Choosing to study at a university in Canada is a life-changing decision! Travel and study abroad are always enriching, but you still want to choose your university carefully. While there are lots of great universities in Canada to choose from, this decision doesn't have to be overwhelming. Break down your decision about a university in Canada into smaller categories to help guide you; making a check sheet for each university you're interested in can be a good way to compare schools so you can see which one best suits your academic and personal needs.
Aspects to consider when choosing a Canadian university:
Credentials offered: Consider bachelor's degree, associate's degree, diploma or certificate: consider duration and specializations.
Programs offered: Does the university offer a program in the area that interests you? Consider the courses available, class size, instructor qualifications and credentials, specialized facilities, etc.
Academic and language requirements: Consider what courses are required, whether you can apply directly from high school, which language tests scores they accept, etc.
Location: Consider the climate and the benefits and challenges of small towns, medium sized cities, and large metropolises.
Size and culture: Consider what learning environment best suits your personality: a more personal atmosphere or a large, bustling campus. In terms of a university's "culture," you should consider a school's religious affiliation, program focus (for instance liberal arts, technology, theology, etc.).
Cost: Consider basic living expenses, tuition fees and the cost of books and other supplies.
Scholarships and awards/ financial aid: Are there specific scholarships, awards or loans for international students that you qualify for? How helpful is the university's financial aid office?
Housing options: Consider on-campus residence, off-campus apartment rental and homestay.
Quality/ accreditation: Look for accreditation at both the institutional and program levels.
Extracurricular activities: Consider student clubs, sports, competitions, campus and community activities, etc.
Support for international students: Look for an international student centre, specialized tutorial services, language support programs, buddy system, etc.
Rankings: Consider national and international rankings as well as "unoffical" student reviews.
Other international students' experiences: Universities or other online resources can help you connect with other international students who can share their experience and advice.
Your gut feeling: In addition to weighing the intellectual pros and cons and costs of each university, listen to your intuition or instinct and how you feel about a school.
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