Canada vs USA

Leading the world and being a pioneer for best-quality higher education is something that Canada and the USA have always been known for. What makes both of these countries a popular choice of every student is the perfect amalgamation of culture and high-end technology inculcated within both the Canadian and USA education systems. Now that we know the educational calibre of both these countries, students from all over the world prefer to pursue their higher studies here, that’s where the debate between Canada vs USA arises. If you are one such aspirant who is confused between these two world pioneers of higher education this blog is just for you. Read on to know more about the comparison between Canada vs USA which will help you make a balanced decision. But first, let’s take a look at the overall statistics for international students who choose either of the two study destinations.

Category USA Canada
Population 321 Million 35 Million
% of Immigrants  13% 20.6%
Total Number of University Students 21 Million 2 Million
Top Fields of Study Engineering, MBA, IT, Sports Management, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biotechnology, Physiotherapy, Hospitality, etc Business Management, Media, Engineering, Nursing, Computer Science and Hospitality.
Work Permit & Visa Types F-1 Student Visa, J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Study Permit, Work Permit
Average Graduate Entry Level Salary (USD/yr) 60,000 to 90,000 (INR 45.17 lakhs – INR 67.76 lakhs) 50,000 to 90,000 (INR 37.6 lakhs – INR 67.76 lakhs)

Why Choose Canada or US for Studying Abroad?

Learn why both of these nations are the top choice for studying for millions of students before we consider whether Canada is better than the US for foreign students.

  • Students of all ages have considered the US to be the best study abroad option, particularly for MS in US and other master’s programmes. It has developed a reputation as a technological and scientific leader on a worldwide scale, drawing in students looking to pursue a top-notch education. In addition, features like outstanding R&D prospects, cutting-edge infrastructure, technical breakthroughs, rising businesses, etc. have increased its appeal as the final study abroad location.
  • Canada has recently overtaken nations like the UK, Australia, the US, and others as a leader in luring foreign students to Canadian colleges. This is mostly because to lax immigration laws, reasonably priced, high-quality education, solid employment prospects, quick processing of study permits, plenty of scholarships, etc. These factors, along with a high standard of living, make Canada a favourite among international students.

Eligibility/Entry Requirements in Canada vs USA

The eligibility criteria, when it comes to Canada vs USA, differ to some extent. Depending on what course the candidate wants to pursue and the level of education, the candidate is currently at, makes up the eligibility parameters of the course and the university offering it. Given below is the comparison between the entry requirements of both Canada and the USA.


For those wanting to study in Canada at the undergraduate level, they need to complete at least 12 years of schooling and clear the SAT exam. Whereas, for admission in postgraduate courses, the aspirants need to have scored exceptionally good in their graduation as well as international entrance exams like GMAT or GRE. A majority of Canadian Universities generally lay great emphasis on the merit of the student and their IELTS/TOEFL rather than their GMAT/GRE scores.

Know everything about the Summer Intake in Canada 2022 


Sparking the rage between Canada vs USA, securing admission to American universities is relatively arduous than that of the Canadian universities. Like the Canadian universities, the undergraduate aspirants are required to complete 12 years of schooling and take the SAT exam along with IELTS/TOEFL. Whereas for admission to masters in USA, the aspirant needs to have completed 16 years (10+2+4) of education, which implies that a majority of universities accept a 4-year bachelor’s degree, and GMAT or GRE for management or science programs respectively. In India, educational institutes normally offer 3-year undergraduate courses, so the candidates aspiring to study in USA need to fill in the one-year gap.

Know everything about the spring Intake in USA – Universities, Dates, Admissions

[Verdict: Getting admission to Canadian universities is relatively easier for international students than the universities in the USA.]

Did you know: A key difference between the United States and Canada is the migrant rate. Canada has a 23.2% higher immigration rate than Americans, making the population more culturally diverse. 

