Canadian colleges, universities, technical institutes and other educational institutions encourage applications from qualified international students. If you are going to study in Canada for more than six (6) months, you need a study permit. Applicants going to study in any field in Canada for six (6) months or less do not require a Study Permit and can be apply for visitor visas. However, this applies only if the full course will be completed in six six months or less. You cannot go to Canada on a visitor visa and study the first six months of a longer course without a study permit and then obtain a permit later.
If you intend to study in the province of Quebec, you also need a Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) from the Quebec government.