When it comes to the quality of living, Canada has always been included among the top countries in the world. It was also placed as the fifth-best country globally for women and the second-best country in general. Yet, there is one more thing Canada is best at, and it’s a well-developed education system. The country has seen a consistent increase in international student admissions, proving its effective teaching methods and high-quality research. In this article, we will be looking at our list of best universities in Canada for international students.
Is Canada a Good Place to Study for International Students?
International students are more than welcome to study in Canada, especially as the Canadian Ministry of Education is taking active steps to streamline the process. You can choose from top-ranking universities that offer comprehensive programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degree levels.
The most popular programs pursued by international students are areas related to business, social sciences, environmental sciences, medicine, and engineering. Universities focus on timely and relevant research, and students’ academic experiences will be based on progressive and innovative practices.
When it comes to languages, Canada is a multicultural country and one of the most linguistically diverse in the world. It is primarily a French and English-speaking country though you can quickly get around in English. The cost of studying and living in Canada is more affordable than studying abroad in the U.S. or the U.K.
Fees will depend on your program selection, but the average cost is around USD 15,000 per year. There are many affordable universities in Canada and cities like Toronto, Quebec, Calgary, Ottawa, and Manitoba offer numerous low-cost institutions. Furthermore, you only need a monthly income of USD 470 ~ $630 for food, accommodation, and other expenses.
Read Also: How to Study in Canada for Free
Can International Students Work in Canada While Studying?
International students can work in Canada as long as their Canadian study permit lists a condition that allows it when their study program has begun. If it doesn’t have such a statement, you can request an amendment to your permit. Students can work up to 20 hours a week on regular semesters and full-time during breaks.
You can work on-campus without a permit as an employee of the school facilities. For off-campus work, you must first verify if you need a work permit for the type of work you do. Check with Canada’s official website, which is the same site you can apply to if you do need a permit. In most cases, however, no work permit is required.
Check Also: Available Programs for International Students
Can International Students Stay in Canada After Graduation?
International graduates who wish to remain in Canada must gain work experience to qualify for permanent residence. You must apply for one of the two types of work permits in Canada: employer-specific work permits and open work permits. Each has specific conditions on employment duration, and all the specific details are outlined on Canada’s official website.
After gaining work experience in Canada, you will be eligible for immigration programs for permanent residence. The type of program suited for you will depend on your work experience, job group, and English skills.
Top Universities in Canada for International Students
1. University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is the best in Canada for international students. It has over 980 programs most noted for its curricula in communication theory and literary criticism. U of T is spread out over three campuses that house over 18 faculties and divisions, libraries, and sports facilities. Independent departments then commune in the university’s Hart House, its heart of recreational life.
Major scientific breakthroughs happened at U of T, and several examples of such breakthroughs include insulin and stem cell research, the first electron microscope, and the first successful lung transplant. Due to its excellent research output, the university receives the most funding from the private and governmental sectors.
In terms of internationalization, post-secondary rankings placed U of T among the top 20 in the world. Over 20% of its student body are international students, and with their commitment to diversity, the number is likely to increase over the coming years.
2. University of British Columbia
Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia is a highly prestigious university among institutions in Canada and is known for its longstanding traditions in multidisciplinary research. Its campus in Vancouver houses the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, the world’s largest cyclotron, and one of Canada’s largest libraries. The Kelowna campus was recently acquired to accommodate UBC’s growing teaching scope and is a site for over 63 graduate and undergraduate programs.
In addition to all the research equipment located on campus, this top university in Canada manages several research centers, including a 59-acre farm for food research, a center for democratic practices research, and indigenous education. Due to its research prowess, UBC cooperates with over 200 universities abroad, such as UC Berkeley, Seoul National University, Imperial College of London, and many others.
3. McGill University
McGill University bears the name of a successful Quebecer merchant, James McGill, whose bequest made way to establishing this institution in 1813. It founded the nation’s first faculty of medicine and is presently organized into 11 main faculties and schools.
