Canada now more popular than the U.S. as a study abroad destination

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: January 19, 2021

Both Canada and the United Kingdom have overtaken the United States as the two most popular study abroad destinations.

This is according to several surveys conducted by educations.com, to better understand opinions of students on international education.

Students are not significantly more interested in studying in Canada nor the U.K. than they were before, rather it is the United States' dramatic decrease in popularity that drove the country to lose its top spot.

In January 2018, the U.S. was the most popular destination for international students. It dropped to the third most popular country in October 2020.

The decrease in student interest has been fairly constant over this period. This suggests that it is not one particular event that drove down interest in the U.S., such as COVID-19.

Canada and the U.K. did see a gradual increase in popularity among students. In the period between January 2018 and October 2020, the percentage of survey takers who selected the U.K as their preferred study destination increased from 12.7 per cent to around 15 per cent. In the same period, Canada saw an increase from 10.1 per cent to 13.8 per cent.

The U.S. on the other hand, saw an incremental decrease from 21.6 per cent down to 10.7 per cent. Germany and Australia were fourth and fifth. France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden made up the rest of the top 10.

educations.com is an online platform that helps prospective students find relevant information on their options to study abroad. The platform also allows institutions market themselves.

Find out if you're eligible for Canadian immigration

Post-study options an important factor in country choice

Options to stay after graduation has become an increasingly important factor in choosing a country to study in. This may have played a role in why the U.S. has become less popular, as the U.S. have more strict visa policies for international graduates.

Canada in comparison is much more welcoming. Graduates have the option to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, an open work permit that allows fresh university graduates to work for any employer of their choosing.

The most important factors when choosing which country to study in are the cost of living as well as language and culture. In addition, safety and socio-political climate, and the reputation of the education system are other important factors. All four of these factors have consistently been in the top five factors that determines a country’s popularity.

Post-study options have increased in importance over the last two years. It was ninth in importance in January 2018, but has now jumped to third.

How to study in Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continue to process study permit applications despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

To study in Canada, you must first select the academic program that you wish to study and the institution in which you wish to study. After that you must apply to the designated learning institution (DLI).

Once you receive a letter of acceptance, you can then begin the application process for a study permit. You will need this document in order to legally study in Canada.

Find out if you're eligible for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Two men collaborating on a computer project.
How can I improve the chances that the processing of my application is not delayed?
Happy female traveler waiting for the flight in the airport
Banking for International Students: A Helpful Guide to Picking the Right Bank Account and Credit Card in Canada
There are two main types of personal deposit accounts that international students can open in Canada: chequing and savings.
Has IRCC’s LOA verification system successfully protected Canadian international students?
Girl using laptop to have a video call with her friend
Top Stories
Do I need a language test to immigrate to Canada?
IRCC increases number of permits it will process under temporary special measures for Palestinian extended family in Gaza
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Study
What kind of school should I apply to as an international student in Canada?
Two men collaborating on a computer project.
Has IRCC’s LOA verification system successfully protected Canadian international students?
Girl using laptop to have a video call with her friend
Which country allows international students to work the most hours?
teacher helping teenager students at College, learning technology and science in preparatory course for university
Who can study in Canada without a study permit?
friends in university or college bonding in a fun social conversation
Link copied to clipboard