February 20, 2024

Unlocking Opportunities Abroad: Six Compelling Reasons to Choose Canada Over the USA for Your Studies

When deciding whether to study in Canada or the USA, international students are influenced by a number of variables, including the country's welcoming and open society, top-notch educational institutions, and quick processing timeframes for study permits.

The benefits and drawbacks of studying in Canada versus the USA may be on the minds of prospective students considering relocating overseas. Even though travel to the USA is common, Canada is currently the most preferred place for international students.

Canada has risen to the top of the list of countries that attract international students, while the United States has declined in recent years. Why, therefore, do more students choose to study in Canada than in the USA?

1. Challenges in Getting Study Permits

The convoluted visa regulations in the US could be one explanation.

A proposal has been presented by the Department of Homeland Security that would mandate that foreign students reapply for their visa each year they attend school in the United States. On the other hand, the Canadian government promotes students to remain in the nation for as long as feasible.

Intense inspection, interrogation, and a lot of waiting are all part of the drawn-out and difficult U.S. visa application procedure. For overseas students, obtaining a study permit in Canada is made easier by a streamlined and shortened visa application process.

It is possible to process a study visa for Canada in as little as three weeks.

It takes as little as three weeks to process a study permit for Canada. However, obtaining an American study permit usually takes a lot longer.

2. Cost

Studying in the US is not only more expensive than studying in Canada, but it is also far more difficult for international students to obtain financial aid in the US. International students are more likely to receive financial help or scholarships from Canadian universities than from American ones, which is quite uncommon.

Furthermore, tuition at Canadian institutions is typically 27% less expensive than that of US universities.

Tuition costs are not the only thing to take into account, though. In Canada, the cost of living is also significantly lower. It's possible that the more reasonable tuition in Canada is luring international students to study there.

3. Medical Care

One of the most obvious distinctions between the US and Canada, in your opinion, is the latter's lack of universal healthcare.

There are variances in the coverage that each Canadian province offers because healthcare in Canada is administered by various provinces. Certain provinces do not provide coverage for short-term residents, such as foreign students. Nevertheless, students in regions that do not accept international students can typically choose to utilize one of the many reasonably priced private insurance companies or sign up for their school's insurance plan.

Many US institutions demand that foreign students submit an application for health insurance. These students consequently frequently have to pay exorbitant charges for private treatment.

4. A Welcome Attitude

Canada is the most tolerant nation in the world for immigrants, according to Gallup's Migrant Acceptance Index (MAI). Additionally, a recent study revealed that since the COVID-19 outbreak, Canadians are more hospitable to immigrants than before.

Canada wants to welcome international students, which stands in stark contrast to what some perceive as the hostile U.S. approach towards foreigners.

The information also supports Canada's policy of openness to foreign students. In Canada, there were 642,500 international students in 2019 as opposed to 122,700 in 2000. Six out of ten international students who found employment after completing their studies became landed immigrants within ten years after obtaining their study permit, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.

Conversely, the growth rate of foreign students studying in the United States decreased to its lowest level since 2009. These numbers demonstrate that foreign students are increasingly selecting Canada over the US, a trend that may be brought about by measures taken by the Canadian government to draw in foreign talent.


5. Job Possibilities

After graduating, international students are granted a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which allows them to work in Canada for a maximum of three years. This permit facilitates their employment search and serves as a means of obtaining permanent residence and, eventually, citizenship. This is not the case in the US, where work upon graduation is contingent upon sponsorship.

International students generally believe that foreigners are not welcome in the United States, which will surely hurt their employability in the local market.

6. Canada's Welcome Extends Beyond Studies: Encouraging Your Stay

Canada is by far your greatest option if you're interested in becoming a permanent residence after graduation. International students are widely seen as the perfect immigrants in Canada. International students are widely seen as the perfect immigrants in Canada. Canada's efforts to permanently retain international students are growing along with the number of students from other countries who come to study here.

International graduates have a wide range of alternatives when it comes to obtaining permanent residency in Canada, provided by both the federal and provincial governments. A temporary governmental policy enabling foreign graduates employed in Canada to apply for permanent residency status was announced by Canada in April 2021. International students were given a clear message by Canada's then-immigration minister, Marco Mendicino: "Your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay."

There aren't many options in the United States for foreign students to become permanent residents. The United States does not provide any unique immigration choices tailored to foreign graduates, in contrast to Canada. It is quite difficult to get a green card or permanent residence in the United States without family ties or a sponsoring employer.


Canada emerges as the preferred choice for international students over the USA due to its streamlined visa process, lower tuition costs, and more accessible healthcare options. Additionally, Canada's welcoming environment and post-graduation opportunities, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, offer international students a clear pathway to employment and potential permanent residency. These factors underscore Canada's commitment to attracting and retaining international talent, making it an ideal destination for students seeking a rewarding educational experience abroad.

Guiding Your Study Abroad Journey: How Pelican Migration Consultants Support You

  1. Your Visa Journey: We'll walk you through the visa maze, showcasing Canada's smoother process compared to the US, ensuring you're on track for your dream education.
  2. Financial Peace of Mind: Let's talk dollars and sense. We'll show you how studying in Canada can be more wallet-friendly, with accessible scholarships and lower tuition, making your dreams within reach.
  3. Healthcare Know-How: From insurance queries to navigating healthcare systems, we've got your back, ensuring you're covered and cared for during your Canadian adventure.
  4. Future Pathways: Dreaming of staying beyond graduation? We'll lay out the roadmap to your Canadian future, from work permits to permanent residency, making your aspirations a reality.

Are you curious to know more about your possibilities for a Canadian education? Take our free online assessment right now!