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Finding your university: US versus Canada

Canada

United States

Applications and admissions Applications and admissions

Students choose the subject or topic they would like to study and then find a university that offers that course.

Students find a university they would like to attend.

Students apply to the university directly.

Students apply directly to the university or through the Common App.

Canadian universities focus on grades as the main requirement in applications. However, international students are required to write an essay and a personal statement to explain why they are the perfect candidate for their chosen programme.

US universities require essays, recommendations and evidence of extracurricular activities.

Most of the top Canadian universities require SAT or ACT scores, including Acadia University, Carleton University, Dalhousie University and St Mary’s University. If English is not your first language, you must also provide proficiency through a test like the IELTS.

Most US universities require SAT or ACT scores. If English is not your first language, you must also provide proficiency through a test like the IELTS or TOEFL.

Once you accept a university offer, you begin your study permit application.

Once you accept a university offer, you begin your visa application.

visas visas International students require a study permit to attend university in Canada. To qualify, they must be fully vaccinated, enrolled at a designated learning institution and able to demonstrate they have the financial resources to cover tuition fees, living expenses and return travel home. International students require a visa to study in the US. There are a few options, but most students will need an F1 visa. To qualify, students must provide identification documentation, prove that they are enrolled as a student at a recognized university and demonstrate proof of funds. education system education system

Canada has private and public universities.

The US has private and public universities.

Most universities are public, governed by the provinces. Private universities are less common.

Public universities are funded by the state governments. Private universities receive financial support from alumni, donations, foundations and research grants. Some private universities are affiliated with churches or religious groups.

Canada has 94 universities and 4,000 colleges offering associate, undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programs. The US has about 5,300 universities and colleges offering associate, undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programs.

The academic year consists of two terms; it varies depending on province, but most begin in September and end around May. Quebec uses a trimester system with three 15-week terms.

The academic year consists of two terms lasting between 16 and 18 weeks. Some universities use a trimester or quarter academic schedule.

Because students choose their major from the first year of their undergraduate degree, classes are more focused.

Students can choose from a wide range of subjects and classes in the first couple of years.

Students can change majors, but it often requires resits and may change your graduation year.

Students can take the first year or two of their degree to choose their major and can declare it in second or third year.

Most universities offer three-year bachelor’s degrees. Students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies may require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Most universities offer four to five-year bachelor’s degrees and three-plus year postgraduate degrees.

grading grading

Each province in Canada has its own grading system. Some use a simpler version of GPA (grade point average), others use letter grades, and some use a number system ranging from zero to 10.

Most universities employ GPA (grade point average), which uses a four-point scale between zero and four.

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