Source : The Red Pen, https://theredpen.in/
Canada has become a popular destination for students wanting to pursue their higher education abroad, and there are many good reasons why. Many Canadian universities are internationally ranked and it's earned a reputation for being a safe place for students, offering a high standard of living for student communities. In 2018, Canada was ranked the 12th best place in the world to live in, according to the United Nations' annual Human Development Report. Over the past 3 years, it's also consistently found its spot among the top 6% of countries to live in. Committed to increasing diversity, Canada has spearheaded a number of equal opportunity initiatives such as student loans, apprentice incentive grants for women, an increased emphasis on the development of females through the CanCode programme and a greater focus on STEM subjects.
Here are 6 more reasons students should include Canadian universities among their schools of choice for higher education:
1. A hub for world-class education
Canada is home to many top-ranked universities like the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal. These universities have a strong reputation for both academic performance and high graduate employability rates. Canada is also the birth place of a lot of ground-breaking, cutting-edge technology and research, which in turn attracts quality professors who can provide a world-class educational experience for students.The Canadian government strongly believes that a good education provides students the path to better jobs, and subsequently a better quality of life. The government has allocated substantive budgets to educational institutions, so they can make use of the latest technologies and offer best-in-class facilities to their students. For instance, in Ontario, the 2018-19 infrastructure funding for universities is projected at USD317 million, according to University Affairs Canada.
2. Low tuition costs
For most parents and students, affordable tuition cost is usually a deciding factor for the choice of a university. Canadian universities offer low tuition and living costs compared to US and UK universities, without compromising on the quality of education.
A little math: A student who wants to study Computer Science at the University of Southern California has to pay approximately $57,000, inclusive of both tuition and living expenses. The same course (including tuition and living expenses) at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, would cost a student under $25,000. Students can use the government’s “Step 1-2-3” tool to compare programme costs in Canada.
Alternatively, if you require financial aid from Canadian universities, then it's important to note that although US universities offer more scholarship opportunities, Canadian universities provide more generous scholarships and funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships like the Queen’s University International Scholarships for undergraduates.
3. Permanent work opportunities
Favourable post-study immigration laws in Canada provide some relief for students who choose to study here. The detailed educational plan of Canadian universities encourages foreign students to pursue jobs during their Bachelor or Master degrees, and remain in the country for work opportunities after graduating.
Students in Canada are also allowed to work part-time on campus during the first 6 months of their programme and off campus on a part-time basis later on. Several programmes even offer a paid co-op term, where students can gain hands-on experience. For example, the University of Waterloo – one of the oldest co-op programmes in Canada – offers over 120 co-op programmes across faculties. Students who enrol in the Computer Engineering co-op programme in Canada typically complete about 6 co-ops in 5 years. With over 6,700 employers coming to the university to hire, it provides students with good job opportunities, which could open the door for them to apply for a Permanent Residency Visa.
4. Multiculturalism and diversity
Canada is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, where diversity is strongly encouraged both in the classroom and the wider society. This cultural diversity is good news for Indian students, who mostly apply to well-known universities that have bigger class sizes. For example, a typical undergraduate class at the University of Toronto has approximately 68,000 students. Such numbers tend to make any student feel lost, especially when they come from totally different cultural environments and countries. To help alleviate this, most universities have initiatives to help international students adapt and overcome culture shocks. For instance, McGill University has an International Student Services department, where students can meet advisors and discuss queries and concerns. Canada, itself a land of immigrants, encourages the sharing of ethnic foods, and the building of communities and recreational groups, making students from abroad feel more at home.
5. Safe, welcoming environment
A child's safety is every parent's primary concern. Canada ranked 8th on the Global Peace Index in 2017 and 2nd on the 2016 Social Progress Index. As a low-crime country, the Canadian government puts a high priority on residents' safety.
The country also welcomes incoming students with its picturesque geography and a wild landscape that stretches from the coastline of British Columbia to the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.
6. Vocational training opportunities
Canada offers a big advantage to students – vocational training. These training programmes are career-focused and job-intensive in nature, and go a long way toward making a student ready for the work force. For instance, Bishop’s University offers a certificate in Human Psychology for a duration of 1 year. Similarly, there are other courses that are specific to respective trade fields like healthcare and technology.
All in all, Canadian universities truly offer all the ingredients for well-rounded higher education, as well as many opportunities for future career and permanent residency prospects. With a selection of excellent academic institutions, and a safe and diverse environment, Canada is a great go-to choice for students who want to study abroad.
Article author: Aditi Bakht, Content Specialist, The Red Pen
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