Opinion

Indian Students Increasingly Turn To Canada

Indian students seeking to study abroad are increasingly turning to Canada to achieve their higher education goals.

In 2018, Canada was home to nearly 600,000 international students – a figure that has grown by 15% annually for the past five years.

But the growth that’s truly impressive is that of Indian student enrollment. The number of Indian students recently surpassed the number of Chinese students in Canada – compromising 30% and 25% of all foreign students in Canada, respectively.

It is tempting to attribute the appeal of Canadian education to policy changes in the United States and rhetoric from the White House. But the allure of a Canadian education pre-dates President Trump and looks likely to outlast him. Therefore, the Trump presidency does not account for the surge in Indian students choosing to study in Canada.

Canada boasts top quality schools at an affordable price. While the University of Toronto is a world leader in medicine and business and the University of Waterloo excels in engineering, mathematics, and computer science, their tuition fees are extremely reasonable with great value for money.

Friendly visa and study permit processes also contribute to the allure of Canadian education.

Canada offers a three-year post-graduation open work permit, which allows its graduates to work anywhere in Canada, in any field, and even if they don’t currently have a job offer. The pathway towards permanent residency and citizenship is also extremely clear.

Finally, Canadians have a reputation for compassion and tolerance. Immigrants from all over the world have made Canada their home for centuries, making the country a colourful mosaic of peoples, cultures, and cuisines.

Whether they want biryani, baozi, or borsch, students can find high-quality cuisine that reminds them of home.

And this diversity is more than just token: a recent Holi celebration at the University of British Columbia that drew over 2000 students and community members – both Indian and not.

Indian students seeking to go abroad have dozens of countries to choose from. But Canada is increasingly alluring and has shown a long-term desire to attract and retain Indian students.

Just make sure to bring a warm jacket!

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Sasha Ramani

Sasha Ramani is the Head of Canada and Corporate Strategy at MPOWER Financing a provider of scholarships and loans to international students pursuing university in Canada and the United States. He studied at the University of Waterloo (Canada), Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada), and Harvard University (USA)

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