Because it’s so big, Canada’s climate varies considerably across its regions. But generally the country is known for its cold and sometimes long winters, beautiful and mild “shoulder seasons” (fall and spring), and hot but often short summers.
Today, Canada remains home to a large number of aboriginal peoples, now called First Nations, but it is truly a multicultural and multi-ethnic country. Over the past century and a half, it has welcomed 15 million immigrants, thanks to a national policy of multiculturalism. Canada’s diverse customs, cuisines, traditions, sports, and celebrations are a product of its aboriginal and European history combined with its recent waves of immigration from countries all over the world.
One of the world’s wealthiest countries, Canada is a major industrialized trading nation. It is a member of the G7/8, the G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and many other international bodies. The Canadian economy is market-oriented like that of the U.S., yet government tends to provide more support and intervention than does the U.S. government. International trade is an important part of the Canadian economy, especially with the U.S. The currency is the Canadian Dollar.
Many people find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country, but of course this is not the case for all students (e.g., students from India or Nepal). Canadian housing is generally inexpensive compared with other developed nations – the average house price in Canada is around five times the average annual wage. Other costs are comparable or a little less expensive than other industrialised nations, with the exception of car insurance, which can be quite expensive in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada estimates that international students require approximately $10,000 CAD per year, not including tuition fees, to cover living expenses.
In Canada, the provinces and territories are responsible for all levels of education including colleges and universities.
In addition to post-secondary options, Canada offers a wide range of independent private boarding schools for younger students noted for their excellence in preparing young men and women for university and college placement.
Canadian universities offer high-quality education and are very well respected around the world. A degree from a Canadian university holds substantial prestige, thus making Canada a primary target for many international students.
University degrees are offered at three successive levels – bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Bachelor’s degrees normally require three or four years of full-time study, depending on the province. An honours bachelor’s degree involves a higher degree of concentration in the major subject, as well as a higher level of academic achievement, and in some cases, an additional year of study. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study after completion of either a general or an honours baccalaureate program.
Virtually all Canadian universities are public institutions, which is the main difference between Canadian and American universities.
A community college is a public post-secondary educational institution that offers a variety of programmes to high-school graduates and adults seeking further education or employment training. Public colleges offer vocational programems in a wide range of professional and technical fields including business, health, science, agriculture, applied arts, technology, skilled trades, and social services.
Diplomas are awarded for the successful completion of two- or three-year programmes, while certificate programems most often take one year to complete.
Many colleges offer university transfer programs, providing the first two years of a university undergraduate program. Many also offer bachelor’s and applied degree programmes.
Colleges are much cheaper than universities and more career-oriented.
University ranges from $11,000 - $25,000 depending on the course of study and University.
College ranges from $7,000 - $15,000 depending on the course and college.