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    Best Cities for International Students in Canada

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert


    Canada is one of the most renowned countries in the world. Besides being known for its natural beauty, it is celebrated for the quality of education it offers to students. Every year, innumerable students migrate to Canada to avail an excellent education from the Universities in Canada. Many of us wonder which city would be one of the best cities for international students in Canada. Living in a new country is not easy. Adjusting and adapting to a new place can be really daunting. However, adequate knowledge and information about a place can make things easy and simple. It is important for the students to know about the cost of living in Canada, cities of Canada that are apt for their livelihood, and more. such that they can make informed career decisions. Read the article to know about the best cities for international students in Canada.

    World Ranking of the Best Cities for International Students in Canada

    According to the world ranking (2018), Montreal stands at the top most position among the ten best student-friendly cities, not just in Canada, but also in North America. The top five cities of Canada and their respective QS rankings have been given in the table below.

    Top 5 Student-friendly Cities in Canada

    Cities QS Ranking
    Montreal 4
    Vancouver 17
    Toronto 13
    Ottawa 46
    Quebec 88

    Based on factors like safety, transportation, job opportunities, scholarships for international students, and more, the best cities for international students in Canada have been given below. Living in these cities will give adequate exposure to students to a diverse culture, and will enable them to partake in an experiential learning process, thereby, helping them grow.

    Montreal

    Montreal City

    Around 350,000 students go to Montreal every year for a quality education. This city is a home to many celebrated universities, like McGill University, which has a world ranking of 24. The city is known for its festivals, comedy shows, and rich cultural extravaganza. The language that is mostly spoken here is French, followed by English, and other languages. Some of the factors that make Montreal the best city for international students in Canada have been given below.

    Factors that make Montreal the most Student-Friendly City

    Parameters Particulars
    Ease of Transportation The city has a good transport that is accessible and affordable;
    There are 200 bus routes and more than 50 metro stations;
    A single trip costs CAD 3.25;
    Night out pass costs CAD 5;
    Buses accept ticket or Opus card;
    Bixi bikes enable students to explore the city
    Safety It is the world’s 17th most safest city
    Employment Opportunities A lot of job opportunities for students. However, language can be a barrier for people who do not know French.
    Perception of Students Students believe that Montreal is a friendly and affordable city. What stands out to them about this city is its culture, food, ethnicity, and entertainment.
    Monthly Cost of Living Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom)- CAD 709-1050
    3-Course Meal- CAD 60
    Transportation- CAD 85

    Vancouver

    Vancouver

    Vancouver is among the most expensive cities of Canada. However, it ranks 17th among the student-friendly cities of the world. The city is known for its spellbound natural beauty and pleasant environment. Some of the factors that make Vancouver one of the best cities for international students in Canada have been mentioned below.

    Factors that make Vancouver one of the Most Student-Friendly Cities

    Parameters Particulars
    City Diversity Majority of students are European Canadian followed by Chinese.
    English, Irish, and Scottish form the largest ethnic group.
    Ease of Transportation Rapid Transit (through trains) – Rapid trains
    Buses – A coast mountain bus operates Translink bus services
    SeaBus – City’s passenger’s ferry
    West Coast Express – City’s commuter rail service
    Safety Personal safety is high in the city. Crimes like shooting, mugging, murders are rare.
    Employment Opportunities The city provides a plethora of employment opportunities for the students. The jobs are interesting. The salary packages are good. The work environment is also supportive.
    Perception of Students According to students, Vancouver is a culturally rich city that offers a world-class education. The quality of living is high, and there are many job opportunities.
    Monthly Cost of Living Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom)- CAD 1900-3000
    3-Course Meal- CAD 80
    Transportation- CAD 109

    Toronto

    Toronto

    17% of students who study in the universities of Toronto hail from foreign countries. Toronto is the cultural hub of Canada that is known for its historical monuments, food festivals, and art. It is the best place to live in Canada for Indian students. It is home to the top-ranked University of Toronto (U of T), which is a big attraction for international students. There are many factors that make Toronto the 34th most student-friendly cities of the world, some of which are given below.

