Friday, March 14, 2014

4 Reasons Canada Appeals to International Students

Admit Data: Make Informed Admissions Decisions
By Mirae Baik

What are you first thoughts when thinking about Canada? Some common themes such as winter, skiing, polar bears, and the maple leaf may come to mind. Whether these appeal to you or not, many international students from all over the world are steadily making their way to Canada to study abroad. Today we’ll be sharing on who and where international students are coming from so that you can understand the international student community better in Canada.

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In world standings, Canada ranks as the fourth most popular destination for international students as listed below:
  1. United States;
  2. United Kingdom;
  3. Australia;
  4. and Canada.

Out of these four top countries Canada enjoyed the biggest percentage gains, with enrollments increasing by 67% between 2002 and 2009. Overall, the proportion of international students in Canada’s higher education system is about 8%. Of all the international students studying in Canada, more than half (55%) are studying at the university level.


So, you may be wondering where all these international students are coming from. Canada attracts a diverse group of students from over 183 countries. Out of the 183 countries, the top five countries that send the most international students to Canada are:
  1. China;
  2. India;
  3. South Korea;
  4. Saudi Arabia;
  5. and United States. 
Students from these five countries make up more than half of the international students as seem in the pie chart below. So, meeting new friends from your home country or meeting new friends from all over the world is not a difficult thing to do in Canada.


Some other reasons why Canada may be popular to so many international students are because it is a bilingual country where 65% of the population speaks English and 21% speaks French. This varies from province to province, for instance, Quebec is a Canadian province that heavily speaks French whereas Ontario leans towards English. However, many universities in Canada offer bilingual programs, which will help you learn or improve both languages.

Cost of Education

Another factor is the comparatively lower tuition costs than other leading study abroad destinations. As listed below, when considering not only tuition but also living costs, Canada is the cheapest out of the four top countries. However, it is important that this is an average cost and the range of costs can vary. 

United States
United Kingdom

Work and Study Abroad

However, one of the best benefits of studying abroad in Canada may be that it has the most immigration-friendly policies. For instance, starting 1 June 2014, international students with study permits are automatically allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while university is in session and full-time during holidays. Also, international students are able to work full-time for up to three years following their graduation.

So, what does this all mean for you? 

Studying abroad in Canada can be a great option if you want to study in an English and French speaking country. Also, Canada can provide a clear future opportunity for you to work in the country and gain valuable work experience abroad. If immigration is your main purpose then Canada offers permanent residency for international graduates. So, whatever your reason may be, Canada is a land of opportunities that can be a great bridge to your future dreams.

Share with us your dreams and why Canada might be a great option. We’d love to hear your stories and feedback!

*Source: Global Higher Education Rankings 2010, Affordability and Accessibility in Comparative Perspective, October 2010,

Mirae Baik is a Research Associate of the Research and Advisory Services team for World Education Services in New York. She manages WES Student Advisor, an initiative to help prospective international students find free and reliable information about studying abroad in the U.S. When not helping students, she likes to cross oceans and relax with a great fiction novel.

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