Over 4 million students annually enroll in university level programs in countries outside of their home country, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (or OECD). While that's a small slice of overall university students, it is a growing trend, especially for students in Asia, India, Africa, and South America. But one country, especially, has started to draw more and more international students to its door for post-graduate studies: Canada.

Why is Canada so popular for graduate students? Well, there are a lot of reasons that range from a safe and stable economy to welcoming policies for international students. In this article, we'll talk about some of the biggest reasons why more and more students are choosing to get their MS in Canada.

Affordable Tuition

It's no secret that tuition costs in many parts of the world are sky high. It's not uncommon for many top universities to charge tens of thousands of dollars, euros, and pounds per semester. Getting an MS in Canada, however, still gives students the opportunity to attend a top-tier school without having to take on a heavy load of student loan debt. Tuition at many Canadian universities is reasonable and manageable.

Cultural Diversity

Because Canada has an open immigration policy, there is a strong blend of cultures that adds to the overall appeal of getting an MS in Canada. From large metropolitan areas like Vancouver and Toronto, to smaller towns and cities throughout the country, there is a strong cultural diversity that runs through Canada, creating a more tolerant and inviting atmosphere for international students.

Wide Range of Studies

One of the more important factors to weigh when looking at schools abroad is the availability of programs that focus on your area of study. There are over 100 colleges and universities in Canada that have MS programs focusing on areas of study that range from engineering to medicine to science.

High Quality of Life

Many students overlook the importance that quality of life plays in having a positive university experience. If you're living in a city that has a high cost of living, and you're going to need to work a part-time job to make ends meet, you could be setting yourself up for tough times ahead. Quality of life also includes factors like having a strong community around you, whether that's in the form of religious organisations nearby or cultural organisations to connect with. It can also include things as simple as grocery stores that carry your favorite foods. All of these things contribute to your overall well-being and happiness. Because Canada is so multicultural, there are more opportunities for international students to fit in and find their niche.

More Easily Obtainable Work Permits

If you obtain your MS in Canada, the process of getting a work permit in Canada is much easier than applying and being approved for a work permit in other Western countries. Work permits in Canada allow international students to work for up to 3 years after completing a study program. And it's also a stepping stone to getting permanent residence through Canada's CEC (Canadian Experience Class) program if you plan to stay after graduating and begin a new career abroad.

Canada offers many benefits for international students, which is why it's increasingly becoming a first choice for undergrad students looking to take their next step. To see what types of schools and programs are available to you, check out our full list of programs to get your MS in Canada.