Studying in Canada vs. the United Kingdom

As a student, studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, meet new people, and gain valuable skills to help your future career.

It provides a chance to experience a new culture and learn about different ways of life. This can help you develop a more global perspective, a valuable skill in today’s interconnected world.

It’s also an opportunity to meet new people worldwide and build a network of contacts that could be useful in your future career.

Studying abroad can help you gain independence and self-confidence, as you’ll live in a new country away from your usual support network.

When choosing a study abroad destination, several factors must be considered. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to look for when studying abroad.

So how do you decide which country to choose? Canada vs UK? With both countries having so much to offer international students, it's vital to break down all the deciding factors with a particular college or university to find the best for you. This article will discuss these factors and how they exist in Canada and the UK.



Canada and the UK have excellent academic programs. However, there are some differences in the duration of courses, flexibility of courses, grading scales, transfer policies, and accreditation processes.

Canadian universities are more research-oriented, focusing on academic excellence. Canadian universities have a different grading scale than UK universities, and Canadian students must provide an official document explaining the grading scale.

UK universities emphasize practical skills and employability.

Furthermore, Canadian students may be able to transfer between institutions to complete their degrees, while UK students are usually required to study at the same university. Here’s our university list to help you learn which Canadian universities are available. 

If looking for a career in academia, Canada might be the better choice, whereas if looking for a job in the industry, the UK might be a better fit.

Both countries offer high-quality education and excellent universities, but students should research and consider their individual needs and preferences before deciding. If finding the right university is difficult, you could benefit from speaking to a student advisor who can help you find the perfect place.



Getting into a university in Canada or the UK is competitive, but the requirements vary between the two countries.

In Canada, you’ll need to have completed a high school diploma or equivalent, and you’ll need to meet the specific requirements for your chosen program. This might include completing prerequisite courses or achieving a certain grade point average.

In the UK, you must complete A-levels or an equivalent qualification, and you’ll need to meet the specific requirements for your chosen program. This might include achieving specific grades in particular subjects.

Cost of Studying in Canada vs the UK

Cost to study in Canada vs UK

Regarding tuition fees and living costs, Canada is generally more affordable than the UK. Tuition fees vary depending on the university and program, but on average, they’re lower in Canada than in the UK. Living costs are also lower in Canada, particularly regarding accommodation.

However, it’s worth noting that the cost of living can vary depending on where you choose to study in each country. For example, living costs in big cities like Toronto and London will be higher than in smaller towns or rural areas.

As mentioned, Canada is generally more affordable than the UK regarding tuition fees and living costs. However, it’s still important to consider the overall cost of studying in each country.

In Canada, the price of a bachelor’s degree can range from $10,000 to $60,000, depending on the university and program. However, to fully understand how affordable studying in Canada is, you must consider other major lifestyle expenses. To have a clear picture, here’s a breakdown of the cost of studying in Canada.

According to the British Council, a bachelor’s degree can cost from $19 032,30 to $63 438, depending on the university and program.

It’s worth noting that international students in both countries may be eligible for scholarships and bursaries to help with tuition fees. Find out how to apply for a Canadian university scholarship here.

Student Life in Canada vs the UK

Student life in Canada vs UK

Canada and the UK offer a rich student life, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in clubs, societies, and sports teams. In Canada, you’ll find a strong emphasis on outdoor activities, with options for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and more. Find out more about what student life in Canada can offer you here.

In contrast, the UK has a thriving arts and culture scene, with plenty of museums, galleries, and theatres to explore. In addition, both countries offer a diverse range of food and drink, with Canada known for its poutine and maple syrup and the UK known for its fish, chips, and afternoon tea.

Opportunities After Graduation

Opportunities After Graduation

You’ll want employment opportunities or further study opportunities. Canada and the UK offer excellent post-graduation opportunities, but some differences exist. For example, it only demands skilled healthcare, engineering, and technology workers. If you have a degree in these fields, you’ll have a great chance of finding work in Canada. This map shows you some of the top jobs in demand in Canada.


In the UK, opportunities exist in various industries, including finance, media, and creative industries. It’s also worth noting that if you stay in Canada after graduation, you must apply for a work permit. In contrast, if you stay in the UK, you can apply for a visa that allows you to work without needing a separate permit.

Immigration Process

Immigration Process

If you’re an international student, you must obtain a study permit or visa to study in Canada or the UK.

In Canada, you must apply for a study permit before arriving there. To do so, you must provide

  • Proof of your acceptance to a Canadian university,
  • Proof of language proficiency in English or French
  • Financial support, and
  • A clean criminal record.

