In an increasingly globalized world, studying abroad is more important than ever. For many, it is a life-changing experience – from enhancing your global network to experiencing a new culture, the benefits to your education and career are significant.
Whatever the motivations are, finding the right destination for your studies abroad is the decision that will not only shape the quality of your experience and education but have a profound impact on your future.
Until recently the U.S. was the number one destination for international students. This has changed since the start of the pandemic with the Trump administration unable to flatten the curve on the COVID-19, drastic changes to the immigration policy, and regular executive orders by the President – all making it harder for international students to come and to stay in the United States. The recent situation has also shun a brighter light on Canada that in spite of the pandemic remained for the most part open and welcoming to international students. Canada is now firmly positioned to take the place of the U.S. as the top ranked study destination in the world and not only due to its open-door immigration policies.
A recent study by the Canadian Bureau for International Education has gathered the top three reasons international students choose Canada:
- The quality of the Canadian education system
- Canada’s reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
- Canada’s reputation as a safe country
Canada doesn’t only surpass other English speaking countries on the aforementioned qualities, but according to a research in 2020 by US News & World Report in partnership with BAV Group and Wharton University of Pennsylvania, it ranks overall as the 2nd Best Country in the world after Switzerland. Canada also dominates in:
- -Citizenship Rankings: Canada comes 2nd after Sweden
- -Quality of Life Rankings: Canada is No:1
Who wouldn’t want to study in a country that is as welcoming, multicultural, and diverse as Canada?!
These are also some of the reasons why many students choose to immigrate to Canada permanently. One of the greatest advantages of a Canadian degree is that it can contribute to your eligibility to immigrate to Canada after your studies. In fact, the Canadian government has developed specific roadmaps designed to guide international students to stay and become permanent residents and eventually Canadian citizens. Economic programs like the Canadian Experience Class and pilot programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot are great examples of that.
Why the effort?
International students play a key role in the education sector of the Canadian economy contributing $22 billion to the Canadian economy and supporting over 200,000 Canadian jobs. The Canadian education sector felt it considerably when the pandemic hit Canada. Universities and colleges started closing academic programs that were only possible to keep open with funding from international students’ tuition fees. Language schools started to close their doors permanently and teachers from elementary schools all the way to Colleges started to loose their jobs.
Young, educated, highly proficient in English and/or French, integrated into the Canadian culture and society with hands-on Canadian work experience, international students are seen to be playing an important role in the future of the Canadian society.
To ensure Canada continues to attract international students as well as to demonstrate the importance of their contributions to Canada, the Canadian government made several major adjustments in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the new measures include:
- –Priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online
- –Online studies abroad will count towards the students eligibility for a PGWP if a study permit application was submitted and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
- –International students working in essential services, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week
- –During COVID-19 international students may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Canada cares. This is the reason a research done by the Canadian Bureau for International Education shows that 96% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination and 60% plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Whatever your reasons may be, I guarantee you that Canada will offer you experience like no other – a way of life that is beyond compare. Come experience Canada and find out why there’s so much to love this beautiful country.