5 Truly Livable Canadian Cities for International Students

Ever wondered which Canadian cities would be the most livable for you as a foreign student? We have you covered!

When choosing a school, international students prioritize location above all else. Fortunately, Canada is well-known for its inclusivity, world-class educational facilities, and vibrant culture. Let’s take a look at Canada’s top 5 cities, all of which offer a blend of academic excellence, quality of life, and cultural enrichment. This information will help you — as an international applicant planning to study in Canada — make an informed decision about where you will spend the next 4 years of your academic journey.

1. Montreal

Montreal consistently takes the top spot on the list of Canada’s premier cities for students and is often praised for its perfect fusion of European charm and North American allure. Not only that but it is currently ranked as the 14th best student city in the world, according to the QS Top Universities ranking. Its historic Old Town’s cobbled roads blend almost magically with the iconic Downtown’s concrete, showcasing that artsiness is engrained in the city’s very core. This is further exemplified by the notoriously hip neighborhood called the “Plateau,” which is dotted with beautiful murals, cafes, and bars, and is a favorite spot for students to live.

Also, as a side note: the city is known for having a church around every street. In fact, Mark Twain famously addressed this by saying that “you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window” when you are in Montreal. (Just thought that it worth a mention that Mark Twain found Montreal’s architecture fascinating!)

If you decide to go to one of the city’s many iconic universities (such as Concordia, University de Montreal, or internationally top-ranking McGill), be ready for the festivals, cultural events, and nightlife. But don’t forget to study, because Montreal may make that difficult for you.

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2. Vancouver

Imagine waking up to breathtaking mountains on one side and the serene Pacific on the other. That is the picturesque reality that you would be living if you choose to pursue your post-secondary education in Vancouver. Not only will you have access to world-class education at prestigious institutions like the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, but you’ll also find yourself in a city renowned for its moderate climate, emphasis on the outdoors, and commitment to green living. It is no wonder that Vancouver attracts such impressive amounts of international students every year.

In fact, the cultural diversity at the University of British Columbia is truly remarkable, with one-quarter of all undergraduates being international students. The vibrant mix of backgrounds and perspectives creates a truly immersive and globally connected learning environment.

When you’re not immersed in your studies, be sure to take advantage of the city’s natural wonders. Explore the sprawling Stanley Park, visit the vibrant Granville Island, and embrace the thrill of skiing or snowboarding on the majestic slopes of Vancouverite mountains. Vancouver – as you can probably tell by now – offers an ideal balance between your academic pursuits and the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature at every turn.

So, why not choose Vancouver as the backdrop for your educational journey? With its stunning surroundings and educational excellence, this city has everything you could possibly need to turn your dreams into reality.

3. Toronto

Canada’s largest and most multicultural city is bound to make the top three on this list. Renowned institutions such as the University of Toronto (which is also the top-ranked University in the country), Ryerson University, and York University find their home in Toronto. They have some of the most cutting-edge facilities, front-door access to one of the fastest metropolises in North America, and expert faculty. What more does one need in terms of post-secondary excellence?

Toronto is also the economic hub of Canada. The employment opportunities available to you after graduation are unparalleled, as the job market is thriving for all industries. Whether you are in finance, technology, or healthcare – there are jobs for you in Toronto. International students can also make use of the many co-op and internship programs at their disposal, so that they receive training in their preferred industry even before graduation.

But enough business talk. What about having fun as a student? Toronto has you covered in that respect too! There is the iconic CN Tower (which you will probably visit on your first night in the city), the hip Kensington Market, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. What is more is that if you have a day to spare, you can head to Niagara Falls!

4. Ottawa

As the capital of our gigantic country, Ottawa has gathered a reputation which makes it exceptionally appealing for international applicants. For one, the education system in the city is next to none, with the University of Ottawa having produced business leaders, civil servants, political leaders, and media personalities. You name it, and the University alumni roster has the field covered.

The city also has a pristine environment, which makes it the perfect backdrop for your higher education. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by greenery, waterways, and tranquil parks while studying? The Major’s Hill Park or the Rideau Canal could be your own library if you may choose so!

Not just that, but the city is the city is known for its numerous festivals, events, and art exhibitions throughout the year. The Parliament Hill, National Gallery of Canada, and ByWard Market are all amazing destinations that we wholeheartedly recommend. Could this be the city you might want to call home?

5. Calgary

If you ask any Canadian where the best skiing in the world happens, they would probably tell you to look no further than the Rockies. And the Rockies do not get any closer than Calgary. The city is a fusion of the indoors and the outdoors, and you may choose to divide your time as you please between the former and the latter.

The University of Calgary is their hallmark school, being a globally renowned post-secondary institution for its innovative research programs and diverse academic disciplines.

It is also important to note that Calgary thrives in the energy sector, and serves as a major oil and gas hub for the international market. This fact might be particularly interesting to students seeking a career in this industry, as your school’s co-op and internship programs could put you in touch with leaders in the field.

But what about the outdoors now? Pack your bags for Banff National Park! This is where the skiing comes in, along with the hiking trails, stunning wildlife, and gorgeous forestry. But sporting events are not your only outdoors attraction; you can also look out for live performances at the Arts Common, or engage in local art exhibitions. There is something to do for everyone here,  but if you are in Calgary, you have to step outside!



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