The Best Colleges in Canada for International Students in 2024

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Last updated November 21, 2023

International students have long been drawn to make the journey to live and learn in Canada with the goal of establishing a new life and career in this country, or to return to their homeland to use their skills to support their families or grow a business. As a result, colleges in Canada have grown significantly, and recently even began outpacing universities in terms of international student enrollment.

Given the diversity of Canada’s largest urban centres, international students often find themselves reflected in the student population of these dynamic learning institutions, with many nationalities represented in the student body of the 20 colleges in our ranking of the best colleges for international students. Canada’s top colleges deliver a wide range of diplomas and degrees, certificates, co-ops, apprenticeships and micro-credentials that promise to deliver job-ready skills.

The Government of Canada recognizes the tremendous social, cultural and economic benefits that international students bring to Canada and acknowledges that there are benefits for both students and the Canadian economy for those who choose to work here after earning a diploma or degree.

In recent years, the number of international students coming to Canada has increased significantly, with 2022 being a record year for both immigration and international student growth. Enrollment in Canadian post-secondary institutions grew by 30 per cent, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The most popular study destination for international students last year was Ontario, with 52 per cent of all new study permits issued to this province. In fact, over half of all international students in Canada held permits linked to Ontario institutions. Closely behind Ontario, British Columbia accounted for 19 per cent of total 2022 permits.

While the in-class and experiential learning opportunities at Canada’s colleges are broad, with most offering on-the-job training through cooperative learning opportunities while enrolled in classes, international students face many challenges in coming to Canada to study.

CourseCompare’s ranking of the best colleges for international students in Canada considers the cost of tuition at different schools, for example, which is considerably higher for international students than it is for domestic students. Tuition “premiums” in our study ranged from 150 per cent to more than 300 per cent compared to domestic tuition.

Canada’s current housing shortage is also making it difficult for international students to find a place to live. Adding to that, while Canadian colleges have grown their student populations thanks in large part to international students, on-campus housing has not kept up with this growth.

These and other factors drove our investigation, and the result is the most comprehensive look to date at where international students are flocking to across Canada, and which college campuses are best prepared to receive them.

CourseCompare’s annual school rankings are determined using a process that considers several core metrics and principles. This ranking considers a variety of factors, with an emphasis on the number of international students (30 per cent) and the proportion of international students to a college’s general student population (20 per cent). International tuition premiums, student diversity, job placement rates, student satisfaction ratings and campus housing availability were also considered (10 per cent each).

1.

Conestoga College 4.9/5

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2.

Seneca College 3.45/5

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3.

Bow Valley College 5/5

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4.

Canadore College 4.8/5

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5.

St. Lawrence College 5/5

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6.

Lambton College 4.8/5

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7.

Cambrian College 4.75/5

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8.

Loyalist College 5/5

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9.

Langara College 4.65/5

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10.

Fanshawe College 4.3/5

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11.

Humber College 4.7/5

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12.

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) 4.85/5

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13.

St. Clair College 5/5

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14.

Sheridan College 4.5/5

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15.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) 3.55/5

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16.

Centennial College 3.65/5

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17.

Niagara College 4.8/5

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18.

Georgian College 5/5

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19.

Red River College Polytechnic 5/5

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20.

George Brown 3.55/5

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1

Conestoga College

massage-therapy-school-conestoga
4.9/5
$ $ $ $

Headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, about two hours west of Toronto, Ontario, Conestoga College is a popular and respected institution for students and employers alike. Established in 1967, it serves about 21,249 students a year at campuses across southwestern Ontario. It ranked No. 2 on our list of The Best Colleges in Ontario. International students account for 39 per cent of the campus population and represent 80 different nationalities.

A survey of former Conestoga students indicates graduates had an 86 per cent job placement rate in 2020/2021 and the college claims a 79 per cent student satisfaction rate. There are two on-campus residences at Conestoga providing a total of 528 units, or 2.5 per cent of total enrollment. Students can apply to residence before they are accepted into their program, and it is advised to apply as soon as possible as space is subject to availability.

What Students Are Saying

Lots of work-integrated (WIL) learning and amazing community feel to this program at Conestoga. Invaluable experience in a kindergarten classroom topped off excellent classroom training by first-rate professors in this bachelor's degree program. Highly recommended.

Kristen Chan, Bachelor of Early Learning Program Development (Honours)

Popular Programs

Conestoga offers more than 230 certificate, diploma, degree and post-graduate programs, many with co-op options for international students. There are more than 15 degree-granting programs, including Ontario’s only college-based, accredited engineering degrees. From 3D Computer Animation to bachelor’s degrees in Applied Technology, Business, Commerce, Computer Science, Engineering and Early Childhood Education, there is a wide range of programs and career paths to choose from. The average tuition for international students at Conestoga College is $17,446.

The college recently unveiled a 250,000 sq. ft. skilled trades facility to house all of its trade programs, such as construction, carpentry, welding, electrical and automotive.

Conestoga also works in partnership with nearby Wilfrid Laurier University to deliver programs at Conestoga’s Brantford campus. Students can earn both a bachelor’s degree from Laurier, as well as a graduate certificate from Conestoga.

Locations

Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Ingersoll and Brantford

2

Seneca College

toronto-colleges
3.45/5
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1967 and one of Canada’s largest community colleges, Seneca is a popular choice for international students. It attracts an average of 34,167 full-time students studying across eight campus locations in the Greater Toronto Area and Peterborough. In 2020-21 it had the highest enrollment of international students at Canadian colleges at 9,318 or 27.3 per cent, making it the most popular choice for students coming from abroad. Those who attend from abroad represent 150 nationalities.

The job placement rate for graduates of Seneca College is 76 per cent and students report a satisfaction rate of about 73 per cent. For students looking for housing on campus, there are 1,330 units, or 3.9 per cent of total enrollment.

What Students Are Saying

I did my post-grad in event marketing in sports, arts, and entertainment and loved it! The instructors wanted you to succeed, they were informative, and they helped in any way they could. The classes were about 40 people and there was a lot of group work involved. Course work was relevant and interesting and could be applied into real-life. Co-op was available and really helped in jumpstarting your career. If you're into group work, marketing and events, and collaborating, this program is for you! Loved this program and wish I took it sooner!

