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Cost of Living in Major Canadian Cities for International Students

The cost of living in major Canadian cities has always been a strong discussion point among current and prospective international students.

Last year alone, over 430,000 ambitious international students chose to study in Canada. What inspires them?  Why do so many international students flock to Canada for their higher education?

Your guess is as good as mine!

World-class universities, welcoming diversity and an unmatched quality of life overall. Canada offers these and more. So, it is no wonder why it is among the top choice destinations for international students.

Nevertheless, Canada is geographically a massive country.  So, where exactly should students go?

For International students seeking a big-city appeal and campus opportunities, these 5 major cities- Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa will top the list.

Of course, one major factor affecting student experiences remains the cost of living. How do expenses like housing, transit, food, and entertainment compare between Canada’s premier study centers?

Which city offers international learners the most affordable lifestyle alongside academic excellence?

Let’s find out!

An Introduction to The Cities

First, what exactly makes Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa such noteworthy destinations for students to begin with?

As Canada’s largest metro area, Toronto appeals to city lovers as an economic and cultural hub. Iconic campuses like the University of Toronto, York, and Ryerson reside within the vibrant, welcoming multicultural landscape.

Out west, Vancouver wows newcomers with its spectacular mountain-to-sea scenery and relaxed coastal vibes. Top schools including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser attract academics from everywhere.

Montreal charms visitors with its European essence infused with North American conveniences. Renowned options like McGill and Concordia embody prestige perfect for student living.

In Alberta, cosmopolitan Calgary strikes a blend of prairie ruggedness and corporate opportunity. The University of Calgary and Mount Royal provide exceptional teaching and research.

Lastly, the scenic capital city of Ottawa dazzles as a center for technology and politics – home to Carleton University and the University of Ottawa among others.

Clearly, each municipal star student city across Canada offers fantastic lifestyle and education perks.

But how do the practical costs compare between them?

READ ALSO: How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada After Studies-A Guide for International Students.

Cost of Living in Major Canadian Cities: Housing Expenses Across Cities

For students relocating abroad, finding acceptable rental accommodations remains essential. Comparing housing costs is vital when reviewing the “cost of living in major Canadian cities”.

The average monthly rent for a modest one-bedroom apartment runs $1,900 CAD downtown in Toronto and Vancouver. However, opting for neighboring communities like Surrey or North York sees rents drop closer to $1,500 monthly.

Montreal and Calgary edge out as most affordable for housing based on rates around $1,100-$1,300 per month for centrally located apartments. Outlying boroughs dip even lower.

Comparably, suitable student rental units in Ottawa start around $1,300 in the core scaling back below $1,100 farther out.

Ultimately Montreal takes the prize for overall cheapest central city rent averages. But students staying near universities in Calgary’s outskirts enjoy remarkably low housing costs too.

Cost of Living in Major Canadian Cities: Getting Around Town

With housing sorted, transport emerges as the next major student expense when comparing the “cost of living in major Canadian cities”. Canada’s urban centers focus heavily on public transportation accessibility.

Montreal and Toronto offer extensive metro and bus coverage with monthly passes costing roughly $90 CAD. Vancouver’s TransLink system also provides solid student discounts.

Calgary’s CTrain light rail cut costs down to around $110 monthly. And Ottawa’s OC Transpo express bus network keeps fares comparable as well.

So reasonably on par for transit costs, Canada’s major student cities earn high marks making transportation simple for new arrivals.

Cost of Living in Major Canadian Cities: Tuition Fees by School

Housing, food, fun – big city life tempts students to spend money rapidly. But keeping those tuition payments in check remains critical long-term.

Across Canada,  the average international undergraduate tuition ranges from $32,000 CAD annually while graduate students typically pay approximately $20,000 CAD more per year at $52,000 CAD.

However, analyzing costs school by school reveals insights on saving money depending on where you study. Within Toronto, nursing degrees at York University are the cheapest while the University of Toronto engineering is the priciest.

In Vancouver, fine arts programs at the [University of British Columbia] are the most economical yet their renowned computer science degrees lead in costs. Science undergrads at Montreal’s McGill cost under $40,000 CAD yearly, cheaper than peers at Concordia.

Similar lower-priced disciplinary variances emerge when examining international tuition by program between the [University of Calgary], Carleton, and the University of Ottawa as well.

Ultimately international students uncover significant tuition savings by selecting certain universities and academic disciplines strategically.

Cost of Living in Major Canadian Cities: Food, Fun, and Lifestyle Money

Beyond basic fees, funds for food, nightlife, and entertainment matter in the “cost of living in major Canadian cities” comparison too!

All five metro areas offer grocery chains and markets providing cultural ingredients to whip up budget home meals. Eating out at pubs and restaurants starts around $15-20 CAD each time. Fast food and cafes drop down below $10 per meal routinely.

And no city nightlife scene disappoints either! Toronto and Montreal lead for venues, and events and verve into the evening. But Vancouver’s laidback lounges and Calgary’s cowboy kick permeate great student fun too. Ottawa offers live music flavor. Cover charges, drinks, and Uber rides home add up fast every weekend.

So food, fun, and lifestyle ultimately cost what you make of it. Cook creatively at home and seek student discounts to offset enjoying everything these vibrant Canadian cities offer!

READ ALSO: Top 10 Courses You Should Study for Easy Immigration to Canada.

The Verdict?

Reviewing key “cost of living” considerations in Canada’s top municipalities, which emerges as most affordable for international learners?

Given monthly rental rates, Montreal leads for overall housing expenses – especially in boroughs outside downtown. Calgary though positions nearby itself thanks to rock-bottom rents around its outlying campuses.

For transit, Montreal and Toronto again excel providing thrifty student pricing on extensive systems. Food basics and entertainment prove consistently reasonable in all five metro regions.

And while Vancouver and Toronto schooling top tuition prices on average, specific programs even at pricier institutions help keep yearly costs reasonable if selected strategically.

Truly any of Canada’s premier student cities deliver incredible lifestyle value at generally lower costs than its global counterparts. But shrewd international learners studying in Montreal, Calgary, or Ottawa uncover that irresistible blend of academic excellence and affordability.

Tips For Saving Extra Money

Want a few more professional tips to minimize expenses further as an international student living in Canada’s big cities?

  • Split costs by sharing apartments or home rentals with multiple roommates
  • Buy monthly or yearly transit passes and learn routes well
  • Cook often at home and pack lunch to limit eating out
  • Use Student Price Card and school status for everyday discounts
  • Stick to free campus events, and house parties over pricey nights out
  • Use rideshare services and carshare programs to save on transportation
  • Buy used furniture, clothes, and textbooks to cut major costs

READ ALSO: 9 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

Which major Canadian city appeals most when comparing the “cost of living” numbers for you?

Did I miss any key-saving tips?

Let me know in the comments!

Studying in Canada vs UK and USA: Which is Better?

When comparing destinations for studying abroad, “Studying in Canada vs UK and USA” tops the list for many prospective students.

Here is why.

Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States represent three incredibly popular study destinations for international students.

With top universities, multiple cities, beautiful campuses, and strong job prospects after graduation, all three countries attract a flock of students from around the world each year.

READ ALSO: When Opportunity Knocks: A List of the Best Study and Work Programs in Canada

But when analyzing the key factors side-by-side, how do they truly line up against each other?

Which country offers students the best overall experience and value?

There is no simple answer – each nation provides unique benefits and drawbacks.

When we compare critical elements like education quality, tuition fees, cost of living, lifestyle perks, immigration policies, and career options across “Studying in Canada vs UK and USA” we can better evaluate which might prove the ideal fit based on what individual student prioritizes most.

This article will break down all of these key considerations to highlight why more and more students are choosing Canada as a premier destination for studying abroad globally…

Studying in Canada vs UK and USA: City Selection, Campus Life and Academics

In terms of cities, campus environments, and quality of education – all three countries provide exceptional options.

Canada’s most popular destinations for international students seeking an exciting urban experience include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and more.

Metropolitan cities in the UK like London, Manchester, and Birmingham all prove top places to study as well.

And, the USA boasts student favorites like Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles among other vibrant destinations.

Whether you envision enjoying the pace and energy of a large city or prefer a traditional college town setting, all three countries offer living environments to match your interests.

The many top-ranked universities like the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia in Canada, Cambridge University, and Oxford University in the UK or Ivy League stalwarts in the USA means academics will challenge and inspire you as well.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Courses You Should Study for Easy Immigration to Canada.

But when considering affordability, financial assistance available, welcoming atmosphere, and quality of life – differences begin emerging more clearly…

Costs of Studying in Canada vs UK and USA

Let’s be honest – pursuing higher education abroad is a significant investment no matter where you study.

However, Canada offers notable financial benefits and incentives along with a reduced cost of living to help offset expenses for students.

To crunch the numbers on “Studying in Canada vs UK and USA”, international undergrads in Canada pay an average of $22,000 to $30,000 CAD per year for tuition, housing, books/supplies, and other fees.

In the UK, tuition and living costs range from $24,000 to $40,000 CAD annually typically.

And the US sees total yearly costs from $32,000 to over $50,000 CAD on average.

Along with lower annual costs, Canada also provides merit-based scholarships, student grants, and on-campus work opportunities to qualified, talent-driven applicants.

Their post-graduation work permits allow international students to live and work in Canada for up to 3 years after finishing their degree as well.

This helps enormously with paying off student debts and gaining career-building professional experience before returning home.

The UK and the US offer worthwhile post-study work visas too.

However, students must pay notably higher tuition rates throughout their academic program first without as much access to financial assistance.

That’s why from a cost perspective, Canada garners attention.

Studying in Canada vs UK and USA: Quality of Life as a Student

Finances are central for most students. However, the general quality of life also carries tremendous weight when determining the ideal place to study abroad.

 By investing generously in international student support services, communities, and healthcare access, Canada ensures newcomers feel welcomed. This focus on inclusion, work-life balance, and societal peace of mind makes fully immersing oneself in degree studies far simpler.

