When it comes to studying abroad destinations, both the US and Canada are included among the top five most preferred study abroad destinations for international students. Among the reasons for their success are top-quality education, faculty of the highest caliber, comprehensive course structure, employment opportunities after graduation, and high quality of life. In this blog post, various distinguishing factors between the USA and Canada are discussed to assist you in making the right decision.
Higher Education Systems In USA & Canada
The USA and Canada have similar types of educational institutions. However, these institutions may have varying characteristics.
- State College Or University: Such institutes are subsidized by the government- local or state and offer degrees, diplomas, certificates.
- Private College Or University: These educational institutions are mainly operated by private organizations or individuals.
- Community College: These are 2-year colleges and grant associate degrees and certifications. They offer transferable courses that can be used for 4-year university programs.
- Institute Of Technology: Such institutes offer both 4 year graduate programs and short term courses in Science & Technology.
- Universities - Private & Public: Such universities primarily offer degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates (up to one year).
- Colleges and Institutes: These educational institutions grant training in applied fields of work. Also widely known as colleges, community colleges, colleges of applied arts or applied technology, institutes of technology or science, collèges d’enseignement général et professionnel in Quebec).
Top Universities In USA & Canada
There are several leading universities in both the USA and Canada. According to the World QS Rankings 2022, the following provide a list of the top universities in the USA and Canada.
Top 5 Universities in USA
Here are the top five universities in the USA with their QS World Rankings in 2022:
|Institutions||QS World University Rankings 2022|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||1|
|California Institute of Technology||6|
|University of Chicago||10|
Top 5 Universities in Canada
Here are the top five universities in the Canada with their QS World Rankings in 2022:
|Institutions||QS World University Rankings 2022|
|University of Toronto||26|
|University of British Columbia||46|
|Université de Montréal||111|
|University of Alberta||126|
Popular Courses To Study In USA & Canada
The USA and Canada are both widely known for their high quality education systems. Following is a list of some of the most popular educational programs in both countries:
|Popular Courses in USA||Popular Courses in Canada|
|IT & Allied Fields||Engineering|
|Law||Psychology & Human Resources|
Admission Requirements In USA & Canada
When it comes to the USA vs Canada, it's imperative to check out the admission requirements. Moreover, admission requirements are likely to differ between institutions and courses in both the countries.
|Community College, Junior Or Technical College||Associate Degree It can be a transferable degree (e.g., Associate of Arts, Associate of Science degree) or prepare for entry into the job market (e.g., Associate of Applied Science)||
|Typically Offered By Universities||Bachelor’s Degree||
|College||Certificate/Diploma (1 year)||
|College||Associate Degree (2 years)||
|University/College||Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years)||
|College||Applied degree (4 years)||IELTS 6.0 AND Engineering degree or basic science graduation degree OR 2-year diploma|
|University||Master's Degree (Graduate studies) 2-3 years||
|University/College||Post Graduate certificate/ Diploma 1-2 years||
|University||MBA 2 years||
Cost Of Studying In USA & Canada
Among the essential factors to remember is that tuition fees vary from university to university as well as from program to program. Below is a comparison of tuition fees between the USA and Canada:
|Study Programs||Tuition Fees In The UK Yearly (USD)||Tuition Fees In The USA Yearly (CAD)|
|Bachelor’s Degree||10,000 USD - 40,000 USD||5,000 CAD - 25,000 CAD|
|Graduate Degree||20,000 USD - 45,000 USD||10,000 CAD - 35,000 CAD|
|Doctoral Program||28,000 USD - 55,000 USD||6,000 CAD - 16,000 CAD|
|Courses offered by Community Colleges||6000 USD - 8000 USD||-|
Cost Of Living In USA & Canada
Besides the cost of studying, you need to evaluate the cost of living in both the USA and Canada. Here is a brief idea of the expenses:
|Expenses||Cost Of Living Per Year (USD)||Cost Of Living Per Year (CAD)|
|On-Campus Accommodation||5304 USD - 8161 USD||3000 CAD - 7500 CAD|
|Private Accommodation||6000 USD - 14,000 USD||8000 CAD - 9000 CAD|
|Books & Academic Supplies||1170 USD||1500 CAD|
|Entertainment||2000 USD||1800 CAD|
|Public Transport||1200 USD||960 CAD - 1320 CAD|
|Internet||360 - 720 USD||600 CAD|
|Household & Other Bills||600 USD||800 CAD|
Scholarships Offered In USA & Canada
Here are some of the most popular scholarships that are granted to students every year who aim to study in the USA or Canada:
|USA Scholarships||Canada Scholarships|
|Fulbright Scholarships||Trudeau Scholarships|
|Stanford University Scholarships||Loran Scholars Foundation|
|Yale University Scholarships||Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships|
|AAUW International Fellowship Program||UdeM Exemption Scholarship|
|University of New Haven Scholarship||SFU Canada Graduate and Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships|
Student Visa Requirements In USA & Canada
Student visas for full-time study in the USA are called F1 visas. The requirements for this visa are as follows:
- Applicants will be required to attend a personal interview and submit their biometric data.
- It is possible for students to stay in the USA for up to 90 days beyond the duration of their academic program, unless they are approved to work for a certain period of time under the OPT program (Optional Practical Training).
- To apply for this visa, students will need to pay 160 USD and the SEVIS fee of 350 USD. An additional $160 fee will be charged for dependent visas (per dependent).
- A valid passport
- A printed copy of the DS-160 application form
- SEVIS fee receipt (visa fee receipt)
- An original and a copy of the interview appointment letter.
- Students will need to submit an original and a copy of the Form I-20 sent by the university/college in which they are enrolled.
- A copy of their previous qualifications.
- Visa fee payment confirmation receipt.
- Results from their chosen English language proficiency test.
- Evidence of sufficient funds to reside in the USA.
The Canadian student visa contains the following regulations:
- Within 90 days of graduating, students must apply for a post-graduation work permit.
- A medical test is required as part of the visa application process for international applicants to Canada.
- To obtain this visa, you must pay 150 CAD + 80 CAD (biometric).
- A Valid Passport
- Passport Size Photographs
- Proof of Acceptance by the Chosen Learning Institution
- Proof of Financial Funds
- Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
- English Language Proficiency Exam Score such as TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Statement of Purpose
- Credit Card
Job Opportunities In USA & Canada
Pursuing an international degree is a popular choice because it opens up many career opportunities. Moreover, the USA and Canada are both highly desirable locations in terms of job opportunities.
|Popular Jobs In USA||Average Annual Salary (USD)|
|Medical Director||271,525 USD to 325,673 USD|
|Chief Marketing Officer||253,000 USD|
|Software Engineer||93,817 USD|
|Popular Jobs In Canada||Average Annual Salary (CAD)|
|Financial Manager||95,600 CAD|
|Program Analyst||63,722 CAD|
|Nurse Practitioner||105,078 CAD|
|Construction Manager||81,809 CAD|
PR In USA & Canada
Obtaining permanent residence is possible, however, the process is very lengthy and slow. The procedure is complicated and requires that the applicant resides in the USA for at least five years, as evidenced by employment. Upon receiving a "Green Card", the entire process may take many years to complete.
Under the Canadian Experience Class, students may apply for Permanent Residency during their period of Post Graduate Work permit. As a result of its limited population, the country lacks highly skilled employees. It is easy to get a Permanent Resident card in Canada compared to most other countries.
Hence, studying abroad and venturing outside of one's comfort zone can be a life-changing experience. Hopefully, the article has covered all the key factors that can help students make the right choice between the USA and Canada for further studies.