Erika Roldan, Event & Media Production

Popular Programs

The college offers 300 full-time, part-time and continuing education programs in aviation, business, creative arts, education and social services, engineering, IT, fashion and esthetics, health, hospitality, law, media, science and more. The average tuition for international students at Seneca is about $18,274.

Seneca is considered one of Canada’s largest business schools with a wide range of two-year Ontario College Diploma courses and is well known for its three-year accounting and finance diploma and two-year accounting diploma program. In addition to its business programs, the college’s nursing programs are highly sought after, including its four-year BScN and the five-semester practical nursing program.

In IT, a three-year diploma in computer programming and analysis provides fundamental software development skills including an optional co-op placement.

Seneca’s arts programs are also in demand. The college’s animation program placed fifth worldwide in the influential Animation Career Review rankings, and its programs in 3D and game animation are highly competitive. Other popular arts programs include graphic design, acting for camera and voice, and a one-year visual effects teaching cutting-edge digital artistry.

Seneca also has a partnership with Niagara University to co-deliver graduate degree programs, including a master’s degree in information security and digital forensics.

Locations

King Campus, King City; Seneca International Academy, Markham; Newnham (Finch Avenue East); Peterborough, North York, Seneca@York Campus, Toronto

3

Bow Valley College

best-digital-marketing-certificate
$ $ $ $

Considered one of the top 50 research colleges in Canada, Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, has been educating students and serving the needs of employers in Alberta and abroad since 1965. About 7,032 students attend the college each year and of that, about 1,551 or 22.1 per cent are international students who come from 148 different countries around the world, speaking 98 languages. To help make those international students feel more at home, about 700 faculty and staff reflect that diversity with more than 50 languages spoken.

According to its own reporting, about 89 per cent of graduates at the college find work within six months of finishing their program. The college has a job placement rate of 91 per cent and student satisfaction rate of 93 per cent. For those looking to live on campus, there are 720 campus housing units, which means Bow Valley can accommodate 10.2 per cent of its total student population in residence.

What Students Are Saying

Good well-rounded program the ventures into UX design and SEO, plus some time on web development. The capstone project is key. Put a lot into that and you can graduate ready to start working on campaigns from start-to-finish the next day. The non-credit Employment Search Prep course, which is optional, is also worth taking. I had a good experience as a mature student going back to school after choosing the wrong career for me.

Blake S., Digital Marketing Post-Diploma Certificate

Popular Programs

Whether it’s business, health care or community services, Bow Valley College offers certificate and diploma programs in those areas as well as justice studies and creative technologies. Apprenticeship-style technology diploma programs are 16-month diploma programs consisting of 16 months of classroom instruction combined with paid on-the-job training. For example, the college’s Software Development Program offers students the opportunity to learn full-stack web development, mobile application development and cloud and enterprise computing while working on the job. For business students, diploma programs in Supply Chain Management, Accounting and Financial Services are available, addressing the demands of today’s organizations.

Many of the programs offer work experience so that students have hands-on time with top employers before graduation. Bow Valley College boasts the lowest international tuition premium of any college on this list at 155.9 percent of domestic tuition, compared to the 265.3 per cent average premium.

Locations

Calgary, Alberta

4

Canadore College

best-colleges-in-ontario
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

Located about five hours north of Toronto, Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario has long been a popular choice for international students with 63 per cent of the campus population coming from 30 different countries. With a total student population at 7,416 students enrolled in 2020-21, Canadore is No. 2 in terms of having the highest proportion of students who come from abroad.

The job placement rate for Canadore graduates is 89 per cent and the student satisfaction rate is 78.5 per cent. For those seeking housing on campus, there are 675 units of student housing for 9.1 per cent of enrolled students.

What Students Are Saying

A wonderful local option for anyone in northern Ontario. Very good facilities, excellent teachers and I had no trouble finding a field placement and a job after graduation. With degree inflation, some of the students had BA's in education and came to Canadore to get certified. Something to keep in mind for those of you unsure about which path to take. I have since moved into a management role at a private centre.

Nancy Leblanc, Early Childhood Education Intensive (Accelerated)

Popular Programs

Canadore delivers a diverse range of more than 80 full-time programs and apprenticeships. The college’s 12 schools of study cover art and design, aviation, community justice, culinary arts, environmental studies, health, sports and trades.

Health sciences are a popular pursuit at Canadore, which offers a two-year diploma in practical nursing. Three-year diploma programs in both respiratory therapy and dental hygiene are also in demand.

Apprenticeships such as automotive service technician, general machinist, and mechanical technician – welder-fitter are also popular options at Canadore. The college also offers apprenticeships geared specifically towards female students, such as the general carpenter pre-apprenticeship for women.

Canadore delivers programs in three North Bay campus locations, as well as recently opened facilities in Parry Sound where students train in practical nursing, personal support work, early childhood education and photography programs, among others.

There’s also a “general interest” field of study, with individual courses on a wide range of topics, including AI, astronomy, corporate law and critical thinking. The average tuition for international students is $16,725.

Locations

North Bay, Ontario

5

St. Lawrence College

best-colleges-in-ontario
$ $ $ $

St. Lawrence College is located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in historic Kingston. Every year this popular Ontario college attracts about 10,305 enrolled students of which a high number, about 40,7 per cent in 2020-2021 came from abroad representing more than 40 nationalities.

Students can choose from more than 100 full-time programs across three campuses, ranging from one-year certificates to four-year degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Students with previous diplomas can also pick form a variety of one-year “fast-track” programs in fields such as business administration, police foundations, human resources and environmental technology, among others.

St. Lawrence has a high graduate employment, with more than 91 per cent of students finding work in their field within six months, with the College’s employer satisfaction score at 100 per cent. St. Lawrence reports slightly above-average student satisfaction as well, at 79 per cent.

Popular Programs

Some of St. Lawrence’s most popular programs are in the field of health sciences including practical nursing and the BSc. Nursing program, as are behavioural psychology, medical laboratory sciences, social services work and the pre-health sciences pathway to advanced diplomas and degrees, a two-year certificate program designed to equip students with the skills to meet admission requirements for diploma and degree programs in health.

