Canada has become one of the top choices for international students. With over half a million students, it’s clear that the country is doing something right. But if you’re planning to move there to further your education, you need the full picture. So, what’re the pros and cons of going to college in Canada?
The pros of studying in Canada are numerous and include a safe environment, quality education, opportunity to work, smooth visa procedure, and demand for skilled labour. But there are also challenges such as expensive tuition, cost of living, climate, and the acceptance rate at the medical schools.
Regardless of the challenges, going to college in Canada is a worthwhile experience that can bring you many career opportunities. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of going to college in Canada.
Pros of Studying in Canada
There are lots of advantages of studying in Canada which explains why many international students choose the country. They include:
1. Quality of Tertiary Institutions
Canada has a lot of world-class tertiary institutions which attract thousands of students. Around 5 Canadian universities are in the top 200 in the whole world. Degrees from these universities are recognized globally, and they’re known for the employability of their graduates. So, studying here is a great way to kickstart your career. One thing Canadian universities are noted for is their research standards. So, if you’re looking to attend world-class tertiary institutions with renowned research faculties, Canada is just the right place for you.
2. Safe Environment
The diversity of the country and the friendliness of its residents help to make it one of the safest countries to live in the world. It ranks highly on the global peace index, and as a student here, you’ll get to enjoy the peace and calm that has characterized the nation. Canadian universities also prioritize the safety of their students, especially foreigners, so you have nothing to worry about when you go to Canada to study. The diversity of Canada and the multicultural experience it offers makes it a great place for international students as they’ll likely find more people who share the same culture and ideals.
3. Work while Studying
International students in Canada can also take up part-time jobs and earn extra to sustain themselves and cover their expenses. International students in the country don’t require a work permit. With their study permit, they can work for up to 20 hours per week and work for unlimited hours during break and major holidays. To take up part-time jobs off-campus, the student must be enrolled in a registered university full-time and have a valid study permit. The program enrolled in must also require over six months to complete. There are also options for doing internships and working on campus.
4. Smooth Visa Application Process
Applying for a study permit in Canada is easier and more transparent than in other developed countries. Once you have all the required documents and pay the application fees, it’s only a matter of a few weeks before the immigration confirms your application and issues your student permit.
5. High Demand for Skilled Labour
The ageing labour force in Canada means a present demand for educated international graduates. So, Canada is more open to retaining students who come there to study as permanent residents. There is a pathway to residency for international students who want to remain in the country. A good example is the post-graduate work permit that allows international students to work in the country for three years after graduating. This option is available for graduates who completed a two-year study program in the country.
Those who complete a 12 month can get a 12-month post-graduate work permit. When you study in Canada, you have a better chance of getting on the pathway to permanent residency and eventually citizenship.
Cons Of Studying in Canada
Canada is far from perfect and international students experience all shades of these imperfections. Cons of attending a collection in Canada include:
1. Tuition Fees
While Canada is one of the cheapest commonwealth countries for quality and world-class education, it’s still very expensive. Compared to most currencies, the Canadian dollar is quite strong, so paying your tuition in another less valuable currency makes it even more expensive. Fortunately, some financial aids and scholarships make it a bit affordable, but even if you’re lucky enough to get that, you’ll discover that it’s still expensive.
2. Cost of Living
Closely related to the tuition is the high cost of living. Canada is one of the most expensive countries to live in globally. For residents who enjoy a strong economy, the cost of living is normal and not surprising. But when you’re moving from a fairly average economy, living expenses can be 50 – 70% higher than what you’re used to.
Everything from rent to groceries can cost you an astronomical amount if you convert it to your local currency. It is even more expensive since you’re not exactly earning fully in Canada. Of course, the standard of living in the country is also high, so you get your money’s worth, but affordability is still an issue.
3. The Low Acceptance Rate in Canadian Medical Schools
If you aim to study medicine or any related course, Canada might not be the best place for you. Beyond the high cost of studying these courses, Canadian medical schools accept very few international students. In some cases, they even prohibit them from applying unless there’s an arrangement between the governments of your country and that of Canada.
Another thing you’ll have to contend with here is the weather. Canada is one of the coldest places in the world, and the only country that can compete with it for that title is Canada. The winter season may even last for up to six months in some areas, and the cold weather isn’t limited to the remote areas. Major cities receive their fair share of the cold. Students from warmer countries may find it difficult to adapt to this climate. As a big country, there are few places such as Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, and Victoria where the winter is slightly warmer.
The benefits of attending a Canadian college outweigh the disadvantages. But the disadvantages are challenges that you should pay attention to and prepare for. It’ll be up to you to determine whether you can look beyond the disadvantages.