7 Reasons International Students Should Study at the University of Waterloo

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 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 University of Waterloo home.

However, some international students may be curious why they should pick a university in a midsize Canadian city over the many other options available. For this reason, we have decided to highlight 7 reasons why the University of Waterloo is a great place for international students to study!

Ranked Top 10 in Canada

University of Waterloo Building

The University of Waterloo consistently ranks high among Canadian institutions. UW ranks 10th overall in Times Higher Education’s annual rankings, ahead of schools like Dalhousie and York University. Areas where University of Waterloo scores high marks include international outlook, reputation, engineering & technology, physical sciences, and social sciences.

A large international student population

Student listening to music

International students are truly welcome at University of Waterloo. The university attracts many students from around the world. In fact, 20% of undergrads and 40% of graduate students are international! As of 2018, there were over 203,000 UW alumni in 152 countries.

International Grads Get Jobs

One of the top reasons students from around the world choose University of Waterloo is postgrad employment. UW grads are highly sought after thanks to the university’s high quality education and close partnerships with many successful companies. UW ranked 25th in the world in the annual QS Graduate Employability Rankings, second in Canada behind University of Toronto. For this reason, it’s no surprise UW boasts an international student employment rate of 98.9%!

Work Terms


Sourced from TechMalak

Another major reason why students graduate from UW work-ready is the university’s world class co-op program. 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 over $261 million reported earnings by UW co-op students in the 2017/18 academic year.

Find more information about University of Waterloo’s co-op programs here.

World-Class Computer Programs

Cheriton School of Computer Science

Although 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!

Find out more about UW computer science and computer engineering on our program pages.

Canada’s Tech Hub


Sourced from Communitech News

As mentioned above, 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 and of course, ApplyBoard. UW has played an integral role in growing this tech hub. The university’s Velocity 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!

Great Campus Location

While Waterloo isn’t as exciting as bigger cities like Toronto or Vancouver, it’s still a great place to live and study in. The twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo are home to not just UW, but Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College too. 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!

Ready to study at University of Waterloo? Create your free ApplyBoard account and get started today. We’re here to help with every step of the application process.