Students also find the general arts and sciences certificate attractive – a pre-trades program which provides foundational learning for those considering the skilled trades, covering important foundational skills such as communications, critical thinking, carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical.

Tuition for international students at St. Lawrence College is on the higher end compared to other colleges, at about $18,234 a year. For those interested in living on campus, there are just 600 units of campus housing available.

Locations

Kingston, Ontario

6

Lambton College

lambton-college
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

Primarily located in Sarnia, Ontario, but with international student campuses in Mississauga, Toronto and Ottawa, Lambton College is one of the most popular campuses with foreign students attending school in Canada. Founded in 1966 with just 54 students, Lambton College has a long history of preparing students for the real world with practical skills that are in demand. In 2020-2021 the total student population was 9,620 . Situated near Canada’s border with the United States, Lambton attracts the highest proportion of international students of all of those on this list with 71.8 per cent of the total student body represented by those coming from abroad, with 32 nationalities represented on campus. In 2021-2022 Lambton’s main campus enrollment grew by 39 per cent compared to the prior year, largely due to growth in international enrollment. In the fall of 2021, international enrollment increased across all Lambton College campuses by 59 per cent compared to fall 2020.

The college has been operating a partnership with private career college Cestar College in Toronto since 2011 and has graduated more than 12,000 international students. Currently, classes are composed of only international students. The Cestar College campus is located at 265 Yorkland Blvd in Toronto and includes over 100,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, student areas, and administration offices in two buildings.

Lambton College also has an agreement with Queen’s College of Business, Technology, and Public Safety (Queen’s College), a registered private career college, to deliver its academic programs in the City of Mississauga. This partnership with Queen’s College has been in place since 2017 and over 4,000 international students have graduated from programs at this location. Currently, classes are composed of only international students. The Queen’s College campus includes 33,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, student areas and administration offices in two buildings.

Lambton College in Ottawa is located at the Saint Paul University (the founding college of the University of Ottawa) campus in the heart the nation’s capital. This bilingual campus is referred to as the Centre for Graduate Studies as all programs offered (Business Analytics, Financial Planning and Wealth Management, Full Stack Software Development, Supply Chain Management, Digital Marketing Management) are at a post-graduate level and only promoted to international students. Students enjoy a post-secondary campus experience that is shared with students from Saint Paul University and Boreal College. A leader in applied innovation in research, in recent years the college’s campus footprint has grown to include the NOVA Chemicals Health & Research Centre.

Lambton has a job placement rate of 81 per cent after six months of graduation and a graduate satisfaction rate of 73 per cent. While there are a small number of student housing units available, at just 280, or 2.9 per cent of enrollment, it’s limited.

What Students Are Saying

I was one of many international students at Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario -- the college has 3,500 international students from all over the world. Admission criteria wasn't as strict as some other programs and GRE and GMAT weren't required for all programs. Classes were focused on careers and jobs, which is what I was looking for. Campus life was excellent even if Sarnia is what people called "sleepy." I learned very much from professors and other students. Very local feel and people were serious about their education.

Ram Sharma, Business - Accounting

Popular Programs

With more than 70 full-time degree, diploma and certificate programs, Lambton is known for preparing students for in-demand career opportunities in business, early childhood education, the trades (welding, electrical and construction carpentry technique) and in health sciences (paramedic, pharmacy technician, practical nursing, BScN, medical esthetics and advanced skin care therapies), as well as jobs in tech such as cyber security, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and cloud infrastructure and administration.

The college is also home to Canada’s largest fire school with state-of-the-art facilities for training fire and rescue first responders and a 10-month fire science technology course which attracts applicants from across Canada and internationally, as well as a pre-service firefighter education and training program.

First year international student tuition is lowest on this list at $13,818 for a two-year business diploma, one of the most popular programs for international students coming to Canada, according to CourseCompare’s global learner analytics.

Locations

Sarnia, Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa

7

Cambrian College

best-colleges-in-ontario
4.75/5
$ $ $ $

With three campuses in and around the Sudbury area, Cambrian College attracts more than 7,410 full-time students annually with its more than 80 full-time programs. Established in 1967, Cambrian is the largest community college in northern Ontario. International students make up more than half of the total student body at 56.8 per cent, and they represent more than 30 nationalities.

Graduates have a relatively high employment rate at 88.6 per cent and a student satisfaction rate of 78.9 per cent.

For those interested in living close to where they study, the school has a decent number of student housing spots – 677 in total, or 9.1 per cent of enrollment, with a mix of townhouses and dormitory style housing.

Popular Programs

Health sciences programs including nursing, dental hygiene, massage therapy, MRI technology and paramedic studies at Cambrian make it a destination for students looking to become qualified in these in-demand professions. For nursing, Cambrian offers both a four-year BScN offered in collaboration with Laurentian University, also in Sudbury, and the two-year practical nursing program.

Cambrian’s engineering technology program attracts many applicants as well, particularly in the electrical engineering and power engineering specialties. Other top draws are general arts and science programs that provide excellent foundation learning to pursue further higher learning.

The average tuition for international students at Cambrian College is $16,913 per year.

Locations

Sudbury, Espanola and Little Current

8

Loyalist College

loyalist-college
$ $ $ $

Loyalist College welcomes about 5,049 students annually to its 81-hectare campus in beautiful Belleville, Ontario. Of the total student body, about 58.2 per cent are international students who represent 27 different nationalities.

Graduates report a job placement rate of 92 per cent within six months of completing their program, and an 81.5 per cent satisfaction rate with their experience at Loyalist.

Loyalist has the highest proportion of on campus housing of any college on this list, with 11.5% spots or 580 units available for its student population.

Popular Programs

Loyalist offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in fields such as health and human studies, business, media, justice, technology and skilled trades.

Almost half of Loyalist students enroll in the health and human studies program, a broad umbrella offering that covers specialties such as nursing, social services work, early childhood education, fitness, customs border services, police foundations and firefighter education.

