Why European Students Are Flocking to Canada

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Studying abroad or spending college Summers working in different countries can be some of the most adventurous, formative experiences during your college years. While the United States has enjoyed decades of popularity among foreign students, their northern neighbors, Canada, have become equally high in demand in recent years.

With visas for students and foreign workers under threat by President Trump’s executive orders, it’s clear that many students are opting for Canada as a less stressful option when it comes to enjoying a spell in North America. But there’s more to Canada’s popularity than just the growing difficulties surrounding obtaining a visa in the United States.

When it comes to obtaining a student visa in Canada, the process is relatively straightforward. If the duration of your study is six months or less, you won’t require a study permit. In fact, if your stay is under six months, you need only apply for a Canada ETA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online. However, if it is six months or more, a study permit is required. Unlike many study abroad applications, the Canadian study permit process can be done entirely online. It’s actually advised to fill in the applications online, as online applications are often processed much faster than their paper counterparts.

To obtain your permit, you must get a visa application package from a recognized outlet, or apply for a temporary residence visa depending on your country of origin. Additionally, you must provide proof that you can support yourself financially, and independently, for the duration of your stay. With this in mind, it’s recommended that students can provide proof that they have at least $10,000 for living expenses before travelling to Canada. While this might seem like a lot, it’s the bare minimum of living expenses required in the event that you don’t find any form of employment during your stay. The proof can be given via bank statement or receipt of tuition and accomodation fees.

It’s important to note that, in certain circumstances, the study visa does not make you eligible for work in Canada. Furthermore, some study visas used in conjunction with a work visa may only allow you to obtain employment on the college campus, and not elsewhere. Therefore it’s crucial to understand the limitations and regulations of your permit ahead of time. In the event that you do plan on working during your stay in Canada, it might be necessary to apply for a work permit.

If you’re a student and wish to spend your Summer working in Canada, without studying, you also have options. Anyone aged between 18 and 35 can apply for a work and travel visa throughout Canada, provided their country of origin has an agreement with Canada. The countries deemed eligible include, but are not limited to, Australia, Ireland, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Taiwan. Indeed, the availability and accessibility of Canadian study and work visas are a huge draw factor when it comes to the numbers of young people flocking to the country each year.

But it’s not just the ease of access that students love about Canada. The country itself is hugely diverse, and has much to offer young people. For starters, studying in Canada comes at a much lower premium than in the United States. And despite the significantly lower price tag, the quality of Canadian education and the nation’s third level educational institutions is renowned worldwide.

Furthermore, Canada is widely regarded as a great place to live. That’s not local bias either, the UN frequently lists Canada – and specifically Canadian cities – among the best places to live on Earth. A great deal of this is due to its socialized healthcare, progressive attitudes, and social diversity. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also regarded as one of the safest nations on Earth, meaning prospective visitors have little to worry about when traveling through the country.

Given its sheer size and cultural diversity, there’s something for everyone in Canada. For that reason alone, it’s no wonder that students from Europe and further afield are heading to Canada in droves to experience a different lifestyle. While political attitudes towards the United States might be souring in recent years, Canada provides the full North American experience to students full of wanderlust and excitement.

It’s unfair to think of Canada as being attractive purely by comparison to the current state of the US, but it seems that the frequently demeaned North American nation is coming up tops in recent years. Students, and young people in general, are more and more viewing Canada as a palatable alternative to the United States, where controversial policies and gun violence have become synonymous with the nation in foreign news reports. Though many might visit Canada to avoid the United States, they will likely also find a welcoming, warm country where they can create many happy memories during their formative years.

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