Canada is a popular choice among international students as a desirable destination
for education. It consistently ranks as one of the world’s top countries for
education and quality of life. Canada offers a welcoming environment for students,
with thousands of immigrants calling it home, providing opportunities to explore
diverse cultures and traditions while receiving a high-quality education.
Compared to countries like the UK and the US, Canada has an affordable fee
structure, and its education system emphasizes research supported by the Canadian
government. Additionally, the country offers the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
(PWPP), which enables students to work and remain in Canada for up to three years
following the completion of their studies. Below are some of the top Canadian
universities preferred by international students, which provide excellent education
1. University of British Columbia
Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia boasts some of Canada’s most
stunning campuses. Its largest campus, located in Vancouver, is set against the backdrop
of the Pacific Ocean, while its second campus, nestled in the unique Okanagan wine
region, is just a few hours away. However, the University of British Columbia doesn’t
only make our list for its incredible locations; it is also considered one of the
world’s leading research universities, ranking 45th globally in the QS World University
Rankings and third in Canada.
The university is also home to a top subatomic physics research lab with the world’s
largest cyclotron, a particle accelerator. Moreover, the University of British Columbia
is North America’s most international university, with students from 166 countries
enrolled and a regional office in Hong Kong.
In terms of living costs, Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city, with the average
monthly cost of a one-bedroom flat in downtown Vancouver being around CAD $2,050 per
2. University of Ottawa
What could be a better place to pursue your studies than Ottawa, the capital city of
Canada? The University of Ottawa, situated on the border between Ontario and Quebec, is
the world’s largest bilingual university, founded in 1848 and currently offers over 450
programs in French and English.
The University of Ottawa campus is home to many historic buildings, is located close to
the famous Rideau Canal, and was ranked number 6 in Canada for sustainability in 2020,
according to the UI Green metric World University Rankings. In recent years, the
university has also invested in five new state-of-the-art facilities and research labs,
including an innovative STEM complex and a black box theater.
3. University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is situated in and around Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta
province, and was established in 1908. The university comprises 18 faculties spread
across five campuses and enrolls students from 156 countries.
According to the QS University Rankings, the University of Alberta is ranked sixth in
Canada and is also recognized among the world’s best universities by the Centre for
World University Rankings for various subjects, including forestry (5), geology (5), and
Interestingly, a few hours from the university lies Dinosaur Provincial Park, which
UNESCO has acknowledged for containing some of the most significant fossils discovered
from the “Age of the Dinosaurs.”
In terms of living costs, a one-bedroom flat in downtown Edmonton costs an average of CAD
$1,171 per month.
4. Dalhousie University
Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University is a research-intensive institution
that was founded in 1818. With over 190 undergraduate and graduate programs, the
university is among the 15 leading Canadian research universities, known as U15.
International students account for almost 20% of the student population at Dalhousie.
The university has four campuses, including three in Halifax and one in Truro, which is a
couple of hours away. Nova Scotia province, where Dalhousie is located, is an attractive
destination for international students.
The province is situated in the heart of the Atlantic maritime region, offering
breathtaking ocean views, lively nightlife, great live music, and friendly people. In
2021, Halifax was even named the best Canadian city to live and work remotely in by the
Canadian magazine Maclean’s.
In terms of living expenses, Halifax is a reasonably affordable city in Canada. For
instance, a one-bedroom flat in the downtown area costs approximately CAD $1,415 per
5. York University
York University, established in 1959, is Toronto’s third-largest university with 11
faculties. It offers an array of programs in diverse fields, including psychology,
education, and business. Financial Times ranked its Executive Master of Business
Administration program number one in Canada and 21st worldwide in 2020.
The university has a main campus in Toronto and a smaller bilingual campus nearby. York
University has also established a Hyderabad campus, where students can complete their
two-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in both Canada and India.
Additionally, the university has a unique Las Nubes EcoCampus, located on 414 acres of
protected land in Costa Rica.
The cost of living in Toronto can be expensive, with a one-bedroom flat downtown costing
approximately CAD $2,100 per month on average. However, living outside the city centre
near York University may offer more affordable rental options.
6. University of Manitoba
Situated in the heart of Canada, in Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba was established
in 1877 and is the oldest university in Western Canada. With over 100 programs
available, more than 20% of its students are international, and the university has one
of the most significant Indigenous student populations in the country.
The University of Manitoba spans across two campuses, with the largest one spread over
692 acres and featuring over 60 buildings, and a second campus in the downtown area,
focused on health sciences.
The university is also home to Smartpark Research and Technology Park, an innovative hub
with ten buildings and 20 companies working in diverse fields like ICT, engineering,
health, and biotechnology.
For those seeking affordable study options, Winnipeg is an excellent choice, with the
average rent for a one-bedroom flat downtown costing only CAD $1,077/month.
7. McGill University
Located in Montreal, Quebec, McGill University is considered one of Canada’s most
prestigious universities, ranked 2nd in the country and 31st in the world by QS
Founded in 1821, it has been ranked the best medical school in Canada by Maclean’s
Magazine for 16 years. With research partners in 99 countries, the university has a
global research focus, emphasizing seven main themes.
McGill University has two campuses; the downtown campus is full of historic buildings and
green spaces, while the second is located on a vast, 1606-acre space, about 45 minutes
from the city. With its vibrant arts, culture, and diversity, Montreal is considered the
world’s best student city for international students this year – making it an excellent
place to study.
Cost of living: Montreal is an affordable city to live in. For example, a one-bedroom
flat downtown costs about CAD $1,245/month on average.
These are among the many universities that offer top-notch education and hold an
excellent reputation among international students. If you’re considering pursuing higher
education in Canada, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Expert Education and Visa
Services, we have been assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations since
2003. We are a leading education consultancy in Nepal and will guide you through the
process of studying in Canada.
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