Popular areas of focus are the practical nursing and personal support worker programs, with the latter seeing a huge bump in recent enrolments. To meet the growing demand, Loyalist offers aspiring PSWs a one-year program or an accelerated 21-week course.

A course in financial technology introduces students to the rapid digital disruption in the financial services industry, and a new one-year postgraduate program in cannabis applied sciences provides hands-on education in cannabis biology, cultivation, regulatory issues and product development.

Locations

Belleville, Bancroft

9

Langara College

vancouver-colleges
4.65/5
$ $ $ $

Located on Canada’s West Coast in British Columbia’s largest city, Langara College opened in 1965 as part of Vancouver Community College and in 1970, it opened its West 49th Avenue campus. On April 1, 1994, Langara College was established as an independent public college under the Provincial College and Institute Act. The College is also known as “house of teachings” — a name given by the Musqueam First Nation.

Today, Langara is one of B.C.’s leading undergraduate institutions providing University Studies, Career Studies, and Continuing Studies programs and courses and attracted 13,497 students from 103 different nationalities in 2020-2021 with 36.6 per cent or 4,941 international students. The average tuition for international students is on the higher side compared to other colleges on this list at $18,762. Students should note that there are no on-campus housing units in this city known for low occupancy rates and high rent. However, there is the Langara Homestay Program which gives international students the chance to live with Canadian families while they complete their education. The program has placed tens of thousands of students over the past three decades.

The job placement rate for graduates of Langara College is 83 per cent six months after graduation and the student satisfaction rate is 88 per cent.

What Students Are Saying

The Langara difference is the community and the friendships that you build with your classmates and instructors. Students work together to become successful and competent professionals. Instructors are accessible and invested in the students; they love nursing and this is evident in the lessons they impart in class. I always felt supported.

Sara Gill, Nursing

Popular Programs

As one of British Columbia’s leading undergraduate institutions, Langara College’s programs span arts, business, science and technology, humanities and social sciences, and health. The largest number of students enrol in general arts and sciences programs, often as university transfer students. Computer science and health sciences follow closely as well as those enrolled in commerce programs.

Of note are the college’s field studies, which combine studies and experience with travel. Students participate in credit or non-credit courses for a range of durations at different destinations – a recent option was to live, learn and earn at Disney with a program blending nine credits of academic coursework at the University of California, Riverside and at the Disney University with six months of supervised paid training at Walt Disney World. Closer to home, Langara offers courses for those who are currently employed and looking for professional development to upgrade skills or make a career change.

Locations

Vancouver, British Columbia

10

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College online BCom | CourseCompare
4.3/5
$ $ $ $

Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, has been drawing students to its popular post-secondary school mid-sized city since the late 1960s. With more than 220 programs including bachelor’s degrees and 50 post-graduate certificates, Fanshawe’s student population was 22,200 in 2020-21. It is one of the largest colleges in Ontario and about 5,544 international students from 100 different nationalities chose Fanshawe in 2020-2021 and make up about 25 per cent of the total student enrollment.

The London-based college provides degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in a variety of disciplines including applied arts, agriculture, business, communication and languages, health care, human services, hospitality, media, technology, transportation and logistics, and skilled trades. Fanshawe’s partnership with the University of Western Ontario allows students to pursue collaborative degrees in nursing, finance and music recording arts.

More than 40 Fanshawe programs specialize in skilled trades and apprenticeships, and the college offers more than 60 co-op programs, the most of any college in Canada, which means you can earn while you learn and start working in Canada. Fanshawe also maintains relationships with over 15,000 employer partners to connect students to job opportunities. Nearly 87 per cent of Fanshawe students find work within six months of graduation, and 100 per cent of employers are satisfied with their candidates.

What Students Are Saying

I completed two programs at Fanshawe. Mechanical engineering and mechanical design. The school was outstanding, with down to earth profs who were friendly and knowledgeable in every aspect of their programs. The labs are well equipped with up to date technology, which really helps students get an idea of what is to come in the workforce. There are even free events for new and old students to attend, which really helps the sense of community the school provides. If you’re considering mechanical engineering, I cannot recommend Fanshawe enough.

Chris Arnold, Mechanical Engineering Technician - CNC/CAM

Popular Programs

Popular programs include the one-year general arts and science program as well as business, computer programming and analysis, accounting and early childhood education, which is offered in 60-, 48- and 45-week programs.

Fanshawe’s robust trades programs include multiple popular options such as specialties in carpentry and renovation, plumbing and building renovation. The aviation programs draw applicants across several disciplines including commercial flight, aviation technology and avionics maintenance.

A less common but competitive program is the horticulture technician diploma program, which covers studies such as landscape design, plant identification and plant production.

The average tuition for international students attending Fanshawe’s programs is $15,539 and there are 1,200 campus housing units available to students.

Locations

London, Ontario

11

Humber College

toronto-colleges
4.7/5
$ $ $ $

Humber College based in Toronto, Ontario, is the largest college in Canada, offering more than 220 full-time programs to 28,629 students, of which 7,173 or 25.1 per cent were international students from 120 nationalities in 2020-2021. The school ranked No. 1 one on our list of The Best Colleges in Ontario in 2023.

This popular college offers degree, diploma, certificate, apprenticeship and continuing education programs in wide range of studies spanning applied technology and engineering, business, children and youth services, creative arts, emergency services, fashion and beauty, health, hospitality, IT, marketing, media, performing arts and skilled trades, among others.

About 87 per cent of graduates are employed within six months of graduation from their program, and 71.5 per cent of students reporting satisfaction with making Humber their college of choice. Add to this the fact that 95 per cent of graduates would recommend Humber to someone else and you have some solid data to demonstrate Humber’s appeal for international students.

What Students Are Saying

I studied at the Lakeshore campus and the CEO of CourseCompare was one of my instructors. For PR and marketing, Humber is hands down one of the best in Canada. The professors are all passionate about teaching and have held leadership positions in marketing and public relations. Classes are filled with real-life examples and hands-on exercises and simulations that will prepare you for first day on the job. Lessons are up-to-date and there's a lot of focus on new technologies and how they are changing the industry and landscape. The program also gives students so many opportunities to network with employers it's crazy. This includes lunches, office tours, talks, field trips, roundtables, student-run activities supported by influencers, career talks and workshops, and the list goes on. I credit Humber with a lot of my early career success and still keep in touch with many of the close friends I made during my four years there.

