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More international students choosing Canada in 2018, Americans included

Canadian universities have steadily been receiving more foreign students over recent years. International students have long been drawn to studies at English speaking universities, with the United States, Australia and UK joining those of the most desirable destinations. Canadian universities are beginning to lead the pack in attracting students, even American students, who are choosing Canadian schools over high-ranking universities of the United States.

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Canadian universities saw a 20% increase in enrolled international students in 2017 alone, and an 119% increase since 2010. Canada sees most of its international students coming from China, India, South Korea, and the United States, with more than half of these students planning to eventually become permanent residents in Canada.

What is drawing international students to Canada in such numbers? The 2018 ICEF study points to three major factors putting Canadian universities at the forefront of student’s radars: accessibility of a student visa, cost of tuition and living, and general attitude towards newcomers.

Getting a Canadian study visa

To study in Canada for an extended period, international students must get a study permit. A permit typically lasts the entirety of your study program and allows you to work part-time throughout your studies. At the end of your program, you have a 90 day window before a permit expires, allowing you time to extend it through a post-graduate work permit (PGWP). A PGWP lasts up to three years and allows you to stay in the country after graduation in order to work in the country. With Canadian work experience and some extra time for applications, the PGWP makes for an easy transition to Canadian permanent residence!

While the Canadian government has made the process for securing a study permit easier, the United States continues to put restrictions on their study visa. 2017 saw the United States floating a proposal that would require international students to re-apply for permission every school year, as well as longer processing times and more rejections for H-1B visas.

Tuition and Living Cost

Canadian universities are becoming more and more favorable as American tuition fees rocket skyward. For diverse and highly-regarded educational experiences, Canadian fees are a more affordable option for international students coming to North America. The average annual tuition rate for an international student completing a four year degree in Canada is approximately $27,159, and $45,950 at a private American university. With Canadian citizenship, tuition fees drop to an average of $6,838 per year!

Political Climate and Attitude Towards Newcomers

For many international students, public attitudes and policy towards newcomers is an important factor. Canada has been making significant moves towards strengthening immigration to the country, and building services to ensure newcomers have the best start possible. As Canada makes it easier for skilled newcomers to immigrate, the U.S. continues to make things more difficult.

Anti-immigration rhetoric, travel-bans, and visa uncertainty of recent years all add to an increasing shift away from the United States for international students. Canadian universities are even seeing an increase in enrollments from American-born citizens looking for more-affordable schooling that ranks among the best in the world. In 2017, McGill University saw a 21% increase in American applications, University of Toronto saw a 75% increase , and Quebec’s Bishop’s University increased by 200%!

Perhaps the best part about study in Canada is that it sets you up to be in an excellent place for efficient immigration to the country if you wish! Canadian education, work experience, and language skills will make an application for permanent residence more competitive, and sets you on the path to making Canada your home.

If you are interested in learning more about Canadian immigration, fill out our online free assessment. A member of the Canadim team will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your options!

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The Canadim Team!


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