Why apply to university in Canada in 2021?
Canada is one of the world’s most popular destinations for studying abroad. Aside from world-class universities, the country is admired for its tolerant society, beautiful nature, and excellent quality of life, making it the dream country for international students – over 600,000 of whom currently attend its universities! If you still need convincing, here is a list of 10 compelling reasons why you, too, should apply to university in Canada in 2021!
Response to the pandemic
Great news – since 20th October, international students can once again enter Canada to begin their university studies! You can enter the country:
- If your school is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan
- If you have a study permit or a letter showing that you’ve been approved for a study permit
- Even if your programme is online
You won’t be allowed to enter Canada:
- If your study programme has been suspended or cancelled
- For non-essential reasons like tourism or recreation
—-Did you know? By the end of September, over 56,000 Canadian study permits had been approved!
But what exactly is a COVID-19 ‘readiness plan’? It’s a strict plan to ensure student safety, and make sure that you won’t be left without information or assistance in an emergency. The list of universities with government-approved readiness plans can be found here.
Readiness plans show how the university will:
- Provide you with the latest travel and health information
- Assist you with your quarantine plan
- Help you acquire necessities like food and medication
- Create a protocol if there are cases of COVID-19 at the school
Another reason to apply to university in Canada in 2021? In comparison to the US and UK, international students consider Canada safer, stabler, and more supportive. A report assessing the safety of nearly 200 countries with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic ranked Canada as the 12th safest country in the world.
The #1 reason to study at university in Canada? The country is home to world-class universities which attract the best scholars from around the world. Three Canadian universities are ranked in the world’s top 100 – the University of Toronto at #25, McGill University (nicknamed the ‘Harvard of Canada’) at #31, and the University of British Columbia at #45.
Canada’s top universities are renowned for their wide range of specialisations, research-intensive study programmes, and cutting-edge facilities. You can also study in co-op programmes, for example at the University of Waterloo, and get invaluable paid work experience while you study.
- Where are the 10 best universities in Canada, and how can you study there?
In comparison to other popular study abroad destinations, the cost of living in Canada is cheaper. Let’s compare the annual cost of living for a student in an expensive major city:
- The Universities of Montreal and British Columbia recommend USD$10,000-$11,000
- In Australia you would need a minimum of USD$14,000
- Kings College London and LSE recommend between USD$17,000-$20,000
The cost of studying at university in Canada is also cheaper. Let’s compare annual undergraduate tuition fees:
- In Canada, fees for foreign students are around USD$15,000
- In Australia, you’ll pay an average of USD$23,000 per year
- Average tuition fees in the UK are USD$29,100
Of course, tuition fees vary in accordance with your chosen programme and university. You can check the prices of different programmes on Aplic.io’s programme search.
- Check out our blog to discover other affordable places to study abroad!
Studying a bachelor’s degree at university in Canada can take as little as 3 years. This not only makes your study experience cheaper, but allows you to enter your chosen profession sooner! And to make university in Canada even more accessible, there are many scholarships on offer to international students.
- At Aplic.io we offer access to 140 Canadian scholarships on our website. Whether you want to study in Canada at undergraduate or postgraduate level, there is something for you. Some scholarships even exceed $70,000 – a life-changing award for an international student!
Favourable work and migration laws
Whist studying, full-time students are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the semester, and 40 hours per week during holidays. The minimum hourly wage is CAD$14.60 in British Columbia, $14 in Quebec, $15 in Alberta and $14 in Ontario. This can make a huge difference to your quality of life when you study at university in Canada.
Even better? The benefits don’t stop when you graduate! International graduates can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit programme. This allows you to work for between eight months and 3 years after graduation, depending on the length of your university course. You can work full-time or part-time in any sector, and your family can join you.
- PGWP requirements have been adjusted because of the pandemic. Students who have to study online, or who suspended their studies or studied part time in 2020, can still receive their full-length work permit!
