Canada vs Australia: Comparative Guide to Study Abroad for International Students Image
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Canada vs Australia: Comparative Guide to Study Abroad for International Students

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Yocket Editorial Team
9 mins read
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Canada and Australia are counted among the top 3 destinations for studying abroad attracting lakhs of Indian aspirants every year. To choose between Canada vs Australia for international students is a tough decision. Both these study abroad destinations are highly esteemed and a center for excellence making it further difficult for students to pick  one. Apart from that Canada & Australia, both excel in research, safety, diversity, infrastructure and flexible immigration policies. So, in case you are confused whether to study in Canada or Australia, here’s a guide to help you pick the best option. We will compare and analyse admission criteria, cost of education, student visa process, top universities, post study work opportunities, PR and more for  both these nations.

Table of Contents:

  1. Education System in Canada vs Australia
  2. Canada vs Australia Admission Requirements for International Students
  3. Student Visa Process in Canada vs Australia
  4. Top Universities in Canada vs Australia
  5. Top Courses in Canada vs Australia
  6. Cost of Studying for International Students in Canada vs Australia
  7. Canada vs Australia for International Students in Terms of Financial Aid
  8. Employment Opportunities, Stay Back Options & PR in Canada vs Australia
  9. Student Life in Canada vs Australia
  10. Frequently Asked Questions About Studying in Canada vs Australia

 

Education System in Canada vs Australia

Before diving deep into the a comparison between Australia and Canada for international students, let’s understand the differences between their education systems:

Canada’s education system is governed by provinces and has 4 levels starting from pre-elementary, elementary or primary, secondary and post-secondary. Colleges in Canada mainly offer certificates, diplomas and vocational training programs whereas degree programs such as bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate are offered at universities.

Australia has a three tiered education system with courses categorized into primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The education system in Australia follows the standards set by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). There are 10 levels under the AQF. Levels 1-4 are certificate courses, level 5 represents diploma programs, level 6 corresponds to advanced diploma and associate degrees, level 7 denotes bachelor’s degrees, level 8 is bachelor’s honors degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas, level 9 represents master’s degrees and lastly level 10 represents doctoral degrees.

 

Canada vs Australia Admission Requirements for International Students

You need to fulfill basic entry requirements for admission to any institution in Canada or Australia. As an international student, you will need to provide scores of English language proficiency and aptitude exams. A number of supporting documents such as recommendation letters, personal statement, essay, etc. may also be required.

Eligibility for Undergraduate Courses

Country

Eligibility Requirements

Canada

Completed 10+2 with 70-80%;

IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 is recommended.

SAT/ ACT may be required

Australia

Completed 12 years of pre-university education;

Minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall is recommended.

 

Eligibility for Graduate Courses

Country

Eligibility Requirements

Canada

Completed a first class bachelor’s degree;

Minimum work experience of 2-3 years for an MBA;

GMAT score above 550 is recommended for management programs

GRE may be required  for some programs

IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 is recommended.

Australia

Completed 3-year bachelor’s degree program or 4-year Engineering degree at UG level;

GMAT scores are required for management programs

GRE scores for other programs;

MBA without work experience is offered at many universities;

IELTS score of 6.0 with no band less than 5.5.

 

Student Visa Process in Canada vs Australia

You will need a student visa valid at all times for the duration of your program. Here’s a quick comparison between the student visa process in Canada vs Australia:

Canada

Australia

You need a Canada study permit

You need an Australian subclass 500 student visa

Application fee: 150 CAD

Application fee: 630 AUD

Processing time: 90 days

Processing time: 1 to 10 months

Requirements:

  • Proof of acceptance to an institution
  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of sufficient finances
  • Passport size photographs
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Letter of explanation
  • Immigration Medical Examination
  • A certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ), for studying in Quebec

Requirements:

  • Proof of identity
  • Copy of passport or birth certificate
  • Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE)
  • Proof of money to meet expenses
  • Proof of Overseas Health Cover
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant document
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Documents of partner or any dependents accompanying you.

