According to a Financial Post article, more international students are applying to Canadian business schools than ever before. For example, the University of Victoria’s business program received only 61 international applications in 2008; in 2009 it received 125.
Students from India, China, and now, due to increased political instability, the Middle East, are considering Canadian MBA and EMBA programs for the first time for a number of reasons. Among these reasons is the recent increase in world recognition of the quality of top business schools in Canada. There are currently at least six Canadian business schools on the Financial Times‘ rankings of the best business schools in the world.
Canada’s flexible visa rules and vast diversity are also making the country a popular spot for international business students. As the U.S. and U.K. become increasingly strict about their visa policies, Canada, another English-speaking country, becomes more attractive. Whereas the U.K. is planning on removing its two-year post-graduate work permit policy, certain parts of Canada are planning on extending theirs; in 2008 Ottawa extended its post-graduate work permit to three years. Also, in Canada a student’s spouse is allowed to work.
Being able to work in a country that offers relatively high salaries is another huge advantage for international students who have loans and debts to consider. It’s harder to see a return on investment if an Indian student, for example, needs to return to India immediately after completing his or her studies.
Living expenses are also considerably lower in Canada than they are in major U.S. cities or in the U.K.
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