Great employment opportunities
Canada has a low unemployment rate, especially among young workers. You’re likely to earn a great salary after studying at university in Canada, as GDP per capita is over USD$46,000 per year. What’s more, Canadian workers have lots of benefits, including paid maternity or paternity leave, holidays and sick pay. And in Canada less than 4% of employees work very long hours, compared to 11% in the US, 12% in the UK, and 13% in Australia!
As the 10th largest economy in the world, successful businesses of all industries have established themselves in Canada, giving you plenty of opportunities for work after finishing university in Canada. According to statistics, most graduates choose to work in the financial sector and banking, energy, transport and heavy industry, tourism, and sports.
The world’s second-largest country is teeming with wildlife and gorgeous landscapes. Bears roam in the thick forests, crystal clear lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water, snow-covered mountains glisten in the sun…and if you study in Canada, all this can be yours too!
Many of the universities in Canada are located close to areas of pristine nature. McGill University sits at the foot of Mont Royal in Montreal. The Vancouver Campus of UBC is perched on the western tip of the Point Grey Peninsula, surrounded by forest and ocean. And McMaster University lies in close proximity to the McMaster Forest and the Niagara Falls.
Rich student life
Universities in Canada are bustling with life thanks to the countless student societies at every school. Whatever you’re interested in – theatre, rock-climbing, chess – you’ll no doubt meet likeminded people. And if you really want to feel a part of Canadian culture, you should try out ice hockey, the national winter sport of Canada!
- Did you know? At Western University, nearly 25% of the student population belongs to a student society!
Many of Canada’s top universities have galleries, concert halls, and museums on their campuses. Not only can you study, but you can enjoy world-class art and culture at the same time! The University of Alberta is home to 29 museum collections, including the Museum of Zoology and Entomological Museum. McMaster University‘s art museum houses masterpieces by Picasso and Van Gogh. And the famous Chan Shun Concert Hall in Vancouver belongs to UBC!
Canada is renowned for being a tolerant and liberal country with regards to diversity, asylum, and inclusion. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been praised for his progressive attitude towards minority and indigenous issues. There are 250 different ethnic groups living in Canada, so no matter where you’re from, you’ll be welcome.
- Did you know? 96% of international students in Canada would recommend it as a study destination, and 60% plan to apply for permanent residence!
Canada is a bilingual country, and French is the mother tongue of 20% of Canadians. In some of the country’s universities, such as the Université de Montréal, all teaching is conducted in French! If you graduate with knowledge of not one, but two foreign languages, you’ll be on a path to success – another great reason to study at university in Canada.
International students make up nearly 15% of Canada’s student population! Most come from India and China, and choose to study in Ontario or British Columbia. If you study statistics, computational science, or mathematics, you’ll meet plenty of foreign students, as these programmes have the highest percentage of international students!
Canada’s most international universities are:
- University of British Columbia
- University of Toronto
- McGill University
- Université de Montréal
- University of Waterloo
As well as being tolerant and liberal, Canadians are renowned for their polite and calm nature. Manners and respect towards other people are very important in Canadian society, which is another reason why international students in Canada feel so welcome. What are some do’s and don’ts in Canada?
- Saying please and thank you, and apologising (even when unnecessary!)
- Holding doors for others and giving up seats to elderly, pregnant, or disabled people
- Tipping and speaking politely to staff in restaurants and bars
- Not speaking too loudly, and respecting people’s personal space
- Avoiding sensitive topics like money, politics or religion in casual conversation
It’s important to understand Canadian etiquette when you study at university in Canada, to avoid offending people. Canadian politeness is such a national characteristic, that it has even become a meme!
Quality of life
And the last reason to study in Canada? The high quality of life, of course. Research published in February 2020 ranked Canada as the second-best country in the world! In comparison to most other countries, Canada ranks better in housing, personal security, health, environmental quality, income, work-life balance, education… Need we carry on?