Canada vs USA for International Students: Education, jobs and cost

canada vs usa for international students

The USA and Canada are two great nations of the world and have a global reputation for offering the best in class education. Both countries offer high-quality education and unique experiences, but they have distinct characteristics.Ā  The USA is the most popular choice. Approximately 269,383 foreign students enrolled in US universities in 2018ā€“19. As per a recent UN survey, Canada has been highly ranked as the best place to live consecutively for the past 9 years. Read this complete blog to understand which is better: Canada vs USA for International Students.


Factors USA Canada
Average Tuition Fees
  • Undergrad- 8,000 USD to 40,000 USD
  • Postgrad- 10,100 USD to 60,000 USD
  • Undergrad- 8,800 USD to 21,800 USD
  • Postgrad- 13,100 USD to 41,500 USD
Top Courses OfferedĀ 
  • Nursing
  • EngineeringĀ 
  • MSc computer sciences
  • Business Management
  • BiologyĀ 
  • EngineeringĀ 
  • Agricultural Science & Forestry
  • Business ManagementĀ 
Student Visa FeesĀ  160 USD + SEVIS fee of – 350 USD 150 CAD + 85 CAD

USA vs Canada for International Student: Admission Requirements

Most of the study-abroad destinations for international students focus on similar admission requirements. However, there are certain criteria that may vary as per the country some of the common requirements are listed below:-


Requirements USA Canada
Language proficiency
  • PTE
  • iTEP
  • IELTS – Overall 6 with 5.5 in each band
  • CAEL
Standardized tests
  • Proof of finances
  • LettersĀ  of recommendations
  • Essays
  • Copy of passport
  • Guaranteed investment certificate (GIC)
  • 4 months bank statements
  • SOPs/LORs


The desire to study in the United States and Canada has grown tremendously recently. The admission requirements majorly vary as per the course, country and university selected by the candidates.


Costs of studyingĀ  in USA and Canada

The cost of studying varies as per the course, university, and even the city selected by the candidate.

For example: in USA cost of living in every city is different:-


City Average Cost of Living
New York $21,000/ year
San Francisco $20,000/ year
Los Angeles $20,000/ year
Boston $22,000/ year
Chicago $20,000/ year


Still, a comparison of living costs in both countries is tabulated below:-


Particulars USA Canada
Tuition fees 6 Lakhs – 21 Lakhs per year 7.73 Lakhs – 18 Lakhs per year
Living expenses 12.35 Lakhs to 24 Lakhs per year (varies as per the city chosen by the student) INR 6.31 Lakhs per year
Duration of course Varies from 1 year to 5 years Varies from 6 months to 4 years
Total cost INR 50-60 Lakhs per year INR 25-30 Lakhs per year


Benefits of living in Canada vs the USA

Living in Canada versus the USA as an international student involves considering various factors that can impact your overall experience, including the cost of living, quality of education, cultural environment, work opportunities, and more.


  1. Affordability and Quality Education: In general, the cost of living and tuition fees in Canada tend to be more affordable than in the USA. This can be a significant advantage for international students on a budget. Apart from this Canada is known for its high-quality education and world-renowned universities and colleges.
  2. Safety and Quality of Life: Canada consistently ranks high in terms of safety, healthcare, and overall quality of life.
  3. Post-Graduation Work Opportunities: Canada offers a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) that allows eligible graduates to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies. This can be a pathway to gaining Canadian work experience and potentially permanent residency.

Also Read: What is the Cost of Living in Canada for Indian Students?


  1. Diverse Program Offerings: The USA has a vast number of universities and colleges offering a wide range of programs across various fields. Many US institutions are renowned for their research programs and facilities, making it attractive for research-oriented students.
  2. Networking and Industry Connections: The USA provides extensive networking opportunities, connections with industry professionals, and access to cutting-edge resources.
  3. Flexible education: The USA is home to some of the world’s top-ranked universities, which can enhance your academic and professional profile. Many US programs allow you to tailor your course selections to your academic interests.


Job Market in USA vs Canada

With an unemployment rate of only 5% Canada offers a promising and bright future to international students.


Jobs Average Salaries
Dentist $1,75,149
Surgeon $3,25,020
Lawyer $1,00,130
Physician $2,64,739
Marketing Manager $71,828


The USA offers unlimited job prospects for students across all fields. The very low unemployment rate of 3.6% makes it very feasible for students to sustain themselves in the country post their studies too.Ā 


Jobs Average Salaries
Physicist $151,580
Natural Sciences Manager $156,110
PsychiatristĀ  $249,750
Dentist $167,160
Engineers $145,720


The work culture in Canada is characterized by its emphasis on inclusivity, respect, and a healthy work-life balance. Professionalism is paramount, and colleagues interact with politeness and consideration. Canadian employees often prioritize maintaining a balance between their professional and personal lives, with flexible work arrangements and a strong respect for designated break times. Collaboration and teamwork are highly valued, with a focus on achieving collective goals through open communication and cooperation.Ā 

On the other hand, The work culture in the USA is known for its dynamic and diverse nature, characterized by a strong emphasis on individual initiative, innovation, and a results-oriented mindset. American workplaces often prioritize meritocracy, rewarding hard work, creativity, and proactive problem-solving. Open communication and direct feedback are valued, encouraging employees to voice their opinions and contribute actively to team discussions.Ā 



Is it better to live in Canada or the US?

Both countries are equally popular among international students due to their high employment rate, student retention rate, and quality education. With a wide range of courses available across various disciplines both Canada and the USA attract millions of students every year.

Which has more job opportunities USA or Canada?

The USA has a high employment rate of 83% whereas Canada has an employment rate of 63%. Both countries offer high-paying jobs to international students along with a plethora of part-time internship opportunities to help them ease their financial burden.

Which is better, Canada or the USA for students?

Choosing between Canada and the USA for higher education depends on individual preferences and goals. Canada is known for its welcoming atmosphere, diverse communities, and affordable education, making it an attractive option for international students. On the other hand, the USA boasts a wide range of prestigious universities, research opportunities, and diverse cultural experiences. It also has a strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship


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