By Vanessa Campbell
Canadian post-secondary students aren’t studying abroad — at least not as many as international students studying in Canada.
A report on Friday by McGill University revealed that Canada would need to send five times more students to match the number of international students studying here.
While the number of students studying abroad has risen significantly over time, Canada could be doing a lot more when compared to European and Asian countries.
Top Countries Sending to Canada
Carrington Christmas, 21, a Political Science student at the University of Ottawa, says Canadian students don’t travel as much for a number of reasons — one of them being the expense and another being the lack of opportunities.
“Fortunately, I have been able to study abroad in the past and I think it’s a great thing to do, but it’s also a costly thing to do. I think most people would appreciate it, but not everybody can afford to,” Christmas told Humber News.
Canada does have a number of programs to help send students abroad but a major concern is ensuring that credit for their studies will count in the end.
Canada accepts 265,377 international students each year. Most of them study in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
Zoe Share, 20, a Global Development student at Queen’s University, has been accepted into an exchange program at Cardiff University in Wales for a semester.
“I’m so happy I was accepted into this exchange. I think the idea of studying abroad is something every student should experience,” said Share.
Solongo Sodnomdorj, 20, a Commerce student at Queen’s University who’s currently in an exchange program in France, said she thinks studying abroad is both important and beneficial to one’s development.
“Studying abroad teaches you how to work with a diverse set of people, which really proves to be an asset for future employers and in the workplace. Studying abroad also opens students eyes up to the different cultures all around the world.” said Sodnomdorj, adding, “hearing about these differences is completely different than from actually experiencing them.”
Karen McBride, president of the Canadian Bureau of International Education told the Globe and Mail in an interview that “every career path in the future will be in the global sphere.
“If we don’t increase the number of students studying abroad, we won’t be involved in the trade deals that Canada is putting into place now, or in meeting global challenges,” she said.