Over the past decade, studying abroad has gradually become more and more important, given the fast-growing gap between the developed and developing countries. Many countries have moved to policies that not only encourage international students to choose to study at their country, but also to accommodate for students to stay long term after graduation.
Particularly, over the past ten years, Canada has increased the allowable hours of paid work for international students and the length of post graduation work permits. Also, the country has developed specific provincial immigration programs, such as the one in Ontario, which does not require international MA and PhD grads to have a job offer to be eligible for Provincial Nominee Program. The list goes on with extra points given for international student graduates when applying for permanent residence, and the government has also increased the proportion of former international students invited to apply for immigration.
The trend of students plan to transition to permanent residency (PR)
International students are highly motivated by the idea of acquiring an international education and at the same time be eligible to be a permanent resident at the end of their studies. When asked about their plans for work after completing academic programs in Canada, 65% of students plan to work permanently in Canada, and become a permanent resident of Canada eventually. Mostly, students reasoned their choice of Canada because of better job opportunities than home countries along with improved standard of living.
With the intention to live long term in Canada, students expect their institutions to help them transition to PR, especially by helping to create professional connections in Canada.
In 2017, there were 494,525 international students in Canada at all levels of study. That means a 119% increase in international students in Canada between 2010 and 2017, or in other words, a 20% increase over the previous year. This uprising trend results from a lot of reasons, 3 of which include:
- The quality of the Canadian education system
- Canada's reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
- Canada's reputation as a safe country.
These elements explain why 95% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination. In 2016-17, there was a very fast growth in number of Vietnamese students - 89% growth - choosing to study in Canada. In fact, Vietnam, India and Iran appear to be the fastest growing source countries of foreign students choosing to study in Canada.
Ranked as the world's 4th most popular destination for international students, 11% postsecondary student population in Canada are international students. According to CBIE's International Student Survey in 2015, the top fields of study of international study in Canada are: Engineering, Business, the natural and social sciences.
Don't know which course to take in Canada? Ask our Study Advice team.