Country Comparison: US vs. Canada

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Piyush
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Nov 24, 2022 18:29 IST

Country Comparison: US vs. Canada

The United States of America and Canada are some of the top destinations to study abroad. International students find USA and Canada the best locations to study because of the well-renowned education system, multicultural environment, and top-ranked universities present here. No matter how difficult it is to choose between these two countries, it is essential to consider some factors before taking the final decision. Before selecting the country, consider the factors like eligibility, student visa, cost of studying, and job opportunities. We have compiled some of the factors here that will help students to make an informed decision when it comes to ending the dilemma of choosing between USA vs Canada.

Popular courses

US

Some of the popular courses to study in the US are Engineering, Computer Science, Business Management, Engineering, Data Science, Business Analytics, Medicine, Finance, and Biotechnology.

Canada

In Canada, some of the popular courses are Computer Science and IT, Media & Journalism, Applied and Pure Sciences, Engineering, Health and Medicine, and Hospitality & Tourism.

Admission requirements

US

For undergraduate (UG) courses, you need to have completed 12 years of schooling. To get admission though you need to appear for the SAT exam.

In postgraduate (PG) courses, you need 16 years of education. For Indian students, it translates to 12 years of schooling and four years of undergraduate education. But since most Indian colleges offer three years of education at UG level, you might need to take up a one-year course to cover up the difference. If you have studied from premier Indian institute, some US universities might accept your three years’ degree as well, although the cases are rare. You can check with the university’s admissions cell and ask about your case. To get admission in management courses you will have to appear for GMAT, and for science courses you need to give the GRE exam.

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There are no cutoffs for colleges, so you need to score the best that you can in all the exams. Colleges provide average scores accepted to different courses on their websites. That will give some idea about what’s considered a good score. You will also need to appear for language exams like TOEFL or IELTS, irrespective of the degree. Even if the colleges may not require any language test for Indian students, you should still give either TOEFL or IELTS as they are important for the purpose of getting a visa.

In the case of MBA, you might be required to have a few years of work experience.

Canada

For undergraduate (UG) courses, you need to have completed 12 years of schooling. To get admission though you need to appear for the SAT exam. the duration for degree courses is four years, and that of a diploma is two to three years.

In postgraduate (PG) courses, getting admission in vocational courses is easier as the admission criteria are a lot more relaxed. To get admission for management degrees you will have to appear for GMAT, and for engineering degrees you need to give the GRE exam.

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The concept of cutoffs doesn’t apply to Canadian colleges. Colleges provide average scores accepted to different courses on their websites. That will give some idea about what’s considered a good score. You will also need to appear for language exams like TOEFL or IELTS, irrespective of the degree. There are some colleges that may not require language test for Indian students, but it is advisable you still give either TOEFL or IELTS as they are important for the purpose of getting a visa. If the visa interviewer is not sure of your spoken skills, they may not grant you a visa.

Cost of studying an undergraduate program in USA and Canada

Costs for undergraduate courses

Particulars

Undergraduate course in US

Undergraduate course in Canada

Tuition

BTech: Rs 26.79 Lakhs per year

BTech: Rs 22.16 Lakhs per year

Living expenses

Rs 9.04 Lakhs per year

Rs 6.15 Lakhs per year

Duration of course

4 years

4 years

Total

Rs 35.83 Lakhs per year

Rs 28.30 Lakhs per year

(Source: Studyabroad.shiksha.com)

Cost of studying a postgraduate program in USA and Canada

Costs for postgraduate courses

Particulars

Postgraduate course in US

Postgraduate course in Canada

Tuition

MS: 23.57 Lakhs per year

MS: 11.41 Lakhs per year

Living expenses

Rs 9.04 Lakhs per year

Rs 6.15 Lakhs per year

Duration of course

2 years

1-2 years

Total

Rs 32.61 Lakhs per year

Rs 17.56 Lakhs per year

(Source: Studyabroad.shiksha.com)

Also Read:

Student Visa

US

A full-time US student visa is called an F1 visa. This visa has the following regulations -

  • Students applying for a program requiring more than 18 hours of study need an F1 visa. Under this, all undergraduate, as well as graduate programs, are included.
  • To apply for an F1 student visa, you need to have major documents showing your personal information, professional documents, academic background, and financial documents.
  • It costs $160 to apply for this visa along with the SEVIS fee of $350. 
  • You cannot work more than 20 hours per week. During holidays, breaks and summer sessions, the student may work up to 40 hours per week. The student can only work on-campus for a commercial firm that provides services to the college, such as a bookstore or cafeteria.

Canada

The Canadian student visa has the following regulations -

  • If a student wishes to take academic, professional, or vocational training at a university, college, or any other educational institute in Canada, then he / she requires a study permit. It is issued to students when they reach Canada. International students cannot study in Canada without getting a valid study permit.
  • Apart from this, you can apply for a Canadian student visa only if you have been accepted by a designated learning institute. You need to prove that you have enough funds to pay your tuition fee and living expenses. Also, prove that you have a clean background and no criminal record by providing police certification proof.
  • The cost of a Canadian student visa is CAD 150.
  • The visa application process to Canada requires a compulsory medical test for Indian applicants.
  • You cannot work more than 20 hours per week on a Canadian student visa. 

