Canada is a land of diversity, opportunity, and innovation. It is one of the most popular destinations for international students pursuing higher education abroad. But what makes Canada so attractive for students from different countries and backgrounds? Here are some reasons why Canada is a great destination for international students.
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Canada is home to some of the world’s top universities and colleges, offering various programs and degrees in various fields of study. According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, Canada has 26 universities in the top 500 and four in the top 100. Canadian institutions are known for their academic excellence, research impact, and innovation. They also provide students with a stimulating and supportive learning environment, with access to state-of-the-art facilities, libraries, and laboratories.
Canada is also a leader in international education, strongly focusing on multiculturalism, bilingualism, and global citizenship. Canadian institutions welcome students from over 200 countries and regions and offer many opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. Many programs also include co-op, internship, or study abroad options, allowing students to gain valuable work experience and exposure to different cultures and perspectives.
Affordable Cost of Living
Compared to other popular study destinations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, or Australia, Canada offers a relatively affordable cost of living for international students. According to the QS Best Student Cities 2024, Canada has three cities in the top 10 for affordability: Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. These cities also rank high for quality of life, culture, and student experience.
The cost of living in Canada depends on various factors, such as the location, the type of accommodation, the lifestyle, and the exchange rate. However, on average, an international student can expect to spend between CAD 15,000 and CAD 30,000 per year for tuition, fees, and living expenses. This is significantly lower than the average cost of living in the United States (USD 36,000 to USD 58,000), the United Kingdom (GBP 22,000 to GBP 38,000), or Australia (AUD 27,000 to AUD 42,000).
Friendly and Welcoming Culture
Canada is a country that celebrates diversity, tolerance, and inclusion. It is one of the most multicultural and multilingual countries in the world, with over 200 ethnic groups and 60 indigenous languages. Canada also has two official languages, English and French, and many Canadians are bilingual or multilingual. This makes Canada a great place for international students to learn new languages and cultures, and to interact with people from different backgrounds and experiences.
Canada is also known for its friendly and welcoming culture, with a reputation for being polite, respectful, and helpful. Canadians value human rights, democracy, and peace, and are actively involved in social and environmental causes. Canada is also one of the safest and most stable countries in the world, with a low crime rate, a high quality of health care, and a strong social security system. International students can feel safe and comfortable in Canada, and enjoy a high standard of living.
Attractive Career Opportunities
Studying in Canada can open up many doors for international students who want to pursue their career goals and aspirations. Canada has a dynamic and diverse economy, with a strong presence in sectors such as technology, engineering, finance, health care, education, and natural resources. Canada is also a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, with a supportive ecosystem for start-ups and small businesses. Canada ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for innovation, competitiveness, and ease of doing business.
Canada also offers many opportunities for international students to work during and after their studies. International students can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) on or off campus while studying, and full-time during scheduled breaks, without a work permit. This can help them earn some extra income, gain relevant skills and experience, and build their professional network. International students can also apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing their studies, which allows them to work in Canada for up to three years, depending on the length of their program. This can help them gain more work experience, enhance their resume, and increase their chances of obtaining permanent residency or citizenship in Canada.
What are some popular universities in Canada?
Many popular universities in Canada offer high-quality education and research opportunities for students from all over the world. Some of the top-ranked universities in Canada, according to the QS World University Rankings 2024, are:
- University of Toronto: Ranked 21st in the world and first in Canada, the University of Toronto is a public research university with three campuses in Toronto, Ontario. It has over 70,000 students and offers more than 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs in various fields of study.
- McGill University: Ranked 30th in the world and second in Canada, McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec. It has over 40,000 students and offers over 300 undergraduate and 250 graduate programs in diverse disciplines. It is also one of the most international universities in Canada, with students from over 150 countries.
- University of British Columbia: Ranked 34th in the world and third in Canada, the University of British Columbia is a public research university with two campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia. It has over 60,000 students and offers more than 500 undergraduate and 300 graduate programs in various fields of study. It is also known for its innovation and sustainability initiatives.
These are just some of the popular universities in Canada that attract thousands of international students every year. You can find more information about the best universities in Canada on our site.
What are the admission requirements for international students in Canada?
The admission requirements for international students in Canada vary depending on the university and the program of study. However, some common requirements for all universities and institutions include:
- An updated passport
- Proficiency in either English or French, along with proof of passing prescribed language tests with minimum grades/bands
- Proof that you can finance your studies as well as the cost of living in the country
- A valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows you have been approved for a study permit
- Attendance at a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory
Some universities may also require additional documents, such as transcripts, diplomas, letters of recommendation, essays, or portfolios. You should check the specific requirements for your program and institution on their official websites or contact their admission offices for more information.
You can also find more information about studying in Canada as an international student at this link.
What are some scholarships available for international students in Canada?
Many scholarships are available for international students who want to study in Canada. The Canadian government offers some scholarships, while foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, or international organizations offer others. Some scholarships are based on academic merit, while others are based on financial need, field of study, or country of origin. Here are some examples of scholarships for international students in Canada:
- Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master’s): These scholarships are for high-calibre students engaged in master’s or doctoral programs in Canada. They provide $17,500 for 12 months to support research in health, sciences, engineering, or humanities.
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: These scholarships are for doctoral students who demonstrate academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills. They provide $50,000 annually for three years to study at Canadian universities in any discipline.
- Study in Canada Scholarships: These scholarships are for students from post-secondary institutions in the new eligible countries/territories who want to pursue short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canada. They provide up to $10,000 for four months to cover tuition, living expenses, and travel costs.
- Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program: These scholarships are for students from Latin America and the Caribbean who want to pursue short-term exchange opportunities for study or research at Canadian post-secondary institutions. They provide up to $7,200 for four months to cover tuition, living expenses, and travel costs.
- International Development Graduate Student Awards are for master’s, PhD, and post-doctoral students who want to research international development challenges. They provide up to $20,000 for one year to support fieldwork in developing countries.
These are just some of the scholarships available for international students in Canada. You can find more information here.
Canada is a great destination for international students who want to pursue their higher education abroad. Canada offers high-quality education, affordable cost of living, a friendly and welcoming culture, and attractive career opportunities for international students. Canada is also a beautiful and diverse country, with stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Studying in Canada can be a life-changing experience for international students, as they can learn new things, meet new people, and explore new possibilities. Canada is more than just a place to study; it is a place to live, grow, and thrive.