Studying in Canada is not only about choosing a study program and educational institution with a decent rating. It is also a busy daily life, prospects for future work, social environment, and even climate. When you are going to spend a year or even your whole life in another country, every detail must be taken into account when choosing a starting point. Canada is a huge territory with very heterogeneous resources. The provinces differ significantly from each other – climate, geography, as well as the economic situation, labor market, culture, and, of course, the attitude towards immigrants. The most hospitable to foreigners is the province of Ontario and its administrative center Toronto. It is here that the economic, cultural, and business life of Canadian society is concentrated.
The main criteria for choosing a place of study you must always proceed from your priorities. Someone is more comfortable living on the periphery, others need a dynamic pace of the metropolis. External support is also important: if there are relatives or friends in Canada, then the optimal solution is to choose a place of study close to loved ones.
But more often than not, the applicant counts only on his strengths and capabilities. And in this case, the first step is to minimize language problems. In Canada, people communicate in English and French, so it’s worth starting from your knowledge.
French-speaking students are most comfortable studying in Montreal, Quebec. English-speaking applicants have a much wider choice, for example:
- Toronto (Ontario);
- Vancouver (British Columbia);
- Calgary (Alberta), etc.
These 4 cities listed are the largest in Canada. In terms of population, they overtake even Ottawa, the capital of the country, where more than 1.3 million people live. The largest is Toronto with almost 6 million people, followed by Montreal with 4.0 million and Vancouver with about 2.5 million inhabitants, and Calgary with its 1.25 million inhabitants.
- Future employment as the main factor in choosing a province of Canada
If studying in Canada is the first step towards immigration, then you should immediately choose a province with a high potential for life and work. During their studies, students lead a busy life, which allows them to establish various business contacts in advance and even find a place of work. The second point is the policy of the provinces themselves, providing for loyal conditions of immigration programs for former students of local colleges and universities.
So, one of the main factors in choosing a place of future study is a city with good job search prospects. Moreover, upon graduation, a foreign student receives a so-called open permit and the right to work in any specialty. Of course, graduates, as a rule, are looking for work in the specialty in which they studied.
From a youth perspective, Ontario is the most attractive destination. There are many excellent educational institutions, good living conditions, but the main thing is a dynamically developing job market rich in a variety of offers. It is in Ontario that a recognized business center is located – the city of Toronto, which is one of the largest North American and Canada’s largest business metropolis.
The partnership with the American multinational company Cisco can be cited as an example of the active work of the Ontario administration in attracting large employers. Cisco develops and sells networking and telecommunications equipment, creates new programs, and deals with diverse high-tech issues. The corporation needs strong young personnel and is interested in employing promising graduates. Cisco’s entry into the Canadian market has generated over 1,000 new jobs and job opportunities in Ontario. Vacancies were provided for consideration by graduates and students of the last courses of such universities as:
- University of Toronto;
- Carleton University;
- University of Ottawa;
- Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology;
- La Cité collégiale.
It is worth noting that employers themselves are interested in opening branches and offices in the most Americanized Canadian province. The Cisco administration notes that when deciding on the closure of headquarters in other world sites and the transfer of business facilities to Ontario, they were guided by the specifics of this province. In particular, they were interested in a large percentage of highly educated promising young people – their entrepreneurial skills, an innovative approach to solving many problems, the availability of practical experience due to the quality of educational programs of local educational institutions.
Cisco isn’t the only company interested in new talent and growth. This is just a one-off example, but it does a great job of representing the prospects for college graduates in Ontario, both in employment and immigration.
- Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver: which city is better for life
In addition to assessing local employment opportunities, when choosing a place to live and study, it is worth considering:
- economic stability – the stability of business life in the province against the background of constant emergence of new world crises;
- the speed of finding a job by graduates – depends on economic prosperity and the ongoing administrative policy;
- attitude towards immigrants – benevolence and tolerance;
- cost of living – rent, food, food, and entertainment prices;
- climate – the predominance of sunny days over rainy ones, the average temperature at different times of the year.
If you look at the indicators of economic development, then Ontario is significantly ahead of both the province of Quebec (Quebec) and British Columbia (British Columbia). In Toronto, it is easier to find work thanks to the abundance of vacancies and make good money – in the province of Ontario in 2020, the minimum wage is $ 14 per hour of work, ahead of only Albert. There the minimum wage in 2020 is $ 15 per hour.
Vancouver lags behind Toronto in terms of economic achievements, as industry and business are not so well developed here. The minimum wage here in 2020 is C $ 13.85 per hour.