26-year-old pharmacy graduate Adeola Akin reflects:

“Pursuing my Master’s degree in Canada was easily one of the best decisions I ever made. The reasonable tuition fees were a big factor obviously. But I was blown away by how supportive everyone was of international students like myself – the university staff, advisers, homestay families, other students, and the wider community. Canada truly makes you feel at home and allows you to focus on the most important thing – your academics and future career. That support was invaluable.”

Without question, the UK and US offer incredible diversity and opportunity as student destinations in their own right.

However, Canada’s superior financial packages combine with an unparalleled emphasis on international student health/wellness resources and community integration.

For those seeking greater work-life balance alongside top-notch education, Canada needs a closer look.

Career Prospects

Today’s generation of university students is deeply career-focused. So expected job prospects post-graduation must factor prominently when analyzing “Studying in Canada vs UK and USA”.

It is true Canada still trails the US and UK as economic giants globally in industries like finance, tech, and healthcare.

So major multinational companies may seem more concentrated in those countries presently.

However, graduates who study in Canada actually qualify to work and immigrate long-term after finishing their degree by leveraging express entry and provincial nominee streams.

This provides incredible opportunities to gain a foothold within the job market and establish oneself professionally.

READ ALSO: 13 Great Reasons You Should Study in Canada

Additionally, Canada’s reduced cost of living compared to the UK and USA translates to improved long-term savings ability for working professionals who remain after graduation.

With diligent financial planning, Canada offers newcomers and skilled immigrants phenomenal wealth-building potential long-term.

So while the USA and UK do maintain an edge reputationally on the global jobs front, forward-thinking students recognize Canada provides outstanding career pathways as well – especially given the quality of life advantages.

Which Country Stands Out For Studying Abroad?

Given all the priorities covered when weighing Studying in Canada vs UK and USA, does one country stand out as the clear winner?

The final decision still comes down to an individual student’s budget, academic pursuits, and post-graduation vision.

However, Canada makes a strong case regarding overall affordability, immense quality-of-life perks, and a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers.

Domestically, their education system not only competes with the heavyweight US and UK but actually surpasses them in select areas like post-study work rights and emphasis on student health/wellness.

Schools incentivize top applicants by facilitating real career and immigration opportunities.

While the UK and US continue attracting countless students each year given their brand recognition and global presence, Canada’s value proposition is simply too good to ignore nowadays.

For budget-conscious applicants still expecting world-class academics and an amazing student lifestyle experience, Canada checks every box.

As more international students realize this and achieve career success after graduating from Canadian institutions, Canada now cements itself among the best places for studying abroad worldwide.

So what’s your take?

Does Canada pique your interest as a study destination when comparing “Studying in Canada vs UK and USA”?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

How to Get Part-time Jobs in Vancouver as an International Student

Finding part-time jobs in Vancouver can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor for international students.

With its thriving multicultural communities and abundance of post-secondary institutions, Vancouver offers plentiful opportunities for students from abroad to find part-time jobs while pursuing their studies.

However, going through Canada’s work permit regulations and job market norms as a foreigner requires proactive preparation and some cultural awareness.

This is why we put up this comprehensive guide to provide international students with indispensable advice on how to successfully find part-time jobs in Vancouver.

Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll:

  • Explain the legal requirements for international students to work in Canada
  • Offer tips on creating an effective resume and cover letter
  • Recommend creative job search strategies beyond online job boards
  • Guide completing the job application and interview process
  • Discuss vital workplace etiquette and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Suggest the time and money management tactics when balancing work and academics

READ ALSO: When Opportunity Knocks: A List of the Best Study and Work Programs in Canada

With the right understanding of work eligibility, personalized preparation, and cultural awareness, international students can gain professional experience, supplement their finances, and integrate into Vancouver’s diverse communities through part-time jobs.

Understand the Legal Requirements While Searching for Part-time Jobs in Vancouver as an International Student.

Before seeking part-time work, international students must ensure they are legally authorized to work in Canada. Most foreign students will need to obtain the appropriate work permit corresponding to their study permit. Working illegally can lead to serious consequences like deportation and Study Permit cancellation.

There are three main types of work permits:

  • On-campus work permit: Allows working up to 20 hours weekly on campus when studying full-time.
  • Off-campus work permit: Provides eligibility to work off campus and can be up to 20 hours weekly when studying full-time.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: Enables working full-time for up to 3 years after graduation.

Consult your school advisors to determine if you need a work permit or can work directly on your study permit. If required, apply for the specific work permit early to get approved promptly.

How Best to Prepare a Winning Resume and Cover Letter While Looking for Part-time Jobs in Vancouver.

Once legally authorized, dedicate time to crafting a stellar resume and cover letter. Because of Canada’s highly competitive job market, applicants cannot afford to be generic.

Hence, tailor your resume to each job, emphasizing relevant skills and qualifications. Use targeted keywords found in the job ad and customize the cover letter to explain how you can fulfill the company’s needs.

Adapt your content to align with Canadian resume formatting – concise, fact-driven, and accomplishment-focused. Finally, have others critique your materials to perfect them.

Now, follow these tips for presenting your best self:

  •  Lead with a strong career objective that fits the role.
  • Spotlight soft skills like teamwork and communication that employers want.
  •  Cater your skills/experiences specifically to the job description.
  •  Align formatting to Canadian standards – easy to scan visually.
  • Showcase numbers/data demonstrating your achievements.
  •  Exclude irrelevant personal details like age and marital status.

With a well-structured, customized resume and cover letter, you can catch the hiring manager’s eye.

How to Strategically Search for Part-Jobs in Vancouver

To succeed in your job search as an international student in Vancouver, you should look beyond generic job sites and explore creative search techniques.

Leverage your educational institution’s resources through job postings, career fairs, and alumni networks specific to your school. Many schools have work-study programs as well that match students with on-campus jobs.

Attend industry events, conferences, and info sessions to build connections. Reach out directly to companies of interest and arrange informational interviews to get your foot in the door.

Check the websites of your desired companies, follow their social media channels, and sign up for job alerts. Look for foreign/multicultural professional groups as well.

Network continuously and tell everyone about your job search – you never know what leads friends and community members might provide.

READ ALSO: Top 11 Universities in Quebec for International Students

With persistence and creativity, you can uncover the perfect part-time job, even as an international candidate.

The Job Application Process

When applying for part-time jobs in Vancouver, Canada, expect a highly structured process with multiple steps like:

  • Online application with screening questions
  • Pre-interview screening call
  • 1-2 rounds of formal interviews
  • Reference/background checks
  • Job offer

Thoroughly read the job posting and follow all application instructions precisely. Prepare your information in advance for online applications and check for any technical issues. Ask a local friend to review your materials to catch any cultural nuances.

Anticipate pre-interview calls or screenings to evaluate your communication abilities over the phone. For the formal interview, research the company, practice responses to common questions, and prepare intelligent queries to ask the interviewer.

Dress professionally, arrive early, and bring copies of your application. Maintain eye contact, give firm handshakes and exhibit confidence. Follow up with thank you notes to stand out.

With diligent preparation, you can outshine the competition at every application stage.

Workplace Etiquette and Cultural Sensitivity

Adapting to Canadian workplace norms and demonstrating cross-cultural communication skills are vital as an international employee.

Be punctual, polite, and sensitive in all verbal/written interactions. Respect dress code standards and office etiquette like not using speakerphones or eating smelly foods openly.

Observe how local coworkers interact and don’t take things personally. Canadians appreciate directness but dislike aggression or conflict. Appreciate that!

Seek feedback to improve and build trust over time.

Brush up on Canadian slang, humor, and sports/pop culture to better connect casually with colleagues. Get involved in workplace social events when possible.

When you do all these proactively, you can thrive in diverse Canadian workplaces.

Balancing Work and Studies

Managing a part-time job without compromising academics demands tactical and efficient time management.

To do this effectively, use schedules, to-do lists, and calendars to organize obligations and track deadlines. Schedule school work, attending classes, job shifts, socializing, and health activities over the week.

When conflicts arise, communicate challenges proactively to professors and supervisors. Negotiate accommodations like shifting work hours or extensions on assignments when reasonable.

Set daily priorities, learn to say no to non-essential distractions, and capitalize on pockets of time like commutes or waits for appointments.

Make time for sufficient sleep, healthy meals, and stress relief through exercise, music, or meditation. Stay connected with personal support systems as well.

With discipline and preparation, students can excel at work while keeping academics a priority.


Vancouver offers a lot of part-time opportunities for international students seeking professional experience while studying.

Understanding legal eligibility, excelling at job applications, and immersing in Canadian workplace culture, will help foreign students unlock rewarding employment.

Leverage the innumerable resources across Vancouver’s post-secondary institutions, nonprofit organizations, and community services when planning your job search.

With determination and preparation, you will be poised for part-time employment success as an international student in this vibrant city.

Here you have it!

What has been your experience hunting for part-time work in Vancouver as a foreign student?

Share your story and tips in the comments to help fellow international job seekers in this city.

READ ALSO: 9 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

11 Best Public Universities in New York for International students

When it comes to selecting the best public universities in New York, there are many excellent options to consider.

Here is why.

New York boasts of excellent public higher education opportunities which manifest in high-quality academic programs, renowned faculty, and vibrant campus communities.

But with so many great choices, how do you determine which schools should top your list?

The best public universities in New York highlight eleven standout institutions that consistently rank among the nation’s top public colleges and universities.

From large, research-focused SUNY campuses to smaller liberal arts schools, these universities offer students access to world-class academics at an affordable price.

According to U.S. News & World Report rankings, SUNY Geneseo has a stellar 90% four-year graduation rate.

To arrive at the can’t-miss public colleges and universities in New York, we took into account factors like academic rigor, graduation rates, acclaimed faculty, affordability, campus culture, and more.

So, whether you’re interested in STEM, business, arts, or humanities, you can find strong programs at these New York public colleges.

To make your search easier and more effective, there’s a need to review the stand-out qualities of each university along with facts.

