In an increasingly globalised world the opportunities for travel, to study or work abroad, are immeasurable and ever increasing. Destination choice has boomed within the last few decades and now wannabe travellers can fulfil their dreams in every corner of the earth. But if you are looking to study or work abroad, how do you go about picking your destination? Researching every school, university and college in the world is just an impossible and endless task, but at the other end of the spectrum closing your eyes and pointing wildly at a map is not going to get you very far either!
When making the all-important decision of where to relocate your life in order to pursue your dreams of study, there are several important factors to take into consideration – what is the quality of life like in the area, are the living costs affordable, are there employment opportunities, does the environment match your preferences and interests – cosmopolitan cities or stunning landscapes? Then there’s the course or program itself – knowing that you’re getting a high quality education from a respected institution, and coming out the other side as a highly employable graduate makes all the difference. These are all important points to consider, because if you’re going to take the leap to study abroad then you want to get it right, to make it the unforgettable experience of a lifetime that it should be!
Whilst destinations like the USA and Europe may always be popular, for their well-known universities and cities, it always pays to look past that initial bubble, to dig a little deeper, and for those that do they are aptly rewarded. For many years now Canada has been growing as a superb destination for international study. Not only does Canada boast a world-class community of education institutions, on the forefront of research, teaching excellence and with highly employable graduates, but it also plays host to some of the most stunning and diverse study destinations in the world.
Canada is known for its beauty and diversity – from ski slopes and impressive mountain ranges to rolling prairies and buzzing cities, Canada truly has something for everyone. The people are well known for their friendly and tolerant nature and the society benefits from high levels of multiculturalism and diversity. The country speaks both English and French, with official bilingual status. Canada is home to 3 of the world’s top 12 best students cities – Montréal, based in the French speaking province of Quebec, is known for its status as the cultural capital of Canada with its unique mix of European sophistication and American energy; Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is one of the world’s most multicultural cities and is a hotspot for entertainment, media and creative industries; and Vancouver provides the perfect combination of city living and outdoor adventure, with British Columbia being a fantastic, affordable, friendly and beautiful place to visit and study in.
Education in Canada is first rate and is known globally for its quality and excellence. The education system puts Canada firmly on the map for its highly distinctive nature. In Canada, education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by each province, with minimal Federal involvement. This results in different education laws and systems seen in each of the provinces and territories, with different courses & levels offered and differing course durations. Undergraduate degrees can take 3 or 4 years, depending on the institutions, whilst postgraduate study lasts between 1 and 3 years.
Many provinces foster wide support of articulation and credit transfer across courses and institutions, promoting transparency in program recognition and facilitating the mobility of qualified individuals. Quebec differs greatly from the other provinces in terms of their education system, with a structure that is more akin to that of the USA, with different term times and length of study.
Aside from the distinct nature of the education system, Canadian education makes its mark on a global scale for its innovation and quality. In 1875 Mount Allison University in New Brunswick was the first university in the British Empire to award a baccalaureate degree to a woman, Grace Annie Lockhart, who received a Bachelor of Science and English Literature, and who earned her place in the history of revolutionary education. To this day Canada still prides itself in forward thinking education and leading institutions, with 3 universities ranking within the world’s top 50 and 10 in the top 200 – an accolade only matched by a handful of other countries. Ontario and British Columbia are the current powerhouses of Canadian education, representing 1/3 of all higher education institutions between them.
There is also great variety in subjects of study available in Canada, with aboriginal studies being widely offered in locations such as Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and areas of British Columbia. Many institutions have a specific focus on indigenous culture, an area that is close to the heart of Canadian communities.
For those considering studying abroad, who are yet to make up their minds on the destination dilemma, Canada represents a strong choice. Not only can students choose from varied and exciting programs of study at world-class and highly respected institutions, but they can also benefit from affordable tuition fees & living costs, awe inspiring & diverse scenery, and a welcoming & friendly community. So if you find yourself with the world at your feet but with no idea how to choose which direction to travel in, put your best foot forward and set your course for Canada!
Read on for more information about some of the top choices for education in Canada:
Located in stunning Victoria, British Columbia, Camosun College is a progressive post-secondary institution, highly regarded for its quality programming, professional and experienced staff, and most of all the dedication to its students and their pursuit to become qualified in their passions. Camosun College welcomes over 1,100 international students each year from over 40 countries and over 1,100 Aboriginal students from over 50 nations. Students join a community of 18,000 learners across a range of 160 innovative certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree and continuing education programs. Read the full profile…
Mount Royal University was established more than 100 years ago in 1910. Today, around 12,000 students gather each year to follow a variety of programs and courses, featuring primarily undergraduate degrees, with a limited number of diplomas and post-degree certificates. Mount Royal prides itself on delivering a highly personalised education to students from all over the world, with particular emphasis on student support to help students meet their academic goals. International students choose Mount Royal for its friendly campus, hands-on learning techniques and small class sizes. Courses combine real-world experience with academic study, and often include the opportunity to incorporate work placements, internships, practicums and community service learning.
Carleton University is a diverse and inclusive institution providing high-quality education to students from more than 140 countries. Carleton’s wide range of academic programs, beautiful campus and cosmopolitan city make for an extraordinary place for international students to come and live and study. Carleton offers 65 programs of study in areas as diverse as public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology and international studies. More than 2,000 professors and staff members constitute a diverse and dedicated team serving 28,000 students. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts.
Université Laval, located in Quebec, is the oldest centre of education in Canada and was the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. The mission of the university is training, equipping, and guiding the decision makers of tomorrow. Through the advancement and sharing of knowledge, its culture of excellence, and its global outlook, Université Laval’s academic community contributes to the development and international profile of Quebec. Still today, with the world at a crossroads, Université Laval plays a bigger role than ever in Québec City and on the national and international scene, both as a catalyst for change and a visionary institution where knowledge, curiosity, and innovation are part of everyday life.
Located in the beautiful Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is a fully accredited, public university that welcomes 15,000 students each year. UFV has campuses and locations in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope and Agassiz, and is recognized nationally for student success, an excellent learning environment, creative integration of programming, and work with local communities. UFV is large enough to offer variety, yet with small class sizes that allow students to get to know their instructors and learn in a hands-on environment. More than 100 programs are offered, including two master’s degrees, 15 bachelor’s degrees, majors, minors, and extended minors in more than 30 subject areas, plus more than a dozen trades and technology programs.
The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) is ranked among the top 2% of universities worldwide, and among the top 10 most research-intensive universities in Canada. The institution, at a crossroads of cultures, languages and perspectives, is the largest French-English bilingual university in the world, meaning that students can study in English, in French, or in both languages. uOttawa is home to 10 faculties that offer more than 450 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs to over 43,000 students from across Canada and 150 countries.