Many people search for a suitable university or college to attend after graduating from high school. Eager young adults look forward to their post-secondary life. Parents worry about the cost of a certification. Being close to home, and having lower tuition rates, are primary concerns for costs of college or university programs. Then there is the distinction between specialty institutions and more general schools. Ultimately, large universities tend to offer a more impersonal experience which may not fit with some student personalities.
A lot of people have found that a two year college offers better transition experience to many young students. The concept is well established in Canada with community colleges. These institutions are far more comfortable for recently graduated students. Costs are lower than with formal universities, substantially lower than tuition found in US schools. As well, the programs offered run the gamut from specialized career training to general studies. Students can use these Canadian institutions as prep schools for their eventual university education, or as excellent skills gaining experiences.
Canadian community colleges are much like other institutions in that they are equipped with excellent facilities. They are well-connected to the Internet and fully support most all forms of technology. These smaller schools are also more flexible, generally, than larger universities in the application of technology to the academic life. As well, they are generally very concerned with costs, both for the school and the students. As such, the overall cost for a program tends to be quite affordable.
Institutional Programs of Study
These community colleges tend to structure their programs as building blocks. Depending on the school, students have certification options. In business administration, for example, some schools offer a single year of study which results in a junior certificate of completion. This credential is sometimes enough proof of post-secondary attendance for some career paths. As an upgrade, the same institution will offer a two year diploma to those who continue after they receive their first year's completion certificate. Later, the diploma can be augmented with a degree if the field of study is pursued for another two years. The entire program is structured in stages. This allows students to obtain mid-level credentials, while encouraging more advanced progress for those who wish to continue their studies.
Class sizes are generally smaller in the Canadian community colleges. While some are taught in standard lecture hall settings, many are in classrooms with fewer attendees. Depending on the study program, students can be instructed according to their program of study. This tends to keep business students together. As a result, they tend to get to know each other more than those students in larger universities.
Canadian College and University Budget
Canadian communities colleges are much more budget friendly than most American, (or Canadian), universities. This reduces the overall financial burden that students, and their families, face with post-secondary funding. As well, the class schedules are usually very flexible and they may even offer online classes. This allows more time for students to explore employment opportunities.
American students are now able to again benefit from the strength of the US dollar when they choose a Canadian school. After a fairly long period of near-parity, the Canadian dollar has become worth less compared to the US dollar. This translates into additional purchasing power for Americans. Coupled with lower tuition rates generally, the cost of a study program at a Canadian community college can be very attractive.
Foreign Student Tuition
As an American student at a Canadian school, the tuition rates are higher than that paid by local residents. This is due to the lack of government funding for foreign students. Many Canadian schools regard Americans as a source of much-needed revenue. They offer many forms of assistance such as immigration help, transition assistance, and social networking.
Location of Institutions
Many Canadian cities are located very near to the US border. This can help to make attendance at a Canadian school easier to accomplish. For example, those students who live near Seattle, Washington, are only a few hours away from many schools in Victoria and the Vancouver, BC area. Similarly, residents of the Detroit area are close to schools in Ontario, as are those who live in upstate New York.
If the possibility of a Canadian education appeals to an American student, it is best to approach the school and explore the available documentation. Many schools in Canada have a lot of experience admitting foreign students. They may even have departmental staff who administer the process. They publish guides that help to explain the entire process. Of course the immigration procedures will have to be thoroughly examined.
Immigration for American Students
For those students wishing to pursue a Canadian educational program, the first requirement will be to obtain a valid American passport. This may take some time so begin the process well in advance. Canadian immigration rules must be followed so a review of immigration law is necessary. Most importantly, the student must not have been convicted of a criminal offense which may bar them from entry into Canada.
Studying at a Canadian school is a special admission category for immigration. It is often only allowed in conjunction with acceptance at a recognized institution. Again, the particular school will likely have a lot of helpful information.
Healthcare for American Students
Students should be aware that Canadian healthcare is a provincial concern and is usually based on legal residence in a province. As a student lawfully accepted for study at a Canadian institution, health insurance coverage is usually extended to the student. There may be a waiting period. Rates, eligibility, and benefits vary, depending on the particular province. Often the school will have information to extend to the student in this regard as well.
Community college located in the Vancouver area
St. Clair College
Windsor, Ontario area
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