READ ALSO: 10 Tuition-free Universities in the US for International students

Let’s dive in and uncover why these schools represent the cream of the crop in public higher education in New York.

11 Best Public Universities in New York for International Students

  1. University at Buffalo (SUNY)

With 5,203 International students in its domain, Buffalo is a large research university with a wide range of academic programs, including engineering, medicine, law, and business.

It is also home to the Buffalo School of Social Work, one of the top-ranked social work schools in the country.

The university also conducts research in a variety of fields, including cancer, environmental science, and nanotechnology.

Buffalo’s campus is located in the heart of the city, and it offers students a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities.

The university also has a strong athletics program, and its teams compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference.

As an international student, you need around $32, 000 per year to study at the University.

  1. SUNY Binghamton

The focus of Binghamton University is on the arts and sciences. It offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs.

Binghamton is also home to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a leading center for research and education in international affairs.

The university also engages in research in areas like change, cancer, and neuroscience. Binghamton’s campus is located in the town of Binghamton, New York.

The campus is known for its beautiful scenery and its many cultural and recreational opportunities.

READ ALSO: 4 Key Documents for Nigerian Undergraduate US Admission

With the current population of international students pegged at 1861, you may need something a little bit above $31, 000 to study at the university as an international student.

  1. Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Stony Brook has about 3,611 international students in its coffers, and you need something around $35, 000 per year to study in one of the public universities in New York. It focuses on STEM fields.

It offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs. Stony Brook is also home to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of the world’s leading research laboratories.

The university also conducts research in a variety of fields, including cancer, astrophysics, and materials science.

Stony Brook’s campus is located on Long Island, New York. The campus is known for its beautiful scenery and its many cultural and recreational opportunities.

  1. University at Albany (SUNY)

Albany has 1,267 international students, and its focus is on the arts and sciences. It offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs.

Albany is also home to the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry, one of the leading forestry schools in the country.

The university also conducts research in a variety of fields, including climate change, public health, and nanotechnology.

Albany’s campus is located in the capital city of New York. The campus is known for its beautiful architecture and its many cultural and recreational opportunities.

  1. City College of New York (CUNY)

Located at the heart of Harlem, New York City, City College is a public research university, and the oldest public college in the United States.

It offers over 180 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs. City College is also home to the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, one of the leading medical schools in the country.

The university also carries out various research in cancer, climate change, and social justice. The campus is known for its vibrant culture and its many educational and cultural opportunities.

  1. Queens College (CUNY)

Queens College is a public liberal arts college located in New York City. It offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 50 graduate programs.

Queens College is also home to the CUNY Graduate Center, one of the leading graduate schools in the country.

The university also conducts research in a variety of fields, including cancer and climate change.

The population of international students currently at Queens College is and as an international student, you need $6,930 per year to have a taste of the quality education that the college serves.

  1. Hunter College (CUNY)

As an international student, you need around $7000 per year to study at Hunter College.

A public research university in New York City, Hunter College offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs.

Hunter is known for its strong programs in the arts and sciences, education, nursing, and social work.

Hunter College’s campus is located in the heart of Manhattan, New York City. The campus is known for its diverse student body and its many cultural and educational opportunities.

Hunter College currently has 7, 099 international students.

  1. College of Staten Island (CUNY)

The College of Staten Island (CSI) is a public liberal arts college located in Staten Island, New York.

It offers over 60 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs. CSI is known for its strong programs in the arts and sciences, business, and education.

CSI’s campus is located on the former site of the Willow Brook State School. The campus is known for its beautiful waterfront views and its many recreations.

READ ALSO:  How to Find Part-time Jobs in the US for International Students

As an international, you will pay around $7000 yearly in tuition to study at the College of Staten The number of International students in the school is currently pegged at 1,010 students.

  1. SUNY New Paltz

SUNY New Paltz is located in New Paltz, New York.  Offering over 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs, the school currently has 220 international students.

And, as an international student, your tuition before you can study in this prestigious public institution in New York is around $10, 600.

SUNY New Paltz is known for its strong programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

SUNY New Paltz’s campus is located in the Hudson Valley, New York.

  1. SUNY Geneseo

The location of SUNY Geneseo is Geneseo, New York.  With over 47 international students, and tuition of over $10, 000, SUNY Geneseo offers over 40 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate programs.

SUNY Geneseo has its strength as one of the public universities in New York with strong programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

For its various academic research, the university pays more attention to environmental studies, sustainability, and social justice.

SUNY Geneseo’s campus is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The campus has beautiful scenery and an avalanche of cultural and recreational resources.

  1. SUNY Plattsburgh

SUNY Plattsburgh offers over 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs. Located at Plattsburgh, New York., SUNY Plattsburgh is known for its strong programs in the arts, sciences, and business.

SUNY Plattsburgh’s campus is located on Lake Champlain, New York. It has a beautiful campus and many fun activities.

SUNY Plattsburgh has about 229 international students, with a tuition of a little above $10,000 per year.


New York is home to some of the top public universities in the nation that offer international students world-class academics at an affordable price.

The SUNY and CUNY systems boast large research institutions like the University at Buffalo, Binghamton University, and City College as well as smaller liberal arts colleges like SUNY Geneseo and SUNY New Paltz.

These schools provide a diverse range of high-quality academic programs in fields like engineering, medicine, arts, humanities, and more.

From world-renowned research faculty to vibrant student diversity, New York’s public universities give international students access to top-notch higher education. If you’re looking for strong academics, affordable costs, and inclusive campus communities, be sure to consider these outstanding public colleges and universities in New York.


Health Insurance for International Students in the US

Health insurance for international students in the US is a vital consideration when planning to or studying abroad.

The US is one of the prime study destinations for international students. For this reason, the number of international students pursuing degrees in the United States increases yearly.

In fact, according to Statista over 900 thousand international students studied in the US during the 2021-2022 academic year. This growing population faces a pressing challenge—obtaining adequate and affordable health insurance as international students in the US.

If you have no proper coverage, unexpected medical costs could derail your educational goals. Thus, utilizing health insurance options should be a top priority for incoming international students.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a guide to health insurance for international students in the US.

Our goal is to equip you with insights about health insurance for international students in the US so you can stay healthy and focused on your studies.


So, whether you are a new or returning international student, understanding health insurance for international students in the US is vital for your success and peace of mind.

Let’s begin the exploration.

Understanding the US Healthcare System

The US healthcare system includes both public and private insurance options. Public programs like Medicare and Medicaid serve specific groups, while most under 65 receive employer-sponsored or individual private coverage.

Healthcare costs in the US are high compared to other nations. Data shows the average 2020 premium for employer plans exceeded $7,500 for individuals and nearly $22,000 for families.

Deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses further increase costs. For instance, the average individual plan deductible totaled $1,644.

While the Affordable Care Act expanded access, paying for care remains challenging without insurance.

As an international student, understanding the complexities and expenses of the US system is key.

It is important to mention here that, international students studying in the US are not eligible for government-sponsored health insurance. However, many universities offer student insurance plans that are easy to enroll in. Some schools might also let you select your health insurance plan.

Understanding the health system and insurance in the US will help protect your finances and well-being while studying in America, where universal healthcare is not guaranteed.

The Need for Health Insurance

As an international student, health insurance is not just a recommendation – it is an absolute necessity. There are several important reasons why having adequate coverage is critical.

(a) Limited Coverage from Academic Institutions.

University health services offer limited care for enrolled students only. According to a 2019 study, over 90% of U.S. colleges charge for appointments, lab tests, and prescriptions through their student health centers. So relying solely on your academic institution for healthcare will likely be insufficient.

(b) High Cost of Healthcare in the US

As mentioned earlier, healthcare costs are exceptionally high in America. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is around $30,000. And a broken arm can result in bills over $2,500. Without insurance, you would be responsible for covering these steep fees.

(c) Visa Requirements

Moreover, international student visa requirements mandate that you have health insurance coverage. F1 and J1 visa holders must follow strict guidelines to maintain legal status, including carrying adequate health insurance. Failure to comply could jeopardize your education.

(d) Peace of Mind

Maintaining insurance coverage gives peace of mind to both students and their families. You can focus on your studies rather than worrying about medical costs.

Types of Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the US.

As an international student in the U.S., you generally have two main options for health insurance coverage: university-sponsored plans or private health insurance. Understanding the pros and cons of each will help you determine the best choice.

  1. Student Health Insurance Plans (SHIPs) 

Student Health Insurance Plans (SHIPs) are group plans offered by many colleges and universities. According to a 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office report, over 500 schools required students to have health insurance and the majority participated in SHIPs.

SHIPs allow you to directly enroll through your academic institution. Coverage lasts for one academic year and can meet J-1 and F-1 visa requirements. However, SHIPs typically have more limited provider networks focused around campus and lack portability if you transfer schools. They may also have caps on benefits or coverage.

2. Private health insurance

Private health insurance includes individual and family plans purchased from insurance companies or the Health Insurance Marketplace. Based on data from IMG Academy, average monthly costs for international student health insurance plans in 2022 range from $63 for catastrophic coverage to $189 for comprehensive plans.

Private plans offer flexibility since you can keep the same coverage if transferring schools or traveling. Provider networks are also much broader nationally. However, private plans involve researching options, comparing benefits, and directly enrolling off-campus. Application timing and processes can also be strict.

Ultimately there are trade-offs between SHIPs and private insurance in terms of coverage continuity, flexibility, costs, and convenience. Carefully weighing your specific needs will help determine if university-based or private health insurance is the optimal choice.

Moreover, enrollment for university-sponsored health insurance usually coincides with academic calendars. You’ll need to sign up by set deadlines and pay premiums directly to your school, which acts as an intermediary with the insurance company. Be sure to follow your institution’s specific guidelines for applying.

Before selecting campus-based insurance, carefully compare costs and coverage to individual private plan options.