Canada vs US: Education System

  • Both counties have comparable kinds of educational institutions. However, these institutions’ characteristics can change.
  • Universities in Canada award degrees, whereas colleges award certificates and diplomas. In order to obtain a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, you should search for a university rather than a college in Canada.
  • In the United States, a college can be any institution that awards degrees. Simply said, a university is a larger organisation with more options and programmes. Consequently, in the US, the terms college and university are used synonymously.

Here is the list of popular courses in Canada and USA:

Courses in USA

  • Engineering,
  • MBA,
  • PhD,
  • IT and allied fields
  • Sports, Sports Management,
  • Computer Science,
  • Electrical Engineering,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Hospitality

Courses in Canada

  • Business Management
  • Media Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Hospitality

Admission requirements

Following is the admission requirements to study in Canada and USA:

USA Admission Requirements

  • You must have successfully completed 12 years of education to enrol in undergraduate (UG) courses. However, you must take the SAT to be considered for admission.
  • For postgraduate (PG) programmes, 16 years of schooling are required. It translates for Indian students into 12 years of education and 4 years of undergraduate study. However, because three years of undergraduate study are the norm in Indian universities, you might need to enrol in a one-year course to make up the gap. Although it is unusual, certain US institutions may accept your three-year degree if you attended a prestigious Indian institution. You can inquire about your situation with the admissions department of the institution. You must take the GMAT in order to get admitted to business programmes, while the GRE is required for scientific programmes.
  • You must achieve your highest possible mark on every exam because there are no cutoffs for admission to institutions. On their websites, colleges list the typical test scores acceptable for certain courses. That will provide some insight into what a decent score is. Regardless of your degree, you must additionally take language tests like the TOEFL or IELTS. For Indian students, certain universities may not require a language exam, but you should still take the TOEFL or IELTS because they are necessary to obtain a visa.You might need to have a few years of job experience for an MBA.

Canada Admission Requirements

  • You must have successfully completed 12 years of education to enrol in undergraduate (UG) courses. However, you must take the SAT to be considered for admission. A diploma course lasts two to three years, whereas a degree programme lasts four years.
  • Getting accepted into a vocational programme at the postgraduate (PG) level is simpler because the entrance requirements are much more lenient. You must take the GMAT to get admitted to management programmes, and the GRE to be admitted to engineering programmes.
  • Colleges in Canada do not use the idea of cutoffs. On their websites, colleges list the typical test scores acceptable for certain courses. That will provide some insight into what a decent score is. Regardless of your degree, you must additionally take language tests like the TOEFL or IELTS. Even while certain universities may not demand a language exam for Indian students, it is nevertheless advised that you take the TOEFL or IELTS because they are crucial for obtaining a visa. The visa interviewer could refuse to issue you a visa if they have any doubts about your verbal abilities.

Costs & Expenses

Getting a higher education from abroad is an expensive deal. While a student looks forward to studying abroad from the top universities in the world, the cost of education and living is one of the most primary aspects that we need to discuss regarding the debate between Canada vs USA. The table below explains the estimated education and living costs of both Canada and the USA.

Cost of Studying in Canada vs USA

The cost of tuition fees varies from one university to university in both countries. The following are the estimated costs of studying at various levels of education in the USA and Canada:

Category USA Canada
Undergraduate Degree $6,000 – $40,000 (INR 4.5 lakhs – INR 30.11 lakhs) $5,000 – $25,000 (INR 3.76 lakhs – INR 18.82 lakhs)
Postgraduate Degree $11,700 – $45,000 (INR 8.80 lakhs – INR 33.88 lakhs) $8,000 – $35,000 (INR 6.02 lakhs – INR 26.35 lakhs)
Doctoral Degree (PhD) $28,000 – $55,000 (INR 21.08 lakhs – INR 41.41 lakhs) $5,300 – $7,500 (INR 3.99 lakhs – INR 5.64 lakhs) 

Know in detail about the Cost of Studying in USA

Cost of Living in Canada vs USA

Aside from college expenses, the cost of studying and living in Canada is significantly lower than in the USA. With the table below, international students can get a good understanding of the cost of living in each country.

