10 Best Universities in Canada for International Students

//10 Best Universities in Canada for International Students

Canada is named #1 country in the world for Quality of Life for five consecutive years in 2020. It also placed fifth-best country globally for women and second-best country in general. Yet, there is one more thing Canada is best at, and it’s a well-developed education system. The country has seen a consistent increase in international student admissions, proving its effective teaching methods and high-quality research. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Canada for international students.

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Is Canada good for international students to study in?

International students are more than welcome to study in Canada, especially as the Canadian Ministry of Education is taking active steps to streamline the process. You can choose from top-ranking universities offering comprehensive programs in the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels. The most popular programs pursued by international students are Business, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering. Universities focus on timely and relevant research, and students’ academic experiences will be based on progressive and innovative practices.

Canada is a multicultural country and one of the most linguistically diverse in the world. It is primarily a French and English-speaking country though you can quickly get around in English. The cost of study and living in Canada is more affordable than in the U.S. or the U.K. Fees will depend on the program but average at 15000 USD a year. Furthermore, you only need 470 – 630 USD monthly for food, accommodation, and other expenses.

Can international students work in Canada while studying?

International students can work in Canada as long as their study permit lists a condition that allows it and when their study program has begun. If it doesn’t have such a statement, you can request an amendment to your permit. Students can work up to 20 hours a week on regular semesters and full-time during breaks.

You can work on-campus without a permit as an employee for the school facilities. For off-campus work, you must first verify if you need a work permit for the type of work you do. Check with Canada’s official website, which is the same site you can apply to if you do need a permit. In most cases, however, no work permit is required.

Can international students stay in Canada after graduation?

International graduates who wish to remain in Canada must gain work experience to qualify them for permanent residence. You must apply for one of the two types of work permits in Canada: employer-specific work permits and open work permits. Each has specific conditions on employment duration and is outlined on Canada’s official website.

After gaining Canadian work experience, you will be eligible for immigration programs for permanent residence. The type of program suited for you will depend on your work experience, job group, and English skills.

Best Universities in Canada for International Students

1. University of Toronto (U of T)

The University of Toronto is the best university in Canada for international students. It has over 980 programs while most noted for its curricula in communication theory and literary criticism. Major scientific breakthroughs happened at U of T, such as insulin and stem cell research, the first electron microscope, and the first successful lung transplant. Having produced excellent research output, the university receives the most funding of any Canadian university.

U of T is spread out in three campuses that house over 18 faculties and divisions, libraries, and sports facilities. Independent departments then commune in the university’s Hart House, its heart of recreational life. In terms of internationalization, post-secondary rankings placed U of T among the top 20 in the world. 21% of its student body are international students, and with their commitment to diversity, the number is likely to increase.

2. University of British Columbia (UBC)

The University of British Columbia is a prestigious university established in 1908 and is known for longstanding traditions in multidisciplinary research. Its Vancouver campus houses the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, the world’s largest cyclotron, and one of Canada’s largest libraries. The Kelowna campus is recently acquired to accommodate UBC’s growing teaching scope and is a site for over 63 graduate and undergraduate programs.

This top university in Canada manages several research centers, including a 59-acre farm for food research, a center for democratic practices research, and indigenous education. UBC cooperates with over 200 universities abroad, such as UC Berkeley, Seoul National University, Imperial College of London, and many others.

3. McGill University

McGill University bears the name of a successful Quebecer merchant, James McGill, whose bequest made way to establishing the institution in 1813. It founded the nation’s first faculty of medicine and is presently organized into 11 main faculties and schools. With over 32% international learners, most of the students are enrolled in Medicine, Engineering, Arts, Science, and Management departments. McGill University has produced notable alumni, including award-winning actor William Shatner, search engine inventor Alan Emptage, and prime minister Justin Trudeau.

McGill University, one of the best universities in Canada for international students, has significant contributions to the scientific community. Ernest Rutherford’s radon, Thomas Chang’s first artificial cell, and William Chalmer’s Plexiglas are some of the institutions’ discoveries. With a first-rate faculty and advanced facilities, McGill students are on the path for more breakthroughs.

4. McMaster University

McMaster University was founded in 1881 when the prominent banker William McMaster bequeathed funds for its establishment. It now manages six academic faculties in business, social science, health science, engineering, humanities, and science. Across these disciplines, the university follows the McMaster Model, their policy for an interdisciplinary and student-centered approach to learning.

McMaster University receives accolades for its research pursuits, especially in health science. Their first-rate research facilities include a 780-square-meter biology greenhouse and a brain bank that holds a portion of Albert Einstein’s brain in its collection.

5. University of Montreal (UdeM)

The University of Montreal, or Université de Montréal, is a leading research university and one of the biggest university complexes in North America. It is affiliated with the business school HEC Montréal and the engineering school Polytechnique Montréal. Fourteen faculties and departments comprise UdeM, including Environmental Design, Kinesiology, and Arts and Science. Notable laboratories also began in UdeM, including the world’s leading research center for deep learning (MILA) and an institute for immunology and cancer.

This top university in Canada for international students consistently ranks in several tertiary education rankings. Its high-ranking subject areas include the Medical-Doctoral program and Computer Science. Furthermore, around 10,000 international students are enrolled in UdeM, which is among the largest in all Canadian universities.

6. University of Alberta (U of A/UAlberta)

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is a comprehensive university offering a broad range of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It comprises 18 faculties spread out on five campuses – four in Edmonton and one in Camrose. A regular top placer in university rankings, it has been recognized in various subject areas such as Paleontology, Forestry, Transplantation, and Sports-related disciplines. Distinctively UAlberta is the Faculty of Native Studies which deals with Aboriginal experiences, culture, and language.

UAlberta has a strong research focus and answers fundamental questions on social change, human health, and advancing knowledge for all. As one of the best universities in Canada for international students, the University of Alberta has the most advanced facilities, about 40,000 students, including over 7000 international learners, which can make significant contributions to the world.

7. University of Ottawa (U of O/uOttawa)

The University of Ottawa, or Université d’Ottawa, is the largest bilingual research university in the world. In English and French, the university offers over 450 programs across ten faculties, including medicine, engineering, social science, and the largest law school in Canada. The university manages 40 research centers with sponsored research income of over 300 million USD. The Ottawa Health Institute and the university’s Heart Institute provide excellent practice, resulting in a high-ranking medical-doctoral program.

UOttawa boasts a 97 percent employment rate of graduates, providing the best minds to various industries. After all, students have the best opportunities to learn practical industry skills with university programs at this top university in Canada. Its co-operative education program introduces students to paid work placements relevant to their subject area.


I hope that this article on the best Canadian universities for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Canada Scholarships Page!