Once you’ve decided to study in Canada, the next step is choosing where to apply. There are many great schools in Canada, and narrowing down your options can be daunting. There are a number of factors to take into consideration. While no rules exist for choosing a college or university in Canada, these tips can help make the process easier.
Knowing what subject you want to study is a useful first step. If you are planning on studying in a specialized field, you may find that the list of colleges and universities that offer your program is already quite short. That would make the decision process easier.
Even if the subject you want to study is more common, you’ll want to make sure that the schools you are considering offer it. View online course catalogs from the schools you are interested in and browse their websites.
When choosing a college or university in Canada, other factors to consider include:
- Primary language of the school — The most common languages spoken in Canada are English and French. Some schools use one or both as their main language. Be sure that you’ll be able to study and communicate in the necessary one.
- Type of school — Are you interested in and at the right point in your education to study at a college, university, vocational school or institute?
- Type of degree — Are you planning on pursuing an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D.?
- Location — Make sure you research the area each of the schools on your list is located in. Are you looking for an urban, suburban, or rural location?
- Size of school — Are you interested in a large campus or small? Big lectures or small seminars? Both have their own pros and cons, so it’s important to decide which you are most comfortable with.
- School reputation — Make sure you spend time researching this and find out the job placement rate of graduates of each school you’re considering.
- Quality of facilities and resources — How are the libraries, labs, and technical equipment?
- Opportunities for work experience — Is there a cooperative (“co-op”) program, or something similar?
- Fees and financial aid — Studying abroad can be expensive. Does the school offer grants or scholarships to help you afford your studies?
- Faculty and staff — Research the faculty in your program. Is there anyone you particularly want to study with?
- Accommodations for special needs — Is the school able to accommodate students with physical or learning disabilities?
- Recreational activities — Does the school offer extracurricular activities that might interest you, such as sports, clubs, or a school newspaper?
Some of these factors may be more important to you than others. Feel free to customize this list to reflect what is most important to you in a school.
If you want to study in Canada but need to improve your English language skills, consider a pathway program.
Applying to Schools in Canada
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, the next step is to start putting together your applications. All schools in Canada will have different application requirements, so it is important to find each school’s requirements to apply, as well as language requirements for English or French.
Schools to Consider
Canada does not have an official university ranking system. You may find ranking published in magazines or newspapers, but these are not official, and many universities do not participate in these rankings. This makes it difficult to determine if these rankings are accurate.
Here are a few Canadian colleges and universities to consider:
- Queen's University School of English — Kingston, Ontario
- University of Toronto — Toronto, Ontario
- University of British Columbia — Vancouver, British Columbia
- McGill University — Montréal, Québec
- Seneca College — Toronto, Ontario
- University of Alberta — Edmonton, Alberta
- University of Montréal — Montréal, Québec
- Algonquin College — Ottawa, Ontario
- University of Calgary — Calgary, Alberta
- Carleton University — Ottawa, Ontario
- Concordia University — Montréal, Québec