Category USA (USD) Canada (USD)
Accommodation $3,000 – $8,000 (INR 2.25 lakhs – INR 6.02 lakhs) $6,000 – $7,500 (INR 4.51 lakhs – INR 5.64 lakhs)
Living Expenses $10,000 – $25,000 (INR 7.52 lakhs – INR 18.81 lakhs) $11,000 – $12,000 (INR 8.27 lakhs – INR 9.03 lakhs)
Books and Supplies $500 – $1,500 (INR 37K – INR 1.12 lakhs) $189 – $265 (INR 14K – INR 19K) 
Health Support & Insurance $700 – $1,000 (INR 52K – INR 75K) $227 – $600 (INR 17K – INR 45K)
Transportation $45 – $100 (INR 3K – INR 7.5K) $60 – $85 (INR 4K – INR 6K)

*the above-mentioned costs are only estimated average amounts and the actual cost might differ as per your chosen course and university.

Verdict: The cost of studying in Canada is relatively cheaper than studying in the USA. However, neither of the two countries have ever compromised on the quality of education.

Financial Aids/Scholarships in Canada vs USA

To those confused between Canada vs USA, it is important to note that both countries motivate international students to study in their universities, and scholarships and waivers are some of the most strong motivators for the same. Below are some top scholarships for Indian students provided by both Canada and the USA.

 Financial Aids/Scholarship in Canada

Be it for undergraduate programs or scholarships in Canada for masters, those wanting to study in Canada will find plenty of opportunities to fund their education. Here is the complete list of scholarships in Canada:

  • York University International Student Scholarships
  • University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarships
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at University of Toronto 
  • University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship 
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Scholarship 
  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan 
  • National Research Council of Canada Scholarship 
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship
  • Partnership Grams by Social Science and Humanities Research Council for Canada 
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship
  • Hani Zeini Scholarships 
  • Ritchie- Jennings Memorial Scholarship 
  • Erasmus Scholarship 

Financial Aids/Scholarship in USA

The USA offers quality education but in return, it is mandatory for candidates to pay the due fees of courses. Often the aspirants willing to study in the USA refrain due to the high tuition fee charges of the universities. To help students stuck in similar situations we have listed a few popular scholarships that aim to empower Indian students to study in the USA: 

  • Tata Scholarship for Cornell University 
  • Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships 
  • Fullbright Scholarships for Indian Students
  • Chevron Scholarship 
  • Ivy Parker Memorial Scholarship 
  • SeflScore International Scholarship
  • Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship Program 
  • RD Sethna Loan Scholarship
  • Asian Women in Business 
  • Global Student Scholarship 

Did you know: While we admire all of America’s greatest discoveries and inventions, we’re especially proud of the fact that Canada invented the telephone, television, the zipper, music synthesiser, and basketball.

List of Best Universities in Canada vs USA

When it comes to the comparison of Canada vs USA, it is safe to say that both the countries are home to some of the best and premier educational institutes, that lakhs and crores of international students dream of landing into. Given below is the list of some of the most prominent and best universities in Canada and the USA.

United States of America Canada
Harvard University
Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cornell University
Yale University
California Institute of Technology
University of California Berkeley
Princeton University
The University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
McGill University
University of Waterloo
University of Montreal
University of Ottawa
York University
University of Victoria
Dalhousie University
Carleton University

Explore these Top Universities in the World 2022

Did you know: Certain words are spelt with “our” rather than “or” in Canada. Canadians, for example, spell labour as labour, but Americans spell it as labour. Canadians also spell certain words with a “re” instead of an “er,” so the centre is spelt centre in Canada, whereas the centre is spelt centre in the United States.

