Canada and the United States are two of the most popular destinations for studies abroad. However, most international students always find it confusing to select one between the two. But with specific parameters put into consideration, one can make a perfect choice.

When planning to study abroad, you should consider several factors, including what you intend to study and the program costs. You should also look at your budget because it's one of the primary factors that will help you choose the most favorable country.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Canada and USA Education

It is no doubt that the education system of Canada and the United States vary depending on costs and quality of education. Here are some of the parameters to look at before you select the best place to study.

1. The Reputation of Universities in Both Countries

The United States has some of the best universities in the world. Some of the institutions include Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to the QS ranking for 2019, twelve American universities featured in the top 20 universities in the world. The institutions offer a vast range of programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Their degrees are high-quality rigorous academic programs and accepted worldwide.

Canada, on the other hand, had three institutions ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. They include the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University. Degrees earned from these universities are legit and recognized worldwide.

Best universities in the United States are everywhere, from small towns to big cities. But in Canada, most of the best universities are in big cities. Generally, the United States has better universities than Canada.

2. Costs of University Education in Both Countries

It is no secret that the cost of education in Canada is relatively cheaper than that of the United States. Some of these education expenses include tuition fees, accommodation, food and groceries, and other costs of living.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for international students in Canadian universities are generally cheaper than those of American universities. The tuition fees for an undergraduate program in the United States range between US$23,000 and US$25,000 per year.

In Canada, the tuition fees for an undergraduate program range between US$5,000 and US$20,000 per year for international students. That proves how tuition fees in Canada are cheaper compared to the tuition fees in American universities.

Accommodation Costs

The amount of money one would spend on accommodation varies by the area of residence. For instance, you will most likely pay higher accommodation costs when living in big cities than in small towns. That applies to both countries.

When studying in the United States, you will pay around US$500 – $3,500 per month on rent. In Canada, renting a house will cost you around US$300 – $2,500 monthly. Staying on campus is generally more expensive than off-campus residence in both countries.

Food Expenses

In the United States, you'll need around US$300 - $500 per month for food shopping, especially when staying off-campus. Since most universities in the country offer meal plans to on-campus students, you’ll spend around US$170 - $250 per month on food.

In Canada, the cost of food is quite cheaper than in the United States. You'll need around US$150 - $200 every month for food shopping in Canada. If you are living on-campus, you will need around US$3,500 for meals every year. 

It’s apparent that the cost of education is generally cheaper in Canada than in the United States. If you consider price, Canada would be the cheapest place to study. However, you can still study in the United States if you have enough funds to cater for all expenses.

Final Words

Besides the two factors highlighted above, you can also consider things like immigration policies and eligibility criteria for both countries. In general, Canada is better in terms of the cost of education while the United States is better in quality of education. 

Despite the lower costs of education in Canada, most Canadian parents have opened RESP accounts to save for their children’s post-secondary education. By reading through the Heritage RESP Reviews, you will get to understand how this works for the parents.