Some great reasons why Canadians should study south of the border


EducationUSA’s purpose is to help students reach their educational and professional goals. This journey is unique for every student, and we can help you to narrow your focus and put forward your best university applications. We are not here to tell you why you should study in the United States, but to support your goals and let you know your options.

Ultimately, your reasons for studying in the United States have to line up with your personal and professional goals. The good news is that many institutions in the United States can meet your needs. Here are just a few reasons why Canadian students choose to study abroad just over the border:

  1. The United States and Canada are neighbours. We share the world’s longest border at 8,891 km long where $1.6 billion in goods and 300,000 people pass each day. Studying in the United States will give you a better understanding of Canada’s closest trading partner and ally – information and experiences that will help you succeed in any future career.
  2. Network building. A global education means a global network. As you embark on your career of choice, your over-the-border connections will become invaluable global resources.
  3. Athletic scholarships and opportunities. The majority of the international student-athletes in the NCAA (the largest college athletics governing body) are from Canada. Canadians are drawn to the high level of competition and the scholarship money available for top talent. The NCAA grants more than $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships annually to almost 1,100 member universities in 42 sports. Scholarships are also available in the smaller NAIA and NJCAA divisions.
  4. Canadian citizens do not need visas. To study in the United States, a Canadian student receives an I-20 or DS-2019 from the university that she or she has committed to attending. You will need to pay SEVIS (student tracking system) fees. Your I-20 form will be stamped when you cross the border en route to your university. You will not need to apply for a student visa, nor will you need to make an appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate.
  5. Financial aid and scholarships. International students are eligible for many grants, scholarships, and fellowships sponsored by universities, corporations, non-profits, and the Canadian government. About 20% of international undergraduates and 45% of international graduate students are primarily funded by some form of grant.
  6. Internship possibilities. The United States is home to many of the world’s most innovative corporations and organizations. No matter what your intended major may be, you can find a university working closely with specialists in your field.
  7. Diversity of options. There are more than 4,500 accredited higher education institutions in the United States spread across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. From arctic to tropical, big city to rural town, big research university to small liberal arts college, there is something to fit your needs! Canadians are also drawn to some of the unique small college offerings such as institutions that focus on religion, sustainability, or performing arts.
  8. Reputation. US universities are considered among the best in the world. A degree from a US institution will add value and depth to your résumé as you continue in academia and approach the workforce.
  9. Resources and opportunities. US institutions attract some of the world’s best and brightest minds. Attending a US university could mean working with a Nobel Prize winner, a celebrated author, or a world leader in science. Many US universities are equipped with laboratory spaces and resources that allow for significant research opportunities.
  10. Campus Life. “College life,” as it is called in the United States, is unique and varied depending on the size of the campus and the city. One thing is for certain, you will find a niche! Universities offer hundreds of clubs, recreational sports, fraternities and sororities (aka Greek Life), internships, philanthropy, and opportunities to show school pride. The relaxed nature of many campuses means your professors may ask you to call them by their first name or you might throw a Frisbee with friends on the Quad between classes.

Contributed by:

Jenika Heim, EducationUSA Advisor

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