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Canada vs USA for Indian Students


Canada and the United States of America, the two legendary North American Countries, have proved themselves as countries of the grandeur of global value which are dominating the rest of the world in each imperative sector like Economy, Exports, Trade, Finance, Technology, Innovation, Medical, Education, Tourism and much more. This is because both English-speaking American countries have drafted and formulated more robust policies for their steady economic growth. Also, both governments make sure that they regularly update and upgrade their economic policies to remain one of the unbeaten economy legends. Any scholar or an ordinary person analysing their successful regime over the world will find that their research-based quality education is one of the key factors that has driven and has been driving the success of these two countries.

This is because both countries highly invest in their education sector and often implement education reformation policies to provide a career-oriented education to their citizens as well as international students. This, in turn, attracts more overseas students to the respective countries. But often, students are confused about choosing between these two countries to pursue their higher education. 

So in this blog, we will clear this exhaustive doubt by stating the facts about the US and Canadian education systems.

The Difference Between the Education System in Canada and USA

Education System is what defines the growth of any country. The higher the country's employment rate, the more high-quality and academically sound the education system is. The higher the employment rate, the more substantial economic growth prevails in a country. Here, let us discern each piece of information about the education system of both the established countries, the US and Canada, to know what makes them super successful countries in providing global education.

Education Factors

Canada Education System

US Education System

Amount invested in international education

$68.1 Billion

$274.7 Billion

Teaching Style

Active and Practical Learning

Active and Practical Learning

Higher Education (Degree)

Done in Universities

Done in Colleges

Study Program

UG - Only Three Years

(Four Years Bachelor’s Programs in Canada are called Honours Bachelor’s Degree)

PG -  Two Years

Doctorate - Four to Six years

UG - Compulsory Four Years

PG -  Two Years

Doctorate -  Four to Six years

Admission Tests



University Type

Both Public and Private Universities

Both Public and Private Universities

Total number of Full-time Students



Academic Schedules

Semester Schedule

Fall Term - September to December

Winter Term -  January to April

Summer Breaks - May to August

Semester Schedule

Fall Semester - September to November

Winter Semester - December to February

Summer Breaks - May to August

Admission Criteria

Based on Grade Point Average (GPA)

Based on non-academic factors like extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays.

Admission Rate




Should compulsorily choose a major when applying to a university

Students can pick a major when they start their second year in College.

Average Tuition Fees for International students

Range from $22,000 to $35,000

Starts from $22,577

Canada vs USA Eligibility Criteria to Study Higher Education

Both Canada and the United States of America have different admission or eligibility criteria for international students.


Canada qualifies a person and confirms their admission into their preferred university only when they are satisfied with their Grade Point Average (GPA) of senior secondary education. The Grade Point Average should be 70% or higher. Very rarely the Canadian universities seek admission essays from international students. Students can also use the same admission essays if required when applying to other universities. Due to this, Canada has high admission rates for international students.


Contrary to Canada, the USA has entirely different admission or eligibility criteria. The USA universities don't seek or expect good grades from international students. Instead, they look for unique extracurricular talents like Volunteering, Sports involvement, Awards and Accolades for different unique talents in non-academic activities, etc. Also, they expect a letter of recommendation from their professors or employers stating that they fit in the university's campus culture. Because the US universities believe in providing a good campus life and experience to international students other than just a good academic environment. Therefore acceptance rates are quite low in US universities.

Canada vs USA Admission Process

Canada's Admission Process

  • Pick a major that interests you and are passionate about.
  • Select your favourite or preferred university.
  • Fill out the university's application form precisely without any error and by providing false information.
  • Select a couple more of your preferred universities and fill out their application forms to be on the safer side.
  • Attach the mandatory educational documents
  • Submit your score certificate of the English Language proficiency exam you attended. Canadian universities majorly prefer IELTS scores.
  • Wait for the Admission confirmation through email.
  • Once you get the admission confirmation, start the application process of a student visa or study permit.

USA's Admission Process

  • Select a College of your choice.
  • Fill out their application form. The task comes with submitting a clear and valid reason (admission essay) for seeking admission in a particular university. If not for admission essays, the universities seek letters of recommendation from your professors or previous employers.
  • Continue the application process till you send them to five or six universities to be on the safer side. (Normally, US citizens apply to between four to eight colleges).
  • Wait for the admission confirmation.
  • Once you get selected for admission, start your Student Visa application process.

