“Canada is more than its hulking-mountain, craggy-coast good looks: it also cooks extraordinary meals, rocks cool culture, and unfurls wild, moose-spotting road trips…”
– Lonely Planet

With its vivid culture, astounding natural setting and extensive landscape, it’s no wonder that Canada still represents one of the world’s favourite study abroad destinations. All these factors – and so many more – club together to make Canada an extraordinary student playground, and its respected portfolio of world-class universities are not to be overlooked!

But of course every study aboard destination has its merits, so just what is it exactly that really sets Canada apart?

Read on for 3 of the top reasons why you should consider Canada for your international student experience:

1.World-class academics

Education in Canada is known globally for its quality and excellence. Canada finds itself placed firmly on the map when it comes to studying and teaching due to its highly distinctive nature. In Canada, each province and territory has its own laws and systems when it comes to education. This means it’s important for you to do your research into the type of course you want and the requirements needed.

Higher education providers can range from community colleges or applied arts or science schools, to universities – with undergraduate degrees taking 3 or 4 years depending on the institution.

Image via the University of Calgary

And when it comes to universities, Canada is in no short supply of world-class institutions, with 26 Canadian universities featured in the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings. Not only that, but of these 26, three find themselves in the world’s top 50; with an extra 10 in the world’s top 100.

With such a pedigree of education options, it’s no wonder why Canada is considered a leading study destination – 7th in the world for international students, who account for 8% of the post-secondary student community in Canada.

And it’s not just the world-leading academics that give Canada the edge. The country speaks both English and French, with official bilingual status – meaning that whatever your native tongue, you know you’re in the perfect environment to improve your language skills while you learn – it’s a win-win situation!

2.The location of your dreams!

Whether it’s the great outdoors or slick city life that takes your fancy, Canada has something for everyone. As the world’s second-biggest country, Canada is woven together from an endless patchwork of landscapes and environments. From awe-inspiring mountain ranges to rolling plains, remote beaches to shimmering glaciers, Canada has it all. So if it’s slipping about on the slopes at Whistler, traversing the white waters of the South Nahanni River, or nature trails with a difference (thanks to the wildlife wonders of moose, bears or even whales), even the most discerning student traveller will find their free time spoilt for choice.

But as varied and exciting as the natural landscapes of Canada are, so too are its culturally rich and diverse cities. Montréal, based in the French speaking province of Quebec, is known for its status as the cultural capital of Canada, with a unique mix of European sophistication and American energy. Toronto on the other hand, the largest city in Canada, is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and plays host to a thriving entertainment, media and creative scene.

Image courtesy of the University of Calgary

For students looking to get the best of both worlds, then the cities of Calgary and Vancouver provide the perfect combination of city living and outdoor adventure, in part due to their proximity to the ruggedly magnificent Canadian Rockies and a plethora of beautiful parks and nature reserves.

So whatever your tastes, you can be assured you’ll find the perfect location for you in Canada!

3. A student experience that ticks all the boxes

Whilst a great location and a stellar education are at the top of every prospective student’s list of priorities, it’s important to think about what student life will really be like in your chosen destination. Is there a big student community for you to jump into? Do the living costs fit with your budget? And will it live up to your expectations?

Well fear not – any student considering Canada as their destination of choice will find all of these points well and truly covered!

First off, tuition fees in Canada are relatively affordable, when compared to other top study abroad locations such as the U.S., Australia and the UK. Universities in Canada are able to set their own fees, but international undergraduate students can expect fees to start at about CA$14,000 per year, depending on the course and subject. International students may also be able to benefit from a range of scholarships, grants and bursaries, as Canada is heavily invested in the future of its institutions’ graduates.

Image: Toronto, via Pixabay

But it’s not just cost of living that gives Canada the edge – it’s also got quality of life all wrapped up too, being consistently ranked as one of the world’s best places to live by the UN. Whether it’s the high levels of safety in the cities, or the numerous initiatives aiming to improve sustainability and cleanliness on Canada’s streets, such as the Too Good to Waste city program in Calgary, Canada really is at the forefront of innovation that aims to improve the lives of its citizens.

And on the subject of the locals, how could we discuss the benefits of life and study in Canada without a mention of the people! If anything can help give you the student experience you’ll never forget then it’s those around you that make all the difference. And whilst you’re likely to find a great community in any student destination, you’d be hard pressed to find one as friendly, tolerant and welcoming as the one you’ll experience in Canada.

So there you have it – from mountain to valley, ski slope to city, Canada truly is a dream study destination! And whether you’re looking for world-class academics, a location to light up the eyes of every avid Instagrammer, or a stellar quality of life and student experience, it’s clear that Canada should be at the top of your study abroad wish list! And if you’re ready to make that wish a reality then read on for some of the top choices for education in Canada:


The vibrant and urban University of Calgary is home to more than 31,000 students, which also  includes a diverse and culturally-rich international student population of more than 3,000 students. The institution is North America’s #1 young university, and is also one of the world’s most globally-oriented higher education providers.

The University of Calgary’s faculty members are leaders in their respective fields and have research expertise in energy, brain and mental health, smart and secure cities, earth-space technologies, biomedical engineering, and chronic diseases.

The institution’s main campus is located on 526-acres of fresh, green, open space. It is also just minutes away from downtown Calgary, which means students are never far from the big city buzz.

Calgary is one of the world’s best locations to live and work, and the University of Calgary is located less than 60 minutes from the wonders of the Rocky Mountains. When they’re here, students can take advantage of some of the best hiking, skiing, biking, rock climbing and kayaking facilities the natural world has to offer.


Ryerson stands as one of Canada’s leaders in innovative and career-focused education, pushing students to the top of the professional sphere, not just locally but on an international scale. The institution is distinctly and uniquely urban, built firmly on the principals of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. The institution has a mission to serve societal need and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community.


#RUDaysofSummer: Love our #LakeDevo! (PC: @heysindy)

A photo posted by Ryerson Student Life (@rustudentlife) on

Ryerson is restyling the core of downtown Toronto with three leading-edge buildings: the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, the Ryerson Image Centre in the heart of campus, and a Student Learning Centre on Yonge Street, ensuring all students have access to contemporary facilities built with their interests in mind.

Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, and is culturally diverse and inclusive; home to 38,950 students and more than 170,000 alumni worldwide.


Through cross-discipline programming, innovative course design, diverse experiential learning and a supportive community environment, Ontario’s York University helps 53,000 students attain the education they need to have big ideas and endless career opportunities.


Vari Hall looking good in the #sunshine, from @angeline.von #YorkU #summer

A photo posted by York University (@yorkuofficial) on

Much like the region it resides in, York University thrives on multiculturalism, with students who are strongly encouraged to pursue a wealth of opportunities to build on their global perspective and enhance their student experience. Students are urged to go on an exchange programme to one of the university’s many partner institutions, and students from every continent and all walks of life can rely on York to provide a true Canadian study experience with plenty of international spice.


The University of Toronto (U of T) is a global leader in research and teaching. The School provides a varied and extensive study program organized around smaller, intimate learning communities. This is what creates such an exceptional, unique and above all, unforgettable learning environment for students.

The ideas and inventions created here make their way into the global economy in many ways, through start-ups, small businesses, commercialization and partnerships. University members frequently engage in community projects, while faculty experts cast their views in the news, and over 500,000 graduates provide a rich web of ideas across 140 countries.

Feature image – the Canadian Rockies, courtesy of Pixabay

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