As for the general social climate, multicultural Toronto is famous for its calmness and tolerance towards representatives of various countries and nationalities. The large community also contributes to the rapid adaptation of students in the CIS countries.
In French-speaking Montreal, things are different. The city’s attractiveness is reduced by pronounced separatist sentiments and a large number of Muslim immigrants. The latter feature is explained by the fact that in many Muslim countries French is the state language, and the absence of a language barrier makes Quebec especially attractive for studying and moving.
French speech becomes an invisible border that divides society in Quebec – the English-speaking population is not liked here. The predominance of French speech also hinders the full integration of Montreal into the common Canadian-American economic space, therefore, in terms of quality of life, Quebec loses to Ontario, and Montreal loses to Toronto.
The minimum wage in Quebec in 2020 is $ 12.5 per hour of work.
Housing and food prices are lower here, but analysts say this is an indicator of poor competition and economic problems in the province. Also, the disadvantages of Montreal include a fairly high crime rate compared to the situation in other compared provinces.
Vancouver is located on the west coast of the country, which forms its characteristics. In particular, real estate is very expensive here – prices are practically the highest in the country. One of the reasons for this state of affairs in the sales and rental market is the huge number of Southeast Asians in Vancouver. Wealthy Chinese flooded the city during the period of the transfer of Hong Kong to the PRC, and their ever-increasing number led to both a huge demand for housing and an increase in problems finding work. Today Vancouver has an unspoken status – the “Chinese capital of Canada”. Additional disadvantages of the city are its remoteness from large industrial and business centers, as well as a damp climate with almost constant rains.
- Megapolis or periphery: prospects and opportunities
The cost of real estate and the number of jobs are important factors when choosing a place to live and study. But do not consider them the main ones. The basis of financial well-being lies elsewhere. The secret of high quality of life in the long term is a business activity in the city and province. It is she who determines the economic stability of the market as a whole and its resistance to various kinds of cataclysms.
In Canada, the highest business activity is, of course, in Toronto. This fact has been confirmed by Forbes’s research. According to them, Toronto is one of the five cities with the strongest impact on the world economy.
Toronto is the concentration of major cash and industrial flows in Canada. Therefore, graduates with an economic, marketing, or financial education have much better job prospects here than in other provinces.
If these reasons to study in Toronto are not enough, then there is another reason – this is the University of Toronto (University of Toronto).
What is the University of Toronto and why is it so attractive to students from all over the world?
First of all, these are:
- student library, occupying a vast area and located in a multi-story building – the number of scientific publications and research materials here is not just huge, but very huge. There is practically no such area of scientific knowledge, the results of research on which are not presented here;
- in addition to the main library, there is a library fund of more than 15 million books and publications, stored on student campuses;
- 81,000 students from all over the world;
- leadership in the educational ranking of Canada – multiple and deserved;
- more than 800 educational programs: the widest choice from the social sphere to IT;
- entered the top ten in the Times Higher Education Rankings 2019. The University of Toronto ranks first among all Canadian universities and is ranked 21st among the top 200 educational institutions in the world.
Such ratings are evidence of the prestige of university education in the world and the demand for graduates in the labor market. And not only in Canadian but also in other countries of the world.
Also, the University of Toronto houses the most promising and well-equipped research laboratories and centers. The best in North America! Among the discoveries made on the territory of the university:
- development of a pacemaker;
- synthetic manufacture of insulin;
- identification of the gene that triggers Alzheimer’s disease.
Here they study the specificity and characteristics of stem cells, work on the transformation of the energy of the sun – study many other topics. It was the University of Toronto that gave the world the largest number of Nobel laureates.
The comfort of living on student campuses, which the British newspaper The Guardian called one of the best places for students to live in Canada, deserves a separate mention. Places of residence and rest of students are comfortably furnished, air conditioning and high-speed Internet line are supplied to the rooms.
- What you need to know about admission to the best university in Canada
Both Canadians and foreigners dream about the University of Toronto. It is not easy to enter here. For foreign applicants, the best option is the International Foundation Program, a one-year training program.
In a year, future students will be trained in subjects according to the requirements of a particular faculty, and their knowledge of English will improve. Successful completion of the course is a guarantee of admission to the University of Toronto.
To enter the preparatory program, it is enough to have:
- international certificate of knowledge of the English language – IELTS with an average score of 5.0 or TOEFL – an average score of at least 69;
- a certificate of secondary education – a fairly high GPA is required.
For comparison: if you apply for a bachelor’s program directly without passing the International Foundation Program, then the average TOEFL score should be more than 100.