Student Visa in Canada and USA

Student Visa in USA

F1 visas are referred to be full-time US student visas. The restrictions for this visa are as follows:

  • You must come for an appointment to produce biometrics, and a personal interview is necessary.
  • Unless you have been granted permission to stay and work for a while under the OPT Program, you are only permitted to stay in the US for up to 90 days after your academic programme is finished (Optional Practical Training)
  • Along with the $350 SEVIS charge, the application for this visa costs $160. The dependent visa will cost an extra $160 from you (per dependant)
  • You are only permitted to work 20 hours each week. The student is permitted to work up to 40 hours a week during breaks, vacations, and summer classes. The student is only permitted to work on campus for a business that offers services to the college, such a restaurant or bookshop.

Student Visa in Canada

The following guidelines apply to the Canadian student visa:

  • The post-graduation employment visa must be applied for within 90 days of your studies being completed.
  • For Indian candidates seeking visas to Canada, a medical examination is required.
  • Spouses can also work full time if his/her stay is for a year or more.
  • This visa application is $150 plus an additional $80 (for biometrics).
  • You are only permitted to work 20 hours each week. The student is permitted to work up to 40 hours a week during breaks, vacations, and summer classes.

Post-Study Work Permits

The post-study work permit and employment opportunities further enrage the debate of Canada vs USA. Having pursued higher education from both countries entails enormous growth and career opportunities for the students, however, both have their own sets of guidelines when it comes to the issuance of work permits after completing the duration of the academic program. Let us compare the post-study work permit guidelines of both Canada and the USA.

Post-Study Work Permit in Canada

According to the Canadian standards, students graduating from any post-secondary institute will be issued a postgraduation work permit of a maximum of 3 years or depending on the duration of the course. Additionally, during the period of work permit in Canada, the student can also apply for Permanent Residency (PR) under the Canadian Experience Class if they wish to settle down in the country itself. Unlike in the USA, getting a PR permit in Canada is very easy.

Also check out: How to Get a Canada Student Permit? 

Post-Study Work Permit in USA

For students who would like to stay back and gain practical knowledge in the same field they have pursued in the USA, they can opt for a temporary work permit called OPT (Optional Practical Training) for a period of not more than 12 months. In most cases, the graduate from any of the recognized American universities will have to apply for a post-study work visa upon getting the permanent job there itself. Whereas, if you think of settling there permanently, be ready for a long-drawn process as you need to work in the USA for at least 5 years to get PR, and this process takes years to culminate.

Confused between Canada & the USA, book a free consultation session with us and get all your queries answered!

Employment Opportunities in Canada vs USA 

One of the most compelling reasons to study abroad is the vast array of job prospects it provides. Management executives, medical, dentistry, software engineering, finance, advertising, and other professions with the greatest pay packages in the United States are the most popular. Program analyst, teacher, financial manager, chemist, nurse practitioner, and construction manager, on the other hand, are some of Canada’s most desired occupations. Let us compare the salaries of top and popular occupations in Canada vs USA to find out what is more lucrative:

Top Job Prospects Average Salaries in the US (in USD) Average Salaries in Canada (in USD)
HR Manager 148,000 135,000
Financial Analyst 126,000 121,000
Aerospace Engineering 128,000 116,000
Business Analyst 125,000 116,000
Project Manager 124,000 97,000
Civil Engineer 88,000 81,000

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is one of the benefits Canadian foreign students enjoy over international students studying in the USA. The post-graduate work permit, which allows international students to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation, is an important aspect of Canada’s immigration system. It also serves as a stepping stone to permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship. Though jobs in the United States pay higher, completing an education requires a significant financial investment. Furthermore, the possibilities of acquiring a PR are lower in the USA than in Canada, making Canada one of the most favoured locations, despite the income disparity.

This was the ultimate showdown of Canada vs USA. We, at Leverage Edu, provide you with a special AI-based tool that determines the best course and university as per your interests, skills and preferences thus providing step-by-step guidance during each step of your professional journey. You can also book a 30-minute session with us at 1800572000 and get the answers to all your queries.