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP).
You can find these programs in popular Canadian universities and Colleges like the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and Dalhousie University.
Before they admit you, you must meet their admission requirement, so before applying, ensure you meet the program’s specific admission requirements.
These requirements may include academic transcripts, reference letters, and a personal statement.
Study and complete the pharmacy program
Once you get admission, study your pharmacy program. Most times, the program takes four years and includes classroom lectures, practical laboratory work, and clinical rotations.
You’ll gain a deep understanding of pharmaceutical sciences, patient care, and ethical pharmacy practice through this program, it will prepare you for the work ahead.
Complete a structured practical training program
After your academic studies, you’ll need to complete a structured practical training program. This program usually involves working as an intern pharmacist in various healthcare settings. The training program helps you to gain hands-on experience and apply your knowledge.
Pass the PEBC qualifying exam
Before you can practice as a pharmacist in Canada, you must successfully pass the PEBC Qualifying Exam. This exam evaluates your competence and readiness to work as a licensed pharmacist in Canada.
Obtain your license
Once you’ve passed the PEBC Qualifying Exam, you can apply for licensure with the pharmacy regulatory authority in the province or territory where you intend to practice.
Each province has its licensing requirements and application process. During your application process, they will require you to provide documents like transcripts, exam results, and proof of practical training.
Language proficiency assessment
For the last time, you may also need to undergo a language proficiency assessment (it doesn’t happen all the time) if English or French is not your first language.
They do this test to ensure you can effectively communicate with patients and healthcare professionals.
Complete the jurisprudence exam
Remember we said each province has its method of examining your qualification to practice.
Some provinces require pharmacists to complete a jurisprudence exam to assess their understanding of pharmacy laws and regulations specific to that province.
Start your pharmacy career
Once you get your license, you can start your pharmacy career in Canada. You can now enjoy the benefits of working here in such an important field.
As a Pharmacist in Canada, you need to engage in continuous professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field. You have to continue learning, in Pharmacy, learning never stops.
Can international students work as pharmacists in Canada?
Yes, international students who have completed their pharmacy education in Canada and meet the necessary licensing requirements can work as pharmacists in the country.
To work as a pharmacist in Canada, you need to obtain a license from the pharmacy regulatory authority in the province or territory where you intend to practice.
How much does it cost to study pharmacy in Canada as an international student?
On average, you can expect to pay between CAD 20,000 to CAD 40,000 per year for tuition fees as an international student in Canada.
Additionally, you should budget for living expenses, which can range from CAD 10,000 to CAD 15,000 per year, depending on your location and lifestyle.
Becoming a pharmacist in Canada as an international student is an achievable and great career choice.
If that’s your dream, you are on the right path. You need to obtain the right qualifications, undergo the test and training required by the province where you wish to practice, and obtain your license before you can start practicing.
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