Updated: Jan 16, 2022
When you have decided to study in Canada, you need to decide where in Canada to study. For this you need to make a study of Canada itself!
Certainly, finding the right program is central. This is a core aspect to our counselling at CUAC. For any program, you may have many choices across Canada. After all, it’s a country that takes 6 hours to fly from its Atlantic coast to its Pacific coast.
One factor will commonly be tuition price. International student fees are not regulated (as they are for Canadians) and so the tuition amounts can vary significantly.
But apart from the tuition fees, the location can have a big impact on lifestyle, living costs, and overall personal satisfaction. These are the issues we at CUAC spend a great deal of effort in our counselling of students.
It is often extremely surprising to international students to learn that the quality of services even in small centres is comparable to what one will find in Canada’s biggest cities. This is because of Canada’s strong commitment to consistently high quality of health, education, industry, and housing.
In today’s “Studying about Canada” blog, we feature the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia, part of Canada’s Atlantic Ocean region.
In a recent study by Maclean’s magazine, Halifax, the Nova Scotia capital and the largest city of Canada’s 4 easternmost provinces, was ranked #1 as the best community to live in anywhere in Canada.
"Halifax took the No. 1 spot, thanks to its affordable housing prices that come with all the benefits of city living: excellent health care, top-notch internet access and a wide variety of bars and restaurants." https://www.macleans.ca/economy/realestateeconomy/best-communities-in-canada-why-atlantic-canada-comes-out-on-top/?fbclid=IwAR0YXu3x-7ExlIqNNcn-EhtAx0FwTF6DsbFLay_uPRATobEZAhZ16fcH09A Halifax with top-notch educational institutions like Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), means students can live within walking distance of their classes, and also near the charms of the exciting oceanfront entertainment. This is a major benefit for students that is more difficult to achieve in larger cities. Instead of taking a long time to travel back and forth, students can even go home between classes and eat lunch, study, or have a rest.
Halifax is also a thriving economic centre. According to The Halifax Partnership, an economic development organization,
[Halifax offers] "a highly educated workforce, strategic location, low business costs and an innovation advantage. .... It has "world-renowned research centres, a growing start-up community, . . . fuel a diversified information technology, gaming, and digital media sector, with niche strengths in Aerospace, Financial services, Healthcare IT, and Video game production."
For local educational institutions, these industries offer fantastic connections for students. For example at SMU's M. Sc. in Computing and Data Analytics, these connections are a central part of the student experience. Being in a dynamic city enable students to build a "professional network through interaction with industry instructors, paid internships, sponsored projects, industry workshops, expert guest speakers, hackathons, and special events”.
Indeed, Nova Scotia’s employment offerings are impressive even in rural areas.
"Some of the country’s brightest minds are leaving big-city labs in Toronto and Silicon Valley and travelling to eastern Nova Scotia to scale up cutting-edge biotechnology."
Finally, adding to all these attractions, Halifax and the region offer a tremendous quality of life in terms of how much fun and how healthy it is to live there. Perched right on the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax, o ne of Canada’s few most historic cities, is also blessed to be near some two dozen fresh water lakes.
The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, raved about the delights in and around Halifax:
"In Halifax, summer begins and ends with water. Patio drinks on either side of Halifax Harbour as the water sparkles obligingly? Check. If a lobster roll should happen to appear in your hand, well, all the better. Stroll the downtown boardwalk or … . [Hop on the oldest continuously operating saltwater ferry for a 15-minute ride to the Dartmouth side of town? … [or] walk across the Angus L. Macdonald suspension bridge, connecting Halifax to Dartmouth, offers the most panoramic water vista of all."
The article goes on to survey the incredible number of fantastic restaurants and eating places that the area is so well-known for. Yes, it is quite surprising to see a smaller centre offer up quality eating that can rate with the biggest of cities in or outside Canada.
In fact, with the pandemic generating huge interest amongst Canadians thinking of moving to Nova Scotia, the province now has a website dedicated to educating the Canadian public on the charms and attractions of life in the province. Check out the link for yourself to learn more.
So before making your decision as to where to study in Canada, make sure you do a thorough survey of the options. After all, having fun and feeling good is central to having the best possible experience, and as central to being the best possible student that you can be.
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