Studying in Canada: A Guide for Non-Canadians

Studying in Canada
Canada is emerging as an increasingly popular destination for UK citizens studying overseas.

Guest post by James Cave

With the introduction of compulsory course fees at English and Welsh universities, many potential UK undergraduates are seriously considering studying overseas for the first time. The thinking goes that if you’re going to be paying thousands each year to expand your mind at university, why not enhance the experience by submerging yourself in the culture of a different country at the same time?

As an English speaking Commonwealth country, Canada is emerging as a top choice for many getaway students from the UK. This is understandable for the reason that Canada is different from home but not different enough to be scary or alienating.

However, here are many good reasons to consider studying in Canada. Firstly, it’s a big place, stretching from the Atlantic in the east to the Pacific in the west, and offers a huge variety of locations to choose from. From cutting-edge festival cities such as Montreal and Toronto which regularly poll as offering among the highest quality of life anywhere in the world to visually stunning and unique places such as Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland, Canada has a university town to attract everyone. And, although it is a long plane journey away, there are plenty of companies that fly to Canada, especially to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

On a practical level, tuition fees in Canada are generally competitive with those in the UK and other English speaking countries. Many educational institutions in Canada offer scholarships, grants or bursaries for international students. Each institution is different, though, so it’s best to research the institutions you’re considering applying to individually to find out what sort of financial support opportunities may be available. You can find contact information for each university at the Study in Canada website. You’ll also find information on the admission policies of each institution.

Crucially, the education you receive and the qualifications you gain from an accredited Canadian university, college or business school will be recognised throughout the world. You can check that a particular institution is fully accredited by visiting the website of the

Three Romantic Getaways Showcase Canada’s Beauty and Diversity

Guest post by Neil Street

What makes the perfect romantic getaway? The answer will vary with each person you ask, but many would probably agree that the key ingredients include the opportunity for a little solitude, some beautiful surroundings, some activities to while away the hours, and the opportunity for a little bit of pampering for good measure.

Canada is blessed with numerous destinations that fit the bill. You are probably familiar with many of them. But destination spots that are off the beaten path add their own special romance to a trip, simply because they are so different. Here are three Canadian locations that offer a wonderful romantic getaway – and that may be a little different, as well.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

View of St. John's looking over the harbor (With permission, Wikimedia Commons)

Located on the easternmost tip of North America is the oldest city on the continent: St. John’s, Newfoundland. The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s has been settled more or less permanently since before 1620. With hilly terrain and maze-like, residential streets, this gem on the Atlantic has been compared to San Francisco in appearance and ambiance.

St. John’s enjoys a temperate climate year-round, with cool summers and mild winters. July and August are good months to visit. The downtown area, adjacent to St. John’s harbor, is home to brightly-colored, colonial buildings, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and galleries. For romantic accomodations, check out Balmoral House, a beautifully-restored, Victorian townhouse B & B located in downtown St. John’s, or the equally gorgeous and romantic Bluestone Inn, also in the heart of downtown.

By day, you and your partner can crisscross this fascinating city, enjoying the boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. For some quiet time, head to Pippy Park, one of Canada’s largest urban parks. The museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is also in St. John’s, and worth the visit. By night, check out the bars and restaurants along George Street, famous for its dynamic musical entertainment. If you’re visiting in August, you’ll find yourself at the famous George Street Festival. If it’s October, you’ll be caught up in Mardi Gras. Yes, Mardi Gras comes in October to St. John’s. Just another surprise from this most surprising of Canadian cities.

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Waterton Lake, Alberta, Looking south over Waterton Lake, towards Montana (Credit: Ken Thomas)

Swinging clear across Canada to Alberta, if you want to find a romantic spot that combines solitude with magnficent surroundings, and yet feel pampered for a couple of days, Waterton Lakes National Park fits the bill.

Just across the U.S. border from Glacier National Park, the less well-known Waterton Park is a remote getaway that provides the breathtaking scenery available in Banff or Jasper, minus the crowds. Waterton Lake sits at the intersection of prairie and mountain – an intersection that is abrupt and spectacular.

The town of Waterton is tiny, and so rural that bighorn sheep stroll down Main Street. The pampering comes courtesy of the Prince of Wales hotel, located on a bluff overlooking the lake. Boasting magnificent views, the 1920’s-era Prince of Wales has the feel of an alpine chalet, with rich dark woods, gables and balconies, deep, inviting furniture, and, improbably given the location, serves British tea every afternoon.

