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Old 03-27-2007, 11:13 AM
 
Location: S.W.PA
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I don't hear about a lot of US kids going to Canadian schools, yet from what I understand, they are a lot less expensive than comperable schools in the US.
Is it difficult for US students to get into Canadian schools? Does anyone know what a year at the Univ. of Toronto might cost? What are some of the differences that one might expect at a Canadian university? Thanks in advance. Steve
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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Generalloy, tuition for international students at any Canadian university will be 3 times to 5 times more expensive than for a Canadian resident. Depending on the program, you can expect to pay between $8,000 to $14,000 CAN per term for just tuition and compulsory fees alone. Add to that the cost of living in residence or off-campus, food, transporation, and personal care and your budget will start around $20,000 per academic year just for your standard Liberal Arts type program. Your best bet is to contact the Registar's Office at U of T to find out what fees are for the program you're interested in. I have no idea if these costs are shocking to you, but compared to what Canadian students pay to study in Canada, this is expensive.

As far as admission requirements go, in some ways it can be harder to get in, in that spots are competitive (there aren't that many Canadian universities, period), and in some other ways it's easier to get in, as international students are entirely paying their own way (no government subsidy). It honestly depends on the competitiveness of the program and how actively the faculty is recruiting international students (some welcome them, some just don't). I don't work for U of T so I can't get more specific than that, unfortunately.

No idea on the differences between in the U.S. or Canada as I've never studied abroad. I have friends who've gone to the U.S. for their MBAs and MDs and other than the crazy expensive tuition, I've never heard anything bad.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:57 AM
 
Location: S.W.PA
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Thanks JB for your input. 20 K total at U of T would be a bargain if my assumption about the quality of that school is correct; that is that it is a 1st tier University, comparable to say a University of PA or University of Mich. In fact , that is about 1/2 price! Are all Canadian schools government subsidized?
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I thought it would be cheap in comparison to U.S. schools, even paying full (international) fees.

Canadian residents are subsidized, so to speak -- that is, the goverment shells out to pay for a certain percentage of a certain amount of students' tuition. That's why your typical Liberal Arts student who is a Canadian resident would pay maybe $5,000 in tuition and fees for the academic year, while the international student pays $15,000 (the differences obviously vary by program).

U of T's repuation is stellar and it is one of the top schools in Canada -- how it ranks for North America and worldwide, I can't say. I work for the Univ. of Waterloo.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:20 PM
 
Location: S.W.PA
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I've heard some good things about Waterloo.
I have several questions about Canadian schools: Do kids live in dormtories? Do they typically have a 2 semester system? Is study abroad common? Are there ample opportunities for social interraction?
My biggest concern is how well a Canadian degree travels back to the US, even if it is from a top flight school like U of T. 'Probably a tough one to answer!
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Hello Steve
Mu husband and all of his friends are graduates of either U of WIndsor or U of T - and most of them are now in the US working, some have Masters
those degrees travel very well - worldwide - Canada has some of the best education disciplines in the world and equal to US
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:55 PM
 
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Yes, a lot of student do live in dorms (we call it "residence") but usually just for first year in order to make friends and get used to things. After that, they find it's generally cheaper to find off-campus housing with roommates.

Generally universities and colleges are semestered and a typical academic year is Fall and Winter (Sept to Dec, then Jan to Apr, with May to August off). At Waterloo we are a bit different as we have a huge co-op program (so students go to school full-time for a 4-month period, then work for 4 months, then school for 4 months, etc., which then takes 5 years to finish a 4-year degree). You can of course attend school "regularly" and not do co-op.

I can only speak for Waterloo of course, but yes, there are ample study abroad opportunites, especially since we are big with co-operative education. Students often choose to spend their work terms in other countries to gain international experience. It's best to check with the Faculty you're interested in to find out exactly what's out there.

I'd like to think a Canadian degree can open just as many doors internationally as an American degree, but it really does depend on the program. Waterloo, for instance, is world-reknown for it's Engineering program and is on par with MIT, and Microsoft heavily recruits Waterloo students. U of T and Queen's University both have excellent medical schools. Sheridan Polytechnic in Oakville (20 minutes west of Toronto) has one of the top 5 animation schools in the world (Disney and Pixar Studios donate millions to the program and heavily recruit Sheridan grads). But for a law degree though, while York University's Osgoode Law School (in north Toronto) is great, it's no comparison to Harvard or Yale.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo6 View Post
I've heard some good things about Waterloo.
I have several questions about Canadian schools: Do kids live in dormtories? Do they typically have a 2 semester system? Is study abroad common? Are there ample opportunities for social interraction?
My biggest concern is how well a Canadian degree travels back to the US, even if it is from a top flight school like U of T. 'Probably a tough one to answer!
Well, I have sort of an answer for you... you may not like it, though! When we moved here to the US, I had my degree from the University of Saskatchewan (which isn't well known, is a GOOD school but not the "top" school) rated according to US standards - to get equivalent scores in order to enter another program here in the US. In talking to some people at the company about this (there are very few specialized companies that do this service, and it is also very expensive) - Canadian universities on the whole have much higher standards than the US ones. I received an Honors degree, where the required average needed to be over 70%. Here this seems low - because it is much easier to get an "A", apparently... My overall average in Canada was approximately 82%. When I had my degree equated here, my GPA was 4.60. Or, putting it another way, I had all A's for my classes. The standards are different.