Understanding Health Insurance Terminology

Navigating health insurance requires familiarity with key healthcare terms. Here are some main concepts to understand:

  • Premiums – The upfront recurring cost paid monthly or yearly to have coverage. Premiums are set by the insurance company based on the plan type and level of coverage.
  • Deductibles – The amount you must pay out-of-pocket before insurance starts contributing towards costs. For example, a $1,000 deductible means you pay 100% of bills until you reach $1,000.
  • Copays/Coinsurance – The set fee per visit (copay) or percentage of costs (coinsurance) you owe for covered services after meeting your deductible. A $20 doctor visit copay means you pay $20 at the appointment.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum – The limit on total expenses you have to pay in a plan year before insurance covers 100% of additional costs. This caps your annual healthcare expenses.
  •  Network Providers – The doctors, hospitals, and facilities covered under your insurance plan. Seeing out-of-network providers results in higher out-of-pocket costs.


Reading your policy documents is essential to fully understanding covered services, associated costs, exclusions, and plan limitations. Reach out to providers to clarify any unclear healthcare or insurance jargon. Becoming an informed healthcare consumer will help you maximize benefits.

Health Insurance Regulations for International Students

There are specific health insurance requirements international students must meet related to visa status and federal regulations.

  • According to U.S. immigration laws, students on F-1 or J-1 visas must maintain adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies. Government sites including provide official mandates around acceptable plan minimums to comply with visa terms. Violating these requirements could lead to legal consequences impacting your education.
  • Additionally, international students must follow Affordable Care Act standards just like domestic students when filing taxes. Under the ACA, individuals must have qualifying health coverage or face potential tax penalties. More details can be found in the IRS tax code and publications outlining exclusions and exemptions.
  • If you change your visa status during your studies, such as transitioning from F-1 to H-1B, ensure you understand how this impacts health insurance requirements. Immigration attorneys and government resources can provide guidance on maintaining compliance when visa standings change.

Adhering to current insurance regulations protects your legal status as an international student. Be sure to stay up to date on any changes and seek assistance from qualified experts if you have questions or concerns.

What to Do in Case of a Medical Emergency

Knowing how to respond to a medical crisis can reduce stress and ensure you get needed care without delay. Here are tips for medical emergency preparedness:

(a) According to reputable sources like the Mayo Clinic, your immediate priorities during any emergency should be to: assess the situation, call emergency services if needed, provide first aid and comfort to the injured, and gather relevant medical information. Remain focused on the emergency at hand until the person is under professional care.

(b) Contact your health insurance provider as soon as possible after seeking initial emergency treatment. You will need to supply information so they can process claims, authorize follow-up care, and apply benefits based on your policy. Refer to your insurance ID card for provider phone numbers and policy information they will request.

(c) Under the Affordable Care Act, all ACA-compliant health plans must cover essential emergency services regardless of provider network at the same cost shares. So, visit the nearest hospital or emergency room to get urgent care rapidly. Your insurer will cover out-of-network emergency care per federal law.

(d) Staying calm, getting emergency care immediately, and connecting with your provider for claims support will help you navigate any medical crisis. We wish you good health and safety during your educational journey.

Tips for Managing Health Insurance as an International Student

(I) Stay organized

Staying organized with your insurance documents is key for accessing care and managing claims. Experts like those at International Student Insurance recommend keeping physical or digital copies of your insurance card, policy, prescription info, and other records. Make sure documents are safely stored but easy to access if needed.

(ii) Review Your Coverage Regularly

Regularly review your coverage before enrollment periods end to evaluate if your current plan still meets your needs. Factors like school changes, visa status, or turning 26 impact coverage options. Government resources like outline qualifying life events that allow for special enrollment in ACA marketplace plans if your situation changes.

(iii) Explore Free Preventive Services

Take advantage of free preventive services like annual checkups, screenings, and immunizations which are fully covered under the ACA. The CDC provides schedules outlining recommended preventive care based on factors like age, gender, and medical history. Staying up to date helps you maintain health and prevent issues before they start.

(iv) Utilize Campus Health Services

Making use of campus health services for minor concerns can also save money compared to private clinics. And establish care with a local provider for a go-to contact for non-emergency concerns.

Final Thoughts

In closing, obtaining adequate health insurance is an essential consideration for international students studying in America.

The complex US healthcare system means coverage is critical for your well-being and financial security.

Thoroughly understand visa requirements, compare university and private plan options, and evaluate your specific needs when selecting coverage.

Also, become familiar with healthcare terms and emergency protocols.

Staying organized with documents, reviewing policies annually, using preventive services, and tapping campus health resources will further help you manage insurance wisely during your time stateside.

With proper planning, you can secure health insurance as an international student that meets legal obligations and provides robust protection.

This allows peace of mind so you can focus fully on academic excellence. America offers world-class education but lacks universal healthcare, so plan proactively.

With these insights in hand, you can make informed choices and obtain coverage that safeguards your goals for educational advancement.


When Opportunity Knocks: A List of the Best Study and Work Programs in Canada

Year in, year out, there’s an influx of students from across the globe to Canadian universities in search of a bright future. However, many struggle to meet up due to the exorbitant costs. In such circumstances, study and work programs in Canada usually come to the rescue, thereby providing learners with opportunities for combining quality education and income earning.

READ ALSO: 9 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

According to the National Statistics Office of Canada, there were 621,565 international students in Canada in 2021, and experts estimate approximately 20% participate in co-op and work-study programs as a means to gain professional experience and income during their academics.

In this post, we’ll explore how work and study programs in Canada empower international learners. We’ll delve into the benefits, help choose the right option for you, highlight quality programs across Canada’s academic landscape, and simplify the application process.

The most interesting part is that, if you plan carefully and prepare adequately, you too can access life-changing experiences.

You don’t believe me?

Let the facts and insights ahead expand your notions of what’s possible.

Come with me!

The Benefits of Study and Work Programs in Canada

These allow students to combine academic studies with paid or unpaid work experience in Canada. They can help students gain valuable skills, earn money, and explore the country and culture.
Specifically, here are six benefits of these programs for international students:

(a) Improve your language skills

Working and studying in Canada can help you improve your English or French skills, depending on where you work. You can practice your communication skills in real-life situations, learn new vocabulary, and improve your pronunciation and fluency. Again, you can take language courses or tests to boost your proficiency level.

(b) Enhance your resume

Having work and study experience in Canada can make your resume stand out from the crowd. You can show employers that you have international exposure, intercultural competence, and adaptability. You can also demonstrate your skills and achievements in different fields and sectors.

(c) Expand your network

Working and studying in Canada can help you build connections with people from diverse backgrounds and professions. You can network with your classmates, professors, co-workers, supervisors, and clients. You can also join clubs, associations, or events to meet new friends and contacts.

READ ALSO: 7 Key Benefits of International Student Health Insurance in Canada

(d) Explore your options

Working and studying in Canada can help you explore your academic and career interests and goals. You can try different courses, majors, or minors to find out what suits you best. You can also experiment with different types of jobs, industries, or roles to discover your strengths and passions.

(e) Earn money

Working and studying in Canada can help you earn money to support yourself and your education. You can find part-time, full-time, or seasonal jobs that match your schedule and skills. You can also apply for scholarships, grants, or bursaries to reduce your tuition fees.

(f) Enjoy the experience

Working and studying in Canada can help you enjoy the experience of living in a different country and culture. You can travel around the country, visit famous landmarks, or experience natural wonders. You can also immerse yourself in the Canadian lifestyle, customs, values, and traditions.

How to Choose the Right Work and Study Programs in Canada.

While choosing a work and study program in Canada, there are many factors you should consider, including:

(i) Field of study and alignment with career goals

Consider work arrangements relevant to your program and interests. Experience in your desired industry can directly boost qualifications and employability after graduation.

(ii)  Location 

Search how the program’s geographic area provides access to meaningful work opportunities, professional networks, culture, and lifestyle. Highly populated cities tend to offer more options.

(iii) Duration 

Shorter programs of one semester provide a taste of work, while year-long arrangements allow more time to gain deeper experience. Evaluate your timeline and level of commitment.

(iv) Program reputation and outcomes 

Look at potential earnings, job placement rates, employer satisfaction, and alumni reviews. These indicate the quality of work experiences and careers enabled by the program.

(v) Admission requirements

Be sure you meet and can compellingly demonstrate the qualifications and attributes sought by the program, such as GPA, past experience, interview performance, etc.


Notable Study and Work Programs by Field

1. Business

Reputable business schools across Canada offer co-op and work-integrated learning programs that combine business education with practical paid work terms in fields like accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and management.

If your discipline is business-related, you can try your luck at the Schulich School of Business at York University which offers a variety of work-study programs for international students, including the Schulich International Experience Program (SEP), which allows students to work up to 20 hours per week off-campus during the semester.

Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto also offers the Rotman International Experience Program (RIEP), which allows students to complete a work term in their field of study. Also, HEC Montréal offers the HEC International Co-operative Education Program (ICEP), which allows students to complete work terms in their field of study.


Major science and technology institutions provide co-op programming where students undertake 12-16 months of professional placements related to disciplines like engineering, computer science, and applied sciences.

STEM students can apply their technical competencies while also developing project management and communication abilities valued by tech employers.

If stem is your thing, the University of Waterloo provides the Waterloo Co-operative Education Program (Co-op), which allows students to complete work terms in their field of study.

READ ALSO: 7 Key Benefits of International Student Health Insurance in Canada

Moreover, the University of British Columbia gives international students the opportunity for the UBC Co-op Program, which allows students to complete work terms in their field of study.

3. Healthcare

If you’re a future healthcare practitioner you’ll be paired with hospital and clinic employers for clinical placements and practicums integrated into their studies.

These experiences allow healthcare students to gain practical experience and forge professional connections under supervisor guidance.

You can apply at the University of Toronto which, in conjunction with, the Michener Institute of Education at U of T, offers a variety of healthcare programs, including work-study programs.

Again, McMaster University offers the McMaster Co-operative Education Program (Co-op), which allows students to complete work terms in their field of study.

The University of Calgary offers the Cumming School of Medicine, which offers a variety of healthcare programs, including a work-study program.

