Canada has been rising steadily as a study abroad destination over the past few years. While the anti-immigration rhetoric has become more prevalent in the neighbouring US – which has seen a decline in student enrolment – Canada is welcoming international students with open arms.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the number of international students in Canada has risen by 154 percent from 2010–2018.
This is because the government sees international students and skilled migrants as assets to the country, helping to fill the skill shortages and adding diversity to the tolerant country.
Besides its welcoming stance, international students are attracted to Canada for plenty more reasons; it’s extremely safe, with low crime rates and a lack of violent crime such as gun violence and school shootings. In fact, SafeAround has ranked Canada ranked at No.7 on its list of World’s Safest Countries.
With a number of immigration and employment pathways on offer, such as the Federal Express Entry programme and the Post-Graduation Work Permit for international students, it’s much easier for students to build a fulfilling life in Canada after graduation.
International students can also work off-campus in the country, so long as they’re enrolled in a full-time programme and meet eligibility requirements.
When it comes to academics, Canada’s education system is world-class. There are a number of colleges and universities that are highly ranked in global league tables, taught by expert faculty and delivering innovative and cutting-edge curricula.
A lesser known but extremely viable option for international students to gain a pathway into higher education and beyond in Canada is attending a community college.
There are many benefits to a community college – class sizes are smaller, so students get more interaction with their peers and faculty; the community is close-knit; and it presents a good pathway if students want to transfer to a university or graduate school.
Here are three leading community colleges in Canada that offer a fantastic student experience.
Ontario’s first community college in Toronto has grown to become one of the top destinations for international students in Canada. The five Canadian campuses and two learning sites are incredibly diverse, with over 14,000 international students from 126 countries this past year alone.
The college is focused on preparing students for the workforce, instilling sought-after soft skills such as leadership and adaptability.
Centennial is also committed to global citizenship and equity learning outcomes. Global experiences such as semester abroad programmes, international internships, and learning through a social justice lens, prepare Centennial students to adapt well in global working environments.
Students receive cutting-edge education in their respective fields of study, including programmes in business, engineering, hospitality, health, communications, media, the arts, aerospace, and more.
For example, The Business School is launching a new two-year Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics and Insight in 2020 that will equip students with in-demand knowledge and skills needed to start a career in Canada’s Big Data analytics industry, including quantitative analysis, database programming, and information-based decision-making.
The program launches with a summer semester specifically designed to help international students transition to the business environment in Canada, boosting their employability factor.
With over 160 programmes like these, students can rest assured that they’ll be joining a college committed to supporting students on their journey to future success.
Located in Vancouver, this is the oldest and largest community college in British Columbia.
The college offers over 140 certificate and diploma programmes in fields taught by qualified faculty and instructors, such as Business, Languages and Writing, Hospitality, Design, Technology, Health Sciences, and more.
Students receive interactive and hands-on learning in their programmes, preparing them for their future careers. Many programmes offer practicum and internship opportunities so students can gain work experience in addition to their studies.
Paving pathways to university, VCC also offers first-year university arts and sciences courses so students can easily transition.
Classes are conducted in small groups so students can interact with others, and there is also free tutoring services from professional and experienced tutors at the Learning Centres.
Students also benefit from strong industry partnerships the college has developed over time, ensuring that students receive the latest education in their areas of interest.
International students receive plenty of support in this welcoming and close-knit community, with a dedicated team of support staff guiding them towards achieving their career goals.
Located in Ontario, Canada, Canadore College has four campuses, offering several programmes in growing areas of interest.
For example, the college offers programmes in Media, Design and Dramatic Arts, Culinary Management, Digital Cinematography, Digital Visual Effects, Health Care Administration, Public Relations, Recreation Therapy, and more.
The learning environment is supportive and diverse, helping all students – local or international – find their unique pathway to employment.
The college continually innovates and updates programmes to stay ahead of the curve, launching 25 new programmes in just five years with plenty of experiential learning opportunities.
There’s also the WE Leadership Programme, which has created a learning community that supports leadership development, bringing students from different cultures together and helping them adopt a global mindset.
Striving to offer a positive experience for international students, the college also offers a number of learning resources and support services.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International