Claudia D., Array

Popular Programs

Humber College offers a broad course catalogue of in-demand programs including 30 honours degree opportunities in specialties such as creative advertising, fashion management, finance, film and media production, healthcare management and interior design.

A BScN program is a popular choice, as well as the practical nursing to BscN bridging program. Other health options are the three-semester certificate program in clinical research and the traditional Chinese medicine diploma, the only publicly funded postsecondary program of its kind in Canada.

Humber is also well-known for cutting-edge public relations and digital communications programs offered by its Faculty of Media & Creative Arts — a training ground for many of Toronto’s media and communications professionals.

Meanwhile, students at the Centre for Trades and Technology can earn degrees, diplomas and certificates in numerous fields, including electrical techniques, carpentry and renovation, HVAC techniques and plumbing.

The average tuition for international students is $16,394 and the school offers 1,450 campus housing units.

Locations

North Campus, Lakeshore Campus, Toronto

12

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

british-columbia-institue-of-technology
4.85/5
$ $ $ $

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a technical school that distinguishes itself from a traditional university or college with practical, flexible, applied programs delivered by instructors who have direct, hands-on experience in their field. Since 1964 it has produced graduate with in-demand skills. In 2020-2021 the enrollment at BCIT was 22,830 with about 17.5 per cent of those being international students from 120 nationalities.

BCIT boasts job placement rate of 89 per cent for 2020-2021 and a student satisfaction rate of 91 per cent.

With more than 300 programs offered across five campuses, BCIT is focused on meeting the demands of local employers, which includes a need for technology workers such as security systems technicians and software systems developers.

What Students Are Saying

Well recognized college in western Canada. I studied applied data analytics and really enjoyed it. I had to fill in some gaps in theory by studying on my own but BCIT gave me the job skills I needed to switch careers when I was in my early thirties. Haven't looked back.

Charles, Great applied education for today’s workforce

Popular Programs

BCIT delivers programs and courses to nearly 45,000 students annually through its School of Business + Media, School of Computing and Academic Studies, School of Construction and the Environment, School of Energy, School of Health Sciences and School of Transportation.

The School of Business + Media is one of the largest in Western Canada with more than 30 full-time and 90 part-time programs. A sampling of programs in this school includes Business Analytics and Business Administration, Digital Arts and Broadcast and Media Communications. The School of Computing and Academic Studies offers over 30 different applied programs with well-recognized credentials and a reputation for producing job-ready graduates.

If you’re interested in the trades, the programs at BCIT train students for in-demand construction careers, from carpentry to metal fabrication and plumbing. And the School of Transportation is the only post-secondary institution in North America delivering globally recognized accreditation in transportation by air, sea, road and rail. The Airline and Flight Operations commercial pilot program is the fastest route to a diploma and a commercial pilot’s licence, and many of the programs feature state-of-the-art training technology—from the fleet of 20 aircraft, to a certified industrial railway, and realistic simulators for marine bridge and engine room scenarios.

First year international student tuition is the highest on this list at $21,812 for a two-year business diploma, one of the most popular programs for international students coming to Canada, according to CourseCompare’s global learner analytics. There are 799 on-campus housing units and the opportunity for homestays for about $950 per month.

Locations

Burnaby and Vancouver

13

St. Clair College

best-colleges-in-ontario
$ $ $ $

Based in the City of Windsor, which is known as the international gateway between Canada and the United States, St. Clair College is located in the fourth most culturally diverse population in Canada. The city is surrounded by Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.

St. Clair College has seen significant growth over the last five years. It’s student population in 2020-2021 was 13,230 with 39.5 per cent or 5,097 comprised of international students from 100 nationalities.

The college offers 135 certificate, diploma and degree programs across its six campus locations in Windsor and nearby Chatham on the shores of Lake St. Clair.

Eighty-three percent of St. Clair graduates find work in their field within six months of graduation, and 80 per cent of students are satisfied with their St. Clair academic experience.

Popular Programs

Areas of study include business, IT, community studies, engineering, health sciences, media and design, and skilled trades. The college also runs a standalone school of nursing, separate from its health sciences program. Both faculties use the state-of-the-art Centre for Applied Health Sciences, a sprawling facility with a simulated hospital environment, full dental clinic and specialized labs for ultrasounds, cardiovascular technology and respiratory therapy.

St. Clair delivers multiple nursing programs, a four-year BScN in collaboration with the University of Windsor and the two-year diploma in practical nursing.

Other health studies in high demand are diplomas in dental hygiene, fitness and health promotion, medical laboratory science, diagnostic cardiac sonography, gerontology and veterinary technology.

St. Clair’s media art and design program is another top choice, with three-year diplomas in graphic design and 2D/3D animation among the popular options.

The average tuition for international students at St. Clair College is $17,951 and there are just 276 campus housing units spread across three on-campus residences in Windsor and Chatham.

Locations

Windsor and Chatham

14

Sheridan College

best-colleges-in-ontario
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

Sheridan College is one of Ontario’s largest and is widely recognized as one of the top animation schools in the world. The college has produced multiple Academy Award-winning animators who have found careers at animation studios such as Pixar and Dreamworks.

Approximately 24,219 students from 100 different nationalities attend Sheridan with international students representing 24.1 per cent of the student population who attend this popular college for certificates, diplomas, degrees and micro-credentials in five faculties: animation and design, health and community services, applied science and technology, humanities and business.

What Students Are Saying

I’m in the computer science program at Sheridan college in Oakville. Specifically, I study mobile computing. That means I develop apps for smartphones. To me, the campus environment is great. The school is known for excellent programs and excellent sports (go Bruins). My program consists of a lot of code writing, collaborating with designers, and trial and error. Our instructors have built apps of their own, which you can download to your phones today. It is great having instructors who actually know what they are talking about. I knew I wanted to attend Sheridan as soon as I got to the campus tour. The modern design and clean campus made me feel at home and inspired me to work harder on each and every assignment so far. Anyone looking for a great computer science program does not need to look any farther.

