The Choice to Study in Canada

October 27, 2016

The majority of American students who study in Canada, particularly those at the undergraduate level, do so primarily because of the relatively lower tuition fees of Canadian universities, according to a new report from Universities Canada based on eight focus groups of Americans studying over the northern border.

The report, titled “Heading North: The Experience of American Students at Canadian Universities” and funded with a grant from the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, notes that students are also motivated by the opportunity to experience another culture while remaining close to home.

At the graduate level, students typically are drawn by specific programs, fields of research or faculty members. The report identifies a lack of funding opportunities as the primary obstacle to Americans wanting to pursue graduate degrees in Canada.

American students in the focus groups used positive terms to characterize their experiences at Canadian universities, including in relation to the quality of academic programs and campus life. They expressed mixed opinions on the ease of Canada's immigration and visa processes.

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