In Manitoba, international student enrollment numbers have almost doubled in the last five years. In the same period — from the academic year 2011-2012 to the academic year 2015-2016 — Alberta saw an increase of 40 percent, and Saskatchewan an increase of 24 percent.
“Internationalization is important because the world is becoming more globalized and it’s important that students and staff have the capabilities to work well with each other.”
Post-secondary institutions across the Prairie Provinces realize that international students help to diversify education, build the international reputation of an institution, and help the local economy.
Ron Horlton, the chair of graduate studies at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, says, “International education as a whole in Edmonton has grown and has become a priority for the college. Internationalization is important because the world is becoming more globalized and it’s important that students and staff have the capabilities to work well with each other.”
As admissions staff members at universities and colleges aim to attract students from outside of Canada, prospective international students may expect a warm welcome and support during their studies.
In addition to hosting some of Canada’s top universities, the Prairie Provinces are home to many well-known technical colleges. Pursuing a diploma or certificate in a trade or a technical skill can be an advantage when entering the Canadian workforce. Canadian colleges are known for providing students with advantageous opportunities for work experience, co-op programs, and internships — all of which help a student succeed after graduation. Colleges and universities in the Prairie Provinces are no exception, and international students may be assured of a wide selection of hands-on study programs.
Britta Baron, International Vice-Provost at the University of Alberta, notes that, “International students are very much motivated by career aspirations. Programs that have an outlook on good career opportunities are always where international students are heading.”
Canada’s Prairie Provinces: Your Education Guide
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are home to some of Canada’s top colleges and universities. Add to that a low cost of living, beautiful natural environment, and growing job opportunities, and it’s no wonder that more international students are heading to Canada’s Prairie provinces. To learn more about studying in the Prairie Provinces, consult CanadaVisa’s exclusive student resource pages.
Universities and Colleges in the Prairie Provinces
Consult the below table for an introduction to some of the Prairie Provinces’ top post-secondary institutions. All the below colleges and universities cater to international students with popular study programs and student services.
For more information on college and universities in the Prairie Provinces, please consult the following:
- Universities and colleges in Alberta
- Universities and colleges in Manitoba
- Universities and colleges in Saskatchewan
Settling in the Prairie Provinces
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba all offer opportunities for international graduates to work after graduation, and to immigrate to Canada permanently. After graduation, eligible graduates may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, which allows the holder to work for any employer, anywhere in Canada, for up to three years. The following immigration programs may also be open to international graduates from schools, universities, and colleges in the Prairie Provinces:
- The Post-Graduate Worker stream of the Alberta Strategic Recruitment stream of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) receives applications from students who graduated from an eligible post-secondary educational institution in Alberta, and who hold a Post-Graduation Work Permit. The applicant must be residing in Alberta and working full-time for an Alberta employer at the time of application.
- The International Graduate category of the Employer Driven stream of the AINP was created for individuals who graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution and have received a full-time, permanent job offer from an Alberta employer. Both the applicant and the employer must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to apply for this program.
- The Skilled Worker in Manitoba category of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) receives applications from qualified temporary foreign workers and international student graduates who are currently working in Manitoba and have been offered a permanent job with their Manitoba employer.
- In addition, the Skilled Worker Overseas category, receives applications from qualified skilled workers who may be outside of Canada but who can demonstrate a strong connection to the province. Such a connection may be demonstrated by previous study: a candidate who has completed a study program in Manitoba may be awarded points which count towards his or her eligibility for the program.
- The Saskatchewan Experience Category: Student sub-category targets students who have recently graduated from a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada and who have received a permanent, full-time job offer from a Saskatchewan employer.
- The International Skilled Worker Category: Occupations in Demand sub-category is for highly skilled workers who have experience in one of Saskatchewan’s in-demand occupations. No job offer in the province is required under this sub-category of International Skilled Worker immigration. A further bonus for international students: individuals who have studied for at least one year full-time in Saskatchewan are awarded eligibility points for their studies.
In addition to the above programs, the education credentials and work experience an international graduate may obtain during his or time as a student in Canada may contribute to the eligibility requirements for other immigration programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Class or Canadian Experience Class, among others.
To learn more about your options for studying in Canada, click here. There are also a range of tools and resources available for prospective students in Canada, including Canada School Search and School Match Canada.
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