I have had numerous experiences with people telling me how much easier it is to get a college degree in the states, which is why many Canadians do their MA's online via a US college.

So, you won't have a problem transferring/translating a Canadian degree to the US - but you might in reverse - I hate to say it, but some US colleges aren't particularly well regarded on Canadian campuses. (obviously excluding top schools like Harvard, Yale etc.)

Last edited by kitty71; 03-28-2007 at 09:17 AM.. Reason: forgot a comment, grammar
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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I graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto and it was way cheaper for me than what I was paying when I was in Portland, Oregon, though I was a going to a private university in the US. I was paying around $9,000 CAD a year in tuition, compared to the $17,000 US (tuition alone) a year I was paying in Portland. It really all depends on what kind of school you are planning on going to in the US compared to a Canadian school.

Canadian universities are miles cheaper than a US private university, but once you factor in the foreign student fees, they are probably on par with the tuition rates of US state run universities.

As far as difficulty getting into one, it all depends on what program you want to get into. I graduated from the journalism program at Ryerson, and its considered the best journalism school in the country so it was extremely tough to get into, and I was actually rejected the first time I applied. Do some research on what U of T's top programs are and find out what their application/rejection rates are for the particular program you want to apply to.

As for differences, I really didn't find that much different from the US university system, except for terminology, grading system is a bit different (80% is considered an A, while in most US schools it's a B) and double majoring or minoring is almost non-existant (at least at Ryerson) compared to when I was at the University of Portland where it seemed like everyone was either double majoring or minoring in something. Also like the poster above said, off campus living is more the norm in Canada than in the US where most students tend to spend all four years in residence. Study abroad is common and social interaction is rather easy especially if you are in a big city like Toronto.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Ryerson definitely has one of the best (if not the best) journalism schools in Canada and competition into a program like that would be difficult for both Canadians and non-Canadians. Long ago, Ryerson was considered a college but then got reclassified as a university, and as a result their programs in general tend to be more structured (as college programs are), which is why they don't offer the double major/minor options. Meaning, if you apply to X program, these are the courses that you'll need to take each term in order to graduate. The streaming is very specific.

The majority of universities, however, offer many double major and minor options, U of T included. For example, I attended York University in Toronto for 2 years and was a double major in Communications and Psychology, with a minor in Political Science. Ended up transferring to Univ. of Waterloo (where I now work) and ended up graduating with a Honours Psych degree, with a minor in Economics and an option in Human Resources Management (which is not the same thing as a minor).

Up until a few years ago, the Ontario high school curriculum lasted from grade 9 to grade 13. Meaning that Ontario kids graduated with 5 years of high school, and you needed grade 13 courses (called Ontario Academic Courses, or OAC's) to be admitted into Ontario universities. This made it tough for kids coming from other provinces -- and the U.S. -- to qualify. They often had to do a "bridging" year to get the courses they needed to be admitted. Then eventually Ontario revamped the entire high school curriculum so that it's only 4 years to graduate (up to grade 12) in order to be consistent with the rest of Canada. Ontario universities then adjusted their admission requirements to reflect this new curriculum and students out of grade 12 could now be admitted into university. This resulted in there being one year where grade 13 kids were applying to universities at the same time as grade 12 kids, and Ontario universities were scrambling to find room for the "Double Cohort". And a lot of grade 12 kids didn't get admission because the grade 13 kids got preference (it was hard to deny a 5-year high school student admission over a 4-year high school student). It was crazy, because those poor grade 12 kids found themselves with nowhere to go and nothing to do for a whole year after high school.

But I digress... my point was that nowadays, because Ontario high schools last 4 years like everywhere else in Canada and the U.S., it's easier to rank equivalencies for U.S. and out-of-province applicants. Prior to the Double Cohort year, U.S. kids had a really hard time meeting the admission requirements to Ontario universities, simply because they didn't have that 5th year of high school.

If your grades are good, you honestly shouldn't have any problems competing with Canadian kids for a spot in university here. And being an "international" student, your application will be processed manually, and you may find yourself with a better opportunity to explain your reasons in wanting admission, than a Canadian kid whose application is processed by the system. Canadian universities in general love international applicants because they don't have to request subsidy for them from the government (which is limited to so many thousands of students) -- you'll pay full fees all by yourself, and hey, that's fine with them.
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