Learn more about how to get your Canadian study permit here.

In the UK, you must apply for a student visa online before arriving there. Again, you must

  • Provide evidence of your acceptance to a UK university,
  • Proof of financial support and
  • Knowledge of English.

Both countries require high language proficiency and utilize the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). If you want to maximize your chances of studying in Canada or the UK, using an IELTS preparation course can be hugely valuable.

Learn more about how to prepare for IELTS here.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Study Permit or Student Visa?

It can take several weeks or even months to obtain a study permit or student visa, so starting the application process early is essential. To learn more about how long your visa will take for Canada, here’s a breakdown of the Canadian immigration processing times.

Applying to study abroad can be complex, but some skilled professionals can help you throughout your application process. Suppose you want to maximize your chances of studying in Canada. In that case, you can massively benefit from the help of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

An RCIC can ensure you’re eligible for a visa and help you throughout the application process.

Pros and Cons of Studying in Canada vs the UK



  • High-quality education: 
    • Canadian universities and colleges are known for their high-quality education and research opportunities.
  • Safe and welcoming environment: 
    • Canada is a safe and welcoming country with a diverse and multicultural society.
  • Work Opportunities: 
    • International students can work part-time during their studies and full-time during breaks, providing valuable work experience and the opportunity to earn money to help with living expenses.
  • Post-graduation prospects:
    • Canada offers a range of immigration options for international students, making it easier to stay and work in the country after graduation.


  • Cost of living
    • While tuition fees in Canada are generally lower than in other popular study destinations, the cost of living can be high, particularly in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
  • Harsh weather
    • Canada is known for its long, cold winters, which can be difficult for international students who are not used to such conditions.
  • Limited program options
    • While Canada offers high-quality education, some students may find that the range of programs is more limited than in other countries.
  • Distance from home
    • For international students from countries far from Canada, the distance from home can be a significant drawback, mainly if they need to travel home more frequently.

The UK


  • World-renowned universities
    • The UK has some of the world's top universities, offering students high-quality education and research opportunities.
  • Cultural experience
    • The UK's rich cultural heritage is known for its diverse and cosmopolitan society, providing international students with a unique cultural experience.
  • Wide range of program options
    • The UK offers a wide range of program options, including many specialized and niche fields of study.
  • Convenient location
    • The UK is well-connected to other European countries, making it easy for students to travel and explore other parts of Europe.


  • High tuition fees
    • Tuition fees in the UK can be quite high, particularly for international students, making it difficult for some students to afford them.
  • High cost of living
    • The cost of living in the UK, particularly in major cities,  can be very high. For example, according to, the cost of living in London is higher than anywhere in Canada.
  • Limited work opportunities
    • International students in the UK can only work part-time during their studies, which may need to provide more income to cover living expenses.
  • Uncertain post-graduation prospects
    • The UK's immigration policies are subject to change, making it difficult for international students to stay and work in the country after graduation.


Can I Work While Studying in Canada or the UK?

International students can work part-time while studying in Canada and the UK.

Can I Bring my Family with Me When I Study Abroad?

It depends on the country and the program you’re in. In general, it’s easier to bring family members with you to Canada than to the UK.

The Bottom Line: Which Country is Best for Studying Abroad?

Canada and the UK offer excellent opportunities for studying abroad. Still, your choice will depend on your personal preferences and career goals. Canada is generally more affordable and strongly focuses on academic excellence, while the UK offers a more practical approach to education and a thriving arts and culture scene.

Whichever country you choose, studying abroad is an opportunity to develop valuable skills, gain independence, and experience a new culture. With the help of study abroad organizations and careful planning, you can make the most of this exciting opportunity. This is why ensuring your journey starts on the right foot is vital. The last thing you would want is to get into the college or university of your dreams only to have those dreams dashed because you can’t get the visa you need.

One of the best ways to ensure this doesn’t happen is utilizing an RCIC. An RCIC can assist you in getting a Canadian student visa by providing expertise in navigating the complex Canadian immigration system. They can advise you on which type of visa to apply for and help you create a personalized immigration strategy. They can also liaise with Canadian immigration authorities on your behalf and take care of all necessary paperwork.

Additionally, they can provide honest feedback and offer different perspectives on your immigration options. Finally, by hiring an RCIC, you can avoid scams from international student recruitment agencies and know that you have a professional guiding you.

However, it is essential to note that using an RCIC is not mandatory as the Government of Canada treats everyone equally, whether they use a representative or not.