An education website has placed Canada above the U.S. as the best place to study abroad in the world.
Educations.com ranks Canada as number one in its Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad – 2020 listing.
“Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad,” notes Educations.com in its listing.
“Canadian universities are known for their technological innovations, especially in the fields of computer and information technologies,” it states. “While the costs of tuition are significantly lower, its universities can rival those of the U.S. or U.K.”
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In December last year, Canada’s reputation for being a friendly and welcoming country for newcomers from other countries saw it score high on the Migration Integration Policy Index of the Migration Policy Group.
“Among English-speaking countries, Canada is becoming a more attractive and inclusive global destination,” said Thomas Huddleston, director of research for Migration Policy Group.
“Canada, along with New Zealand, is taking the place of previous top-ranking countries such as Australia, the UK, and the United States.”
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That same month, Canada also topped the list of countries to which people throughout the world would like to move. Remitly, a company that lets users transfer money online from desktops, tablets or mobile phones, showed in its Where the World Wants to Work survey that Canada was the most sought-after destination in Google searches in the 101 countries surveyed.
In Educations.com’s most recent ranking, Canada moved up from the fourth spot in 2019, far ahead of the United States that placed fifth for the 2020 ranking and was completely absent from the top 10 the previous year.
“Thanks to their policy of multiculturalism, Canada is very diverse and welcomes people from all over the world,” notes the website. “Most Canadians speak English, but French is the mother tongue of a fifth of the population so it’s a great place to brush up on both languages.
“There’s also lots to discover outside of the classroom, especially for nature lovers who can hike, climb, ski, and swim their way through its vast wilderness. You can do all of this knowing that Canada is also considered a safe and friendly environment!”
Australia, Germany and Switzerland
Immediately below Canada in the rankings for the 2020 school year is Australia, followed by Germany and Switzerland. Sweden and the Netherlands took the sixth and seventh spots respectively. The United Kingdom was eighth, Spain ninth, and France closed off the top 10 list.
International Students Crucial To Canada’s Economy After COVID
Ottawa, which is bullish on immigration and has raised its immigration targets for the next three years, considers international students to be a valuable asset as it tries to rebuild its economy.
In a white paper released by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the post-secondary education organization highlighted the importance of international students to Canada’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Colleges and institutes are ideally placed to support Canadians and help their communities recover in the months ahead,” said CICan president and CEO Denise Amyot.
“Through their deep commitment to respond to the evolving innovation and skills development needs of local stakeholders and employers, they are poised to support a strong and sustainable economic recovery,” she says.
In a typical year, more than 400,000 international students come to Canadian colleges and universities with a Canadian study permit and gain valuable work experience at the same time.
Many International Students Later Seek Permanent Residency
In its white paper entitled COVID-19 and beyond: The role of colleges and institutes in Canada’s resilient recovery, CICan notes industry and business leaders have already identified a risk of labour market shortages and issued calls for more aggressive immigration targets.
“Immigrants and foreign workers at all skill levels bring a lot of experience and new ideas to Canadian workplaces and are often instrumental to the success of small businesses struggling with skills and labour shortages,” said Corinne Pohlmann, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ senior vice-president of national affairs, last year.
As Canada begins to come out of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many see international students in particular as playing a crucial role because of the skills and education they acquire and their tendency to seek out permanent resident status and work here upon graduation, states the report.