Top Universities in Canada and USA

Both Canada and the USA boast some high-profile universities that have rightfully earned their place in the top world-ranking universities. Both countries' universities highly support active and practical learning for students. Because experiencing active and practical learning makes the students' academic foundation strong, helping them understand complex and advanced topics easily. So let us now see some of the top universities in Canada and the USA that fulfils all the international students' academic requirements.


USA Universities

QS Ranking

Canada Universities

QS Ranking


California Institute of Technology


University of Toronto



Harvard University


McGill University



Stanford University


University of British Columbia



Massachusetts Institute of Technology


University of Alberta



Princeton University


University of Montreal



University of California, Berkeley


McMaster University



Yale University


Western University



University of Chicago


University of Calgary



Columbia University


University of Waterloo



Johns Hopkins University


University of Ottawa


Student's Life in Canada vs USA


  • Canada is proving itself to be one of the best student-friendly countries by providing them with much scope for their higher education and career.
  • The country is now looked up to and regarded as one of the finest overseas education destinations. Thanks to its refined education system and policies that says, "education for all to attain a long-lasting and prosperous career", that significantly uplifts the country's growth.
  • In a survey, the Canadian Bureau for International Education found that international students studying in Canada are highly satisfied with the learning and student-life experience it provides.
  • Also, thanks to its large number of Public Universities (Completely funded by the Canadian government), which facilitate world-class education through practical and active learning.
  • Canada has also reformed most of its cities to cater to the needs of the international students to lead the best student life in Canada. Some of the prominent student-friendly cities in Canada are Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Quebec City.


  • The compelling and interesting factor about studying in the US universities is that they all emphasise Campus-Life more than the education. Because the US's education policies are commissioned so that students should be more exposed to real-time and practical learning rather than the usual book-based learning.
  • By studying in the US, students can witness and experience the world's best vibrant cities and cultures. More than education, the cities and the cultures have much to teach about life, living and responsibilities for students.
  • Socializing is also one of the larger than life factors in the US universities that attracts many international students to study in the US each year. The country hosts multi-lingual students worldwide, making the place a hotspot to socialise, fraternise, and celebrate friendship, sorority, and fraternity.
  • The US also hosts a variety of restaurants, each excelling in a particular cuisine. This is a perfect treat for international students who want to indulge themselves in the food and get a taste of each of the cuisine.

Cost of Studying in Canada vs USA



Tuition Fee in CAD Per Year

Tuition Fee in USD Per Year




$25,000 to $35,000 - Public

$30,000 to $45,000 - Private













Cost of Living in Canada vs USA

Though both countries hail from the same North American continent, the country's citizens have and follow different lifestyles. This factor highly determines the cost of living for international students. The cost of living is nowhere near the same in both lands; thus, students have to start their financial planning way before in advance to experience a hassle-free education journey. To help students plan their living, we have stated some essential costs that might constitute their whole living in either Canada or the USA.

Kind of Expenses

Cost in Canada

Cost in USA

On-Campus Rent



Mobile Phone



Public Transit Pass



Groceries and Food






Scholarships for Indian Students in Canada vs USA

The cost of studying in Canada or the USA can be reduced much better if students have acquired exceptional academic marks in their senior secondary education. As they will be eligible for scholarships provided by both countries' governments and private universities, their financial burden will be much reduced. 

Let us see some of the popular fully-funded scholarships provided by both countries' governments and private universities.


Scholarships in Canada

Scholarships in USA


Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Fullbright Scholarships


Trudeau Scholarships

Stanford University Scholarships


Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Yale University Scholarships


SFU Canada Graduate and Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

University of New Haven Scholarship


Loran Scholars Foundation

University of Memphis Scholarship


UDEM Exemption Scholarship

AAUW International Fellowship Program


International Major Entrance Scholarship

ACI Foundation Scholarship

Student Visa Process in Canada vs USA

Below, we have details given the student visa processes followed in both the countries, Canada and the USA. Students are advised to read them thoroughly and use the information in the best way possible.


  • Select your course, apply for it at your desired Canadian university, and wait for your acceptance letter.
  • Once received, start your student visa process.
  • Apply for your Canadian Student Visa.
  • Prepare all the necessary documents on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and attach them with your Student Visa application.
  • Attach the Score certificate of the English proficiency test that you have taken.
  • Be present for the Biometrics appointment and interview.


There are three types of US Student Visas.

