Across Canada are examples of excellence, innovation, and beauty, all of which—along with top-notch educational institutions—make Canada one of the leading study abroad destinations in the world Canada is one of the study destinations which holds International reputation for educational standards. The country spends more on education (as a percentage of GDP) compared to the OECD average, and is the second highest among G-8 countries. Canadian degrees are internationally equivalent to degrees from the United States or Commonwealth countries. Canada boasts a wide range of quality educational institutions for both degrees and diplomas in technical and professional disciplines. Over 1,30,000 international students attend Canadian colleges and universities. Canada holds high international reputation for educational standard. The cost of living in Canada is lower than countries like Australia, England or the United States. Canada also offers post study work options to the eligible applicants.

Why Study in Canada

  • Canadian universities are known for being consistently high quality and for offering internationally accepted degrees and credentials; some are ranked in the top 100 by reputable sources as The Times Higher Education Supplement and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities.
  • Over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered at more than 100 institutions nationwide—and, tuition is generally much lower than in other leading study abroad countries. Students can pursue their studies at one of Canada’s top universities for roughly half of what it would cost to attend an equally reputable program at a private US university.
  • International students can expect to be assisted in their university studies by such resources and services as orientation sessions, support programs, academic advising, prayer rooms, safewalk programs, student clubs, and assistance with medical concerns or housing issues.
  • International students can often work while they study, taking advantage of many cooperative education and internship opportunities. There are also immigration programs that international students may qualify for post-graduation.
  • The high quality of Canadian university education is further enabled by membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and provincial government charters.

So you want to study in Canada, but you need just a few more facts before committing to the full experience? Here are a few of the many reasons why others have chosen Canada for their study abroad experience.

Qualifications Valued Around the World

Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls mean that you’ll be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.

Affordable Education

The quality of education and living standards in Canada are amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. As such, Canada is often the preferred choice for students attending college or university.

Multicultural Society

With almost all of the world’s ethnic groups represented in Canada, it’s hard not to find ethnic foods and recreation activities associated with specific cultures. In fact, your international student advisor can help you get in touch with any number of ethnic clubs and associations for you to join while you’re here.

Healthy and Safe Communities

While you may have heard of or experienced Canadians’ friendly and open nature, you may not have known that the United Nations consistently ranks Canada as one of the best places in the world to live. As an international student in Canada, you’ll enjoy all of the same freedoms which protect Canadians – respect for human rights, equality, and a stable and peaceful society.

World-Class Language Education

Did you know that Canada is a bilingual country and is considered a world leader in language training? Since teaching French and English as a first and second language is an integral part of a Canadian education, you will be able to improve your fluency and capacity for either language as you further your studies.

Exciting Campus Lifestyle

Canada’s post-secondary campuses aren’t only wired with the latest in sophisticated technology, but countless other modern amenities as well. From Olympic-quality sports facilities to public concert halls and art galleries, Canada’s post-secondary campuses offer you enormous possibilities for learning and leisure. Plus, you’ll have incredible opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and gain valuable experience through student-run governments, radio, newspapers and businesses.

Innovative and Abundant Research Opportunities

Since research is one of the key components of a Canadian post-secondary education, you’ll have ample opportunity to become a part of this vibrant aspect of education. In Canada, government and industry together support research including: telecommunications, medicine, agriculture, computer technology, and environmental science.

Land of Possibilities

Under Canada’s highly dynamic and hands-on academic environment, you will not only acquire knowledge and skills in analysis and communication, but you will also learn how to express yourself, demonstrate your creativity, and develop your self-confidence! Teachers and professors are always available and eager to help with lessons, and studies fuse academic excellence with interaction and collaboration in the classroom.

Possibility of Immigration

Did you know that some international students with Canadian credentials and Canadian work experience may apply for permanent residency without having to leave Canada? For more information about the possibility of immigration to Canada once your schooling is complete, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Education system in Canada

Canada makes a large investment in its education system. In fact, Canada is one of the world’s top education performers and among the top three countries in spending per capita on public post-secondary education, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The tertiary education system in Canada is divided into:
• Certificate level, generally for a year
• Diploma level, for one or two years
• Advanced Diploma, generally two or three-year programs
• Bachelor degrees, awarded after four years of full-time study
• Post-graduate Diplomas/Certificates, for one or two years of study
• Master’s degrees, available after a bachelor degree to excel in a certain subject, for one to two years
• Doctorate or PhD, generally four to seven years

High-Quality Education At An Affordable Cost.

Canadian degrees, certificates, and diplomas are considered internationally equal to equivalent degrees in the U.S. and other Commonwealth countries. Canadians are serious about education, and their universities demonstrate that commitment with beautiful ultra-modern campuses. The variety of degree programs in Canada is vast, with everything from humanities to technology and health, with some very specialized environmental programs available only in the Great White North. In addition, English Language Schools and French Language Schools abound and offer a variety of side activities from skiing to camping. While the quality of education rivals the U.S. and the U.K., the costs of tuition and living are significantly lower.

A Safe Community.

