With cheaper tuition fees and a guaranteed work permit after students finish their courses, Canada is fast becoming an attractive destination for higher studies.

As higher education becomes difficult in the U.S. and U.K., amidst a weak economic climate, Canada has emerged as an attractive destination for Indian students. With significantly lower tuition fees compared to its southern neighbour, the maple leaf country offers bright prospects for students.

Much like the U.S., Canada has become a hot destination for students wanting to pursue their Master’s in the fields of technology and engineering. Courses like Electrical engineering and Computer Science are quite sought after in Canadian universities. Dani Zaretsky, Managing Director of Canadian University Application Centre says, “Till a few years ago we had mostly students coming for their Master’s in Engineering but recently there is also a growing interest among students for under-graduate programmes in areas like I.T. and Communication.”

One of the areas where Canada excels is in the transportation sector. Zaretsky says, “We have considerable expertise when it comes to automobiles, planes and trains. Be it engineering or logistics, we are quite strong in this area.”

Ram Balachander, Executive Director at Centre for Executive and Professional Education at University of Windsor says, “Automotive engineering is one of the most prominent courses especially here in Windsor. Windsor being the automotive capital of Canada, there is demand for engineers and managers. With cars becoming sophisticated, jobs in the automobile industry these days are not only restricted to mechanical engineers but even Electronic and Electrical engineers.” He also says that there is a lot of scope in logistics and supply-chain management.

According to Zaretsky another area where there is growing denand is in solar energy and other renewable-energy-related courses.

Majid Ahmadi, Professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Science Engineering at the University of Windsor, says, “For decades we have polluted our planet. So areas like solid-waste management, water treatment, garbage disposal and use of bio-fuels are some of the emerging areas. North American and European countries have realised they need to start cleaning up the mess and have started to work towards it. There are many job opportunities in these areas.”

Scholarships

For students wanting to pursue their Master’s in the thesis-based streams in engineering and technology, there is a bright chance for the student to get full funding for his/her course. In a course-based stream, students get a maximum of 1000-3000 Canadian dollars.

In the undergraduate courses, students can get anywhere between five to 20 per cent of the tuition fees as aid in the first year.

According to Balachander, at the University of Windsor, the students for UG courses are selected based on the marks they secure in their Class XII exams where the board a student studied also matters. He says, “We don’t take international students without scholarships for UG courses. At the entry level they will be given about 1000-4000 Canadian dollars a year. For subsequent years, students performance will be taken into consideration.” If a student has completed his schooling in an English medium school throughout, then he/she may not need to take an English standard test.

Work Permit

One of the most important aspects a student looks at while pursuing higher education are the job opportunities and Canada unlike the U.S. or U.K. is more welcoming in this regard. With demand for skilled workers like engineers and managers rising and also with an ageing population, Canada offers a good scope for students to realise the return on their investment.

A graduate is offered a work permit. The work-permit is usually for three years for a graduate student and one-three years for Master’s students, depending on the length of their academic programme. Students can also apply for a permanent resident status subsequently.

As with any English-speaking nation around the world, a student must have taken a TOEFL/IELTS test for admission in Canada.

On the flip side, though the tuition fees is comparably less, the living expenses is a bit on the higher side and roughly works about to 500-750 Canadian dollars a month.