Over the last few decades, Ontario’s Waterloo Region has emerged as Canada’s leading technology hub. While many factors have influenced this, the University of Waterloo (UW) has driven much of the innovation. As one of Canada’s premier research institutions, UW is home to world-class facilities in science, engineering, and many other disciplines. Students from all around the world call the University of Waterloo home.
If you’re wondering why some international students should pick a university in a midsize Canadian city over the many other options available, we’re highlighting the top seven reasons the University of Waterloo is an excellent place for international students to study!
7 Reasons International Students Should Study at the University of Waterloo
1. Ranked Top 10 in Canada
The University of Waterloo consistently ranks high among Canadian institutions. UW ranks 10th overall in Times Higher Education’s annual rankings, ahead of other reputable universities such as Dalhousie University and York University. Areas where the University of Waterloo scores high marks include international outlook, engineering and technology, reputation, and physical and social sciences.
2. A Large International Student Population
The University of Waterloo is a space where international students feel at home. The university attracts talented students from across the globe. In fact, 22% of undergrads and 40% of graduate students are international students! As of 2021, there are over 227,000 UW alumni in 151 countries.
3. International Grads Get Jobs
The University of Waterloo’s high postgraduate employment rate continues to attract students from around the world. UW grads are highly sought after thanks to the university’s high-quality education and close partnerships with many successful companies. UW ranked 24th in the world in the annual QS Graduate Employability Rankings, second in Canada behind the University of Toronto. For this reason, it’s no surprise that UW boasts an international student employment rate of 97.5%!
4. Work Terms
Another major reason why students graduate work-ready from UW is the university’s world-class co-op programs. Most programs at UW have co-op terms to help students gain work experience. Even better, many of these co-op opportunities are paid, with UW co-op students earning over $285 million in the 2019/2020 academic year.
Read more about the University of Waterloo’s co-op programs.
5. World-Class Computer Programs
Although the University of Waterloo has many great programs, much of its international reputation stems from computer science and engineering. Nicknamed the “MIT of the North,” UW has produced many graduates who have landed jobs in Silicon Valley. These graduates have also been instrumental in establishing Waterloo Region as a tech hub. Companies such as Blackberry, Kik Interactive, and even ApplyBoard were all founded by UW graduates!
6. Canada’s Tech Hub
As mentioned above, the University of Waterloo’s main campus is located in the heart of Canada’s tech hub. More than 1,570 tech-related businesses are located in and around Waterloo Region, including BlackBerry, OpenText, D2L, Google, and of course, ApplyBoard. UW has played an integral role in growing this tech hub. Velocity, which is backed by UW, is Canada’s most productive startup incubator, with a three-year company survival rate of 69%. In all, University of Waterloo entrepreneurs have raised more than $7.4 billion in funding!
7. Great Campus Location
The vibrant city of Waterloo has something for everyone. Whether you want to enjoy an afternoon strolling around Uptown or go for a run on the Iron Horse Trail, there are plenty of ways to spend your downtime. The twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo are home to not just UW, but also Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College.
With so many local postsecondary schools, Waterloo Region is built with students in mind. There are many excellent food, transit, and entertainment options. Plus, the region is still close enough to Toronto that you can easily visit on the weekends!