Canada is a friendly, safe country with a high standard of living. Low crime rates, great student health benefits, and universities focused on student security and health make studying in Canada a good choice for anyone who’s uneasy about personal safety while abroad. The Global Peace Index ranks Canada among its top 10 safest countries in the world to visit.

Cathedral in Downtown, Toronto Photo by Tiffany Harrison

High-Tech Campus, High-Tech Country.

When the major educational institutions of the world adjusted to technological innovations, Canada played a great role and remains at the forefront of technology trends. It has consistently been an international leader in computer and information technologies, and has a reputation for excellence in such sectors as telecommunications, transportation, and engineering. Remember when the world started to recognize the need to connect schools and libraries to the Internet? Canada’s pioneering SchoolNet program has changed the way students learn and has made good echoes in other nations.

Those technological innovations seem to cover the entire country as countless other modern, high-tech amenities are pretty much available to everyone. From Olympic-quality sports facilities to public concert halls and art galleries, Canada offers enormous possibilities for learning and leisure. There are incredible opportunities to meet like-minded people and gain valuable experience through student-run governments, media, and businesses. Studying abroad in Canada opens up a wealth of research and scholars to draw upon for several disciplines.

Rich Multiculturalism.

Canada has a policy of encouraging multicultural diversity, and this has resulted in a welcoming environment where almost all the world’s ethnic groups are represented. The country ensures that people’s customs and traditions are preserved, and that value and dignity of all people are respected. You can simply be yourself, while feeling no pressure to assimilate to prescribed values.

An Exciting And Beautiful Place To Live.

Everyone studying abroad should remember that there is a lot of life outside campus, too. Whether you enjoy spending time or being active outdoors, or are simply interested in exploring nature and seeing an amazing assortment of wildlife, you don’t have to travel far in Canada to find it. From the lush coastline of British Columbia, the majestic Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the big skies of the prairies, the ‘maple sugar country’ in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, and the rugged hills and attractive coastline of the Atlantic Provinces — there’s usually an eyeful of natural beauty in Canada.

Toronto Skyline Photo by Tiffany Harrison

Possibility Of Immigrating.

After studying abroad in Canada, you may want to make the Great White North your permanent home. If you are considering moving to Canada, the “Canadian Experience Class” makes it easier for you. Applicants need to have graduated with a degree and have one year of work experience. They can apply for a permanent visa that will take 15 to 18 months to process. After that, you can make your temporary trip to Canada a permanent way of life.

Here are ten more great reasons!

  1. Nature and four distinct seasons

While Canada has big cities, we also preserve a huge amount of unsettled land and have many national and provincial parks. Because Canada is such a large country and borders three oceans (the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic), there is significant diversity in landscape from coast to coast and province to province. Canada also has four very distinct seasons and the temperature varies a great deal throughout the year. In the winter, certain cities almost never have snow, while other cities may get a lot. In the summer, temperatures can reach above 30 degrees Celsius. With such diversity, there’s something for everyone, including indoor and outdoor recreational activities at no or little cost.

  1. Excellent health care

Relative to other countries, medical insurance in Canada is inexpensive yet the services that Canadian hospitals provide are among some of the most advanced and accessible in the world.

  1. Canada’s education system

Canada’s universities maintain high standards of academic excellence and are consistently recognized in top international rankings. Moreover, Canadian tuition fees are some of the lowest in English-speaking countries.

  1. Internationally recognized degrees

Each year hundreds of thousands of international students attend Canadian colleges and universities. Their degrees are recognized around the world as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries. Canada boasts a wide range of quality educational institutions for both degrees and diplomas in technical and professional disciplines.

  1. Learn or improve another language!

For over a century, Canada’s two official languages (English and French) have been taught as second languages, which is why we are world leaders in language training. International students often choose to take language courses before beginning a regular academic program.

  1. Canada is a peaceful, politically stable, and safe country

Canada is a democratic country with laws that protect the rights of our citizens. Our country is also relatively unaffected by natural disasters.

  1. A multicultural country

Over the past century and a half, Canada has welcomed 15 million immigrants. Canada is also home to over one million aboriginal people, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. Canada has a national policy for multiculturalism and works to ensure that people’s customs and traditions are preserved and respected.

  1. Possibility to work in Canada after graduation

International students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college have the opportunity to work in Canada for up to one year after they receive their degree or diploma. International students can work on campus without a work permit. Plans are being made to allow international students to work off-campus, too.

  1. The United Nations ranked Canada as one of the best places in the world to live!

This assessment was based upon Canada’s achievements in terms of educational attainment, life expectancy, national income and general quality of life. It also took into consideration Canada’s abundance of fresh water, comfortable population density, low incidence of violent crime and model health care system.

Quality Education

Canada holds a proud international reputation for high educational standard. Canadian degree’s are internationally equivalent to degrees from the United States or Commonwealth countries. To ensure quality standards are met, all academic programs are subject to periodic review by the institutions that offer then, and in some provinces, government bodies. Organizations like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) have rigorous membership standards that must be met before membership is granted.