4. Computer Science & Technology

Tech-focused co-op programs match students with employers for 4-8 month work terms to take on roles and projects that help build industry-relevant skills in coding, systems analysis, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.

Tech work exposure clarifies specializations and types of organizations a student may wish to pursue post-graduation.

If you’re a computer science student, you can check the University of Waterloo offers the Waterloo Co-op Program, which allows students to complete work terms in their chosen career. The

The University of Toronto also offers the U of T Engineering Co-operative Education Program, which allows students to complete work terms in their area of expertise.

5. Humanities & Social Sciences

Paid work terms place students at cultural institutions, non-profits, startups, communications firms, and other organizations where they contribute skills in research, writing, policy, education, community engagement, and more.

This experience assists humanities students with transitioning their versatile competencies into graduate studies or careers. Is this your area?

Try your luck at the University of Toronto which provides the International Experience Program (IEP), which allows students to study at another university in Canada for a semester or year. During their exchange, students can also work up to 20 hours per week off-campus.

Additionally, McGill University provides the McGill International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), which allows students to study at another university in Canada for a semester or year. During their exchange, students can also work up to 20 hours per week off-campus.

Moreso, the University of British Columbia offers the UBC Exchange Program, which allows students to study at another university in Canada for a semester or year. During their exchange, students can also work up to 20 hours per week off-campus.

How Should You Apply?

If interested in securing a spot in a study and work program, key steps in the application process often include:

  • Extensively researching programs and narrowing down top choices that fit your needs and goals. Reach out to current students for insider perspectives.
  •  Confirming eligibility by meeting all requirements related to academics, language proficiency, work authorization, and other prerequisites.
  • Closely review admission requirements for programs under consideration. Typical requirements include GPA minimums, test scores, interviews, essays, prior experience, etc.
  • Honestly assess your competitiveness and ability to demonstrate alignment with the program’s qualifications. Identify any potential gaps needing improvement.
  • Prepare a strong application package accentuating skills, knowledge, achievements, and attributes that make you a strong candidate. Draw on specific examples.
  • Highlight relevant work, volunteer, extracurricular experience, and interests. Tailor materials to each program.
  • Draft polished essays and responses that provide cohesive narratives illustrating your motivations, competencies, and goals.
  • Submit all required documents and materials before specified deadlines. Many programs have rolling admissions with early application ideal.
  • If offered acceptance, promptly complete any additional paperwork, payments, or prerequisites to secure your place in the program.
  • Reach out to current students or alumni for tips on how to maximize the program experience.


There’s no gainsaying that in today’s highly competitive global job market, robust work experience gives graduates an undeniable advantage.

Study and work programs offer international students an appealing way to gain such experience as part of their overseas education.

With strategic selection of a program suited to one’s goals and diligent application efforts, participants can reap lifelong rewards.

However, outcomes ultimately depend on each student making the most of their program experience.

Do thorough research to determine if this immersive learning route is the right fit.

For motivated students seeking to enrich their academics while kickstarting careers, study and work programs in Canada provide impactful opportunities.

Top 11 Universities in Quebec for International Students

Are you an international student? Are you looking for the best universities in Quebec for international students?

You’ve come to the right place.

You may have heard or read this before. But in case you’ve not, Quebec is home to some of Canada’s top-ranked and most affordable universities for international students.

But with so many options, choosing the right university can be a herculean task for students.

READ ALSO: 10 Best Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International Student.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 11 highest-rated universities in Quebec that international students are falling over each other for.

These universities in Quebec boast strong academics, alumni networks, lively campus cultures, and often cheaper tuition compared to other Canadian provinces.

So, what’s your target?

Are you looking for a research-intensive university? Or a small liberal arts college?  A leading engineering school? Quebec has universities that can tick all your boxes appropriately.

In this article, we’ll give you an expose on McGill, Concordia, Université de Montréal, and other renowned institutions so you can find your best fit.

At the end of it all, you’ll have a clear picture of the top universities in Quebec for international students.

From costs and scholarships to application deadlines, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Does this sound good?

Alright, let’s dive in and explore the 11 most exciting universities in Quebec for international students! But before then, let’s discuss some vital reasons you should consider studying in Quebec City. We’ll equally explore factors to consider before choosing a university in Quebec

But wait, why do you want to study in Canada?


Why You Should Study in Quebec as an International Student

You may be wondering: ‘’Why do international students flock to Quebec for their studies?

Well, there are tons of great reasons, so let’s dish them out.

  • Quality Education

Quebec universities offer top academics and research opportunities at an affordable price. With average undergraduate tuition around $16,000 CAD, studying in Quebec costs significantly less than in places like the UK, USA, or Australia.

  • Student-friendly Cities

Quebec City has phenomenal student cities with vibrant cultures, music scenes, events, and outdoor activities galore. This includes skiing Mont Tremblant to celebrating the world-famous Jazz Fest each summer, student life here is exciting!

  • Opportunity to Learn French

Do you want to study French? Then Quebec should be your preferred destination. Quebec provides a unique opportunity to master French, an asset on your resume and a key language of business and diplomacy worldwide. Improving your French skills opens doors professionally across Europe, Africa, and more.

  • Open and Progressive Mindset

Quebec society has a joyous, open, and progressive mindset that international students love. People here know how to work hard and play hard.

  • Pathway to Permanent Residency

Canada provides a pathway to permanent immigration through programs like Express Entry after graduation. This gives many international students in Quebec to stay and launch their careers and lives here.

Key Factors for International Students to Consider When Choosing a University in Quebec

Choosing the right Quebec university as an international student is an important decision. Here are key factors to consider during your search:

  • Look at program offerings and specialty areas at each school to find the best fit for your academic interests. Know what you want to study before you apply.
  • Consider the language of instruction. Most universities here offer courses in English and French. Determine your comfort level for learning in each language.
  • Research the application process and deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, and budget for each university. Make sure it is financially feasible.
  • Learn about the campus culture and student life at schools that interest you. An active campus with diverse clubs and activities can really enhance your study experience abroad.
  • Check out the city or town where the university is located in Quebec. Montreal and Quebec City are big metros with lots to do. But smaller college towns have their own charm too.

READ ALSO: 9 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

  • Talk to current international students at your top choice universities to get insider perspectives. Their experiences can help you make the perfect pick to study in Quebec.

11 Highest-Rated universities in Quebec for international students

Having considered why international students should study in Quebec and the key factors to consider before choosing a university, it’s time to get into the meat of this blog and explore the top 11 universities in Quebec for international students.

  1. The McGill University.

This research-based institution is located right in downtown Montreal and is often called the “Harvard of the North.”  McGill boasts of top-ranked programs in medicine, engineering, law, education, arts, and many more. Over one-fourth of students hail from abroad, thereby giving McGill a very global and vibrant campus culture. They offer excellent English-language programs, though French is also common on campus and in Montreal. One hassle for international students is, that McGill tuition isn’t cheap. Arts and science students spend approximately $22, 000 CAD annually as tuition. But they offer strong scholarships and financial aid options.

  1. The Concordia University

Concordia University is known for its artsy and open vibe. Concordia first opened its doors in 1974 after a merger between two smaller colleges – hence the name “Concordia.” This mid-sized university has various academic programs spanning engineering, business, fine arts, and humanities. Around 20% of Concordia’s student body comes from overseas. Campus life here is active. Concordia has a laid-back and progressive atmosphere. Tuition fees are lower than McGill at around $17,000 CAD annually.

  1. Université de Montréal

Université de Montréal is Quebec’s second-largest university. “UdeM”, as fondly called, has the highest research income of any French-language university in the Americas.  It is made up of 13 faculties, offering quality programs in the sciences, social sciences, law, engineering, and medicine. Over 7,000 international students attend UdeM each year. The campus is divided into north and south, with student life centered on lively Rue Saint-Denis. Average international tuition here comes in around $18,000 CAD.

  1. Université Laval.

Established in 1852, Universite Laval is the first French-language university in North America. How cool! Université Laval is best known for its innovation, research, and advanced facilities like the CHU de Québec hospital. Over 12% of the student body is from overseas, hailing from around 150 countries. Notable alumni include former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney and author Anne Hébert. Undergraduate tuition is around $17,000 CAD yearly.

  1. Université de Sherbrooke

Université de Sherbrooke is located in Quebec’s Eastern Townships about two hours from Montreal. It’s a small city but, don’t let that deter you. Sherbrooke offers big opportunities. Areas of research strength include neuroscience, biotech, IT, and environmental sciences. Campus life includes the trendy Bishop Mountain neighborhood with student housing, cafes, and pubs. Sherbrooke is considered one of the more affordable universities in Quebec for international students, with tuition around $14,000 CAD on average.

  1. École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique is reputed as one of Canada’s top engineering schools. Polytechnique is part of the Université de Montréal system but focuses solely on math, science, and engineering. Women make up 30% of Polytechnique’s student body today, after the tragic 1989 mass shooting that killed 14 female students. A memorial on campus honors their memory. Polytechnique has educated many of Quebec’s astronauts, scientists, and tech innovators. Undergraduate tuition runs around $18,000 CAD per year.

  1. HEC Montréal

HEC Montréal is a world leader in business education with a growing international student body. In HEC, you can study courses in accounting, finance, analytics, marketing and more. Around 10% of students come from abroad, and hail from some 60 countries worldwide. HEC has satellite campuses in Paris and Tokyo – sweet student exchange opportunities! Annual tuition fees are typically $20,000 CAD for international BBA and MBA students. However, HEC has deep corporate partnerships that provide scholarships.

  1. École de technologie

ETS churns out work-ready engineers and tech graduates to meet industry demand. The school has expertise in construction, manufacturing, telecom, and sustainable energy. ETS has the highest admission standards of any engineering school in Quebec. Their Co-op programs place students into paid internships. International tuition runs around $18,000 CAD per year.

