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7 Secrets to Selecting the Right University or College in Canada!

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Graduating high school is a milestone. But what’s next? If you are considering attending a college or university to study in Canada, consider these 7 factors when making your decision.

What to look for when selecting the RIGHT University or College:

1. Location:

Is the school located in the middle of a cornfield or in a bustling city? Attending a university in a metropolis offers additional future job opportunities. If you are close to the business-heart of a city, you can participate in internships or part-time jobs throughout the school year. Due to proximity alone, you will be more aware of companies that are growing and where you should focus your job search post-graduation.

There is a significant correlation between university, towns and overall higher wages for all. A city location can also add more spice to your Student Life.

2. Prominent Industries near the University or College

Universities frequently pool their local resources to improve the educational experience of students. Local businesses work in conjunction with universities to serve as guest lecturers, offering internships, and sponsoring research projects.

Is the city known for its top accounting firms or a hub of IT resources? For e.g if you are studying design, it is a logical decision to attend a university in Toronto. Toronto hosts the 3rd largest design workforce in all of North America. It is advantageous to study in a city that is a core of your desired field of study.

3. Student Career and Academic Development

Follow the university, or more specifically, the Academic & Career Development Center on Twitter or Facebook. What events are they promoting? Does the university advertise that it offers assistance in resume writing? Does the university host networking events or a career fair for their students?

Career fairs are frequently held during fall and spring. Regionally based organizations offer internships, part-time or full-time work, and graduate school opportunities. Review previously held career fairs to see the number, and names, of organizations that participate.

4. Graduation and Employment Rates in the Area

Review the graduation rates of any university you are considering. Higher graduation rates mean 1) students enjoy the university and 2) the university wants to help you succeed!! Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 4 years requires dedication and a healthy support system from your university. In the United States, only 33.3% of students attending public universities graduate in 4 years compared to 52.8% at private universities. The majority of Canadian universities surpass these numbers.

Employment rates near the university can be just as important as the university graduation rates. High employment rates provide additional opportunities for internships and post-graduation work.

International students are choosing to study and stay in Canada, using a Post-Graduation Work Permit, due to the extensive job opportunities. Due to an aging work force and decrease in birth rate, Canada is expected to rely heavily on immigrants to fill future jobs.

5. Student Reviews provides reviews and rankings by actual students in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Obtain honest feedback that isn’t provided in the college tour. Not only are professors ranked (select the best professor for English Literature!), but students also provide feedback on the facilities, food, and safety providing an overall quality ranking. You can also use Google Reviews or videos uploaded on YouTube by students to get an insider’s perspective on specific institutions.

6. Student Life

While it is vital to research the academic side of a college or university, don’t forget to look in the social aspect. After classes and studying are complete, what does the campus have to offer?

Does the school have an elite sports team with student-priced tickets? Does the university offer free public transportation to allow to explore the city at your leisure? Do neighbouring restaurants or retailers offer student discounts? Does the college or university sponsor a variety of club teams (disc golf, hockey, basketball) to help you meet new people with similar interests?

Student life in Canada is never dull in Montreal. Montreal, a French and English bilingual city, is host to 11 universities. Students love exploring the cities free activities: Mount Royal Park, designed by Central Park’s Olmstead, and stepping to the shores of the St. Laurence River to see the Old Port of Montreal.

7. Campus Layout

Colleges and universities now hire architecture firms to design spaces that are more conducive for learning. Lecture halls still exist, but expect to see more collaborative workspaces. Many campuses offer mini-conference rooms complete with dry erase boards for use by study groups. Natural lighting and ergonomic chairs foster an environment where student want to study.

When touring a campus, don’t forgot to look at the housing. Having a safe, warm, comfortable place to sleep it fundamental for your success in school!

What’s Next

Narrow down your “top” choices and schedule tours to your favourite colleges or universities or watch lots of videos on the institutions of your choice.

International students in Canada can take comfort in diversity and inclusion of this multicultural nation. Canada’s reputation as "friendly and welcoming" should make anyone want to study in Canada.

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