At a recent MBA college fair, I met several representatives from Canadian universities. Though I am from the USA, I knew very little about the education system of our neighbors to the North. In the session I collected some compelling facts about studying in Canada.
First of all undergraduate study Canada does not require the SAT. Admission to Canadian universities is mainly based on grades and activities. Some universities have their own required tests that you will need to take during the application process, but there are no standardized test requirements for Canadian universities. However it is good to know that if you have an SAT score you can use it to show academic aptiutude if other parts of your record are weak (e.g. your marks or grades). Note that for MBA studies the GMAT/GRE is required.
Another thing to know about Canada is that it is cheaper than studying in the US. The cost of studying in Canada can be as little as two-thirds the cost of studying in the US. This is true for both undergraduate and MBA degrees.
The information session I attended included several panelists who were Indian alumni from Canadian universities, all of whom have now settled in Canada. They emphasized the excellent lifestyle Canada has to offer, explained how friendly Canada is to visitors and shared Canada’s a proud history of tolerance and opportunity for immigrants. The visa process is welcoming and married students can easily bring their spouses and children along. Canada is also an incredibly safe country. One of the panelists joked that the amount of crime in Caracas, Venuzuela in one day was as much as occurred in the entire year in Toronto.
Finally, and of tremendous importance to many Indian applicants, Canada has a generous work permit policy. After all, what is the point of paying for an education abroad if you do not get any work experience? In Canada once you finish your degree you are typically given a work permit for the same number of years you studied (i.e. You do a 2 year MBA and you get a 2 year work permit). And once you start working you can begin the process of applying for permanent residency if you choose. Canada offers a lot of great job opportunities in a wide range of industries including oil and gas, science and technology and manufacturing. As the Canadian working population declines relative to the aging population, Canada needs skilled citizens and residents to keep its economy and social system robust, so there is a lot of incentive to welcome well-qualified immigrants. This is in contrast to the US where limitations on work permits are becoming tighter, resulting in foreign students having no option but to seek employment outside the US after studying there. In addition to work after graduation, foreign students in Canada are allowed to work up to 20hrs per week at a part-time job while they are enrolled in full time studies.
I came away from this session wondering why wouldn’t Indian students be looking at universities in Canada? Canada offers an excellent quality of education at an affordable price in a safe, multi-cultural country where innovation and research is booming and immigrants are needed for the country’s future growth. Furthermore as the representative from The Canadian Consulate General explained, Canada-India relations are 2nd only to the USA in terms of the Canadian government’s priorities. And with a bilateral trade growing from 5 billion to 15 bililon ove the past 10 years, Canada seems like a good place to be for study, work and beyond.
To learn more about studying in Canada check out the Education in Canada website at http://educationau-incanada.ca/