    Factors that make Toronto one of the Best Cities for International Students in Canada

    Parameters Particulars
    City Diversity It is the most multicultural city in the world. 140 languages are spoken in this city. India, China, UK, Ireland represent a large cultural group in the city.
    Ease of Transportation Toronto Transit Commission provides subways, streetcars, and bus services within the city. The transport fares are CAD 3. While the daily pass cost CAD 11, the metro pass cost CAD 133.75.
    Safety Toronto ranks 81% on the safety index. While crimes like scams and pickpocketing are rare in the city, one needs to beware of online scams.
    Employment Opportunities The city provides fairly good employment opportunities to the students.
    Perception of Students Being the largest city in Canada with a population of 3 million, Toronto attracts more number of students than other Canadian cities. Students find Toronto to be rich in culture. Besides getting access to education, they get a lot of employment opportunities to sustain themselves.
    Monthly Cost of Living Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom)- CAD 2020
    3-Course Meal- CAD 75
    Transportation- CAD 103

    Ottawa

    ottawa

    According to QS surveys, Ottawa is one of the best student-friendly cities of the world, which has a lively and diverse student environment. The city is celebrated for its winter sports, like skiing and skating. If you are looking for jobs in Canada, then Ottawa is the best city in Canada for work. The factors that make Ottawa one of the most student-friendly cities in Canada have been given below.

    Factors that make Ottawa one of the Best Cities for International Students in Canada

    Parameters Particulars
    City Diversity Ottawa’s cultural diversity makes it a cosmopolitan centre of Canada.
    Around 53% of the immigrants are from Asia and Middle East. 17% of the immigrants are from Africa and 15% are from Europe.
    Languages like Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Arabic are spoken here.
    Ease of Transportation Ottawa offers award winning transport services to its citizens. There are buses with fixed routes, a rapid bus transit with high frequency transit, and a light rail transit system that acts as a shuttle. There are special arrangements, like Para Transpo services for disabled people.
    Safety Ottawa is one of the safest cities in Canada. Crime rates in Ottawa are very low.
    Employment Opportunities Ottawa has the largest tech park and federal employment node in Canada offering 566,000 jobs to its students.
    According to Statcan, Ottawa has seen a constant stage of employment rate being 64.6% for the year 2018.
    Perception of Students The IT Park attracts more international students, especially for the field of Computer Science, because Canada’s Silicon Valley requires such professionals for the job. They find Ottawa to be enriching and embracing.
    Monthly Cost of Living Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom)- CAD 1120
    3-Course Meal- CAD 70
    Transportation- CAD 103

    Quebec City

    A City and The Sky

    A French-speaking province, Quebec City is known for its architecture and European feel. It is a very lively city that celebrates lots of festivals. The biggest festival is the Winter Carnival, during which many winter sports are organized. It is also the cheapest city in Canada for international students. Some of the factors that make Quebec city one of the most student-friendly cities in Canada have been mentioned below.

    Factors that make Quebec City one of the Best Cities for International Students in Canada

    Parameters Particulars
    City Diversity Quebec City is the second largest metropolitan area after Montreal. 88% of students in Quebec city speak French.
    Ease of Transportation Public transport is a highly recommended mode of transport. Daily, 350,000 people travel through the city. Quebec City is also bike-friendly and has a bike path of more than 170 km.
    Different modes of transport in Quebec City – cars, buses (CAD 3), taxis (CAD 1.70 per 0.6 miles), bicycles, ferries, and two-wheelers.
    Safety Quebec City is an extremely safe zone. The people are very liberal, and hardly does any kind of mass demonstrations or public violence take place in the city.
    Employment Opportunities The unemployment rate in the city is the lowest among all the Canadian cities. There is no shortage of jobs, and the students get a lot of employment opportunities.
    Perception of Students According to students, Quebec city offers an excellent education, which is very economical and accessible. The universities are equipped with laboratories, sports grounds, and performance halls.
    Monthly Cost of Living Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom)- CAD 525-700
    3-Course Meal- CAD 60
    Transportation- CAD 87

    Every city in Canada has its own uniqueness that distinguishes it from other cities. While Montreal is known for the universities of Canada, Vancouver is renowned for its splendour. And while Ottawa is known for its lucrative employment opportunities, Quebec city is known for its affordability. Every student is unique and their needs are also unique. So, students who wish to study in Canada and migrate there must carefully reflect on their needs, future goals, and aspirations, and decide which city shall be the best city for them.