 

Top Universities in Canada vs Australia

Rankings of institutions play an important role to help you decide which country is better Canada or Australia for study. Both Canada and Australia are home to several elite institutions. Let’s take a look at them below:

Canada

Institutions in Canada are recognized globally for its excellent quality of education which have been reflected through its rankings improving year by year. The top 10 universities in Canada are:

Canadian Universities

World QS Rank 2022

University of Toronto

26

McGill University

27

University of British Columbia

46

Universite de Montreal

111

University of Alberta

126

McMaster University

140

University of Waterloo

149

Western University

170

University of Ottawa

230

University of Calgary

235

 

Australia

When we talk about the university rankings in Australia, there are 7 universities that take the top tier by being ranked in the top 100 globally. Take a look at the top 10 universities in Australia:

Australian Universities

World QS Rank 2022

Australian National University (ANU)

27

University of Sydney

38

University of Melbourne

37

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

43

University of Queensland (UQ)

47

Monash University

58

University of Western Australia (UWA)

93

University of Adelaide

108

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

133

University of Wollongong

193

 

Top Courses in Canada vs Australia

It is important to know about the top courses in Canada vs Australia to see whether your program of interest is popular in that country or not. Your academic as well as job prospects will depend on the demand for professionals in that field. Here’s a comparison between the top courses in Canada vs Australia for international students:

Canada

Australia

Business and Finance

Arts and Design

Engineering

Business and Management

Computer Science and IT

Healthcare and Medicine

Media and Journalism

Dentistry

Medicine and Healthcare

Engineering

Agricultural Science and Forestry

Law

Education

Environmental Sciences

Life Sciences

Accounting and Finance

Psychology and Human Resources

Computer Science

Tourism and Hospitality

Hotel Management

 

Cost of Studying for International Students in Canada vs Australia

The cost of education plays an important role when it comes to deciding between Canada or Australia which is better for Indian students.  Let us compare the tuition fees and cost of living for international students in Canada vs Australia.

Tuition Fees

Program

Annual  Tuition Fees in Canada (in CAD)

Annual Tuition Fees in Australia (in AUD)

Undergraduate degree

10,000-30,000

20,000-45,000

Graduate degree

15,000-65,000

22,000-50,000

Doctoral program

7,000-17,000

22,000-42,000

Diploma/ certificate/ vocational training

10,000-15,000

4,000-22,000

 

Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Canada is 10,000-12,000 CAD i.e. 5,87,000-7,05,000 INR per year. For Australia, it is 19,000-20,000 AUD i.e. 10,30,000-10,85,000 INR per year. Here’s a look at basic expenses you incur while studying in Canada vs Australia:

Expenses

Cost per year in Canada (in CAD)

Cost per year in Australia (in NZD)

Campus Accommodation

3,000-7,500

5,000-13,500

Private Accommodation

8,000-9,000

8,800-21,000

Food

4,800

6,700-13,440

Utility bills

800

480-960

Phone & Internet

600

720-1,440

Public Transport

960-1,320

1,440-2,880

Entertainment

1,800

3,840-7,200

Health insurance

600-800

2,000

On comparing the living expenses between Canada and Australia, we see that Canada is relatively cheaper.

SUGGESTED: Complete breakdown of cost of studying in Canada for international students

 

Canada vs Australia for International Students in Terms of Financial Aid

Canada and Australia provide financial support to international students for studying abroad in terms of scholarships and part-time job opportunities.

 

Scholarships

Scholarships significantly contribute to the cost of education covering 25-100% of the tuition fees with additional allowances. Some of the  top scholarships in Canada & Australia are:

Canada

Australia

  • Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED)
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship
  • President’s Scholars of Excellence Program
  • Gold Standard Scholarship
  • International Major Entrance Scholarships
  • Canada Asia-Pacific Awards
  • Australian Leadership Awards
  • Macquarie University International Scholarship
  • Endeavor Postgraduate Scholarship Awards
  • University of Queensland India-Australia BEL Excellence Scholarship
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
  • Sydney Scholars India Scholarship

 

Part-time Work and Internship Opportunities

Working part-time is becoming a popular option because it provides financial support and also provides work experience, hones new skills among other benefits. Part-time work opportunities in both the countries are available both on and off-campus.

In Canada, you are allowed to work part-time during school terms for up to 20 hours per week maximum and full-time during semester breaks. The minimum hourly pay of 10 CAD in Canada.

In Australia, international students are allowed to work for 40 hours per fortnight and for unlimited hours during holidays. A student in Australia is entitled to a minimum hourly pay of 18.93 AUD.

Related Discussion: Australia or Canada, which country is better for students?

 

Employment Opportunities, Stay Back Options & PR in Canada vs Australia

A professional working in Canada earns around 120,000 CAD with salaries ranging between 30,200 CAD and 534,000 CAD. The average salary of an individual in Australia is 90,800 AUD. The minimum starting salary is 23,000 AUD while the highest can go up to 405,000 AUD.

The salary in Canada vs Australia for Indian students is 70,00,000 INR in Canada vs 50,00,000 INR in Australia. It can be clearly seen that the salary potential in Canada is higher than that in Australia. However, there is not much difference when it comes to the starting salaries for freshers.

