How to Pick a School

a person with a magnifying glass held over his face

There are thousands of post-secondary institutions in Canada, it’s not easy to pick a school. However, if you’re going to spend a few years of your life at that place, it’s important to know your needs and which school can meet those needs.

Tips on How to Pick a School

There’s no such thing as the “best school.” Only you can determine what’s best for you. Nonetheless, here are some aspects to consider when you’re picking a school.

  • What programs are offered – Schools have different specialties and may not offer the same experience compared with each other. For example, not every university has a nursing program or a fine arts department. 

Larger schools will also have more programs than smaller colleges. There are even specialty schools like aviation schools that won’t offer much outside of teaching their students how to fly. 

  • What the school excels at – Some universities have very high academic rankings. Some are more arts orientated, while others focus more on their athletic department. You might not want to apply for a comp1uter science diploma at a school that excels more in the arts. 

While it doesn’t mean that their Technology department is inadequate, it just means that your experience will be different at a more technology centered institution. There also may be more related courses to what it excels at compared to something it doesn’t.

  • If the school is a DLI –  A Designated Learning Institution gives schools the authority to host international Students. Most major universities and colleges in Canada are considered to be DLI’s, but make sure to double check anyways. 
  • If the school offers PGWP – This has to do more with if you’re interested in staying in Canada after you finish your studies. The post graduate work permit allows you to gain Canadian Work Experience after finishing your program. There are many DLI’s in Canada, but not all of them are PGWP eligible. 
  • Where the school is located – There is a lot to consider in this aspect. Canada is a large country, and no two provinces are the same. You might want to think about the cultures that reside there or if you can handle the climate. Likewise, you’ll want to check if the school is in a small town or a large city and you can choose according to your preferences.
  • How much the overall cost is – There are public and private universities in Canada. Private universities typically cost. Colleges in Canada are also typically cheaper than universities, yet can offer the same quality education.

One thing you might want to consider in your costs is the cost of living of the city your school of choice is located in. Vancouver and Toronto are placed at higher costs of living than Edmonton or Winnipeg. 

  • What the requirements are – Different schools have different standards. It’s important that you pick a school where you can meet their requirements. This may be the grade requirement, education background, or work experience.
  • What scholarships are available – Certain schools may have unique scholarships for international students. Again, this needs a deeper research if you are aiming to get one! 

Overall, do your research. Have a list of schools that stand out to you, then do further analysis of what they offer. This is also why it’s so important to get started on your school applications sooner rather than later. 

Since you are spending a significant amount of time at that institution, it’s important that you pick a school that will provide you with the best experience. Canada is an amazing country to have your post-secondary education in and it’ll feel even more amazing at a school that’s right for you. 

As a start, you can use our school search function to help with your decision. Good luck and happy searching!

Sources: How to Choose the Right University for You

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