Chris Arnold, Computer Programmer

Popular Programs

With more than 140 full-time programs across its four faculties including Animation, Arts & Design, Applied Health & Community Studies, Applied Science & Technology and Humanities & Social Sciences, Sheridan offers students a broad range of program, many with co-op, internships or field placement opportunities in jobs that are in demand including nine trades programs, as well as a Technology Fundamentals program for students who may be unsure which trade is the right fit. The program introduces students to the basics of chemistry, engineering, architecture, IT and trades.

Sheridan’s four-year animation degree is one it is well known for in the entertainment industry, but the college also delivers other top media and arts programs including a Bachelor of Game Design as well as degrees in film and television, photography, illustration, game design and music theatre performance.

Applicants are also drawn to Sheridan for its one-year certificate in animal care and two-year veterinary technician diploma.

New for 2023-2024, international students can apply for two consecutive graduate certificate programs at the same time, to create a two-year Graduate Certificate Bundle. With this combination, students may qualify for up to a three-year post-graduate work permit.

Nearly 76 per cent of Sheridan graduates find work in their field within six months of graduation and 72 per cent of students said they were satisfied with their investment at the college. The average tuition is $15,579. A selection of programs in the Pilon School of Business will have a reduction in tuition, effective for the fall 2023 semester, for all students/levels (new and returning) on a full-time basis. The reduction will be reflected in the fee estimates.

  • Business Diplomas (General, Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing)
  • Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Supply Chain)
  • Marketing Management (Graduate Certificate)
  • International Business Management (Graduate Certificate)
  • Project Management (Graduate Certificate)

For those looking to live on campus there are 1,174 units available. Sheridan Residence offers two-bedroom suite style accommodation, housing 824 students in two residence facilities at the Sheridan Trafalgar campus and 350 students at the Sheridan Davis campus.

Locations

Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton

15

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

southern-alberta-institute-of-technology
3.55/5
$ $ $ $

Located northwest of downtown Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is situated on a beautiful campus with breathtaking views of the city and the world-famous Rocky Mountains. With a population of 1.4 million, Calgary is the fourth-largest city in Canada.

The SAIT is a polytechnic institute that offers more than 110 career programs in technology, the trades and business. Established in 1916, it is Calgary’s second oldest post-secondary institution and Canada’s first publicly funded technical institute. Each year more than 12,240 students enrol in full-time programs at SAIT, including 15.7 per cent that are international students representing 163 nationalities, the highest number of nationalities of any college on this list.

What Students Are Saying

Hands down a world class experience from a world class institution. I’ve been at sait for 4 years of training and I’m going to miss it with my heart and soul when I am done. My instructors have been the best teachers I’ve ever had. The skills I’ve acquired and the people I’ve met have re defined me as a person. There’s simply nowhere better in western Canada to educate yourself when it comes to the trades. I’m a mechanical trade and the level experience and training provided by the labs, shops and classes given by sait is simply second to none. If you take your education and self improvement seriously, SAIT IS FOR YOU!!!!

Marilyn Feeg, Electrical Engineering Technology

Popular Programs

International student can apply to a variety of baccalaureate and applied degrees, diploma and certificate programs offered by SAIT. Through its state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, capstone projects and internships, SAIT provides students with a skills-based education and exposure to industries that employers are seeking skilled workers.

SAIT students can choose to study within eight academic schools: Business, Construction, Energy, Health and Public Safety, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Communications Technologies, Manufacturing and Automation and Transportation. (Note: Due to the popularity of SAIT’s health programs some programs are not accepting applications from international students at this time.)

Hands-on learning occurs in unique labs and classrooms, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with industry partners ensure SAIT students are career-ready when they graduate. The job placement rate for graduates is 91 per cent and student satisfaction rate is 87 per cent. The average tuition for international students at SAIT is $18,936, placing it on the higher end of tuition for students attending post-secondary programs in Canada.

For those looking to live on campus, there are 720 units across two residence buildings on main campus – Begin Tower and East Hall – with four different floor plans available to choose from.

Locations

Calgary, Alberta

16

Centennial College

colleges-in-toronto
3.65/5
$ $ $ $

Over the past 50 years, Centennial College has transformed itself from a local community college to a worldly institution, with a presence in countries like China, India, South Korea and Brazil. Whether you’re interested in training for a future career, earning transfer credits for university studies, or preparing to work in Canada or abroad, Centennial College can help you reach your goals. Centennial offers post-secondary, post-graduate and fast-track programs, as well as English Language Learning and Foundations programs for College and University Preparation.

Centennial College was Ontario’s first public college, opening in 1966. Based in Toronto, Centennial’s five campuses deliver 160 programs to 19,122 full-time students of which 40.1 per cent were international students in 2020-2021.

Schools of study include advanced manufacturing, advertising and marketing, animation and design, automotive, business, food, health, IT, media, and sustainable design and renewable energy. Most programs include co-op and placement opportunities, allowing students to graduate with as much as a year of practical work experience in their field.

The college’s renowned aerospace program is housed at the 138,000 sq.ft. Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation, a space large enough to accommodate commercial airliners.

Centennial is proud of its diverse makeup, noting its student body represents approximately 100 ethno-cultural groups speaking 80 different languages.

More than 75 per cent of Centennial students find work in their arena within six months of graduation — an improvement from 66 per cent in 2019. More than 88 per cent of those who have employed Centennial grads say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their hires. The student satisfaction rate is 77 per cent.

What Students Are Saying

Good school that draws students from all around the world. I liked to focus on practical learning and helping graduates find job placements. Faculty and Administration staff were helpful and friendly. I studied here after getting my PR in Canada and my experience has been recognized by employers in the IT industry.

Abdulaziz A., Project Management Graduate Certificate

Popular Programs

Centennial’s popular nursing program provides three options of varying length and intensity: a four-year BScN, a two-year practical nursing diploma and the practical nursing – flexible route, which consists of six consecutive semesters, but with classes only on 3-4 days per week. Another in-demand program is the four-year BSc in paramedicine offered in collaboration with the University of Toronto.

