Why Study in Canada?
Preparing for your future can be both a scary and exciting stage of your life. There are so many options and avenues to choose from! To broaden their horizons and experience something new, many students opt to study abroad.
Out of all the many choices available to students, Canada comes out on top. In fact, the number of international students has risen dramatically over the last few years. Why the sudden infatuation with Canada and its maple leaf? Here are 7 good reasons to choose Canada for your studies.
1. Live in a bilingual environment
Canada is a bilingual country, which makes studying here an excellent opportunity to develop your language skills and boost your prospects for an interesting career. Coursework in French and English is an integral part of Canada’s educational system, which enriches its cultural and community life.
2. Benefit from a world-class education
Canadian college and university diplomas are recognized around the world. The Canadian educational system encourages cross-disciplinary studies and the development of transferable skills (e.g., critical thinking, teamwork and communications) and uses cutting-edge technology and digital media.
Six Canadian universities ranked in the 2016-2017 top 100 for the best universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Ratings. The University of British Columbia (19th), the University of Toronto (21st), McGill University (45th), Western University (67th), York University (75th) and the University of Montreal (100th) all made the cut.
3. Gain work experience in Canada after you graduate
The Canadian government offers a work program to students who have obtained a diploma from a post-secondary school in Canada and are looking to gain work experience. This is an excellent way to continue to live in Canada while diversifying and developing your professional skills.
4. Ride Canada’s tech wave
The telecommunications, digital media, video game, biotech and aeronautical engineering industries are particularly strong in Canada. In addition, Canada was the first country to link its schools and libraries to the Internet through its innovative SchoolNet program. It is therefore not surprising that nearly 90% of Canadian households are connected to the Internet. In fact, according to a study by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Canadians rank 2nd in the world for the average number of hours spent online per user (41.3 hours per month). Among G8 countries, Canada takes 2nd place in terms of Internet penetration rates. What’s more, Wi-Fi is accessible virtually anywhere in the country. For example, Montreal has launched an initiative to provide free Wi-Fi across the city. This will make it easy to stay in touch with your family and friends!
5. Enjoy an excellent quality of life
According to QS World University Rankings, three Canadian cities, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, made the list of the top 50 student cities. The ranking was based on several criteria, including affordability, the diversity of the student population, and employers’ perception of graduates on the job market.
Canada boasts an enviable quality of life, with a cost of living (e.g., housing, transportation, tuition) that is lower than in other countries, such as the US, France and the UK, and offers safety, stability and respect for the rights of individuals and communities.
6. Have an enriching cultural experience
Canada has a highly diverse population, resulting in a rich and vibrant cultural scene. To begin exploring what Canada has to offer, visit each province’s tourism website. Below are a few recommended experiences that should not be missed.
Enjoy the sounds of the Montreal International Jazz Festival: A must for music lovers, this world-renowned event brings together over 3,000 artists from some 30 countries every year. More than 2 million festivalgoers flood the city’s streets for the 1,000 concerts on offer!
Don a pair of cowboy boots for the Calgary Stampede: The Calgary Stampede is one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the world and attracts over 1 million visitors every year. In the space of just a few weeks, the city becomes one big party, with its residents dressed as cowboys, its buildings and storefronts decorated with western flair, and barbecue and pancake breakfasts served everywhere.
Take in a hockey match: Hockey is to Canada what soccer is to Europe. It’s more than a national sport; it’s practically a religion! Canada has seven national hockey teams (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa). To truly experience the frenzy over hockey, you need to watch a match during the playoffs, which generally take place around May.
Indulge in some poutine: This perfect blend of French fries, gravy and cheese curds is a treat enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, at any time of day or night. Several Canadian cities even hold an annual Poutine Week!
Visit a sugar shack: Mid-march to mid-April is the sugaring-off season in Quebec, when sap (also called maple water) is harvested to make maple syrup. To sample all sorts of treats made with this wonderful product, nothing beats a visit to a sugar shack, a festive place to eat, dance and put on a few pounds!
7. Discover the country’s natural beauty
Canada is an extremely vast country: Its surface area is 14 times larger than that of France. It offers a multitude of magnificent landscapes that can be explored throughout the country’s four distinct seasons. Many Canadians complain about the country’s harsh winters, but the cold season provides an opportunity for dedicated skiers and ice skaters to practice their sport in majestic surroundings. Here are just some of the most scenic places to visit: the pristine beaches of Prince Edward Island, the impressive fjords of the Saguenay and the Percé Rock of the Gaspé in Quebec, the fascinating Rockies and Lake Louise in Alberta, Niagara Falls in Ontario, Jasper National Park also in Alberta and Whistler Mountain in British Columbia. From the sea to its mountains, prairies and forests, Canada is an endless source of natural beauty!
For international students, very few places offer the advantages that Canada does. Its universities, among the best in the world, are at the heart of its rich and diverse culture. Canada is a country with an excellent standard of living and where there are many opportunities to get some experience in your field of studies. As a bilingual, safe and welcoming place, Canada won’t disappoint students who are looking to broaden their horizons…