If you are considering going to school for design or applied arts in Canada, your post-secondary planning process should begin as early as high school. Design and applied arts schools in Canada and their programs can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Some of the classes that you will want to take are creative arts, creative writing (if offered) and math to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools that make your list. Computer and keyboarding skills are also beneficial for programs in this field. Make sure that you can meet the minimum English or French proficiency requirements by taking any English or French and communications classes in high school. Your portfolio represents you to a college as a potential student. Spend time preparing your portfolio in school and at home. For most schools your portfolio will play a determining factor in your admission to that particular school.
There are several additional things that international students can do to prepare and increase their chances of being accepted:
Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way for international students to develop interests, expand knowledge and improve the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for school in Canada. This will also help you if admission requirements include a personal essay, since you will be able to impress the committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to design and applied arts programs.
Design and applied arts admissions committees are often interested in international students' prior experience in the field, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining (or even starting) school arts-related clubs. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any competitive application.
Work experience - paid or volunteer - can also increase your chances of being admitted and is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees.
Develop your skills. Taking arts or craft classes in your home country is another way to show that you are serious and have already built up some knowledge about the field. This will also help you prepare for the portfolio required for most applications to design and applied arts programs.