International study

Two international students laughing with a big snow ball.When classrooms and labs are enriched by people and ideas from around the world, all students benefit. Not only do international students broaden Canadian students’ perspectives, they also help create mutually beneficial economic, diplomatic and cultural ties with Canada.

The immediate impacts on our communities are significant too. International students inject $6.5 billion annually into our economy and provide jobs for more than 83,000 Canadians.

Our universities are increasing efforts to attract and retain more international students. We have partnered with four other national associations to lead and coordinate international recruitment marketing activities.

Canadian universities also promote study abroad for Canadian students to help them develop into globally-ready citizens with innovative skills. In spite of universities’ efforts, fewer than three in 100 Canadian students take advantage of these international programs. We are working with the federal government and other partners to address barriers facing Canadian students in accessing more international opportunities.

Quick facts

  • International students contribute $6.5 billion to Canada’s economy annually.
  • As of 2010, about 90,000 full-time and 13,000 part-time international students study on Canadian campuses. International student enrolment increased 10% last year.
  • International students represent about eight percent of the full-time undergraduate student body (61,000 visa students) and close to 20 percent at the full-time graduate level (almost 29,000) in Canada.
  • Top countries of origin: China (15,800), France (7,200), United States (6,600), India (2,800), South Korea (2,800).