The college also delivers apprenticeship programs in engineering, child services and transportation. The transportation program includes eight apprenticeship options as well as “modified apprenticeships,” where students can work for as long as eight months in real-world environments with employers like Canadian Tire, Toyota and General Motors.

Centennial also has a significant footprint abroad. Suzhou Centennial College is located in the Dushu Lake Higher Education Town in China, home to more than 100,000 students. The school offers Canadian education programs with ministry-recognized Ontario College credentials from Centennial’s Business School, School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science, and School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts.

Centennial has the highest international tuition premium of any college on this list at 343.9 percent percent of domestic tuition, compared to the 265.3 per cent average premium.

Locations

Five campus locations across Toronto

17

Niagara College

niagara-college
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

Located in the Heart of the Niagara Region, close to Niagara Falls and the Canada-U.S. border, Niagara College offers more than 130 innovative programs between their state-of-the-art campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enrollment in 2020-21 was 9,312 students with 110 nationalities represented of which 24.6 per cent were international students.

Together, the Niagara College campuses provide unique living laboratories and top facilities that deliver hands-on applied learning opportunities, world-class applied research and smaller class sizes in a smaller and welcoming environment.

What Students Are Saying

The infrastructure, facilities, and equipment at this college have been excellent in my experience. I appreciate how everyone on staff and in the faculties has welcomed me and my fellow international students with great enthusiasm. In diversity there is beauty and there is strength #proudNCTstudent

Lincy Joseph, International Business Management

Popular Programs

Considered a leader in applied, experiential learning, Niagara College offers students a breadth of programs that reflect and respond to the key sectors of the region such as in the popular greenhouse and nursery studies, baking and pastry arts, winery and vineyard, brewery and distillery programs that immerse students within a highly experiential learning environment – all housed at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus which includes the school of Academic and Liberal Studies, School of Business Management, School of Culinary Arts, School of Environment and Horticulture, School of Hospitality and the Tourism, School of Wine, Beer and Spirits.

The average tuition is $17,422 and the job placement rate is 87 per cent after six months of graduation with a 76 per cent student satisfaction rate.

For those interested in living on campus, Niagara College offers 436 units of student housing.

Locations

Niagara-on-the-Lake and Welland, Ontario

18

Georgian College

georgian-college
$ $ $ $

Georgian College based in Barrie, Ontario, located about one hour north of Toronto, is a leader in hands-on education delivered through its vast co-op programs and small class sizes. It welcomed 14,295 students in 2020-2021 and 23.3 per cent were international students. Georgian welcomes students from 86 countries who speak more than 52 languages. It boasts the highest percentage of students enrolled in co-op placements of any college in Ontario.

Georgian has seven campuses in total that encompass a total area of 21,000 square kilometres and are located in some of the most sought-after areas to live, work and play in Central Ontario. These campuses play important roles in each of these communities, serving as centres for academic, social and cultural activities, and contributing to the social and economic well-being of the areas.

Popular Programs

Georgian offers more than 130 programs across its seven campuses, providing career-focused degree, certificate and diploma programs in fields including business, health, engineering, design and visual arts, computer studies, hospitality and tourism, community safety, marine studies and skilled trades. It is particularly known for its automotive business program. Most programs offer formal work opportunities, ranging from paid co-ops to field placements and internships.

Health sciences tend to dominate the long list of popular programs at Georgian. The college’s practical nursing, dental hygiene, dental assisting, occupational therapy assistant and paramedic programs are all popular draws. Applicants are also drawn to Georgian’s two BScN programs, a four-year collaborative degree with York University, and a four-year honours BSc.

Georgian’s three-year marine technology – navigation diploma program is a major draw, as are police studies and social work.

The emphasis on hands-on learning translates into greater satisfaction as 88 per cent of Georgian graduates find work within six months of graduation. The graduate satisfaction rate is 74 per cent. Tuition is about $17,473 per year for international students. For those looking to stay close to where they learn, 777 units of student housing are available.

Locations

Barrie, Midland, Bracebridge, Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound and Collingwood

19

Red River College Polytechnic

red-river-college-polytechnic
$ $ $ $

Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research, with more than 200 full- and part-time degree, diploma, and certificate options. Through hands-on and online learning opportunities and state-of-the-art instruction, we prepare our students to become leaders in their fields — while also ensuring they can meet changing industry demands and contribute to the province’s economic growth. With the launch of its new strategic plan for 2022-2026, Red River College is embarking on a new path forward by becoming Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech).

The new name recognizes RRC Polytech’s evolution into a unique post-secondary institution that blends deep, knowledge-based learning with applied, hands-on experience, and highlights the important role our graduates play in growing Manitoba’s economy as our province recovers from the pandemic and looks to the future.

In 2020-2021 enrollment at the school was 9,402 students and 18.7 per cent were international students representing 100 student nationalities. The job placement rate is 88 per cent and student satisfaction rate is 95 per cent.

Popular Programs

RRC Polytech’s programs and courses offer something for everyone. From Engineering Technology to Civil Engineering Technology and Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, there are programs to address your interests and the career paths that are in demand for today’s economy.

RRC Polytech is also known for its training in the skilled trades, creative arts, community services, business management and health sciences.

The average tuition for international students is about $17,084.

Locations

Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, Winkler, Stevenson Southport, Interlake and Peguis

20

George Brown

toronto-colleges
3.55/5
$ $ $ $

George Brown College, located in the downtown core of Ontario’s capital city, is a thriving and multicultural hub of learning that has become known as the go-to institution for those looking for in-demand skills sought by today’s employers in range of sectors including the culinary and dramatic arts, business, technology and health care. Spread across three campuses located in dynamic areas of the city including the Casa Loma Campus, St. James Campus, and Waterfront Campus, George Brown offers students a truly urban experience.

More than 27,087 full- and part-time students from 120 different nationalities who are enrolled in the college’s 200-plus programs developed in close consultation with industry, including 5,754 international students. In addition to its three main campuses, students of George Brown also attend classes at Toronto Metropolitan University for studies in community health at the School of Early Childhood, the Sunnybrook Centre for Independent Living as well as the Young Centre for the Performing Arts and the Fashion Exchange for the School of Fashion & Jewellery.

