College Admissions Insider - 2019

Why American Students Should Not Rule Out International Universities

By Lindsey Conger

When you start creating your college list, it likely will be filled with both public and private universities located within the United States. But, you could be making a mistake by ignoring international universities. With its rich cultural history and excellent higher education options, Canada might be the perfect country for American college students. Here are five reasons why.

An Identity of Diversity

Canada might not seem diverse, but it is home to some unique cosmopolitan areas, such as Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Calgary. Each area has a distinctive feel and culture. Take Montreal, for example. Most of its population is bilingual in French and English, but even if English is your only language, you'll be just fine getting around. Two of the city's top universities, McGill University and Concordia University, also use English as the primary language of instruction.

Close to Home

Many universities in Canada can give you an international cultural experience while also keeping your home base within arm's reach. For example, Montreal and Toronto are a day's drive from most of the northeastern United States and a quick flight from many airports in the United States.


Canada is home to some of the world's highest-ranked universities, with seven ranked amongst the best 200 universities worldwide. In fact, McGill University in Montreal is ranked comparably with the University of California Los Angeles.

Easier Application Process

Even some of the best Canadian universities like Simon Fraser University and McGill University don't require their students to submit letters of recommendation, personal statements, or supplemental essays. Instead, the universities examine class grades and test scores to determine who is accepted.


And this might be the best part about Canadian universities: You can get this experience for much less than you'd have to pay for a private university in the United States. In Montreal, McGill's annual tuition for a Bachelor of Arts degree for the 2019/20 academic year is just over $18,000, and Concordia is around that same total. Many other similar universities across Canada offer competitive tuition.

A cosmopolitan feel, close to home, and affordable education to boot: Canada really might be the perfect country for American college students.


Lindsey Congeris a College Counselor and tutor at Moon Prep. She helps students create memorable personal statements and tutors students to increase their academic profile to universities.