- Canada has invested significantly in its education system and has one of the most respected post-secondary school systems in the world.
- The United Nations ranks Canada as having one of the highest standards of living in the world.
- At all levels of study, there are over 330,000 foreign students studying in Canada each year (Source: CBIE 2014)
- Canada’s excellent educational achievements have led it to have a highly innovative economy, a tolerant and multicultural society, safe communities, and extraordinary landscapes.
Why Do Students Want to Study in Canada?
1. A Multi-Cultural and Tolerant Society
Canada is an officially bilingual country in both English and French, however, across the country, more than 200 languages are spoken. The largest cities in Canada, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are home to many sizable immigrant communities and outside the major urban centers there are people from various backgrounds all across the country. A tolerant and multicultural society is among one of the top Canadian values—both informally, on the streets and public venues, and formally, as expressed in Canada’s constitution and laws.
2. Immigration Programs that Embrace Foreign Students
As noted by the Canadian Federal Minister of Immigration Minister John McCallum, “International students are the perfect candidates to become Canadian citizens and we are seeking them out, as are other countries around the world.”
Canada has put in place immigration policies to help foreign students in Canada:
- Students may be eligible to work part-time during their studies pursuant to their Study Permit.
- If students are married and their spouse accompanies them to Canada while they are studying, the spouse may be eligible for an open work permit.
- Students are eligible to stay and work in Canada after they compete their studies. Having Canadian work experience can help students apply for permanent residency and ultimately Canadian citizenship.
- Once a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, students may sponsor their parents, grandparents, spouse or dependent children to immigrate to Canada.
3. Learning the English Language
There are many excellent Canadian language programs to help international students with language proficiency and enable them to be accepted into post-secondary studies.
- Most universities and colleges have language schools which will allow students to gain conditional acceptance to university or college programs that can be put on hold until the student meets certain language requirements.
- Many Canadian universities offer “bridge” programs that allow students to study English while taking credited courses at the university. The language programs are designed to help students specifically with the language requirements for their area of study.
4. Quality Education
Canada is also ranked #1 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for higher education achievement—more than half of its citizens between the ages of 25 and 64 have a post-secondary education. The Times 2015–2016 World University Rankings placed seven Canadian universities in the top 200 (and four of these in the top 100).
Canada is among the most affordable of the leading study abroad destinations, and there are a number of scholarship and award programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels to assist international students. This financial aid is awarded based on criteria such as academic success, community involvement, athletic excellence, references from instructors and employers, or purely financial need.
Canada is a country that offers more than just beautiful mountains and fresh lakes. It is a high-tech industrial nation that is safe, friendly, and accepting, and one which prides itself on having first-rate schools and ongoing opportunities for everyone.