International students consider factors like quick study permit processing, high-quality educational institutions, and a friendly society when deciding to study in Canada or the USA.
Those considering studying abroad may weigh the advantages and disadvantages of studying in either Canada or the USA. Despite the USA being a popular choice, Canada is currently ranked as the top country for foreign students.
In recent times, the USA’s position as a preferred destination for international students has decreased, while Canada’s popularity has risen. The question arises, why do more students prefer studying in Canada over the USA?
- Difficulties Obtaining Study Permits
The US’s visa policy is a hurdle for international students.
The Department of Homeland Security proposed an annual visa renewal for international students, while Canada encourages them to stay. The US visa process is complex, intrusive, and time-consuming, whereas Canada’s visa application process is more straightforward, resulting in a shorter wait time and a higher approval rate.
The Canadian study permit can be obtained in as little as three weeks, while the American one frequently takes much longer.
Studying in the US is not only more expensive than studying in Canada, but it’s also harder to receive financial aid. Unlike Canada, US universities rarely offer scholarships to international students.
Moreover, Canadian university tuition fees are on average 27% lower than those in the US. The cost of living is also lower in Canada, which makes it more affordable for international students to study there.
Canada’s universal healthcare is a significant difference between Canada and the US.
Although not all Canadian provinces provide coverage for temporary residents like international students, schools in such provinces offer an insurance plan or suggest a private provider. Meanwhile, many US schools require international students to buy health insurance, which has expensive premiums.
Find out more about the healthcare options for international students in Canada.
- Welcoming Attitude
Canada tops the Gallup’s Migrant Acceptance Index as the world’s most accepting country for migrants.
The Canadian government’s welcoming policies for international students have been influential in attracting them to Canada. International students have been increasing in Canada, while the US’s growth rate is the lowest since 2009. A recent report from Statistics Canada indicated that six out of ten international students who were employed after their studies became landed immigrants within ten years of receiving their study permit.
- Employment Opportunities
International students in Canada can work for up to three years after graduation on a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), while the US offers limited opportunities for international students to work after graduation.
International students perceive that the US is unwelcoming to foreigners, which may impact their employability in the local market.
- Canada Wants You to Stay
Canada is an excellent option for international students looking to transition to permanent residency after graduation.
The provincial and federal governments in Canada offer numerous options for international graduates to obtain permanent residency. Canada announced a temporary public policy in April 2021, allowing international graduates working in Canada to apply for permanent residency. Immigration minister at the time, Marco Mendicino, urged international students to stay and contribute to Canada.
If you’re interested in studying in Canada, complete our free online assessment today!