Canada - the ideal study destination
Low crime rates and a low cost of living are attracting eager international students in droves. Source: Shutterstock

Low crime rates and a low cost of living are making Canada an international study hotspot for pre-university students.

The United Kingdom and United States are often considered the go-to education destinations for students seeking their first international study experience. But new statistics show that Canada offers lower crime rates and cost of living than its education rivals.

Studying abroad before university can cause concern for parents, but Canada offers security and stability to put even the most anxious mind at rest.

Unlike other countries with lower living costs, Canada also has one of the best education systems in the world. Home to the University of Toronto, an elite global university according to QS World University Rankings 2018, Canada is drawing international students in from all corners of the globe.

Students have been flocking to Canada since the 2016 announcement of a student visa that allows them to stay on and work in the country after graduation.

Aside from world-class universities, however, many international students are choosing to move to Canada to study at one of its many prestigious colleges, which give students the chance to acclimatize to the new culture before applying for university.

Ontario alone has more than 20 top colleges – leaders in technology and workforce development – helping students develop skills for careers of tomorrow, with 5,000-plus programmes across more than 200 areas of study.

Students can choose anything from one-year certificate programmes, through to career-prepping two and three-year diploma programmes – and over 200 full degree programmes which don’t only offer the key credentials but also valuable practical experience. Add to that the extensive transfer opportunities which recognise students’ existing credits – and a qualification from a college in Canada really can take you anywhere.

One of the main struggles international students face is having a lack of information and cultural knowledge about the universities they want to apply to.

Canada, international students, pre-university

Canada offers security and stability to put even the most anxious mind at rest. Source: Shutterstock

By studying in Canada for your pre-university qualifications, you’ll be able to research and visit the country’s leading universities and understand exactly what grades you need to land yourself a place at your dream institution.

“When I arrived in Canada for college, it was really weird knowing all my friends were still back home,” Charlotte Ramsbury, a current student at the University of Toronto who moved to Canada from the UK when she was 16, told Study International.

“But, when it came to applying for Canadian universities, it was really helpful to be already living there. I think a lot of people are put off from applying to study abroad because they don’t understand the customs and it’s easier just to stay where they are.”

She said that being able to speak to students and professors at the universities really informed her choice, and it was helpful to already understand certain aspects of Canadian culture.

“Canada has a unique way of life which I wouldn’t have understood if I didn’t go to college here first. It allowed me to work out if I liked the country and to understand the application and visa process,” she explains.

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