The Great White North beckons you. The world’s second-largest country and one of its most socially responsible leaders, Canada has not surprisingly in recent decades developed into one of the most popular destinations for international students from all over the globe to study abroad. With a notoriously friendly national culture, millions of acres of rugged wilderness in its backyard, and a handful of the world’s finest universities in its major cities, choosing to study abroad in Canada can be one of the best decisions you ever make!
Although Canada is the second largest country in the world by total land area, the significant majority of its 40 million citizens are confined to the country’s southern border with the United States. Because much of its northern reaches remain uninhabitable, it is generally within these southern cities, spanning from east to west, where international students choose to study abroad in Canada.
Toronto – the country’s largest city, economic command post, and home to it’s top-ranked school in the University of Toronto – is undoubtedly one of the top destinations where to study abroad in Canada. Nearby Ottawa, the national capital which is also home to a handful of highly respected academic institutions, can be an equally fruitful place to take your studies.
On the country’s west coast, Vancouver is widely hailed as one of the world’s most livable cities, and is a progressive leader in many areas of social and environmental policy. In the far east, the French-speaking cities of Montreal or Quebec City can also prove intriguing landing spots to study abroad in Canada for those interested in the country’s Francophile history and culture.
The country is absolutely huge, so do your research on what cities in what regions might best offer the study abroad in Canada experience that you are looking for. Wherever you end up, take advantage of your time abroad to travel as much of the country as possible also!
Subjects & Courses
Canada boasts several of the top-ranked universities in the world, and because it is an English speaking country, you can generally enjoy a wide open selection of courses while you study abroad there (unless you attend a university in the Quebec province, where most courses are taught in French). Some premier universities in Canada include McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, and University of Toronto.
International student exchange and study abroad programs make it easy to enroll directly at Canadian universities and have your credits return back to your home school within most subjects. Some organizations will also alternatively offer study abroad programs in Canada which are exclusively tailored for international students, combining your normal studies with immersive lessons in Canadian culture and history.
Some of the most popular courses pursued by foreign students who study abroad in Canada include business, economics, environmental science, political science, and geography. You are in no way limited to these subjects, however, and should feel free to explore a diversity of academic fields while you study abroad in Canada. This is your chance to break free from academic routine and step out of your comfort zone!
Scholarships & Costs
Out of the major English-speaking nations (USA, Australia, UK), Canada boasts the most affordable higher education system by a significant margin, running on average around $10,000 per year. Because these tuition fees remain higher than most other countries around the world, and because Canada itself is a relatively expensive country to live in, it’s not a bad idea to explore available scholarships which can help ease the financial burden.
Accommodation & Visas
International students who study abroad in Canada will generally have the options of whether to live in campus dormitories, off-campus apartments, or in a homestay with a local family. All of these accommodation options have their pros and cons, so weigh the decision carefully, and be sure to pay close attention to the housing logistics offered by your study abroad program.
You will also usually have to apply for a study permit in order to study abroad in Canada, which is the equivalent of an international student visa. Normally your host university or study abroad program in Canada will guide you through this process, but in the meantime you can also check out our Embassy Directory for more specific visa information.
Benefits & Challenges
Emerging Force. While most of the world’s attention remains on the United States below Canada’s border, the northernmost country in the Americas has been steadily increasing its presence on the global stage in recent years. It is a great alternative destination to travel.
Global Education. As an English-speaking country with a large economy and advanced social infrastructure, it is no coincidence that Canada has become a magnet country for international students from across the globe, and has developed some of the world’s finest universities as a result.
The Wild. Canada is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, so nature lovers and environmental enthusiasts alike can have a ball exploring the country’s vast unsettled landscape. Don’t spend all your time in the cities – get out and adventure the wilderness!
Taking the journey to study abroad in Canada will place you squarely within one of the world’s most prosperous, equal, and progressive countries. Not a bad place to to enter into the international arena!