  1. Université du Québec à Montréal

Université du Québec à Montréal is a dynamic and multifaceted public university with six campuses across Quebec’s largest city. UQAM began in 1969 and has grown into the 4th largest university in the province. Notable programs include urban studies, design, finance, and psychology. UQAM is francophone but has resources to support international students. Tuition fees are around $16,500 CAD per year.

  1. Bishop’s University

Bishop’s University is a small liberal arts college with some huge benefits. The Location is Sherbrooke.  Bishop’s intimate campus has only 2,500 students. Class sizes stay small, averaging just 30 students. Over 20% of students come from overseas, ensuring a global perspective. Academic strengths include business, natural sciences, and health sciences. First-year tuition is around $18,000 CAD.

READ ALSO: How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada After Studies- Guide for International Students.

  1. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

UQTR offers strong forestry and engineering programs fitting its location between Montreal and Quebec City. Fun fact – UQTR has the second-largest collection of insects and spiders in Canada with over 3 million specimens! International undergrads pay around $15,500 CAD in annual tuition fees.

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered the 11 highest-rated universities in Quebec for international students. And beyond all reasonable doubt, the province of Quebec has no shortage of top-tier universities for international students to choose from.

Are you dreaming of exploring Montreal’s bustling streets or studying at an English language center like McGill University? Whatever your dream is, Quebec has options to launch your global future.

The schools we’ve covered today are just a sample of what this French-speaking province offers.

If you consider factors like programs, language, costs, and campus culture, you can find your perfect fit in Quebec. All you have to do now is take the leap to study abroad in one of Canada’s most vibrant, welcoming, and student-friendly destinations.


9 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

If you’re an aspiring doctor in Canada the foremost decision you’ll make is to choose from this list of the best medical schools in Canada.

As you may have known, qualifying as a medical doctor in Canada takes over ten years. This long journey is not what you can begin on a faulty foundation. Hence, you should carefully and tactically select a medical school that can help make this long journey smoother.

Your choice of medical school determines the kind of medical doctor you become, all things being equal.

For this reason, you need to find the medical school that’s the best fit for you.

It’s not always easy, but it’s something worth doing.

According to Wikipedia, there are 17 accredited medical schools in Canada. If that’s the case, how, then, do you even begin to narrow it down?

Anyway, you’re in luck, we’ve shortened the long and rigorous walk for you by engaging in an in-depth analysis of the 10 best medical schools in Canada.

READ ALSO: How to Get Paid to Study Nursing in Canada: 7 Nursing Scholarships in Canada for International Students. 

We chose these schools based on factors like quality of education, research output, acceptance rates, tuition fees, reputation, and graduate career prospects.

In the long run, you’ll have a comprehensive overview of each school and a clear picture of which aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Discover which aligns with your goals—seeking research intensity? A tight community? Strong clinical rotations? You will find your perfect match.

So let’s dive in and devour the list of the best medical schools in Canada.

How Did We Arrive at This List?

As we said earlier, choosing the right med school is a crucial decision. You’ll spend the next 4+ years of your life at this place.  It’ll shape the kind of doctor you’ll become.

No pressure, right? So, you should find the school that fits you best.

But, how do you even begin your search?  Here are the key criteria to help arrive at the best fit for you:

  • Quality of education – Does the university have a smaller class size an innovative curriculum, and a top-notch faculty? You’ll learn best somewhere you feel engaged and supported.
  • Research opportunities – Will the medical school provide opportunities for cutting-edge studies, research, and published papers? Some schools are better in this regard than others.
  • Hands-on training – Is the medical school practical-oriented? Does it provide opportunities to learn on real patients? Schools connected to major hospitals give prime clinical access.
  • Support services – You’ll need academic, financial, and mental health support to thrive in this demanding career. Your choice should include a medical school that considers the well-being of the trainee a priority.
  • Reputation and rankings – Prestigious schools open doors for residencies and jobs down the road.
  • Tuition fees – It’s an established fact that medical school ain’t cheap. Does the school provide alternative costs and financial aid options? State-funded schools tend to be more budget-friendly.
  • Location – Where is the school situated? Urban campuses offer more diversion, and rural ones greater community. Go somewhere that suits your personality.
  • Culture and vibe – Find your tribe. The overall environment and community matters.

The ball is in your court to decide what’s most important for reaching your goals. Time to dive into the meat of the post–the 10 best medical schools in Canada.

READ ALSO: How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse in 2023

10 Best Medical Schools in Canada for Aspiring Doctors

1. University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

As Canada’s number one medical school, the University of Toronto is a research powerhouse known for pioneering discoveries. With the country’s largest medical research budget, ample funding enables bold projects across every specialty in state-of-the-art labs. Publishing faculty share the latest findings, and an MD/PhD program nurtures scientific inquiry.

Eager to perform original studies?

You’ll thrive here. If not, no worries – research is optional. Focus instead on acing clinical rotations at U of T’s partner hospitals, which see over 1 million patients annually. This prime exposure readies you for residencies and beyond.

medical schools in Canada

This Toronto school also earns high marks for student satisfaction and mental health resources. However, expect big city hustle and high living costs. With ultra-low admission rates, applicants need stellar academics and well-rounded achievements. U of T sets the bar high, so bring your A-game!

2. McGill University Faculty of Medicine

At Montreal’s McGill University, expect a broad scope education along with opportunities to drill down on special interests. The curriculum incorporates case-based learning, clinical skills training, and research projects.

Known for producing well-rounded humanistic physicians, McGill focuses on hands-on patient experience. Hospital rotations start early in year 1. By graduation, you’ll have supported hundreds of patients under mentorship.

McGill also offers joint programs in public health, biomedical research, global health, and epidemiology. Customize your training through diverse electives and learning tracks. Participate in ongoing studies or design your own. Present at conferences and publish papers.

Campus life benefits from Montreal’s bilingual vibrant culture. Yet McGill still retains an intimate grad student vibe. Support services encourage work-life balance for student wellbeing.

Applicants need competitive GPAs, MCAT scores, and references. Francophone and Indigenous students may receive priority. Extra points for music, arts, languages, athletics, and leadership too.

3. University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine

UBC Medical School takes a clinical focus with active patient interactions from day 1. Distributed learning sites provide broader access to healthcare settings and communities across BC.

The case-based curriculum covers core concepts and then leaves room to tailor your path. Options include an MD/PhD, and joint degrees in public health, business, policy, law, and more.

Research at UBC Med runs the gamut from bench science to population health. Partner hospitals offer ample opportunities to participate. Make an impact through Indigenous health initiatives too. Outreach programs build relationships between future doctors and communities.

Vancouver’s laid-back lifestyle beckons beyond the books. Enjoy the great outdoors, arts, culture, food, and diversity of a world-class city. Check out clubs, recreational sports, and wellness activities on campus.

UBC receives 5x more applications than available seats. Expect stiff requirements: high GPAs, MCAT scores, research experience, and rounded application. Indigenous, rural, and military applicants may get a boost.

4. University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

The U of Alberta Medical School takes a community-focused approach. Distributed campus sites across the province emphasize rural, remote, and Indigenous healthcare.

Ongoing outreach programs connect students with diverse populations early on. Learn cultural sensitivity and teamwork through case studies and group projects.

The curriculum follows an integrated systems-based model with an emphasis on critical thinking. Simulation labs and clinical experiences reinforce learning in family medicine, psychiatry, surgery, internal medicine, and more.

Research strengths include cancer, diabetes, neuroscience, cardiovascular, and transplant medicine. Partner with faculty on studies at the forefront. Publish papers as lead author.

Edmonton’s vibrant arts scene balances studies. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the river valley trails just minutes from campus too.

To get in, expect to score very competitively on GPA, MCAT, CASPer test, references, and interviews. Rural, military, and Indigenous students may get a boost.

5. McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

McMaster takes an innovative small-group approach with problem-based learning modules. Work closely with classmates and faculty mentors to tackle real-world medical cases.

The 3-year condensed program provides early patient experiences through clinical placements. Primary care focus emphasizes communication, professionalism, diagnosis, and treatment planning.

Research in primary care, aging, chronic disease, and population health drives discoveries to impact communities. Scholarly projects are expected before graduation.

Located in Hamilton, Ontario, Mac med students enjoy proximity to Toronto’s big city attractions. On campus, find green spaces, rec facilities, and vibrant student life.

Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence, critical thinking, communication skills, and passion for medicine. Rural and Indigenous students may be favored. CASPer test required.

6. University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine

The U of Calgary med school focuses on competencies for tomorrow’s doctors. Learn in state-of-the-art simulation labs before treating real patients in 100+ partner clinical sites.

Distributed learning at rural regional campuses, hospitals, clinics, and cancer centers expands exposure. Customizable electives are available too.

Research spans oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular, chronic diseases, and community health. Partner with faculty on clinical trials, policy development, and knowledge translation.

Calgary’s sunny location at the foothills of the Rockies feeds those adventure cravings. Easy access to mountain escapes, festivals, and natural wonders. Vibrant student life on campus.

With a broad pool of applicants, you’ll need to stand out with high GPAs, MCAT performance, diverse achievements, strong references, and interview skills.

7. Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Western Med School provides early patient contact and small group learning for personalized education. The clinical focus prepares graduates to practice in underserved communities.

The 3-year condensed program fast-tracks students into clerkships across family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, surgery, pediatrics, and more.

Research strengths include neuroscience, cancer, imaging, epidemiology, and Indigenous health. Plentiful opportunities to get involved in faculty projects, including in the new medical innovation building.

Located in London, Ontario, Western students enjoy a full range of campus life with green spaces, arts, music, sports, and nearby big city attractions.

Applicants should demonstrate excellent GPAs, MCAT performance, communication skills, passion for medicine, and breadth of experience. CASPer test required.

8. Queen’s University School of Medicine

Queen’s Med fosters independent learning and critical thinking skills through clinical exposures, simulated practice, lectures, and small groups. The block schedule allows focus on one subject at a time.

The program emphasizes understanding not just what and how, but why – digging into the root causes of illness. Research focus areas include cancer, cardiovascular, inflammation, neuroscience, and mental health.

