Overview of Canada

Canada offers international students an academic experience that is very hard to beat. Academic excellence, affordability, work opportunities during and post-study, pathway to permanent residence, and a safe living environment are just some of the reasons why Canada is ranked amongst the top ten destinations for students looking to study abroad.

Physical Location

Drawing of Canadian Mountains

Covering an area of 9,984,670 km2, Canada is the world’s second largest country by area, and almost the same size as all of Europe combined. It is located in the northern part of North America, where it shares its southern border with the United States, while its northern peak goes all the way up to the Arctic Circle.

Pro Tip: Travelling to Canada? Check the distances between your chosen airport and your destination. Neighbouring towns could be kilometers away given Canada’s vast land mass.

Provinces and Territories 

Canadians reside in one of the 10 provinces and 3 territories within the country, with over 35% living in Ontario, followed by Quebec (23%), British Columbia (13%) and Alberta (12%). Canada’s capital city is Ottawa, Ontario. Its three largest and most globally recognized metropolitan cities are Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), and Vancouver (British Columbia), all of which are ranked in the top 25 list of QS World University’s Best Student Cities.

Map of Canada

Climate and Weather

Given Canada’s massive size and physical geography, temperatures can vary greatly across the country. Canadian winters can be harsh in many regions, with temperatures ranging between -15°C/5°F and -30°C/-22°F in the interior and Prairie provinces. Coastal regions, such as around British Columbia have much milder winters. Summers, on the other hand, are hot with temperatures ranging between 20°C/70°F to 30°C/86°F, and occasionally exceeding 40°C/104°F. 

Pro Tip: Travelling to Canada? Plan for the weather! Contrary to popular misconception,
Canada does not always have snow and extreme cold. It gets quite hot in the summers
with temperatures going up to 40°C/104°F in some parts of the country.

People, Culture, and Languages

Canada is globally known for its multiculturalism, making it a desirable location for international students travelling away from their family and their home.

Canadians are proud of their rich history and diverse blend of people and cultures. There are
laws in place to protect all people, regardless of circumstances, from discrimination. Immigrants from across the world make up one fifth of Canada’s population of over 37 million. Canada’s official languages are English and French, though most people speak English. Nearly 200 other languages are also spoken by the diverse Canadian population. The languages spoken most frequently after English and French are Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Ukrainian, Arabic, German, and Tagalog.