Canada is among the top destinations in the world for international students. The foreign student population in Canada has grown six-fold in the last two decades and the number has tripled in the last 10 years alone.
According to Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) research, Canada is a popular choice among foreign students because of various factors such as the country’s strong quality of education, multicultural environment, for its reputation as a tolerant, safe and a non-discriminatory society. It is also home to some of the top-ranked universities in the world, and offers post-study work options and immigration opportunities.
A recent announcement regarding Canada's 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan revealed that the country aims at welcoming over 400,000 immigrants every year. This means that the number of new permanent residents in Canada will further increase from 401,000 in 2021 to 411,000 and 421,000 in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Another reason for international students to choose Canada is that the overall expenses are lower as compared to many other countries.
CBIE has also reported that some 60% of international students have expressed interest in becoming permanent residents of Canada after completing their higher education.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data suggests that 827,586 international students held valid study permits in Canada in 2019. Of these, 402,427 new study permits were issued (a 15% increase from 2018). In 2019, 11,566 study permit holders were granted permanent residency.
After the United States and Australia, which have an estimated 1.1 million and 700,000 international students respectively, Canada ranks third globally in terms of foreign student attraction with over 642,000 international students.
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For international students, the famous Canadian provinces for higher education are Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario. These provinces are home to most of the top-ranked universities in Canada.
Some of its popular universities that consistently rank among the top 100 in the world include the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, and University of Alberta.
Are you interested in studying in Canada?
Canada is now set to allow international students to return to its universities. Students will be allowed to return to institutions once the plans will be approved by the provincial government. As per the government guidelines, students will have to undergo 14 days quarantine before starting their studies at the institution.
Students whose institution will be listed in the DLIs approved by the province or territory will only be allowed to enter Canada. Also, the student must agree to follow the COVID-19 readiness plans to visit the country. Students will have to demonstrate the reason for travelling to Canada, the ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period, show a valid study permit and letter of acceptance to the border services officer at the time of visit, after which the stay will be approved by the authorities.
The education system of a country varies from country to country. In Canada, students are encouraged to pursue higher education at different levels basis their competencies and interest. Listed below are the types of Canadian higher education that you must be aware of:
Certificate level (One year) – It is a qualification that is awarded upon the successful completion of a program which is usually one year in length.
Diploma level (One or two years) – It is a qualification which is awarded on the basis of one or two years of successful study.
Advanced Diploma (Two or three-years) – A three years programme, some of which may lead to a Bachelor’s Degree.
Bachelor degrees (Four years of full-time study) – These are awarded by Universities/ University Colleges/ Community Colleges after four years of full-time study and further lead to graduate level studies.
Post-graduate Diplomas/Certificates (One or two years) – It leads to a Master’s degree. These programs have work terms which provide full-time opportunities to gain practical experience along with theoretical studies. A typical term lasts 12 to 17 weeks. The prerequisites to participate in these programs are a Bachelor’s Degree of 3 or 4 years duration.
Master’s degrees (one to two years) – Graduates who have an interest in further learning and pursuing research and for those who want to broaden their career possibilities can go in for Master’s degree. It is for 2 years duration and can be pursued after a 4 years Bachelors or a 3 years Bachelors and a 1 year Post Graduate Diploma from Canada.
Doctorate or Ph.D (four to seven years) – It is a degree that ranks above the Master’s Degree and generally requires four to seven years to complete.
Canada attracts international students from various countries across the globe. In other words, Canada is regarded as an education superpower. The country offers a sound education system, immigration system open to everyone and a student-friendly environment. Some of the major benefits of studying in Canada are –
Quality Education: The quality of education in top universities across Canada and living standards are the highest in the world. Canada’s academic standards are high with rigorous quality controls. The degree earned from top Canadian universities will have a greater value in the job market.
Affordable Education: The cost of education and the cost of living in Canada is generally affordable. The tuition fee in most of the universities is low when compared to other countries. With a reasonable cost of education, one can get access to quality education in Canadian universities.
Immigration Policies: Canadian government permits students to stay in Canada up to three years after graduation, which is more than enough for a graduate to find employment and settle in Canada. Once you secure a job in Canada, it is very easy to obtain a permanent residence visa in Canada.
Abundant Research Opportunities: Research is one of the key components of the Canadian education system. There is a scope to pursue research in diverse fields in Canadian universities due to the availability of various scholarships schemes.
World-Class Language Education: Canadian Universities teach both French and English as the first and second language. It helps international students to gain excellent command over the language so that they can find better employment opportunities.
Potential for Growth: As an international student in Canadian universities, you will have a lot of potentials to grow yourself both personally and professionally. There are vast employment opportunities for graduates of Canadian universities.
Life in Canada, in general, is easy-going, fast-paced and exciting for those who make full use of it. Following points can be kept in mind while contemplating the idea to move to Canada for higher studies or even employment:
1. Weather-wise, Canada experiences four seasons – Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring – out of which the winters are extreme – depending on the exact location within Canada.
2. The cities within Canada are well connected through a strong commutation network – aeroplanes, trains, buses, taxis, subways etc.
3. Food is not a problem anywhere in Canada. One can find all types of cuisines in every town, be it Indian, American, Continental, Italian, Chinese etc.
Canadian cities are also popular among students for the recreational and sports activities that it has to offer which include tennis, baseball, soccer, golf, swimming etc. Apart from that, skiing, snowboarding and hiking are also sought-after outdoor activities. Universities across the country encourage their students to take part in them.
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