Queen’s draws students from across Canada who become part of the tight-knit Kingston community. Historic charm meets modern amenities for quality student living. Outdoor options abound with nearby lakes and provincial parks.

Academic excellence is expected, along with communication skills, resiliency, professionalism, and well-roundedness. CASPer test required. Rural and Indigenous applicants may be prioritized.

9. Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine

Dal Med takes a collaborative competency-based approach to prepare physicians as lifelong learners and leaders. The curriculum integrates clinical experiences, simulation, lectures, and small groups.

Core rotations and electives provide broad exposure to family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, and more. Distributed sites expand access to diverse communities and specialized settings.

READ ALSO: Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan as an International Student in Canada: Your Path to Medical and Financial Security.

Research strengths include neuroscience, heart health, cancer, population health, and medical education. Both independent and group opportunities to advance discoveries.

Halifax provides big-city amenities with small-town charm by the ocean. Outdoor access, arts and culture, restaurants, and student activities balance studies.

To get in, you’ll need outstanding GPAs, MCAT performance, references, and well-rounded achievements. Focus on rural, military, and Indigenous communities a plus.

This overview of the top 10 medical schools in Canada just skims the surface of all each has to offer. Take time to dig deeper into their websites, virtual tours, blogs, forums, etc. Attend info sessions and campus visits once allowed. Talk with current students. Determine the best fit for you based on the criteria important to your success and happiness as a future doctor. Wishing you clarity and confidence as you embark on this journey!



We’ve covered a lot of ground exploring the 10 best medical schools in Canada. We used criteria like quality of education, research, clinical training, culture, costs, and more to arrive at these choices.

What do you want to achieve with your admission into medical school? Reflect on your priorities. Then, reach out to current students for inside perspectives.

Deciding which medical school to attend is a big decision, but you’ve got this!

Trust your instincts.

Think about where you wish to find yourself over the next 10 years. The school that ticks all your boxes is the right one for you.

You’re going to make an amazing doctor someday. We’re rooting for you.

Have any questions, suggestions, or contributions? Our comment section is always open to you.

Catch you later.


10 Best Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International Student.

Finding the ideal place to live while studying abroad can feel strenuous, especially while looking for places to stay in Quebec City, Canada. Landing in Quebec City, and choosing housing is a major decision!

You may feel concerned about picking the right area that’s affordable, safe, and close to campus without being too known as a student area. It’s understandable to feel incapacitated when evaluating places to stay in Quebec City!

READ ALSO:  7 Unforgettable Winter Adventures for International Students in Canada

My friend Lucy from Nigeria felt stressed about finding affordable housing in Quebec City. She toured 20+ apartments before finding a comfortable place she loved in Limoilou. It required effort but was worth it!

Now, I want you to take a deep breath.

Choosing housing in a new city is stressful. But with planning, research, and local advice, you can find great places to stay in Quebec as an international student.

Quebec City offers wonderful housing options.

So, let’s explore the 10 best places to stay in Quebec City as an international student.

Factors to Consider while Searching for Places.

Let’s start this journey by discussing some key factors international students should consider when choosing places to stay in Quebec City. I know you’ve got a whole listicle of needs and wants as you look for the perfect place to call home during your studies. However, I want you to consider these factors:

  • First up, budget is probably top of mind. Quebec City offers very affordable rent prices compared to other big Canadian cities. But prices can still vary quite a bit between different neighborhoods. Ensure you crunch those numbers and get a sense of average rental rates in places you’re interested in. Landing within your budget is critical.


  • Proximity to campus is another biggie. Quebec City’s universities aren’t all concentrated in one place; they’re scattered throughout the metropolitan city. You’ll want to think about commute times from potential neighborhoods to your classes and campus activities. Living super close by can be a measure against those dark winter mornings.


  • Don’t forget about student life and entertainment! Having cool cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops nearby can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your time in Quebec City as a student. Areas like Saint-Roch and Old Quebec tend to be popular hangout spots.


  • Safety and security should also be on your radar. Quebec City has low crime rates overall. But some areas have more issues than others. If walking alone at night is a concern, look at the stats and local chatter about safety.

READ ALSO:  13 Prestigious Scholarships in Canada for International Science Students

  • And let’s not overlook the cultural piece. Part of the magic of studying abroad is experiencing daily life in a new place. Think about which neighborhoods will help you dive into Quebec’s distinct French-inspired culture.

Quebec City Overview

Before we get into specific areas, let’s set the stage with a quick study of Quebec City. Perched along the mighty St. Lawrence River, Quebec City exudes old-world European charm. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, street musicians – it’s like you’ve been transported across the Atlantic!

But don’t let the historic stone buildings fool you – Quebec City also has a distinctly modern, youthful vibe. Over 100,000 university students call this city home. You’ve got Laval University, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), and more. The city comes alive with students during the school year.

Between the walkable neighborhoods, thriving food scene, and plenty of green space, Quebec City offers a phenomenal quality of life. You’ll never run out of new cafes to try, summer festivals to explore, or winter sports to sample.

How to Research for the Best Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International.

Now, let’s talk logistics. Finding housing in a new city often feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. But smart prep work can make your search way more targeted and efficient.

  • Start Online: Start by browsing online rental listing sites and university housing databases. This gives you a bird’s eye view of options and pricing across different neighborhoods. Make notes on places that catch your eye.


  • Connect with Student Office: Also, connect with your university’s international student office. They often have great insider knowledge and can point you to trusted rental companies or current students subletting their apartments. Lean on their expertise!


  • Check out Discussion Forums: Don’t just look at listings online, though. Also, check out discussion forums to see where current students recommend. And if possible, join some local Facebook groups – both official university pages and informal chat groups. This can provide awesome insider intel.


  • Visit in Person (If possible): If you’re able, visiting Quebec City in person before your studies start would be ideal. Or at least hop on Google Street View to virtually “walk” around potential areas. Nothing beats getting a real vibe check before committing.

Places You Can Stay Quebec as an International Student

The Top 10 Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International Student.

Now for the good stuff – let’s explore the 10 best neighborhoods and areas for international students to stay in Quebec City! Each offers something unique, so think about what matters most to you.

  1. Old Quebec

First up – the historic heart of the city! Old Quebec, with its cobblestone streets and 17th-century buildings, is the quintessential Quebec City experience. Staying here immerses you in centuries of French-Canadian history and culture.

Old Quebec puts you steps away from attractions like the Fairmont Château Frontenac and the bustling Petit Champlain district. But prices here skew higher and nights can get noisy with tourists and revelers.

If history and pedestrian exploring is your jam, though, Old Quebec’s vibrancy and charm may win you over. Just be ready for the trade-offs.

  1. Saint-Roch

For a hipper, more eclectic vibe, head to Saint-Roch. This used to be an industrial area that’s morphed into a trendy creative hub with indie boutiques, microbreweries, and an arts scene.

Saint-Roch has lots of rental options from posh condos to cozy walk-ups above shops. Proximity to bars and nightlife is a benefit or drawback depending on your preference. But convenience to parks, cafes, and universities gives Saint-Roch wide appeal.

  1. Limoilou

Just northwest of the city center, Limoilou offers a laidback residential feel at very affordable prices. Think classic Quebec triplexes and duplexes with backyards or balconies.

Limoilou may not have as many amenities right inside its borders. But you can easily bus, bike, or drive to campuses and fun spots like Saint-Roch. Access to green space and local parks is a major perk for active types.

If you prioritize budget, space, and a community vibe, Limoilou could be a perfect fit. You’ll live like a local!

  1. Sainte-Foy

For more of a suburban feel, check out Sainte-Foy southwest of Old Quebec. This area has lots of apartment complexes, condos, and houses to choose from.

Being so close to Laval University makes Sainte-Foy popular with students. But it maintains more of a family-friendly vibe versus a party atmosphere. The sheer range of rental options here gives you flexibility.

Nature lovers will also appreciate Sainte-Foy’s proximity to bike trails and green spaces along the Saint Lawrence River. Just be ready for a bus or car ride to reach downtown.

  1. Sillery

Picturesque Sillery offers a peaceful escape across the Saint Lawrence River. Tree-lined streets with elegant homes give Sillery an upscale aura.

Foreign dignitaries and businesspeople often choose Sillery for its tranquility. The area may be pricier but provides easy access to trails, marinas, and the riverside. Catching the ferry downtown takes just minutes.

While farther from key universities, Sillery appeals to those who prioritize scenery and serenity over bustling student life. Think more families, young professionals, and professors.

  1. Montcalm

Straddling Old Quebec and Saint-Roch, Montcalm combines a residential feel with commercial thoroughfares. Grab groceries at the Marché du Vieux-Port farmer’s market or check out the Terrasse Dufferin performance space.

Being so central, Montcalm lets you easily enjoy both touristy Old Quebec and hip Saint-Roch. Walkability here is a huge benefit for exploring without a car.

Housing options run the gamut from high-end condos to affordable apartments above shops and cafes. With Laval University close by, Montcalm draws plenty of students mingling with young professionals and families.

  1. Saint-Sauveur

For an artsy, offbeat vibe, Saint-Sauveur is a go-to. Murals splashed across industrial buildings add bursts of color alongside funky galleries and studios.

If you want character at a bargain, Saint-Sauveur delivers. You’ll find lots of budget-friendly apartments, though amenities are fewer than in pricier hoods. Walkability and transit access help make up for it.

The eclectic community of students, artists, and immigrant families makes Saint-Sauveur diverse and dynamic. Don’t expect peaceful suburbia – but do expect an authentic cultural experience!

  1. Lévis

Located across the river, Lévis almost feels like a separate town although easily accessible from Quebec City. Living in Lévis gives you more bang for your buck along with scenic riverside trails and parks.

Some may find the commute inconvenient. But the ferry and bridges make crossing the river entirely doable, especially if you have a car or bike. Lévis also puts you close to Université du Québec à Rimouski’s Lévis campus.

