studying in Canada and the United States

Between Canada and the United States (U.S.), there are an estimated 1.57 million international students, and tens of thousands more are expected to immigrate to the region each year to pursue higher education. Many of these students will have to choose between studying in the US or Canada. While the two countries’ educational systems and career prospects after graduation are identical, there are important distinctions in tuition, financial aid, and post-graduate immigration chances that have made Canada a popular choice among international students.

Quality of Education

The top international student cities were ranked by QS in 2023. The top 20 cities were represented by three Canadian cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver), and two American cities (Boston and New York City). This is a general sign that the level of education in both nations is comparable, at least in the major cities that serve as respective centres for postsecondary education.

Canada is by far the most popular study abroad location among international students, according to a recent IDP (International Development Project) survey, with 27% of respondents choosing it as their top option. Comparatively, only 15% of respondents chose the United States. Considerations for scholarships and bursaries for international students are also possible.


Where to study abroad is heavily influenced by the expense of the academic program. Depending on whether one attends a public or private college and what degree of study one is pursuing, the average cost of education in the US ranges from $20,000 to $60,000 USD. The average cost of post-secondary education in Canada, on the other hand, ranges from $20,000 to $40,000. Particularly when compared to the U.S., Canada’s more favourable exchange rate with other currencies makes it a desirable location for international students.

Financial Aid

While there are state-funded and institution-specific scholarships for foreign students in the United States, the country offers no federally funded programs to international students. Foreign students studying in the United States are also eligible for student loans, but they will require a co-signer who is an American citizen or lawful permanent resident and has good credit.

In contrast, Canadian university, provincial, and federal scholarships for international students are frequently significantly more accessible than analogous initiatives in the United States. International students can also obtain loans with the same conditions and repayment plans as Canadians.