Having over 30% of its student body as international students, most of the enrolled applicants are studying in medicine, engineering, arts, science, and management departments. McGill University has produced notable alumni, including award-winning actor William Shatner, search engine inventor Alan Emptage, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
McGill University, one of the best universities in Canada for international students, has significant contributions to the scientific community. Ernest Rutherford’s radon, Thomas Chang’s first artificial cell, and William Chalmer’s Plexiglas are some of the institutions’ discoveries. With a first-rate faculty and advanced facilities, McGill students are on the path to future scientific breakthroughs.
4. McMaster University
McMaster University was founded in 1881 when the prominent banker William McMaster bequeathed funds for its establishment. It now manages six academic faculties in business, social science, health science, engineering, humanities, and natural sciences. Across these disciplines, the university follows the McMaster Model, which is its educational policy for an interdisciplinary and student-centered approach to learning.
McMaster University receives accolades for its research pursuits, especially in health science. Their first-rate research facilities include a 780-square-meter biology greenhouse and a brain bank that holds a portion of Albert Einstein’s brain in its collection.
5. University of Montreal
The University of Montreal, or Université de Montréal, is a leading research university and one of the biggest university complexes in North America. It is affiliated with the business school HEC Montréal and the engineering school Polytechnique Montréal.
Fourteen faculties and departments comprise UdeM, including environmental design, kinesiology, and arts & sciences. Notable laboratories also began in UdeM, including the world’s leading research center for deep learning (MILA) and an institute for immunology and cancer.
This top university in Canada for international students consistently ranks in several tertiary education rankings. Its high-ranking subject areas include the medical doctoral program and courses related to computer science. Furthermore, around 10,000 international students are enrolled in UdeM, which is among the largest all-Canadian universities.
6. University of Alberta
The University of Alberta in Edmonton is a comprehensive university offering a broad range of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It comprises 18 faculties spread out on five campuses – four in Edmonton and one in Camrose.
A regular top placer in university rankings, it has been recognized in various subject areas such as paleontology, forestry, transplantation, and sports-related disciplines. Distinctively, UAlberta has established a faculty of native studies that deals with Aboriginal experiences, culture, and language.
UAlberta has a strong research focus and answers fundamental questions on social change, human health, and advancing knowledge for all. As one of the best universities in Canada for international students, the University of Alberta has the most advanced facilities, with about 40,000 students, including over 7,000 international learners, who can make significant contributions to the world.
7. University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa, or Université d’Ottawa, is the largest bilingual research university in the world. In English and French, the university offers over 450 programs across ten faculties, including medicine, engineering, and social science, and is the largest law school in Canada. The university manages 40 research centers with sponsored research income of over USD 300 million. The Ottawa Health Institute and the University’s Heart Institute provide excellent practice, resulting in a high-ranking medical doctoral program.
UOttawa boasts a 97 percent employment rate of graduates, providing the best minds to various industries. After all, students have the best opportunities to learn practical industry skills with university programs at this top university in Canada. Its cooperative education program introduces students to paid work placements relevant to their subject area.
8. University of Waterloo
Founded in 1957, the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) is a globally recognized university in Ontario, Canada. It is one of the Canadian universities offering cooperative education (co-op) programs. Now you must be wondering what cooperative education is. Well, it’s like you can work simultaneously while studying your favorite subject; that’s one of the perks of studying at the University of Waterloo.
In co-op programs, you can earn as much as CAD 21,000 all while studying. This approach not only enhances student’s employability but also provides valuable insights into their chosen fields. Popular co-op programs you can choose from include Computer Science, Engineering, and Business Administration.
9. University of Calgary
The University of Calgary (UCalgary) is a prestigious institution established in 1966 in Alberta, Canada. Known for its commitment to research excellence, innovative methods, and a strong sense of community, UCalgary has earned its place among the top universities in Canada. To be precise it stands tall as the #8 university in Canada.
It boasts a list of accomplished alumni who have significantly contributed to various fields. Notable graduates include astronaut Robert Thirsk, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and award-winning author Ariths van Herk. Moreover, the university’s strong ties with industry partners contribute to the success of its graduates. Collaborations with energy, health, and technology sectors provide students with exposure to real-world challenges and opportunities, enhancing their readiness for the workforce.
