The US and Canada are two of the most popular study destinations for international students. While both have robust education systems, there are indeed a few key differences between the two.
From our research, we found that Canada is emerging as a better place for students when compared to the US. Wondering why? Allow us to explain the reasons below.
1. Getting Admission
The eligibility criteria for getting undergraduate admission are more or less the same for both US and Canada. That is, students will need to complete 12 years of education and have the required grade levels.
However, how universities arrive at their admissions decisions vary vastly between Canadian and US universities. In Canada, students with a GPA of 70% or higher have a good chance of getting accepted at a Canadian university. Of course, students will also have to send an admissions essay and a statement of purpose. Nevertheless, the acceptance rate of international students in Canadian universities is relatively high when compared to the US.
Once you get admission, the difficulty of the program varies from one course to another. Nevertheless, most students can manage their courses with the help of the paper writing service WritePaper.com and academic assistance platforms.
On the other hand, many international students choose the US for colleges such as the IVY League and the likes of MIT. These universities are extremely competitive, and they use non-academic factors such as extracurricular activities or even recommendation letters to make admissions decisions.
For instance, US universities take into account the student’s sports achievements, volunteer work, awards, and such. Moreover, students will also need to consider whether they will fit in the campus culture and will have to demonstrate that they are a good choice.
2. Selection of Colleges
Canada has fewer universities to choose from. The country has around 100 universities, whereas, in the US, there are over 4,000 colleges. However, international students prefer the top-rated universities – which come to around 15-20.
In terms of the selection of colleges, the US certainly has more options for students. But, at the end of the day, students have to choose a college that is best suited to them in terms of campus culture. You need to consider which colleges offer the type of inclusive and equitable education that you seek.
3. Getting the Student Permit
Once students get admitted into their favorite college, the next step is to secure a student visa.
A Canadian student permit can be processed in as little as three weeks. On the other hand, getting a US student visa can be a lengthy and complicated process. Moreover, in Canada, students can stay back for as long as three years after completing the course.
This, of course, is dependent on the specific course. However, the US only lets students stay back for one year after completion of the course on an F1 visa.
4. Cost of Tuition and Living Expenses
Another important consideration is the cost of studying. In the US, pursuing higher education is significantly more expensive when compared to Canada. While there are possibilities such as scholarships and financial aid that can bring down the expenses, these options might not always be accessible to international students.
More often than not, students have to take loans of large sums, and it can take several years for them to repay the loan. At times, naturally, students end up wondering whether getting an education in the US is worth the trouble.
Canada, on the other hand, has a wider spectrum. It offers both cheap and expensive courses, and the cost will ultimately depend on the chosen course and the university.
Apart from tuition fees, students should also consider the cost of living – which, again, can be a lot lower in Canada.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the US and Canada is accessibility to healthcare. Canada has universal healthcare managed by individual provinces. While not every province might offer coverage for international students, they can opt for their school’s insurance plan. Alternatively, students can also use private insurance providers who offer affordable plans.
In the US, students require international students to purchase health insurance, which often comes with a high premium. Without insurance, accessing healthcare in the US can be a challenging and tiresome process.
6. Employment opportunities
There is a widespread misconception that Canada does not have as many employment opportunities as the US. However, this couldn’t be far from true. In fact, Canada has a more welcoming attitude towards international students. Moreover, as we discussed above, Canada also allows students to stay back up to three years after completing their course.
This only requires getting a Post-Graduation Work Permit which helps students to find employment. On the other hand, students in the US will require to find a sponsor in order to work.
Moreover, with the current immigration policies in the US, the general perception is that the country is not so keen to employ foreigners. This could affect the employability of international students.
7. Safety and Security
Finally, students might also want to compare the US and CanaUnarguably, Canadian schools are much safer than their US counterparts. Since 2018, the US has reported over 280 incidents of school shootings. On the other hand, in Canada, the number is far less, at just two.
The main reason for such a huge disparity is that the US is very much lenient when it comes to gun laws. It is relatively easy to get access to guns in the US, which increases the chances of violence.
As evident, there are plenty of reasons for students to choose Canada over the US. However, many students make the mistake of arriving at their decisions based on college promotions and marketing campaigns. After all, the main aim of colleges is to attract more students.
Therefore, there are a few important aspects that students should consider to make sure that they have made the right choice – that will certainly set the course for the rest of their lives.
How to Choose Between the US and Canada?
For students who are unsure which is the best option for their future studies, we consider using the following ways:
- Start by reaching out to current students of preferred universities. They can give you the best insight into the pros and cons of their university. You can find currency students via the college’s groups on social media.
- In addition to this, you should also try talking to former students to find out about the job opportunities available after completing the course.
- Check websites such as Rateyourprofessor or those that provide reviews to figure out about the campus culture and quality of classes.
- If you have any questions about colleges, do not hesitate to reach out to the admissions office.
Bear in mind that choosing a university is one of the most important decisions of your life. You will have to think about your interests and goals and how your life will be shaped by college.
And as the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You can consider both Canada and the US and make the final decision based on the universities you get into.