Canadian universities are frequently ranked among the best in the world. Nine Canadian universities made the top 200 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018–2019. (four were in the top 100 and 20 were in the top 500). In addition, 4 Canadian universities were among the top 100 in Shanghai Jiao Tong University's 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Above all, education in Canada is consistently high across the post-secondary spectrum. Canada does not designate Ivy-league schools; instead, it assures a high standard of excellence across the country. As evidenced by international rankings and Canada's competitive economy, graduates emerge with internationally recognised and regarded credentials on par with the top tier in the profession.
Universities in Canada are known for a wide range of programmes and credentials that satisfy the highest international standards. Across the United States, vibrant campus communities support world-class research environments.
In addition, Canada offers a fantastic all-around post-secondary study experience: international students come to for a relevant, high-quality education in safe and fascinating regions and cities. They gain knowledge not just through their academic/technical courses, but also from living in such a welcoming, vibrant society.
Depending on the student's personality and interests, Canada provides a variety of university settings. If a student is seeking for a campus with huge research facilities in the heart of a bustling city, this is the place to be. This is also an option if they choose a small liberal arts college in a peaceful rural area. Medium-sized comprehensive colleges in Canada range in size from 1,000 to 25,000 students, and they are found in a variety of cities around the country, including Halifax, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, and Victoria.
Universities in Canada provide a wide range of degrees, from three- or four-year bachelor's degrees through master's and doctoral degrees (PhD). Professional degrees in medical, law, architecture, and dentistry, to name a few, are also available.
Many universities include full-time and part-time enrollment alternatives, as well as co-operative education, distance learning, and continuing education opportunities.
Programs are available in either English or French, with some institutions offering training in both languages. Some colleges provide French studies in English cities (there are 14 Francophone universities in provinces other than Quebec), and some universities offer English studies in French cities. Some programmes or institutions, regardless of the language of teaching, allow students to submit work and/or write tests in the official language of their choice.
In Canada, there is online and distance education. International students who want a Canadian education but are unable to study overseas for various reasons may be interested in online learning. The Canadian Virtual University (CVU), for example, is an association of Canada's top universities that specialise in online and distance learning. Students can acquire a Canadian degree without ever setting foot on a campus: www.cvu-uvc.ca/english.html contains over 400 programmes and 2,500 courses that can be searched from a single website. This website has a part dedicated to overseas students as well as a page with frequently asked questions (Frequently Asked Questions).
Many outstanding Canadian language programmes are available to assist international students in improving their language skills and gaining acceptance into post-secondary study.
Learning in Canadian Universities
International students will naturally feel both excited about studying in a different culture and education system and worried about fitting in and succeeding.
The following excerpt from a document created by a very internationally focused university, Thompson Rivers University, summarizes some of the characteristics of studying in Canada at the post-secondary level:
Attendance is important in Canada; students do not simply receive their grades based on one final exam. Attendance is seen as an indication of commitment from the student.
In many countries, students receive a passive, rather than active, orientation toward learning, in which they are expected to simply listen and receive information. But in Canada, questioning and critical thinking are expected at the post-secondary level; students are encouraged to speak out in class and/or volunteer answers.
Lower Level of Formality
Most international students are surprised by the “informal” relationship between instructors and students in Canadian educational institutions. It may take some time before they feel comfortable asking questions or offering an opinion. They may initially be embarrassed or unsettled by direct communication with instructors. Instructors are definitely the experts in the classroom, but they are open to receiving feedback and encouraging discussion among students.
The process of evaluation at university/college is often new to students from other countries. They may be accustomed to being graded on the basis of one final exam and are unused to progressive evaluation throughout the term. They may not be aware that attendance, participation, projects, and small quizzes can contribute to a cumulative grade.
Individual and Group Work
The distinction we make in Canada between individual and group work is not always shared by other cultures. In Canada, individual work is expected to be original and not the result of a group of friends doing the work together and each submitting the same content. With group work, students are expected to fully participate; this is why language support is important for international students: it helps them be more confident in engaging in group situations.
The meaning of academic honesty is difficult for many students to fully grasp. The concept of plagiarism may be new for many international students who may never have been required or taught to properly cite sources. In some educational environments, information is a public commodity; ownership of ideas is not recognized in the same way it is here. In addition, in many cultures it is preferable to quote the “expert” rather than to paraphrase in one’s own words.