  • F-1 Student Visa - Students who want to study full-time graduate and doctorate programs.
  • M-1 Student Visa - Vocational study and short-term programs to attend a culinary school or medical training program.
  • J-1 Student Visa - Students who want to study for one or two semesters at any US university need a J-1 visa.
  • Apply for your preferred US college and receive your acceptance letter.
  • Select your type of visa according to your study goal and apply for the same online.
  • You will receive Form I-20 if you are an F-1 and M-1 student visa applicant and Form - DS 2019 if you are a J-1 student visa applicant.
  • After receiving your respective form, pay the I-901 Sevis Fee. F-1/M-1 students have to pay 350 USD, and J-1 students have to pay 220 USD.
  • After paying the fees, take a print of the payment confirmation page that you have to show it during your visa interview.
  • Locate your nearest US Embassy or Consulate to apply for the international student visa.
  • Fill out the mandatory form DS-160 online, also known as the non-immigrant visa form, which is compulsory for international students.
  • Select the date for the Visa interview.
  • Pay your visa application fee, which is 160 USD.
  • Attend your Visa interview.
  • Receive your student visa.

Post Study Work Permit - Canada vs USA

International students wishing to start their profession in Canada or the USA in any of the two countries have to acquire their post-study work permit. We have discussed the eligibility of the same in the below section.

Canada- Eligibility

  • Been a Full-time international student in Canada, completing an academic program that lasted at least 8 months.
  • Successfully received your degree, diploma or postdoctoral degree.
  • Graduated from an accredited Canadian Public or a Private institution that awards professional degrees.

If you fit all the criteria, you are eligible to get a post-study work permit in Canada.


To get a post-study work permit in the USA, international students should get the form I-765 which acts as a pass for employment authorisation. To be eligible for receiving the form I-765, students should fulfil the below requirements.

  • Your work area or field should be directly related to your course study.
  • International students should possess a valid and lawful F-1 status.
  • Students are also required to apply for Optional Practical Training before completing their degree to be a professional employee in any US organisation.
  • It is an additional advantage if students have worked before completing their degree.
  • Students should work in the US for at least 12 months after completing their professional degree program.

Canada vs USA immigration Study Abroad

Canada's Immigration Process for International Students to Study in the Country

  • Select your Course, and University
  • Attend the Language Proficiency Test
  • Apply to as many universities to be on the safer side.
  • Apply for the student visa or study permit.
  • Once get your Student Visa, plan your travel to Canada.
  • Start your Canada education journey.

USA's Immigration Process for International Students to Study in the Country

  • Apply for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program - SEVP in your preferred university.
  • Once you get the SEVP confirmation status from your university, they will send you a Form I-20, which is the certificate of "Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status".
  • After receiving your Form I-20, students have to pay the I-901 Sevis Fee.
  • The I-901 payment fees are mandatory to attend the student visa interview.
  • After completing the interview, start preparing for your journey to the US to study. You need to have things with you always till you reach and settle in the US - Passport, Visa and Form I-20.
  • Once you land in the US, the security officials verify all your documents and information. If it is fulfilled, the Customs and Border Protection officer, CBP, will issue you a Form - I 94, "Arrival or Departure Record", that states your lawful admission into the country.
  • The legal admission to stay in the country means you can successfully commence your education journey in the United States.

Canada Vs USA jobs and Salary Opportunities

There is a multitude of job opportunities in both Canada and the USA for international students. Students have to be aware of the multi-disciplinary courses and professional fields that prevail in both the North American countries. Here we have listed the top professions in both the countries to help students get a gist of the education fields that contribute much to the growth of their economies.


Jobs Role

Salary in CAD

Salary in USD


Accounting Manager








Financial Analyst




Graphic Designer








Business Analyst








Mechanical Engineer




HR Manager




Biomedical Engineer







Scope After Studying in Canada vs USA

Both the countries present an immense variety of job opportunities for international students who studied in their country. Let it be other North American countries, European or Asian countries; these two countries stand tall in providing worthwhile job opportunities for international students. Students can confidently bet on them to have super successful careers and extravagant lives.

Thus we have come to the end of this blog. We hope we have covered all the necessary information and provided sufficient knowledge for international students to confidently commence their education journey in Canada or the USA. Students still finding it difficult or are in need for more information to plan their education travel in any of these two countries can contact AECC to talk to our expert counsellors. We have the best team who can support your journey from the start to the end.

FAQs About Canada vs USA

Is Canada or USA cheaper to study?

When comparing both USA and Canada, Canada is much more afofrdable for international students.

Is USA expensive than Canada for international students?

USA is expensive in terms of cost of living, lifestyle, etc. Other than that USA is an affordable country for international students.

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