Canada has moved ahead of the United States as the destination of choice among international students, a series of surveys conducted by educations.com has found.
According to the surveys, enrolment applications for Canadian universities and student visa applications to Canada increased by 3 per cent among prospective international students between January 2018 and October 2020.
During the same period, the US fell to third place as a migration destination of choice among international students, with American university enrolment and student visa applications to the US dropping by 10 per cent.
Given the coronavirus outbreak and ensuing travel restrictions and border closures all over the world, it was inevitable that international border crossings would be severely diminished.
However, another major factor behind Canada leapfrogging the US as the most sought-after migration destination among international students is the fact that unlike its neighbor south of the border, Canada actively welcomed international students to its shores.
Research shows that strict immigration rules, acts to reduce immigrant numbers and disadvantageous post-study opportunities under the Trump administration meant the US lost its popularity among international students as a migration destination.
Furthermore, the US government’s efforts to remove international students from the country once their classes had moved online resulted in the US losing further ground as a popular migration destination for potential student visa applicants.
All of these actions led international students to turn to other leading countries for study opportunities.
Canada, with its welcoming immigration and permanent residence policies, commendable opportunities, accommodating culture and top-notch security, naturally became the next best alternative migration location for student visa applicants. There are some reasons why international students are choosing Canada over the United States.
Canada’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic drew plaudits from migration applicants all over the world and established the country as a ‘safe and stable’ migration destination for international students.
Many Canadian universities are now encouraging international students to apply, with Ontario being the most notable example.
Universities in this Canadian province are ready to welcome international students, provided they can arrange their own quarantine upon arrival.