If you are looking forward to studying in Canada as an international student, you will agree with me that it’s quite challenging getting the right university or college to pursue your study. Going through a consultant or an agent might not solve your problem as some consultants know little about Canada and its universities and colleges. In this article, I will be providing some factors you must consider when you are looking for a good college or University in Canada.
- World and National Rankings – Not all universities have good ranking. If you want a good university, you must first of all check the world and national ranking of such an institution before you start sending your application to them. World ranking associations are Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings. QS gives rankings by country. For example the University of Alberta is ranked number 4 according to the QS index. Also a country’s national newspapers may help you find information on national rankings.
- Teaching Excellence – You must also find out how qualified their professors and lecturers are, and even if qualified, can they teach? These are important questions. According to MacLean’s magazine, a well-recognised paper in Canada, Alberta has two of the best teaching universities in Canada. Additionally, the University of Alberta has many professors who hold Excellence Teaching Awards.
- Academics – In addition to ranking and teaching excellence the program and curriculum are equally important. You must attend an accredited institution, especially if you want to have your degree recognised and also obtain a study permit to study in Canada. Accreditation is granted to universities and colleges whose curriculum and etc. meets national standards.
- Scholarships awards for international students – Some Canadian universities give good scholarships to international students.
- Work and study – The Canadian government allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week while they are a student and this can be done both on and off campus.
- Cost – not only does tuition cost come in here, but the cost of living. The same cost of living doesn’t apply to all provinces, so when you are planning on studying in Canada, you will want to look at which province/city has an affordable cost of living.
- International Centre – where workshops, cultural and recreational activities and helpful staff abound. International students studying in Canada need this kind of support.
- Health Services – what kind of health plans and on-campus services are provided?
- Career Placement Services – many campuses offer both international and national students assistance in resume writing, interview workshops and job postings. Also when choosing a university or college to study at in Canada, find out if it offers internships and co-operative work programs to their students.
- Security – what kind of security is provided? For example the University of Alberta has 24 hour security at their student residences.
Location – location is so important for several reasons such as climate, social life, cultural or religious relevance, cost of living and job opportunities once you graduate or even while a student. For example, 88% of Georgian College’s graduates find employment after studying in Canada.