Across the Atlantic

Considered to have one of the best education systems in the world with a diverse multi-cultural landscape, Canada gives students every chance to broaden their educational and cultural horizons. Around 150 colleges and institutes are situated in practically every province across the country, with over 20 making it to the THE-QS World University rankings. They offer a host of programmes including certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, degrees, master’s, doctorate and so on. Canada also offers the highest level of funding for post-secondary courses. Not only does the country provide a safe, clean environment, but it has been consistently ranked by the U.N. as one of the world’s best places to live in terms of quality of life. Here are the top eight reasons why you should consider studying here.


Each year, over 1,30,000 international students attend colleges and universities in Canada. With an on-par international reputation for educational standard and a comparatively lower cost of living, students flock to Canada for study and work options. And if that’s not enough, the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Universities, too, maintain high standards of academic excellence, and that’s the primary reason why they make it to the top in international rankings. What makes this system stand out is the fact that all academic programmes are subject to periodic review by the institutions that offer them, which could also be the State government bodies.

If there’s one country that welcomes immigrants with open arms, it has to be Canada. A national policy for multiculturalism ensures that people’s customs and traditions are preserved and respected. Added to this, the campuses are wired with the latest sophisticated technology and modern amenities. From Olympic style sports facilities to concert halls and art galleries, there’s never a dull moment. Meeting like-minded individuals is an added possibility through student-run government bodies, campus radio, newspapers and several start-ups. The multicultural setup within campuses also allows one to have ‘ethnic’ days and put up ethnic food stalls. Clubs and associations are a part of every university and college, and it is best to join them to form a network for internships and placements.

Canada is a bilingual country with its two official languages being English and French. However, a little known fact is that this also makes it a world leader in language training. Since teaching French and English as the first and second language is an integral part of the Canadian education, students are given ample opportunity to improve their fluency and capacity for these languages.

Search and Research

Research is one of the key components of a Canadian post-secondary education. One can choose from several different sectors — telecommunications, medicine, agriculture, computer technology and environmental science. Through a dynamic and hands-on academic environment, students not only acquire knowledge and skills in analysis and communication, but also learn to express themselves, demonstrate their creativity and develop self-confidence. Teachers and professors play an important role in helping with lessons and studies fuse academic excellence with interaction and collaboration in the classroom.

Permanent residency

Did you know that some international students are allowed to apply for permanent residency without having to leave Canada? International students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college have the option of working in Canada for up to one year after they receive their degree or diploma. They can work in the campus without a work permit. Plans are being made to allow international students to work off-campus, too. You are given a choice to apply for a permanent visa that will take 15 to 18 months to process.

Health insurance is mandatory in Canada and should be arranged prior to arrival. Your academic institution probably includes health insurance coverage in the tuition fee, but check, to be sure. Besides being a friendly and safe country with a high standard of living, Canada boasts of a low crime rate, great student health benefits and universities focused on student security. The Global Peace Index ranks Canada among the top 10 safe countries in the world. Medical insurance in Canada is inexpensive yet the services are among some of the most advanced and accessible in the world.

World-wide recognition

Degrees from Canada are recognised around the world as being equivalent to those obtained from the U.S. or Commonwealth countries. The country a wide range of quality educational institutions for both degree and diploma programmes in technical and professional disciplines which are valued around the world. This is one of the main reasons why international educators often consider Canada for research and collaboration partnerships. In 2014, many Canadian universities ranked in the top hundred. In fact, over 90 per cent of Canada’s college graduates are employed in their field of study within six months after graduation and 93 per cent of employers are satisfied with the graduates.

Tailored programmes

Many colleges and universities are coming together to offer collaborative programmes that offer hands-on learning combined with a more theoretical approach. Each school has a style of its own and this means you can choose to study at a large, research-intensive campus in an urban centre, or enrol at a small liberal arts institution that focuses on undergraduate education. It’s here that student services help. Though they may differ in availability from campus to campus, their goal remains the same — to provide service and support to ensure the success of students on campus. Student services range from personal counselling, health and medical services to arranging note-takers and offering workshops.

The writer was in Canada on the invitation of the High Commissioner of Canada.