There are some very good reasons for studying at a Canadian university, and the country is attracting students from around the world. Whether you’re looking for a quality education or a better quality of life, you can find it all in Canada.
Here are 6 great reasons to come to Canada to study:
1. Quality of life
Like other immigrants, students flock to Canada for its reputation as a politically stable and economically prosperous nation. For the most part, Canada is a very safe, healthy and happy society. Crime and unemployment are relatively low, and the quality of life is among the highest in world. The democratic government guarantees basic human rights and civil liberties to all its citizens. Like the American Bill of Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms identifies four “fundamental freedoms”, namely freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of expression (free press and of other media of communication), and freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Essentially it provides everyone with equal protection under the law. And subsequent court rulings have made sure that these rights and protections apply equally to men, women, minorities, gays, lesbians and transgenders.
Furthermore, Canada’s geographic position in North America isolates the country from most international conflicts. Good relations with the USA, the superpower next door, ensure that Canada maintains peace and prosperity. Finally, despite having a relatively low population of about 37 million—slightly smaller than California— Canada is the second largest country on earth after Russian, in terms of area. And with an enormous treasury of natural resources, including some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, Canada is a truly rich nation.
2. High standards
Canada’s high standard of living is also evident in its standards of education. A degree from a Canadian university earns as much respect around the world as one from the United States or the United Kingdom. In the U.S. News and World Report 2019 ranking of global universities, Canada had seven schools in the top 200 and three made in the top 50. The University of Toronto ranked #20, University of British Columbia was #29, and McGill University in Montreal came in at #43.
In addition to these world class universities, Canada also boasts an impressive network of public and private colleges and vocational schools. Whether you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree or a PhD, or if you’re interested in continuing your education through professional or technical training, the opportunities in Canada are diverse, abundant, and top quality.
The reasonable cost of a higher education is another major draw that lures international students to Canada. Among the English speaking countries of the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, none offers a less expensive undergraduate degree, on average, than Canada. Canadians pay about $6,000 CAD a year to attend university, while international students pay more like $14-16,000 CAD to pursue a degree in Canada. And even after the international student fees, many Americans are still finding it less expensive to study up north than in their own home country.
But the price of enrollment isn’t this only factor. It’s also important to look at the cost of living. After tuition is paid, students and their families still have to cover rent, groceries and incidentals. Cost of living can vary greatly between cities (see our article on the Cost of Living in Montreal vs Toronto), but on average, living is significantly cheaper in Canada than in the rest of the English speaking world.
4. Work opportunities
One great benefit of the Canadian Study Permit is that it also functions like a work permit. In most cases, international students in Canada can work part-time jobs on or off campus without needing a work permit in addition to their study permit. In this sense, the Canadian study permits gives students a number of advantages. First of all, the chance to earn a little money during your time in school can be very helpful to offset the cost of pursuing an education. The life of a student is filled with unexpected expenses, so a little income can make a big difference.
Additionally, the possibility to gain work experience in Canada can open up a host of opportunities. If you choose to stay in Canada, your chances of finding work will be greatly improved if you already have some Canadian experience. You might even qualify for the Canadian Experience Class visa program if you’ve been working in a more highly skilled field. And if you end up returning to your native country, your resume will look all the stronger when can show that you have work in experience from Canada.
5. Job Opportunities
Besides the part-time jobs that are available to international students, a degree from a credited Canadian university will open up great opportunities around the world. A Canadian education can prepare you for a career in any number of competitive and high-paying professions. By building strong relationships with other leaders in your field, as well as advancing your language proficiency in English and/or French, you will gain a very favorable position in the global economy.
6. Path to immigration
Lastly, if you’ve ever dreamed of moving to Canada permanently, entering as a student might be the optimal way to get your foot in the door. Once you graduate, it’s a fairly straightforward process to extend your stay. You can try to get a work permit in order to continue working in Canada, or you can apply for permanent residency.
Most parts of Canada also offer a variety of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to ease the immigration process for skilled workers and temporary residents who are already working or studying in a particular province or territory. Recent graduates can usually find a provincial immigration stream that will enable them to effectively upgrade from study visa to permanent residence. Check out our detailed article on Provincial Nominee Programs to learn more about the specific requirements and application procedure.
In any case, you will have a great advantage over other applicants from outside the country who have no work or study experience. With a Canadian degree in hand, you will definitely have a great head start over other immigrants when it comes to finding gainful employment.
PHOTO CREDIT: Students exchanging ideas in a lively, academic discussion (Unsplash)