Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area. Canada’s southern border with the United States is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra.
One of the biggest reasons students choose to come to Canada is the quality of a Canadian education. A Canadian degree is widely recognized as equal to one from the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom, and Canadian universities consistently do well in international rankings. In fact, in one study in 2016, three Canadian Universities were ranked in the top 50 universities in the world.
Cost is the most significant barrier for most students hoping to study abroad. Canadian international students have to pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. That said, the average annual tuition for an international student’s Canadian undergraduate degree was $16,746 USD in 2014. Compare that to the U.S. ($24,914 USD), Australia ($24,081 USD) or the United Kingdom ($21,365 USD).
Aside from paying tuition, international students also need to find housing and finance their daily lives. The cost of living in Canada is seriously affordable compared to most other top destinations for international students.
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Even though Canada is a relatively affordable option, there’s no doubt that studying abroad is expensive. Luckily, international students in Canada are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and full-time (30 hours/week) during scheduled breaks like summer vacation. Most students don’t need a work permit to work while they study, whether their job is on campus or off campus. Your study permit will indicate whether you’re allowed to work off campus.
When you travel abroad to study, you usually get temporary status in the country you’re studying in. That status usually expires when your program ends, so you have to return home when you graduate
Canada has a lot of programs designed to encourage international students to transition to permanent residence after their studies. Options like the Post-Graduation Work Permit let graduates stay and work on an open work permit after graduation and give them an opportunity to get some Canadian work experience. Most Canadian provinces have Provincial Nominee streams for applicants with experience studying or working in the province, and Canada’s federal economic immigration streams offer additional points for Canadian work and study experience. In 2015, 51 percent of international students planned to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Universities in Canada set their own fees, and these vary depending on several factors: what program you’re studying, whether you are an international or home student, and whether you’re studying at undergraduate or postgraduate level. According to the latest report from Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada rose by an average of 3.3 percent for undergraduate domestic students and 6.3 percent for international undergraduates in 2018/2019..
According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition fees for international students in 2018/19 are CA$27,159 (~US$20,600) per year. Arts and humanities courses tend to be cheaper, while subjects such as engineering and medicine are among the more expensive (an average of CA$30,742 (~US$23,300) per year). Fees for business and management courses are lower than the national average, at CA$26,395 (~US$20,000) per year.
If you want to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are generally lower, and again vary depending on your program. Statistics Canada puts the average postgraduate tuition fee at CA$16,497 in 2018/19, which is approximately US$12,500, and only a one percent increase from the previous year.
As is the case worldwide, executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive, averaging around CA$49,798 (~US$37,700), while regular MBA cost CA$30,570 (~US$23,160) on average.
Scholarships, grants and bursaries are available for international students wishing to study in Canada, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These include specific scholarships for sporting and academic achievement, and subject-specific scholarships.
Many universities in Canada offer their own scholarships, so you might also be able to apply for a scholarship offered exclusively by the university at which you plan to study. In all cases, it’s important to apply as early as possible as scholarship funding is limited and highly competitive. International applicants are also advised to research study abroad scholarship opportunities offered by organisations in their home country
One notable source of scholarships to study in Canada is the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to students of other Commonwealth countries. You might also find the financial assistance information on the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website useful.
If you’d like to get a part-time job to help support yourself while studying in Canada, you can work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without the need for a work permit.