What are the Pros and Cons of studying in Canada versus in the US?

The US has been a popular destination for higher studies for quite a few years now. However, Canada is fast catching up as a similarly well-suited country for international students to pursue their education. 

As a result, many students, especially in India, are faced with the tough decision about which country they should pick. 

Before choosing a particular place for higher education, it is important to keep in mind certain criteria like eligibility, cost of education, future opportunities, etc. 

In this article, we cover all the major pros and cons of studying in Canada and the US, along with everything else one needs to know before applying to universities in either country. 

Cost of education

The cost of education in America is the biggest deterrent for international students. On average, a degree in America costs about 33,215 USD per annum

This is a huge financial investment and can require students to take student loans in order to be able to afford their education. 

Canadian universities are financially more viable for international students, since they cost much less than American universities, with average cost of education being about 23,300 USD per annum. 

Furthermore, the overall cost of living in Canada is much lower than that in the US, which can help offset the cost of education.

Eligibility criteria

Both the US and Canada require students to complete 12 years of education and appear for the SAT for undergraduate admissions

While the criteria for undergraduate admissions is similar for both countries, there is a difference in admission criteria for Post-graduate degrees. 

Canadian universities generally focus on a student’s GPA and their IELTS and TOEFL scores. They do not necessarily require students to appear for the GMAT or GRE. 

This means that getting into Canadian universities is easier and less complicated than getting admission in American universities. 

Employment opportunities

Both the US and Canada have lucrative employment opportunities for students, albeit for different professions. 

In the US, software engineers, doctors, management executives, etc. get the highest salaries while in Canada, nurse practitioners, teachers, pharmacists are some of the most sought-after jobs. 

It is easier to work part time in Canada as a student as compared to the US, due to the flexibility of its VISA regulations. 

Quality of education

The cost of living in Canada is comparatively less than in the United States and the United Kingdom. With options to work part-time, living expenses for Indian students is made further convenient. 

Students also get a post-study work permit of up to 3 years after completing their program to work full-time in the field of their choice. 

Thinking about the return of investment in the long run, Canada provides easy financial return options to students who look to invest in its higher education. 

Permanent residency

American immigration and residency policies are very strict and complex, meaning it is tough for international students to find permanent work and settle down there. 

On the other hand, Canada’s is a much more viable option for permanent residency, since its immigration policies are much more relaxed. 

Standard of living

While both the US and Canada offer a high standard of living, Canada is widely acknowledged as superior. Canada performs exceptionally well on various health, wellness and economic indices, and a particular draw for international students is its healthcare system

What are the pros and cons of studying in Canada?


  1. Canada is more cost effective, with lower average tuition fees
  2. It does not require GRE or GMAT and thus has simpler eligibility criteria
  3. International students have higher chance of getting permanent residency 
  4. Canada provides free and comprehensive healthcare, even for students


  1. Starting salaries in Canada are lower compared to the US
  2. Canadian universities are not as well known as American ones

What are the pros and cons of studying in the US?


  1. The US has some of the best universities in the world, which consistently rank high
  2. Average income and starting salaries are quite high in the US


  1. Tuition fees and cost of living is quite high in the US
  2. All students must appear for the GMAT or GRE in order to get admissions 
  3. It is tough to get permanent residency in the US

Which place is better for Indian students: US or Canada?

The decision of which country is better depends upon the criteria. 

The US has some of the best universities and programmes in the world, but it can get very expensive for Indian students. 

Furthermore, with its strict immigration policies, Indian students can find it hard to find work and residency in the US. 

On the other hand, Canada, with its simpler eligibility criteria, lower costs and better residency options, can be very lucrative for Indian students. 


How much can a student earn in Canada?

Students in Canada earn about $18 per hour on an average. Students can work for upto 20 hours per week when classes are in session and for more during holiday seasons. 


In conclusion, it is clear that a number of factors must be considered before one decides which country to complete their higher education in. While the US has been a very popular option until now, its higher costs can be a deterrent for many students. On the other hand, Canada has emerged in recent years as a viable option too, especially with respect to future prospects of immigration for international students.