Job prospects in Canada?
November 2, 2004 10:30 PM   Subscribe

Is Canada a good place to go if you want a decent job and a good place to go for college?
posted by Keyser Soze to Work & Money (23 answers total)
We've discussed this a few times before, methinks. To sum up: If you are not a Canadian citizen, it's an uphill battle to live/work across the border.

Hang around until 2008. If you've got a sick child, you need to stay home with it until it gets better.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:37 PM on November 2, 2004

Response by poster: I don't know how I am going to afford going to college here. White males aren't exactly exotic. And a seperate question: Shoudn't schools give out money based on income and not race?
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:39 PM on November 2, 2004

Yes, it's a good place to go. No, they won't take you. They have plenty of young folk with occasional brushes with the law getting subsidized tuition; they don't need to import them from the US. Why would they want to pay to send you to college, for crying out loud, when they could use that money to send some nice hockey-playing Timmies-eating no-shit Canadian to school instead?

How are you going to afford college? Send in your FAFSA. Unless you're in that unfortunate category of kids with rich parents who refuse to pay for college, you will get aid.

Apply to and get into good schools -- if you're a good applicant, you'll likely find that after aid comes through, any number of private schools are cheaper than your local Big State U; most big-name private schools have need-blind admissions and pledge to meet 100% of need.

Schools do give out money based on income. That's what meeting 100% of need means.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:47 PM on November 2, 2004

Response by poster: Actually, my previous question here and here gave out lots of very relevant and useful information to getting funds in the US. I was deciding wether or not I was going into the Air Force and many mefites gave some great advice. I am still a few pounds overweight but much better than before.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:48 PM on November 2, 2004

Come on over, there's plenty of room for another one. Canada needs all the immigrants we can get, considering the lack of population increase by people on the home turf as is.
posted by shepd at 10:51 PM on November 2, 2004

OK, how about those of us who were born in Canada and are therefore a citizen. What's the most promising job market, say , in Vancouver?
posted by greasepig at 11:06 PM on November 2, 2004

Try Australia. We're fairly friendly, the economy's healthier than the US and our education is pretty decent.

Also, 50+ million of us didn't just vote for Bush.
posted by krisjohn at 11:34 PM on November 2, 2004

Shoudn't schools give out money based on income and not race?

They do. Not a lot of things were race-based when I went to college 5-10 years ago. My parents made shit for money and I qualified for a few need-based grants, and worked a couple jobs and got a few loans to pay for the rest. If you want to go to college look around and you should be able to find the money to pay for it.
posted by mathowie at 11:53 PM on November 2, 2004

While you have a valid point, krisjohn, you guys did re-elect John Howard, and he's only slightly less batshit than Bush.

(Although I'd happily move to Australia if I could)
posted by Ruki at 11:58 PM on November 2, 2004

it's income based...have you filled out the forms, Keyser? You can get pell grants, loans, scholarships--tons of aid. You write well--i'm sure you'd get scholarships.
posted by amberglow at 12:01 AM on November 3, 2004

I agree with amberglow, just fill out the forms. I fill out my FASFA every year and get all manner of aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. Its there if you need it, believe me.

As for myself, I'm going to be graduating from Oregon State this spring and am seriously considering moving to Canada for a while, makes as much a sense as staying in the states.
posted by asterisk at 12:25 AM on November 3, 2004

You'll be subject to foreign student fees and obviously wouldn't be eligible for any grants or aid. I don't know how that makes going to school in Canada any cheaper. For example at UBC: Undergraduate tuition fees $13,830 - $15,480 per year.

We're at 80 cents on the dollar, roughly. I can't see that being cheaper than state college.
posted by Salmonberry at 1:01 AM on November 3, 2004

Learn to speak German. If you’re fluent and can pass a competency test you can go to university free of charge. You’ll just need to cover your housing and cost of food.
posted by Tenuki at 3:21 AM on November 3, 2004

Could you just post that you're not happy about the election and OM1G0d!! Diebold is teh sux and be done with it? This breast-beating is so 12th grade. And you've left that behind. I think.
posted by yerfatma at 4:29 AM on November 3, 2004

except it's a legitimate question - "with all the talk of moving to canada, is it worth it for me to actually do it" doesn't sound like breast-beating. it sounds like "please help me by giving me actual information that can help me decide what to do with my life".

at least one couple i know really is planning on moving to canada - she's a biologist, he's a lawyer who works for non-profits, and in the current economy the incoming money isn't there any more. the funding for both of them is drying up in the US. if one of them asked here what the best way is to go about moving, or what to expect, or where would be a good place to move to... again, if there's an actual, serious point to the question it's worth asking.

and never having been an international student myself, i'm interested in hearing the answer.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:12 AM on November 3, 2004

I know a couple of Americans who are going to college in Canada. One to University of Toronto and who goes to Western Ontario University, I think. It's my understanding that it's cheaper than most US schools. I'll ask them how they're financial aid works out.
posted by philcliff at 5:20 AM on November 3, 2004

There are international student rates at Canadian universities that differ from and very much exceed the Canadian student rates. Here, for example, is my old school's tuition and fees breakdown. I think it might be pricier than average, though not by much.
posted by picea at 6:01 AM on November 3, 2004

Okay Keyser, here's the deal, from a fellow young American who is going to university in Canada:

I chose to go to school in Canada because Guelph had the program I wanted, in a city I could live in, and used to be cheaper than any state school in Maine. Notice the sequence of priorities. With the exchange rate rapidly going out of our favor, and likely only to get worse, don't expect internatonal student fees to save you any money.