When you’re done soaking up the scenery for the day, try a guided horse-riding tour of the area, courtesy of the Alpine Stables in town. Or, do a little hiking on your own. Most visitors, however, find the lake a little too chilly for swimming! At the end of a relaxing day, return to your hotel for more pampering and relaxation.

Cantons de L’Est, Quebec

Fall landscape, Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Cantons-de-l'Est (Credit: Paul Hurteau, Creative Commons)

Located less than an hour’s drive east of Montreal, the Cantons de L’Est are the heart of Quebec’s wine country. It is a bucolic region, composed of a group of towns, or cantons, dotted across the rolling hills and valleys that make up this beautiful area.

The Cantons de L’Est region is home to about 20 wineries, and ahead of your visit you can plan out a winery tour via the established Wine Route. It will take you through small, charming towns, gorgeous countryside, and beautiful scenery, and of course, to one distinctive winery after another.

Anchored by the town of Sherbrooke, a thriving community at the confluence of the Magog and St. Francis rivers, the region is noted for small inns and hotels, and fine eateries. Accomodations include such luxuries as Le Spa des Chutes de Bolton, an enchanting villa at the foot of the falls of the Missiquoi River, featuring full service spa treatments as well as complete guest services. If a spa is not on your wish list, you may want to try the Manoir Hovey, a turn of the century, lakeside romantic inn, modeled after George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

From Brome-Missiquoi in the west to Granit in the east, the Quebec wine region is a varied and relaxing getaway with options for the most discerning traveler. The fact that it is only an hour from Montreal is icing on the cake.

Guest post by Neil Street, a freelance writer and publisher. He has recently covered private jet travel, among other topics.

Banff: An Underrated Vacation Destination

Guest post by Nacie Carson

When you think of the great vacation destinations in North America, what locales come to mind? Las Vegas? New York? The Grand Canyon? Montreal? While all of these destinations are worthy in their own right, they often overshadow one of the great gems of the Northern Hemisphere: The Banff region of Alberta, Canada. Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Canadian Rockies, the Banff region is home to some incredible vacation activities and destinations, not the least of which is Banff National Park, which spans almost three thousand miles of the most stunning natural scenery you can imagine. There are so many things to do in Banff, it makes you wonder why it is not one of the number one destinations on the continent!

Banff is such a special tourist destination because it offers such an interesting variety of diverse activities and unique attractions. The area was originally built up around the natural hot springs in the area; in the nineteenth century, the a stretch of the Canadian Pacific Railway was built to specifically serve the area, bringing visitors from around the world to the mineral-rich waters that abound in the region. The clear mountain air and pristine natural setting, combined with the therapeutic hot springs, soon became a favorite recuperation destination for patients in the Northern Hemisphere, and by the dawn of the twentieth century, Banff was a unique combination of bustling tourism and remote natural beauty.

While other, more sensationalist tourist destinations have sprung up around the continent since Banff’s boom years, the region maintains many of the same draws that it had a hundred years ago: the spring water is still world class, the mountain vistas are still incomparable, and the air is just as pure as ever.

In 1985, Banff National Park was been considered a World Heritage Site. However, in addition to all these over-looked wonders, Banff now boasts some incredible additional attractions, including the Banff Gondola. The Banff Gondola ascends nearly 2,300 feet to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, and offers incredible views of the six mountain ranges that surround Banff. Riding the gondola is one of the best ways to take in the real grandeur and splendor of the region’s mountains, and the summit is loaded with activities, learning opportunities, and fun to entertain a whole family or just a curious traveler for hours. There is truly no other gondola ride that is as heart-stopping or truly awe-inspiring as this one! Sure, the Banff region doesn’t have replicas of the Eifel Tower. There is no beach where starlets play and no massive skyscrapers that charge you an arm and a leg to enjoy. But what Banff has sadly very few other places in the world have: natural, unsullied beauty. Banff is a much-overlooked vacation destination not just for the variety of things to do but also for its most fundamental element: a deep connection with the natural world. In the Banff region, you can see in abundance things that are quickly disappearing from the rest of the world: glaciers, clean air, certain species of plants and animals. Cities, those concrete jungles, are the future of humankind; we are building them everywhere, and really, what makes one so special you have to see it? But the Banff region helps everyone who travels there remember our human past, one that was connected and integrated within the natural world, not on a quest to force it into submission and scarcity.

If you have an opportunity to travel this year, why not check out the Banff region? It holds more uniqueness, more specialness, and more opportunities to recharge your batteries than those other travel destinations you’ve been thinking about!