Canada Vs. USA - Which One is Better for Studying Abroad?

    Updated on: 27 Sep 2022

    So, you have finally decided to study abroad and make the list of your target destinations. Well, making a list is easy, but picking up that one perfect option which scores a ten in all aspects is the toughest. And if you have to decide between Canada and the USA - the two top study abroad destinations in the world, the decision becomes even tougher. 

    To help you get a definite insight on which country is best for studies, we give you a comparative analysis of the two. 

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    Canada vs USA for International Students - Quality of Education and Acceptance

    The first point of comparison between the US and Canada is the quality of education and your chances of acceptance.  
    In regards to quality, both countries are at par with the USA leading by a hair because it is home to Ivy League Colleges. When it comes to getting admitted, Canadian universities are an easier bet.
    The reason being most US colleges will take a good look at your GRE or GMAT score besides English-Language Proficiency score and GPA when considering your application. Good GRE/GMAT score, therefore, becomes essential. When it comes to  Canada, a few colleges for some courses don’t even require a GRE like Master of Engineering at the University of Toronto. The schools that do ask for GRE or GMAT,  give more importance to your GPA.
    However, the aforementioned was only a general scenario. The exact probability of you getting accepted eventually boils down to the college and the course you choose. 

    Canada or USA for International Students - The Cost Comparison

    The next factor is the cost of education and living expenses. That for the US tends to be higher:
    The cost of studying MEng at the University of Toronto is CAD 57,054, which is approximately INR 30,36,984. The cost of studying MS at Caltech is around USD 52,506, which comes to about INR 40,03,057. On-campus shared living cost at Caltech is USD 27,925, while at U of T the conservative tally is CAD 11,780.
    Although the university, course, and location do drastically alter your total expenditure. 

    Canada or USA for International Students - Course Variety 

    Both the US and Canada have professional and research-oriented programs, i.e. thesis and non-thesis based. That said, one of the reasons not to study in Canada is the lesser variety of courses.
    When compared, the USA offers a broader range of degrees and subjects with most students choosing the country for Engineering or PhD in IT and allied fields. On the other hand, Canada has a whole slew of vocational courses and diplomas.

    USA Vs Canada for International Students - Experiential Learning Opportunity

    Experiential learning or Co-op Programs allow students to work full-time during their course. It gives you the chance to apply your academics in real-life situations. Besides the experience you gain, Co-ops are useful because they increase your chances of employment after graduating. 
    A lot of universities offer Co-op education in both Canada and the US. University of Toronto and Northeastern University are two examples.

    Canada Vs. The USA for International Students - Openness 

    In sheer terms of embracing others, Canada wins hands down. In the next two years, the country aims at getting 450,000 international students. Moreover, it encourages the student to settle down in the country after graduating. 
    Whereas, the US has become stricter in the past few years. It has changed policies, making it harder for international students to get a permanent work visa after course completion. Though from where you study in the US, does play a significant determinant. For instance, if you have a degree from an Ivy League college like Stanford finding a job is almost certain. 

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    Canada Vs. The USA for International Students: Quality Of Life

    The quality of living is only infinitesimally better in the USA for one reason, that is, the weather. The weather in the USA is not as cold as Canada, especially if your university is located in California or other warm states. 
    The freezing temperatures in Canada is the only deterrent because Indian students are not used to such extreme weather. If snow is not a problem for you, then Canada will offer a better quality of life as it is more politically stable, has affordable access to housing, food and jobs.  
    In terms of availability and accessibility to top facilities, both the countries score a 10. 

    Canada vs USA for International Students - Safety

    In regards to safety, is Canada good for international students?  Absolutely. It is known around the world for it. 
    In comparison to the US, it has a much, much lower crime rate. Plus, the people are multicultural, polite and welcoming, which makes the entire society extremely tolerant.

    Canada and USA - Post-Study Work Permit

    One reason why Canada is the best country for the study is the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The permit, which the student applies for, allows them to work:

    • For up to three years after course completion.
    • For any employer in any field.

    Essentially, you have three years to look for a dream profession. In the US, it is the company who has to sponsor the work visa. Since the employer has to bear the cost of an H-1B visa, not many companies are willing to hire international students, making finding employment tougher. 
    The OPT is one avenue that allows students to get permission to work in the US, but it is a temporary solution. Under the Optional Practical Training, eligible students can get 12 months to look for a job. STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management) students can apply for a further 24-month extension.

    Canada and USA - Job Opportunities

    The greatest appeal of studying abroad is the career opportunities. The USA and Canada both offer good employment possibilities. Yet more and more students thinking about an MBA in the USA or Canada are beginning to choose the latter. 
    The reason being beside the ease of getting a work permit, it has more job opportunities with over 433,000  vacancies reported last year. Currently, international students working in Canada contribute CAD 22 Billion to its economy. 
    Not to be left behind, the US does offer some incomparable career breaks with tech firms such as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google hiring many international students even with the stricter restriction in place.

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    Should You Choose Canada Or USA For Further Studies?

    If you’ve been scratching your head on Engineering in Canada vs the USA, or for that matter any other course, don’t pick one just because someone else did. The one-size approach doesn’t work, in this case, . 
    Do a comparative analysis. E.g., if finances are a constraint, then Canada is the better option. If your preferred degree is highly specialised and leads to a career in research, the US is the right answer. 
    Irrespective of which country you pick, GyanDhan is there to help you get an education loan. We’ll assess your profile, find the lender that best fits your criteria and then apply for the loan with minimum hassle all to fulfil your dream of studying in the US (or Canada)!

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