Is Canada a good study destination for international students?

Canada a study destination for international students

Is Canada a good study destination for international students?


Canada is an extremely popular destination for international students. In a 2018 survey, Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) lists the top three reasons students choose Canada:


  1. Canada’s quality education system (82%)
  2. Welcoming and non-discriminatory society (79%)
  3. Reputation as a safe country (78%)


Out of 14,000+ students, 93% are incredibly happy with their decision to study in a Canadian institution. So much so they recommend Canada as a study destination to others. Many students also claim an interest in permanent residency post studies. Completing education in Canada helps many international students with future employment and residency in Canada. In addition, with recent changes to immigration policies including Canada’s Express Entry, it’s much easier for students to migrate. These policies are well recognized as a welcoming policy environment contrasting that of USA’s current state. As Canada’s previous Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, once made note of:


“When I think of the best group in the world that would make the best future Canadians, the group that comes first to my mind is international students.”


In 2017, a total of 494,525 international students were studying in Canada at all levels including university, college and high school. This number shows a 119% increase in international students in Canada since 2010. Most students travel from countries including India, Vietnam, Iran and Bangladesh. However, many also from Africa, Europe and Latin America, contributing to Canada’s multicultural society. Having reached these numbers, Canada has achieved its long-term goal 5 years in advance, to host 450,000 international students by 2022. All this to say, Canada is truly an attractive study destination for many.


Not only do international students benefit by receiving an excellent experience in Canada, but Canada benefits through the economic impact imposed by foreigners. In 2016, international students contributed CDN$15.5 billion to the economy through tuition payments, accommodations and such. With this increase in spending, nearly 170,000 jobs across Canada have been supported and the talent has grown exponentially.     


Though Canada welcomes foreign students with open arms and encourages them to stay, students experience concerns about affordability. Popular cities such as Toronto and Vancouver host expensive accommodations, many of which students struggle to pay for. In fact, accommodations are one of the largest costs international students will obtain. However, there are ways around this. Read our blog, “How to find student accommodations in Canada” to learn all about student accommodation options.


U.S. remains as Canada’s primary competition when it comes to destinations. This is largely due to its highly ranked and prestigious institutions such as Harvard University and MIT. International students continue to show large interest in studying in the U.S., however with the current political climate, Canada has taken the opportunity to boost its offer to international students and in turn has succeeded.


Sign up for free today to begin your international school search with ApplyBoard!


All information presented in this blog is sourced from ICEF Monitor.


Adrianna Dyczkowsky, Public Relations Specialist at ApplyBoard


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