Post-graduate work visa in USA and Canada

US

If students want to stay back in the US to gain practical knowledge in their subject, they have the option to do so through OPT. It is temporary employment permission allowing students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study for a 12-month period. You can apply for OPT after being enrolled for at least 9 months, but you cannot begin employment until you receive your Employment Authorization Document

The Student Co-Op Program is a formally structured program where the intent is to recruit students, while still in school, to fill permanent positions upon graduation. Co-op programs are generally undertaken at colleges and universities. In most cases, you will have to apply for Work Visa upon getting a full-time job of permanent nature.

Students who study STEM courses are given a stay back of 3 years.

Canada

The Canadian Post Graduation Work Visa allows students graduating from any post-secondary institute to work post studying for an uptime period depending on the duration of their course to a maximum of three years. Under this work permit, the student can work in any field or industry.

Also Read:

Post Study Work Permit in US
Post Study Work Permit in Canada

Popular jobs in Canada and USA

US

The popular job sectors in the USA are Information Technology, Real Estate, Healthcare, Education, E-commerce, Tourism, etc.

Canada

Some of the in-demand jobs in Canada are Web Developer, Registered Nurse, Marketing Manager, Engineer, HR Manager, IT Project Manager, Pharmacist, etc.

Permanent Residency in USA and Canada

US

A permanent residency option is possible but it is a very long-drawn and slow process. It is a complicated process and requires the person applying for it to reside in the US for at least five years on the grounds of employment. After that you will be granted a “Green Card”, but the whole process might take years to complete.

A green card holder is a permanent resident that has been given the authorization to live and work in the US on a permanent basis. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants a permanent resident card, also known as the “Green Card” as proof of the status.

Canada

During this period of Post Graduation Work permit, you can apply for Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class. Since the country is sparsely populated, there is a shortage of highly skilled employees. Compared to most other countries, getting PR in Canada is easy.

Scholarships to study in USA and Canada

US scholarships

Canada scholarships

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarships

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships funded by Government of Canada

Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund

Sauvé Scholars Program by the Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian students

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship

Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowships

 

S.N. Bose Scholars Student Exchange Program for Indian Students

 

Tata Scholarships at Cornell

Asian Cultural Council Individual Grants

East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship

Yale University Fox International Fellowships

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships Program

Climate

US

The US is a huge area of land and has varied temperatures and climates in different areas. East Coast has a warm climate and covers cities like California and Arizona. The Midwest and New England regions have frozen winters and cover cities like Chicago, Boston.  The Pacific Northwest has a humid oceanic climate and covers cities like Seattle, Portland. The Southwest has a hot desert climate and covers cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas. The south-east has a warm to a hot, humid climate and covers cities like Houston, New Orleans.

Canada

Weather in Canada varies widely depending on where you are. Canada stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, covering five time zones. In Toronto, winter is milder than most Canadian cities, yet still cold and snowy. Montreal Weather in winter is cold and snowy. Usually, the country experiences pleasantly cool summers.

Related Read

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USA vs Canada FAQs

Q. Is it better to go to Canada or USA?

A. Both the countries are good to pursue higher education for Indian students. Canada offers flexible immigration and settlement plans. Apart from this, in Canada, the PGWP and Permanent Residency can be easily obtained as compared to the US. On the other hand, the US is home to some of the top-ranked universities and it provides promising career opportunities.

Q. Is studying in Canada better than USA?

A. On average, Canadian universities' tuition fees are 27% more economical than tuition fees at US universities. The tuition fee is not the only factor to consider while choosing to study. The cost of living is lower in Canada.

Q. Why USA is better than Canada for students?

A. Students are attracted to study in the U.S. because various top-ranked global universities are situated there. American universities hold a better rank and prestige as compared to Canadian universities.

Q. Is it better to do masters in USA or Canada?

A. Both USA and Canada are considered the best destinations among all the other countries in the world to complete higher education in terms of quality of education, tuition fee, scholarships, etc.

Q. Why should I choose Canada over the US?

A. Currently, Canada has overtaken the US when it comes to pursuing higher education. Canada is becoming the topmost choice of students because of its speedy processing times for study permits, easy immigration, and lower study costs.

Q. What are the benefits of studying in the US?

A. The top reasons to study in the US are academic excellence, flexible education system, cultural diversity, lively and vibrant campus life, and an excellent support system for international students.

US vs Canada FAQs

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio

Comments

(6)

N

N V RUTHVIK

a year ago

Employment opportunities for engineering graduate students in CANADA ?

Reply to N V RUTHVIK

P

Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

9 months ago

Hi, there are a lot of job opportunities for engineering graduates in Canada. Students with engineering degrees, professional courses or technical skills are highly demanded there.

N

N V RUTHVIK

a year ago

Employment opportunities for engineering graduate students in canada?

Reply to N V RUTHVIK

4 years ago

What is the minimum percentage requirements in 12 for diploma in USA ?

Reply to

V

Vishwak Reddy

2 years ago

Basically completing diploma in USA is waste of time and money. So pursuing bachelor or master's is better for USA. Soo if you want to do diploma in USA, basically you need gain around 60-70 percentage of marks. It's enough for good colleges in USA.

f

frooq shah

4 years ago

This entire information regarding as per requirements to me and amy other person are benefial even usefull for both of USA aw well as Canda . Such as information thanfull to You and shiksha organisation

Reply to frooq shah

5 years ago

You forgot to mention that OPT in US varies as per the area of study, STEM subjects usually get 12 + 24-29 month OPT extension.

Reply to

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