10. Queen’s University
The Queen’s University is a distinguished institution in Kingston, Canada. With a rich history and commitment to academic excellence, Queen’s is recognized for its strong sense of community, innovative teaching methods, and rigorous academic programs.
One of the stand-out features of the university that attracts thousands of students globally is the Smith School of Business, consistently ranked among the top business schools in the world. Additionally, the Faculty of Health Sciences is recognized for its cutting-edge research and contributions to healthcare. So, if you plan to start your journey as a health care practitioner or be a strong entrepreneur, the Queen’s is your best bet.
11. Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a leading Canadian institution in Burnaby, British Columbia. Known for its commitment to innovation, interdisciplinary learning, and community engagement, SFU has earned a reputation as a dynamic and forward-thinking university.
SFU offers a diverse range of programs, with certain disciplines gaining recognition for their excellence. For instance, the Beedie School of Business is highly regarded for its entrepreneurship and sustainable business programs.
Students entering Simon Fraser take advantage of its commitment to community engagement and social responsibility. One example of this initiative is SFU Public Square which brings together the university and the broader community to discuss and address pressing societal issues. In this, the students are encouraged to participate in community-based projects and volunteer opportunities, fostering a sense of civic responsibility and preparing them to contribute meaningfully to society.
12. University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba (UManitoba) is a prominent institution located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As the first university in Western Canada, UManitoba has a rich history and a strong commitment to academic excellence, research, and community engagement. It has numerous things to offer students; a diverse range of programs and a welcoming campus atmosphere remain at the top.
The university actively engages with the local community, promoting student service-learning and volunteer opportunities. The university’s Community-Engaged Learning initiative encourages students to apply their knowledge and skills to address real-world challenges. Through partnerships with community organizations, the University of Manitoba’s students contribute to positive social change, gaining practical experience while making a meaningful impact.
13. Concordia University
Concordia University is one of the best universities in Canada having a vibrant institution in Montreal, Canada. It is a hub for creativity, innovation, and cultural diversity, best for students seeking experiential learning in a dynamic urban setting.
Concordia University benefits from its bilingual and multicultural city, attracting thousands of students globally. The university prioritizes student support services, offering resources such as academic advising, counseling, and career development. Moreover, it encourages global engagement, providing students opportunities for international exchanges, study abroad programs, and collaborative research projects.
14. Carleton University
Founded in 1942, Carleton University is a leading institution in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. With a focus on interdisciplinary learning and a dynamic campus environment, Carleton University prepares students for success in a rapidly evolving world.
One of the perks of choosing Carleton University is you would get to study under one of the best faculties in the world actively engaged in groundbreaking projects. The university hosts various research centers and innovation hubs that focus on areas such as aerospace, technology, sustainability, and social policy.
Notable university graduates include former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, astronaut Chris Hadfield, and journalist Nahlah Ayed. The accomplishments of Carleton alumni contribute to the university’s strong reputation and showcase its impact on shaping leaders and influencers in various sectors.
15. Toronto Metropolitan University
Toronto Metropolitan University formerly known as Ryerson Institute of Technology has a strong reputation for its media, communication, and journalism programs. The RTA School of Media, in particular, is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and industry-focused curriculum. Graduates from Ryerson’s media programs often succeed in various media-related fields, including broadcasting, digital media, and journalism, contributing to the university’s influence in the media landscape.
The university is at the forefront of fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. The DMZ (Digital Media Zone) is one of the largest business incubators for emerging tech startups in North America, providing students and entrepreneurs with resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Its commitment to nurturing innovation aligns with Toronto’s reputation as a hub for technology and business development.
In a nutshell, Canadian universities are the best in the world offering numerous opportunities for international students. With top universities like the University of Waterloo, the University of Alberta, or Ryerson University, students have multiple options. So whether you’re looking for an urban city or a campus with some vibrancy you have the right knowledge in your hand to shape your future.
We hope that this article on the best Canadian universities for international students was helpful. If you’re interested in studying in Canada, make sure to check out the Available Programs in Canada and Study in Canada pages!