That said, I absolutely love my school, and I'm 100% certian it was the right school for me. However, Canadian schools are incredibly tough as compared to those in the States. I don't know what program you are planning to go into, but I graduated from here, took AP Calculus in high school, and I failed first year calculus in university. I'm doing much better now in my third year, but I still have to work my ass off for a 75% average (considered very decent and that's equivalent to a 3.0 in the States). But I feel like I'm getting a real education, not just a piece of paper, and there are so many opportunities for student involvement on my campus. I love that I am in another country, that I get a better appreciation for what my life is like back home, that I am getting real life experiences here. It's much more common for students to live off-campus in Canada. I am learning to pay rent and bills and manage financies and my life a lot faster here than I would have living in a dorm for four years.

As far as the long term plans for moving to and living in Canada, it's an uphill battle. If you go to university, you will be on a student visa, which only authorizes you to work on-campus jobs. I have one that pays enough for groceries, but that's saying you university even allows you to work on campus in the first place. To apply for a co-op or work program you have to go get yourself a work permit, which is a whole nother ball of wax.

I've been spending time here: Citizenship and Immigration Canada webpage, it can answer questions at least on the process of getting into Canada. It's not something to enter into idly, it will take a lot of time and paperwork, just like getting naturalized here in the States.

The biggest thing I would say to anyone who is considering going to Canada for school, work, live, whatever is this: IT IS NOT AMERICA JUNIOR. Canada has it's own national culture, problems, and virtues. Be willing to deal with lots of healthy heckling about your country of origin, total confusion regarding their political system, and be open minded about that fact that Canada is much more than "The Great White North." I love it here, but for more reasons that being what the United States is not. I love Canada for what it is, and being able to do that will be a major part of whether you'll be happy there or not.
posted by nelleish at 7:17 AM on November 3, 2004

and never having been an international student myself, i'm interested in hearing the answer.

My sister went to McGill. It's a fantastic school. And then she got homesick. But she didn't speak French when she got there, so YMMV.
posted by yerfatma at 7:26 AM on November 3, 2004

As an addendum to this question, if I may....Anyone know if it is any easier for PhD to break in? Harder?
Living in Buffalo, NY for the last 11 years, I get CBC and watch the news religiously (Peter Mansbridge, baby! and check out Ian Hanomansing...w00t!) I have taught educations classes at private American post-secondary institutions that have Canadian-only programs, and I have spent a great deal of time in small towns and large alike in going across the border. I don't live in Canada, but I am as close as I think anyone can come to it without actual residency, and I love it.
posted by oflinkey at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2004

Oflinkey: yes, graduate degrees make it easier.

Canada (currently) uses a point system to screen immigrants. You can assess youreself to see where you rank. Note that this may change in the near future---there's been grumbling that the test is too hard.
posted by bonehead at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2004

In my experience, Canada was quite happy to hand out student visas without a problem. I went to renew mine after my first year here and the customs guy decided to renew it for three years (the remainder of my degree), without my asking for such a thing. Temporary work visas are a bit more tricky, but not impossible, of course, and permanent residence, which is what bonehead is talking about, is a whole different thing.

All that said, it is expensive. Foriegn students do pay significantly more for tuition than Canadian students, and you have to pay a fee for health insurance through the university. Add to that the fees for visas, the fact that you can't legally work (except in low paying campus jobs) without a work visa, and it becomes a pain.

All that info is from my experience in Ontario, say 5-6 years ago.
posted by transient at 9:17 AM on November 3, 2004

I just wrote about Canadian universities in another thread, so I will repeat here:

Canadian universities are brilliant - they may not be as famous as some American, but they are just as good. That said, for graduate work, the funding will never match what private American universities can offer (which is one of the main reasons I am at an American Ivy League University - incidently, after a BA from a middle-tier Canadian school). It is as good as what many American state schools will offer.

Americans pay international fees ($12,000 CDN /y at my schol), which are higher than most American state schools, but lower than most private. There is not much financial aid (I averaged about $1000-3000/year, and was doing extremely well). Quebec may offer lower fees to international students (at one point, they paid less than out-of-province students, perhaps as low as Quebec students). If your choice is an out of state school or a private school without a lot of financial aid, or you have transferrable awards, a Canadian university may be a good deal.

I'm really quite serious about the quality - I feel like I received a top-notch education for much less money than my friends who attended private American universities paid, even if my internet spelling and grammar doesn't demonstrate that :) But I am Canadian, and it does cost us less, just as state universities have different fees for in and out of state.

As for good jobs - well, it is a first world country with a higher life-expectancy than the US. I think it is alright.


A note on dialect: In Canada, or at least Ontario, college is used for institutions that do not grant degrees, but only diplomas - what in the States would be called a community college or, in the UK, a polytechnic. University is the appropriate word for all degree granting institutions. I don't know which you meant, but thought you might like to be aware of the distinction. College is also sometimes used for colleges within a university (copying Oxbridge), but that's not really important before you are there.
posted by jb at 11:12 PM on November 3, 2004

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