If you have school-aged children or will be attending college or university in Canada, you're no doubt researching how the education system works, and what makes it unique. Today, our Ottawa and Orleans immigration physicians list the top 10 benefits of the country's public school system for foreign students in Canada.
Why would foreign students want to attend school in Canada?
Whether you have children entering grade school or you're seeking to attend a college or university as a foreign student in Canada, you're likely wondering about the benefits of getting your education here.
In this post, we'll discuss the quality of our country's education system, the inclusivity our students enjoy, what extracurricular activities are popular and more.
1. Studying in Canada is affordable.
Canada's schools are publically funded, which means a high-quality elementary and secondary school education is free if you attend public school. While Canadian colleges and universities require a tuition fee, these are lower than the fees in other developed countries — which makes the country a popular destination for international students.
Permanent residents up to age 18 have the right to free education in the Canadian public school system, and permanent residents will see a dramatic reduction of university tuition fees.
Note that you'll need to be a permanent resident to qualify for free public education in Canada.
2. Schools accommodate special needs.Does your child have a disability or special needs? You'll find high-quality public healthcare and medical services here. In addition, curricula can be remediated and modified for those with special needs, which will allow your children to get the education they deserve.
3. School-funded transportation makes it easy for kids to get to school.
Once your children are enrolled in the public system, they'll need to get to school. Many children hop on a school bus every morning and afternoon to get to and from school safely.
While these services sometimes cost a little extra, they are typically inexpensive and worth the cost if your kid needs to get to school (and you need to get to work).
4. International students can request financial aid.
If you're an international student, you may have several options for financial aid open to you to help cut down the cost of studying at a Canadian college or university. These include partially-funded and fully-funded scholarships, awards and bursaries.
5. Fun extracurricular activities abound.
While your children will be challenged in the classroom, they'll also discover a wealth of extra-curricular activities to help them stay physically and socially active.
Maybe they are athletes who love to kick a ball down the soccer field, or math whizzes who find joy in numbers. Perhaps they would thrive in music or the arts. It's all here for them to explore. Activities available will depend on which school they attend and where, but they are sure to find something to spark their interest.
6. You will not need a separate work permit to work and study in Canada.
Foreign students working in Canada will be pleased to find that separate work permits aren't required to work and study in the country.
If you're an international student, you'll be able to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week when your educational institution is in session and classes are being held.
During school holidays, you'll be able to work full-time for up to 40 hours every week.
7. Post-secondary institutions offer comprehensive program and course options.
There are thousands of colleges and universities across Canada, and many offer a robust selection of academic courses and programs. Large Canadian cities may have up to three or four top-ranking universities.
8. International cultures are welcome.
Canada is known for its multicultural population — and for welcoming hundreds of thousands of international students every year with open arms who find themselves drawn to the country by the prospect of gaining permanent residence, in addition to the opportunity to live in a safe community and gain a high-quality education.
In turn, immigrants who are skilled workers play a vital role in Canada's economic growth and social fabric. They bring valuable work experience, education, strong language skills and a drive to succeed with them to our country.
Many people coming to Canada might ask themselves, "How many foreign students are in Canada?". In 2021, Canada saw nearly 450,000 new study permits take effect, which broke the previous all-time record set in 2019. That number represents a near recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
During the pandemic, travel restrictions affected many prospective students, preventing many from entering in 2020. In 2021, a double cohort of student arrivals meant the country welcomed nearly twice as many students. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) rules were also temporarily eased until August 31, 2022 to help those who wanted to study in Canada during this period.
Candidates for immigration programs will find they may have an advantage if they've studied in Canada. One can score extra points via Express Entry (the federal government's electronic system used to manage applications of skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada) for Canadian study experience. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, along with some provinces and territories, also operate streams that accomplish the same.
9. Almost all schools accommodate students who speak English and French.
At most schools in Canada, students will have the opportunity to learn both of our country's official languages - English and French. While the primary language taught depends on the school you or your child attend, almost all schools cater to people who speak both languages. This also means you and your children will have the language skills needed to communicate effectively in other languages, and that you'll have many opportunities once you complete your studies.
10. Teachers are trained to provide a positive learning experience.
Our high-quality education system is renowned worldwide, and our well-educated, trained and skilled teachers and staff are among our greatest assets. High standards for teacher certification mean your child will receive the education they need to succeed in the workforce.
While the importance of communication, social development and classroom interaction are emphasized, our teachers also motivate their students to build a good work ethic as they embark on their academic career — and perhaps later study at our colleges and universities.