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CANADA or US – Where Should I Study???

The number of international students in both countries rises every year as most student preferences to have an international degree choose the US or Canada as their study destination. Studying in these countries is not just all about getting your degree and that’s it. Thousands of students go to these countries to study without putting other factors that should be taken into consideration and ask personal questions like: What are my reasons for choosing this country as my study destination? What are the long-term benefits? Are there work opportunities after I graduate? Can I live and work there after my studies? What are the financial implications? And so many more…

Studying abroad is not an easy task, you have to make the right decision and most especially put your finances into check. You need to know the benefits of studying in these countries to know where fits you best based on the short and long term goals.

Here, you will find the pros and cons of studying in Canada and the USA to help you choose wisely on your study destination, making future plans and career development.

  • The cost of studying in Canada is typically lower than that of the US and both offers the same standard and quality of education. For instance, those considering a graduate degree in business, compare these tuition fees: $52,985 at Ohio State University VS $39,434 at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Most universitiess in US offers PhD funding in the form of tuition waivers and also get stipends that can cover living costs. Many PhD students in the US work as teaching assistants or research assistants to supplement their income gotten from the university. These are both usually offered as yearly contracts between the student and the institution, renewed if the student maintains specified academic standards. While in Canada, PhD students may work outside the university or through student jobs within the university but some programs stipulate that students must not work for more than 10 hours per week outside of their studies, particularly if they have been granted PhD funding.
  • There are various types of financial aid available especially to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) students, most of which can cover living costs and part of the tuition fees for international students who choose to study in the US at the graduate and undergraduate level as long as you can prove excellent results in your academics. Many awards are based solely on academic merit and therefore financial aid is not taken into account through the application process.
  • To study in the US, most undergraduate and graduate programs requires standardized tests as one the application requirements (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS/SAT). While in Canada, only specific programs requires standardized tests.
  • The US is strictly an English speaking country. While in Canada, the country has official bilingual status, with English and French used concurrently in government and official documents, which gives you the opportunity to learn a second language.
  • In the US, on completion of your degree, you are allowed to work in your related field for about a year, if you apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training). Most international students get inducted into the company that hires them during their OPT period, by sponsoring their H-1B or work visa. If you are a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Accountancy, Teaching or Marketing student, you might have the opportunity to be granted the H-1B work visa by your employers. It is pretty difficult though, no doubt. But at least, the one-year regulation for international students is still relatively generous to stay in the US after your studies. While in Canada, If you are thinking about staying after graduation, it is usually prudent to apply for and receive a Post-Graduate Work Permit which must be submitted within 90 days of graduation for a full-time program that lasted for about 8 months. This permit can be issued for a minimum time period of 1 year to a maximum of 3 years, depending on the length of your program of study. After which there are various Canadian immigration programs of changing your work permit status to a permanent residence for most graduates like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Provincial Nominee Program and before you can be eligible, you must have a post-graduate work permit.
  • Undergraduate degrees in Canada can take either three or four years to complete, depending on the university. Postgraduate degrees last between one and three years to complete, depending on the type of degree. While undergraduate degrees at US universities typically take four years to complete, while the graduate courses are about two years.
  • Financial statement is an important document to prove you have sufficient funding to pursue an education in US and Canada. As a result of high fall out rate among students, universities in US requires a proof that you can fund your education and not drop-out due to financial issues. You have to send in your financial statement as part of the admission process before you can be admitted except a few universities but the financial statement will still have to be provided after you have been accepted before they can issue I-20 form before applying for a student visa. While in Canada, universities do not ask for financial statement before and after being admitted.
  • The processing time for a US student visa application is quite shorter compared to Canada. The time frame between the student visa application and visa approval can take a minimum of two weeks. While in Canada, study permit takes about four (4) months to process.
  • 30% of universities in US do not require you to pay application fees. While in Canada, 98% of universities requires you to pay application fees.

Both countries are leading study destinations for international students, the comparison for each country have highlighted the relative importance of choosing the right place suitable for you.

At the end of the day, you are bound to have an incredible experience studying overseas in Canada or US. Take advantage of your many opportunities that fulfils all of YOUR requirements for your ideal study destination.

All the best in your pursuit of excellence in education!

Kindly drop your questions, recommendations, suggestions, the COUNTRY you’d prefer and WHY, at the comment section below…

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