George Brown emphasizes experiential learning through apprenticeships, co-ops, field placements and similar situations at either real or simulated workspaces. Fully 100 per cent of career-focused programs include at least one experiential learning opportunity which is typically facilitated in conjunction with the college’s 5,000 industry partners.

Eighty-one per cent of George Brown’s students find employment within six months of graduating. George Brown students enjoy success in the workplace, with a 93.9 per cent employer satisfaction rate. Students report an 81 per cent job placement rate after six months of graduation and a 74 per cent satisfaction rate.

Despite being located in Canada’s most populous city, George Brown offers only 1.9% of campus housing spots to its students, which presents a challenge for many international students arriving to a competitive rental market.

What Students Are Saying

I had to adapt during a hard year of learning online at GB. I'm better at studying and learning and I had to practice discipline but I got a lot of support this year from teachers and support staff. The staff were doing their best. I just want to say thanks for that as an international student in Brazil. I'm hoping to see everyone in downtown Toronto next year!

Marcia Oliveira, Business - Human Resources Program

Popular Programs

George Brown offers a range of programing under Arts, Design & Information Technology, Business, Community Services & Early Childhood education, Construction & Engineering Technologies, Health Sciences, Hospitality & Culinary Arts and Preparatory & Liberal Studies.

With its proximity to Toronto’s thriving restaurant and entertainment district, George Brown is well known for and has become as a leading institution for the culinary arts and hospitality sector in Canada. The program offers more than 20 certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate fields of study as well as apprenticeship programs split between the Chef School and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Prominent graduates of the program include famed chef, restauranteur and grocery retailer, Mark McEwan.

Students of the culinary and hospitality programs also can practice their skills at The Chefs’ House – the college’s student-run fine-dining restaurants and event spaces located near campus in the heart of Old Town Toronto.

The college’s arts and design programs are top picks as well, with studies in graphic designinterior design, theatre, dance, acting, screenwriting, visual effects and other areas of expertise.

The average tuition at George Brown College is on the higher end at $18,370 per year.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

Enrollment

CollegeInternational RatioInternational EnrollmentTotal Enrollment
Lambton College71.75%6,9039,621
Canadore College63.27%4,6927,416
Loyalist College58.23%2,9405,049
Cambrian College56.76%4,2067,410
St. Lawrence College40.73%4,19710,305
Centennial College40.10%7,66819,122
Conestoga College39.04%8,29521,249
St. Clair College38.53%5,09713,230
Langara College36.61%4,94113,497
Seneca College27.27%9,31834,167
Humber College North Campus25.06%7,17328,629
Fanshawe College 24.97%5,54422,200
Niagara College24.55%2,2869,312
Sheridan College24.11%5,83824,219
Georgian College23.32%3,33314,295
Bow Valley College22.06%1,5517,032
George Brown College21.24%5,75427,087
Red River College18.67%1,7559,402
British Columbia Institute of Technology17.54%4,00522,830
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology15.66%1,91712,240
Average27.45%3,66014,011

Tuition

CollegeTuition PremiumInternational TuitionDomestic Tuition
Bow Valley College155.87%$16,610.00 $6,491.50
Red River College172.65%$17,084.00 $6,266.00
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology220.41%$18,936.30 $5,910.00
British Columbia Institute of Technology236.62%$21,812.14 $6,479.72
Lambton College241.54%$13,818.47 $4,045.93
Sheridan College250.93%$15,579.46 $4,439.46
Seneca College252.44%$18,274.00 $5,185.00
Conestoga College271.27%$17,445.96 $4,698.96
Niagara College280.65%$17,421.90 $4,576.88
Langara College294.16%$18,762.00 $4,760.00
Georgian College295.18%$17,472.98 $4,421.50
George Brown College304.00%$18,370.00 $4,547.00
Loyalist College304.66%$16,308.00 $4,030.08
Canadore College312.18%$16,724.56 $4,057.62
St. Clair College315.24%$17,951.19 $4,323.05
Cambrian College329.77%$16,913.38 $3,935.46
St. Lawrence College332.09%$18,233.85 $4,219.88
Humber College North Campus336.02%$16,394.00 $3,759.88
Fanshawe College 343.55%$15,539.14 $3,503.32
Centennial College343.88%$17,401.24 $3,920.24
Average273.44%$17,576.58$4,812.12

Campus Housing

CollegeHousing RatioCampus HousingTotal Enrollment
Loyalist College11.49%5805,049
Bow Valley College10.24%7207,032
Cambrian College9.14%6777,410
Canadore College9.10%6757,416
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology5.88%72012,240
St. Lawrence College5.82%60010,305
Georgian College5.44%77714,295
Fanshawe College 5.41%1,20022,200
Humber College North Campus5.06%1,45028,629
Sheridan College4.85%1,17424,219
Niagara College4.68%4369,312
Seneca College3.89%1,33034,167
British Columbia Institute of Technology3.50%79922,830
Lambton College2.91%2809,621
Conestoga College2.48%52821,249
St. Clair College2.09%27613,230
George Brown College1.85%50027,087
Red River College1.06%1009,402
Langara College0.00%013,497
Centennial CollegeUndisclosedUndisclosed19,122
Average4.17%55814,011

Data Sources:

International student population (#): the number of international students enrolled at the institution

International student population (%): the number of international students enrolled at the institution, as a proportion of the total student population

International tuition: first year international tuition fees (semesters 1 and 2), compared to domestic tuition fees

Student diversity: the number of student nationalities on campus

  • As published on institution’s website or confirmed by institution

Job placement: the proportion of graduates employed six months after graduation

Student satisfaction: the proportion of graduates satisfied or very satisfied by the institution

Campus housing availability: the number of on-campus housing spots, as a proportion of the total student population

  • As published on institution’s website or confirmed by institution
CourseCompare Editorial Team

CourseCompare is Canada's marketplace for education. Its editorial staff consists of award-winning journalists, visual storytellers, data analysts and web developers working together to help prepare people for the future of work.

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