Thinking of Canada conjures up images of a pristine natural environment. Students here will be fortunate enough to enjoy its beautiful natural scenery, a wild landscape stretching from the coastline of British Columbia, over Alberta’s majestic Rocky Mountains, across the vast expanse of high prairie, skirting the Great Lakes and along the mighty St. Lawrence river to the picturesque Atlantic coast. Canada’s beauty is more than skin deep – This enchanting country is rapidly emerging as a preferred alternative to the USA, Australia and the UK for higher studies by foreign students. A recent educational strategy set by the Canadian Ministry of Education stresses on increasing the number of foreign students. This means that international students coming from any part of the globe are now more than welcome in Canada so it is no wonder it is becoming so popular in this sense.
Some amazing facts….
- Over the last two decades the enrollment of foreign students in Canadian universities has grown at a faster rate than Canadian students.
- Official statistics show that between 2014 and 2018 alone there was a 73% increase in foreign student enrollments.
- This places Canada as the third most popular English speaking destination for foreign students after the USA and the UK, and ahead of Australia.
- South Asia is the leading contributor to Canada’s foreign student enrollments, at a whopping 30%, or nearly a third of the foreign student population.
This is great news for Sri Lankan students seeking university education overseas! We took a closer look at why a Canadian Uni may be the right choice for you, and found several compelling reasons.
When choosing to live and study overseas for the first time (in most cases), safety is a primary concern for concerned parents. In recent years we have seen increasing political and social instability in the other popular higher studies destinations. In the US, President Trump’s anti immigration policies make it difficult to obtain student visas. In the UK, the overwhelming BREXIT issue is leading to all kinds of economic problems. In Australia, racism is often an issue for foreigners. Canada on the other hand embraces diversity and has proven itself to be a peaceful and safe society to live in. Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, with a low crime rate. In terms of social progress and development, according to the 2016 Social Progress Index, Canada was ranked the second country in the world with the highest quality of life. Anywhere in Canada, you will be surrounded by a large multicultural environment, both in classrooms, as well as in the society. This creates a great advantage for any foreigner, meaning that you can easily adapt and make friends. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Quebec cover for the largest foreign-student population and they all provide a vibrant and lively atmosphere. In Canada, students can pleasantly combine an enriching academic life with diverse and entertaining leisure activities.
Canada’s fantastic living experience comes at an affordable price. Cost is a major issue for Sri Lankan parents sending their kids overseas, with an ever falling Sri Lanka Rupee making creating financial challenges. Canada offers a financially attractive alternative. Canada has some of the cheapest tuition fees for international students compared to other English speaking countries. Tuition fees for an undergraduate course in the UK average US$10,000 – US$19,000 per year. Fees in Canada are lower than the UK, with average undergraduate fees starting at US$7,500. Tuition fees in Australia average higher than those in the UK and Canada. In 2018, the cost of tuition fees for international undergraduate students was estimated to be US$22,100 per year. In the US, costs could range from US$ 25,000 to US$35,000 or even higher. In addition to tuition fees, other costs need to be considered when thinking about studying abroad. The average cost of living that includes the cost of rent and living expenses for the duration of the course is important. In the UK, rent and living costs are estimated at between US$12,000 and US$15,000 per year. The cost of living in Canada for international students is cheaper than in the UK. It is estimated that US$7,500 to US$9,000 is needed for rent and living expenses each year. Australia is known to be a very expensive country. For students, it will mean that you must carefully budget. Living costs work out to around US$12,000 and US$15,000 per year, the same as the UK. In the USA, living costs average between US$ 12,000 to US$ 20,000 per year. Of course both tuition and living costs will vary by city and by university, but nevertheless, Canada ticks all the boxes for affordability. As an added bonus, Students in Canada are allowed to work part time on campus during the first 6 months of their program and off campus part time thereafter. Several programs may even have a paid term where one gets hands on experience on working in the industry.
Last but not least, Canadian Unis have a top spot in the world’s ratings for academic excellence. Universities from Canada have a long history and reputation in terms of academic performance, worldwide acceptability of degrees, and a high graduate employability rate. In fact, many of the Canadian higher educational institutions compete with leading and famous universities from the US and the UK for instance. The University of Toronto, University of British Columbia (UBC) and McGill are the top three Canadian universities on the 2019 World University Rankings, published by Times Higher Education. Overall, nine schools from Canada ranked among the top 200 on the global list, up from just six schools in the previous year. Most study programs delivered by Canadian universities focus a lot on research and students get to engage in intriguing experiments and projects, meant to provide them with a complete study experience, based on innovation and forward thinking. A significant part of the research work that has been made in universities from Canada has led to interesting new theories and distinguished discoveries. The typical classroom atmosphere in a university from Canada is incredibly open and friendly, where professors are merely the guides that help students become independent learners. In many ways, the Canadian higher education system is very similar to the one of the United States.
After graduation, what next? Often known as the land of immigrants, Canada has opened its doors for immigrants with its immigrant friendly policies. Students are looking at Canada instead of USA, UK an Australia because of its welcoming environment and a booming economy for job prospects. International students can work in Canada for up to three years after they graduate on a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which helps them find work and provides a gateway to permanent residence and, eventually, citizenship. A points based Express Entry selection system that is designed to select skilled workers for immigration to Canada has made it easier for international students to make the transition to permanent residence.
The Canada experience is best summed up in the words of a Sri Lankan undergraduate studying in Canada. When asked whether he would recommend Canada as a Great Place to Study, he said, “ Yes, absolutely! To study in a place with an exceptional education system, diverse career opportunities, diverse culture and an opportunity to become a resident after completing the program is a no-brainer……If you are ready for a real challenge that is rewarding, Canada is a great place to study.” He was also very happy with the enrollment service provided by 3W Global Education:”3WGE was very helpful and I would definitely recommend 3WGE to any student. Go meet an advisor and judge for yourself.”