Calgary: A Top Choice for International Students in Canada

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When it comes to studying internationally, prospective post-secondary students have numerous options to consider. From choosing the country to the institution, the decision-making process can be overwhelming. However, Calgary, Canada stands out as an attractive destination for international students due to its educational opportunities, career prospects, and high quality of life. This article explores the reasons why Calgary should be a top choice for international students looking to pursue their studies in Canada.

Calgary’s Vibrant Tech Scene and Lifestyle Opportunities

Calgary, one of Canada’s youngest major cities, offers a thriving tech scene and a growing economy, making it an ideal place for international students. Additionally, Calgary provides a low cost of living and is in close proximity to the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, allowing students to enjoy both an enriching educational experience and a vibrant lifestyle. With over 120 different languages spoken by its residents and an average of 333 sunny days per year, Calgary provides a welcoming and diverse environment for international students. In fact, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Calgary as the third most livable city in the world in 2022, highlighting its exceptional cultural, environmental, and educational attributes.

 Affordability of Education in Calgary

From an educational standpoint, Calgary, located in Alberta, offers affordable tuition for international students compared to other major Canadian educational destinations. With over 65 Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in the city, Calgary provides ample options for international students seeking high-quality education at reasonable costs. According to preliminary data from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) for 2022/2023, Alberta has lower average tuition costs for international students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels compared to provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Institutions like the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) offer annual tuition and fees as low as $21,000, making it a more affordable choice for international students when compared to other provinces where tuition averages can be significantly higher.

Career Support and Opportunities in Calgary

Calgary stands out for its excellent employment prospects, making it an attractive destination for international students seeking career opportunities. SAIT, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the success of international students during and after their studies. Eligible international graduates at SAIT can obtain a Canadian Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) that allows them to gain valuable work experience in Canada for up to three years. This work experience, coupled with their educational qualifications, enhances their competitiveness when applying for Canadian permanent residence. With Calgary’s diverse economy and over 38,000 combined job vacancies in high-demand sectors, including healthcare, STEM, agriculture, transport, and trade, international students graduating from post-secondary institutions in Calgary have numerous employment opportunities. SAIT further supports students in their career endeavors through free career planning and advancement services, providing valuable resources to help students identify their career paths, improve their job search skills, and connect with potential employers.

Calgary’s Tech Industry and Future Growth

Calgary has emerged as a magnet for tech talent, with a rapidly growing tech sector that has seen over 20 percent job growth between 2017 and 2021. The city is developing a robust tech cluster, attracting major tech employers such as IBM, Mphasis, AWS, Unity, and Infosys. With more ambitious plans for economic growth, including the implementation of Calgary’s Metropolitan Region’s Growth Plan, the city is poised to offer even better services, infrastructure, and opportunities in the future. International students pursuing studies in technology-related fields can benefit from Calgary’s tech ecosystem and contribute to its exciting future.

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