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Exploring Canadian Universities

Canada, together with the United States comprises the two largest countries in North America. To Americans, our “neighbor to the north” is well-known for breathtaking landscapes, winter sports, and a reputation for politeness. Canadian universities should not be viewed as second rate or lesser alternatives to US universities. Considering Canada’s national language is also English, it’s accessible to American and foreign students alike. By exploring Canadian universities, international students can avail themselves of a quality education and welcoming environment with a plethora of opportunities for future employment.

Let’s take a closer look.

Canadian Universities Rank among the Best in the World

Canadian universities appear in the many global ranking systems such as U.S. News and World Report and QS World Rankings. The University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia are consistently ranked within the 50 best universities in the world. These universities score particularly high for research impact. Overall, Canadian universities are best known internationally for programs in the areas of Computer Science, Economics, Business, and Engineering.

The Admissions Process is Simple and Transparent

For the majority of Canadian universities, the application process is quick and simple. Essays are usually only required for specific programs. For students from the US, Canadian university admission decisions are based on high school grades. Since high school in most Canadian provinces begins in 10th grade, typically only transcripts from sophomore, junior, and senior year are considered. SAT or ACT scores are required, and most of the elite universities require scores from two SAT subject exams as well. Once an online application has been completed and transcripts and test scores are submitted, the application process is complete. If an acceptance letter is received, a student can apply for a study permit. What is a study permit?

International Students in Canada are Satisfied

The Canadian Bureau for International Education International Student Survey found that 90% of students reported feeling satisfied with their decision to study in Canada, and that 96% of students would recommend Canada as a study destination. The CBIE lists Canada’s tolerant and non-discriminatory society and its reputation as a safe country as top reasons for students choosing to study there. Compared to other global options, Canada provides an immersive international experience without the language barrier (except in Quebec). Many of Canada’s universities are renowned for promoting globalism by recruiting international students and faculty, and encouraging international collaboration through the exchange of people and ideas. As a result, Canadian universities possess a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

You May Be Eligible for Funding

Tuition at Canadian universities is significantly less than in the US if you’re a Canadian citizen, but is higher for internationals. However, there may be options to help pay for tuition costs.

While US federal grants such as the Pell Grant are limited to US colleges, students can borrow money through federal student loans to be used internationally. Eligible students can borrow up to $20,500 each year. Federal Direct PLUS Loans, taken out by the parents, can also be used at approved Canadian institutions. Additionally, many private scholarships are available. The Canadian Bureau for International Education is a great resource to start the scholarship search.

Considering the quality of Canadian universities and degree programs, the ease of the admissions process, and the overall satisfaction of international students pursuing higher education, students from across the globe should take a closer look at Canada as an option in their college search.


For more on Canadian universities, visit our University Listings page