When it comes to employability of graduates, universities in Australia are ranked higher than those in Canada as per QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022. Let us compare the employability rankings for universities in Canada vs Australia:

Universities in Canada  (GE Rank)

Universities in Australia  (GE Rank)

University of Toronto (21)

University of Sydney (4)

University of Waterloo (24)

University of Melbourne (8)

Western University (43)

University of New South Wales (32)

McMaster University (81)

Monash University (54)

University of Alberta (99)

University of Technology Sydney (62)

 

Stay Back Options After Studies

The process to stay back after studies in Canada and Australia are nothing alike. The table below highlights the process in both these countries:

Canada

Australia

To stay back in Canada after studies you need to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

The 485 Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa is the most common type of visa availed by international students to stay back in Australia after graduation.

Validity of a PGWP in Canada will depend on the length of your program and range anywhere between 8 months to 2 years depending on the length of your program.

A Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa allows you to live and work in Australia for 18 months to gain work experience if you have completed a program of 2 years or longer.

A PGWP is the only option for international students to stay back in Canada after studying.

Other stay back options include 402 Training and Research Visa, 487 Regional Sponsored Visa, 887 Skilled Regional Residence Visa, 885 Skilled Independent Residence Visa, 886 Skilled Sponsor Resident Visa.

 

Permanent Residency: Canada vs Australia

To make an informed choice between Canada or Australia which is better for Indian students, you must be aware of the PR rules in both countries. The good news is that both Canada and Australia offer PR.

Here’s a quick look at the PR process in Canada vs Australia for Indian students:

Canada: You can apply for permanent residency in Canada after getting a post graduation work permit; through the Express Entry process or as provincial nominees.

Australia: Point requirements determine your eligibility for PR. You need a minimum 65 points to apply for a PR in Australia. If your scores are 85 or above, it will be easier to get PR. Your qualifications, work experience, age, occupation contribute towards PR in Australia.

It is easier to get a PR in Canada than in Australia due to the complexity of the process.

 

Student Life in Canada vs Australia

When studying abroad, your student life is very important for your growth and development. Let us compare important aspects of student life in Canada & Australia below:

 

Canada

  • Canada is known to be a student-friendly country and the top study abroad destination globally for international students.
  • Student population of Canada is quite diverse because of its welcoming immigration policies that attract students from all around the world.
  • Canada is a bilingual country where people speak English and French, so you won't face any language barrier.
  • One can enjoy leisure time in Canada camping, boating, fishing, skiing, ice skating or more.
  • The QS Best Student Cities 2022 feature cities like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Quebec.
  • Canada witnesses 4 diverse seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. While Summer is pleasant, winters in Canada can be bone chilling with temperatures going as low as -30 degrees celsius.

 

Australia

  • Australia has excellent international student support available at almost all institutions.
  • English is the official language of the country which means you don’t have to struggle to learn a new language altogether.
  • Water-based activities are an all-time favorite of people living in Australia. You can enjoy surfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. if you are located close to the coastline.
  • You can enjoy spending time enjoying sports such as cricket, rugby, tennis, shopping or indulging in good food.
  • There are 7 cities in Australia that have ranked in the QS Best Student Cities 2022 - Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Gold Coast.
  • There are 4 distinct weathers in Australia: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Temperatures in Australia are favorable for students around the year.

There is no definite answer for which country is better Canada or Australia for study. It depends on your personal objectives to a great extent. You must weigh the pros and cons of Canada vs Australia owing to your personal circumstances as it is a big decision and will shape your future. In case you need more assistance, talk to a Yocket Professional for expert advice!

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying in Canada vs Australia

  1. Which country, Canada vs Australia, is cheaper for studying abroad?

Ans. Canada is cheaper compared to Australia for studying abroad. The tuition fees as well as cost of living in Canada is lower than that in Australia.

 

  1. Does Canada offer higher salaries than Australia?

Ans. Canada offers higher average salaries to individuals than Australia. The average salary for working professionals in Canada is 120,000 CAD while in Australia it is 90,800 AUD.

 

  1. Which country, Canada vs Australia, has higher ranked institutions?

Ans. Institutions both in Canada and Australia are ranked in close competition to each other.

 

  1. Which country, Canada vs Australia, has an easier PR process?

Ans. Canada is less stringent when it comes to getting a permanent residency. The process of PR in Australia is lengthier and has stricter requirements to avoid cases of scams or frauds.

 

  1. Which country, Canada vs Australia, has a higher population of international students?

Ans. Canada has nearly 650,000 international students compared to 500,000 international students in Australia. Therefore, Canada has a higher population of international students.

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