Programs to Suit your Needs

Post secondary institutions in Canada offer a wealth of program types and disciplines. Colleges offer certificates, diplomas, co-op placements, apprenticeships, and graduate certificate programs. While universities offer three and four year Undergraduate Degrees, Master’s programs and Doctorate or PhD programs. Thanks to new trends in education many colleges and universities are coming together to offer collaborative programs which offer the combination of hands-on learning that colleges are known for with the more theoretical approach of university studies.

Most importantly, each school has a style all its own. You can choose to study at a large, research-intensive campus in an urban centre, or if you’d prefer, you can enroll at a small liberal arts institution with a focus on undergraduate education, or find a middle ground where you fit best.

Value for your Money

There is no question that studying aboard is a huge financial undertaking. While it is important to think of your education as an investment, you should be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. Did you know that the cost of living in Canada is lower then countries like Australia, England or the United States? Toronto is considered the most expensive city in Canada, yet it is still 25% less per year then life in London, England. Furthermore, according to the Mercer Cost of Living report, living in Toronto is less expensive then New York, Sydney, Los Angeles and Chicago.1

Where you study makes a difference in tuition costs as well. International students who attend an American Public 4-year college Undergraduate program will most often pay “out-of-state” tuition fees, which averaged $15,778 in the 2006/2007 academic year 2. These costs are even higher for anyone who wishes to attend a Private College. Conversely, all Canadian universities receive public funding through the provincial governments, which not only ensures all universities adhere to a code of academic standards, but allows for lower tuition fees. In the same 2006/2007 academic year, international students who enrolled in Canadian Undergraduate programs paid an average of $13,2053 . That’s a savings of over $2,000 dollars!

Choose your School; Choose your Language

Canada is a bilingual country speaking both English and French which gives you an ability to choose your primary language of instruction. Schools like the University of Western Ontario, University of British Columbia and St. Fancis Xavier offer instruction in English. Other schools like College universitaire de Saint-Boniface, Universite du Quebec or Universite de Moncton offer instruction in French. Others still, like the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, and York University, offer instruction in both French and English. Many of these schools also offer English as a Second Language or French as a Second language programs.

A National Respect for Multiculturalism

Canadians are very proud of the diversity in their nation. In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. This means Canada recognizes the potential, value and dignity of all people regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language, or their religious affiliation.

According to a 2001 census, there are 34 ethnic groups which at least one hundred-thousand members each, and in 2007 it was found that allophones (people whose native tongue is neither French nor English) accounted for one fifth of the country’s population 3 4 . What does that mean to you? It means you can be yourself while feeling no pressure to assimilate to prescribed values.

They’ve got Technology and They know how to use it

Canada is one of the most connected countries in the world, and it shows in their education system. All schools have computer labs on campus, and have embraced technology in the classroom. From entire classes taught via distance education to using “clicker” technology in classrooms to allow for instant student polling technology is changing the way students learn, and Canada remains at the forefront of this trend.

Technology also takes focus outside of the classroom. A number of Canadian schools participate in worldwide technology challenges, like the North American Solar Challenge, which is the world’s longest solar car race. In this competition, schools must design and build cars that are both fully solar powered, and will adhere to local traffic laws. Currently six Canadian universities are set to partake in the 2008 challenge which will be taking place in the summer.

Student Services you can use

Undertaking higher education is not a task to be taken lightly, and schools truly want to do what they can to help their student’s succeed. That’s where student services come in. Although they may differ in availability from campus to campus the goal remains the same: provide service and support to ensure the success of students on campus. Student services range from personal counselling, health and medical services, to accessible learning services such as arranging note-takers, or offering study skill building workshops.

Quality of Life that Can’t be Beat

Canada is currently ranked 4th on the United Nations Human Development Index — an annual survey that uses a number of factors (life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living,and GDP per capita) to determine quality of life.6 They also have the highest ranking cities in North America – according to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2007, which ranks cities based on safety and stability. Five Canadian Cities ranked with in the Top 25 cities: Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary. Moreover, Calgary took top honours for being the most sanitary city in the world!6

Living in Canada Means Living it up!

Never forget there’s life outside of your campus too, and Canada has plenty to explore. As the second largest nation in the world Canada has a lot of outdoor activities to offer in many different climates. From skiing in fresh powder out in BC, to whale watching off the coast of Newfoundland, or hiking one of hundreds of trails in Ontario, there is something to please any outdoor enthusiast.

Prefer a little culture in your life? With hundreds of art, music, theatre, food, and drink festivals happening in each Province and territory you don’t have to travel fare to find fun and adventure waiting for you.

There’s a Community Just for you

Education comes from many places, not just the classroom. Universities and Colleges around the country offer many clubs and campus activities that will help complete your education experience. Improve your public speaking by joining the school’s toast masters society. Learn about Student Government and work to improve your campus by joining your school’s Student Union. Join a sorority or fraternity and become involved in the proud traditions of Greek life. Or, find some friends who share your particular love of early 1920s swing music and start your own campus club!

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