Around 550 students visited the first Canada Education Fair in London on Saturday (14 April). Students could not only find out about studying in Canada through the 16 exhibitors, but also apply for courses.
Admissions officers were on hand to advise those interested in a particular course and help them make an application straightaway for September 2012, which would waive the administration fee. Three such British students applied to the University of Waterloo, says Karuna Ausman, international recruitment manager at the University of Waterloo.
The majority of visitors were international students currently studying in British universities. However, the fair was also an opportunity for home students to speak directly to representatives of Canadian universities.
“About 15 per cent of those who came to the fair were British-born students,” said Sukhmeet Grewal of Canam Consultants Limited, the fair organisers. He added that the main reason for their interest was the increased tuition fees in England.
The next Canada Education Fair will be held in the second week of September 2012.
But the fair was not the first time that Textbooks and Passports have investigated studying in Canada. At last month’s Student World Fair, we took the opportunity to sit down with Laura Gordon – liaison officer at the University of Waterloo, Ontario – and ask her about study options in North America.
Case study of a British student studying in Canada
Leo Rampen, 21
Leo is currently in his fourth and final year of an Aerospace Engineering masters at the University of Leeds. In 2010, he had the opportunity to complete his third year at the Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
He paid around £900 to the University of Leeds for the academic year he spent in Canada, which meant he did not have to pay anything to his host university in Ottawa.
Academically, Leo found his time there somewhat challenging because he had to sit exams. As opposed to the UK, he says, “in Canada you’ve got short exams right through the year”. Leo, who is from Edinburgh, Scotland, also went straight into the fourth year of Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University, which made his workload even heavier.
However, he says the social side of his exchange outweighed his academic challenges. “One of the best aspects of it is being with a bunch of other people, who are doing the same thing, from lots of different countries.” Leo got to meet other study abroad students from Australia and various European countries.
Did he meet any other British students at the university? “There was quite a lot of people from the UK there,” says Leo. From the University of Leeds alone there were around 14 people, he continues, and most of them were doing a year, like him.
Although Leo admits that, culturally, life in Canada is not that dissimilar from life in the UK, he says: “It’s very expensive compared to the UK”. He lived in student halls, which cost him 20-30 per cent more than it would have done in the UK.
Leo found the whole experience of studying in Canada “quite fun”. He got to do a lot of ice-skating as part of socialising with his international friends.
Words by Vesela Gladicheva / video by Oli Stratford
Photos by Textbooks and Passports