Being outside the city center, Lévis moves at a slower, sleepier pace. The ambiance won’t be for everyone. But the natural beauty and savings may win you over.

  1. Charlesbourg

North of Old Quebec, Charlesbourg appeals most to students with families or who want ample living space. Single-family homes with yards dominate the landscape across this sprawling residential area.

Local schools, churches, libraries, and parks cater to families and create a suburban community vibe. You’ll need to bus, drive, or bike into the city center – but you’ll be rewarded with affordability and elbow room.

If you crave outdoor space and proximity to other young families, Charlesbourg could be your perfect fit.

10. Beauport

Last but not least – the coastal borough of Beauport beckons nature lovers with its trails, beaches, and waterfront access. Majestic Montmorency Falls also lies within its borders.

READ ALSO: How to Utilize Your Study Experience in Canada as an International Student

Like Charlesbourg, Beauport leans more residential and family-focused. Homes and low-rise apartment complexes are easier to find than high-rise condo towers.

The distance from key universities and downtown creates a trade-off. But if you prioritize living near nature and have a car, Beauport may feel like an oasis.


Picking the place you’ll call home during your studies abroad is a huge freaking decision. I get it – you want the perfect area in Quebec City that ticks all your boxes without any sacrifices. And the research process definitely takes time and mental bandwidth when you’ve already got a million other things on your plate.

Let me tell you straight up: You’ve got what it takes to nail down the ideal spot for YOU in Quebec City. Don’t doubt your ability to handle this – you’re smarter and more resourceful than you know!

This city offers so many vibrant, welcoming, affordable neighborhoods to dive into. Now that you’ve got insider tips on factors to consider plus the top areas suited for students, you’re equipped to identify options that align with your priorities. Trust your instincts once you start visiting places in person!

At the end of the day, wherever you land will end up feeling like home because YOU will fill it with joy, growth, and memories. Years from now, you’ll look back on your time in Quebec City with nostalgia and pride at how courageously you took this leap. So, soak it up, embrace the journey, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!


Choosing the Right Health Insurance plan as an International Student in Canada: Your Path to Medical and Financial Security.

As an international student preparing to study in Canada, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right health insurance plan.

With Canada’s high-quality but expensive healthcare system, having adequate medical coverage gives you peace of mind knowing you’re protected in case of illness or injury.

Without proper insurance, a single medical emergency can leave you with crippling debt and jeopardize your education.

READ ALSO: How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada After Studies Guide for International Students.

Unfortunately, navigating Canada’s complex healthcare landscape can be very confusing for newcomers.

But here is the good news. With research and expert guidance, you can secure comprehensive and affordable health insurance tailored to your unique needs. This article will provide critical considerations, types of plans, coverage options, costs, and expert tips to guide you in choosing the right insurance plan.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan as an International Student in Canada

Understand Your Specific Needs

In choosing the right health insurance as an international student in Canada, the first step is gaining clarity on your own healthcare needs and priorities. Different students will require different coverage based on factors like:

  • Pre-existing conditions: Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that require ongoing treatment and medication? This will impact the type of plan you choose.
  • Budget: What is your budget for health insurance premiums? Lower premiums mean higher deductibles and copays.
  • Duration: Are you studying for a single semester or a multi-year program? You’ll need continuous coverage for the entire duration.
  • Dependents: Will you have any dependents joining you in Canada? You’ll need family plans with dependent coverage.
  • Type of care: Are you primarily looking for emergency/hospital coverage or routine care like doctor visits, prescriptions, dental, and vision?

Take the time to thoroughly assess your unique risk profile and create a checklist of the coverage you’ll need. This will guide your research into plans.

Research Canada’s Healthcare System

In choosing the right student health insurance, you need to understand Canada’s healthcare landscape and how it impacts you as an international student. Here are key facts:

  • Canada has a universal public healthcare system that covers hospital and medical services for citizens either free or at a low cost.
  • As an international student, you’re not eligible for public healthcare coverage except in emergencies. You need private insurance.
  • Prescription medications, dental care, eye care, and many healthcare services are not covered by the public system.
  • Healthcare is regulated provincially. Coverage, costs, and provider networks will vary across provinces.

Having a baseline understanding of Canada’s healthcare system will help identify the gaps you need your private insurance plan to fill. It also highlights why purchasing comprehensive coverage is so essential.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

Now that you know your needs and how Canada’s healthcare system works, it’s time to look at the types of health insurance plans available. The three main options are:

University/College Sponsored Plans: Many institutions automatically enroll international students in their own group insurance plans through preferred provider networks. These plans are convenient but limiting.

Provincial Health Insurance Plans: Some provinces like Ontario and British Columbia allow international students to purchase basic provincial health insurance after a waiting period, topped up with private coverage.

Private Health Insurance: Purchasing comprehensive private health insurance, either group or individual plans, offers the maximum flexibility and control over your coverage.

READ ALSO: 7 Key Benefits of International Student Health Insurance in Canada

When weighing these options, be sure to compare coverages and costs side-by-side. Group plans offered through schools are convenient but individual private plans often provide better benefits for less.

Compare Different Coverage Options

Once you’ve settled on private health insurance, take time to understand the key coverage options and customize them to your needs:

Emergency Medical: Covers emergency medical treatment, ambulances, hospital stays, and more. Usually $1-5 million lifetime coverage.

Prescription Drugs: Covers a percentage of prescription drug costs up to an annual maximum. 50% to 80% is common.

Doctor Visits: Annual maximums apply for visits to general practitioners, specialists, etc. $300 – $800 is typical.

Diagnostic Services: X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI scans, and more. Confirm coverage levels for tests you may need.

Dental: Choose plans with higher annual dental coverage maximums if you anticipate significant dental work.

Vision: Eye exams and glasses/contacts are rarely covered. Add vision coverage if needed.

Travel: Out-of-country emergency and trip cancellation/interruption coverage for traveling.

Review policy details closely to understand coverage limits, deductibles, co-pays, exclusions, and prior authorization requirements. This ensures there are no surprises down the road!

Choose In-Network Healthcare Providers

One way private health insurers control costs is through negotiated preferred provider networks. Seeing out-of-network providers means paying much higher out-of-pocket costs.

When comparing plans, look for larger nationwide networks with extensive provider choices. Narrow networks can limit your access to quality care. Here are tips for accessing in-network care:

  • Use the insurer’s online directory to search for in-network doctors accepting new patients near you.
  • Ask your doctor’s office in advance if they accept your specific insurance plan.
  • Look for walk-in clinics affiliated with your coverage for convenient care options.
  • For planned hospital stays, choose an in-network facility and confirm all medical staff also participate.

Sticking within your insurance network saves you money and headaches. Just be sure your network has sufficient provider choice and geographic coverage for your location.

Understand Premiums and Plan Costs

Beyond picking the right coverage, the cost of your chosen insurance plan is a major factor. Key costs include:

Premiums: The upfront monthly or annual cost of your coverage based on the benefits selected. Premiums can range widely from $500 to $2000+ per year.

Deductibles: The amount you pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in, usually $100 to $300 per coverage year.

Copays: The flat fee you pay per medical service, for example, $20 per doctor visit or prescription.

Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for services after meeting your deductible, for example, 20%.

Expect higher premiums for plans with lower/no deductibles and copays. Weigh premium costs against your expected healthcare needs. Budget for some out-of-pocket costs depending on the plan.

Read the Policy Documents Thoroughly

This one is critical – always read insurance policies thoroughly before purchasing coverage. Policy documents outline exactly what is and isn’t included in plain language. Here are some tips:

  • Set aside quality time to read and understand the policy.
  • Watch for exclusions like pre-existing conditions and high-risk activities.
  • Ensure your anticipated healthcare needs are covered.
  • Clarify any sections you find confusing with the insurer.
  • Keep the policy documents handy as a reference.

READ ALSO:  Work Opportunities in Canada – How International Students Can Land High-Paying Jobs

Purchasing insurance blindly without reading the policy leads to nasty surprises. The approach makes clear precisely what your premium dollars are buying. So read it!

Check for Value-Added Wellness Benefits

Beyond core medical coverage, some health insurance providers include value-added wellness benefits like:

24/7 Telehealth: On-demand phone/video access to nurses and doctors for guidance on care.

Virtual Coaching: Wellness programs for nutrition, fitness, weight loss, smoking cessation, and more.

Discounts: Savings on vision, pharmacy, dental, massage, and other services from partner providers.

Travel Assistance: Help arrange care and navigate emergencies when traveling.

Mental Health: A growing number of plans now offer mental health coverage given its importance.

While not must-haves, these additional wellness benefits provide useful care options and savings. They enhance the value derived from your plan.

Compare Quotes from Multiple Providers

To get the best deal on international student health insurance, it pays to compare quotes from at least 3-4 leading providers. This allows you to benchmark costs and coverage.

  • Reach out directly to top insurance providers for quotes.
  • Use online comparison tools like to quickly compare plans.
  • Consider purchasing as part of a group plan through a student association for discounted rates.
  • Work with an insurance broker to have them source and compare plans.
  • Always inquire about discounts – for groups, couples, long-term customers and more.

The time invested in comparing plans from multiple sources nearly always results in significant savings. Don’t just default to your university’s insurance plan.

Consult Your Educational Institution

Connecting with international student advisors at your university or college provides insider guidance. Here are key ways they can assist:

  • Outline all health insurance options available to international students.
  • Explain the pros and cons of school-sponsored plans.
  • Share tips for obtaining quality private coverage.
  • Inform you about healthcare resources on campus.
  • Help argue your case with insurance providers in case of claim disputes.
  • Offer advice to students who are struggling to afford health insurance fees.

Your institution wants you to access affordable quality care. So leverage their experience and networks.

Conclusion – Choosing the Right Student Health Insurance

The time invested upfront in finding the right international student health insurance plan saves you money, provides peace of mind, and allows you to focus fully on your studies in Canada.

We hope these insights help you make the ideal plan choice. Best of luck with your studies abroad! Please share any questions in the comments.

Don’t leave home without insurance!


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