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An "American" in a Canadian school?

safarichick101safarichick101 Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2012 in Canada
Hey all! I am from Texas, but was born in Canada. :) I am seriously considering attending college up there. Actually, its my goal.

So, what are your thoughts? A person raised in Texas going to college in Canada? Is it a good idea or no? What are the pros/cons? How do you think a Texan would like Canada? (Don't take weather into factor :P)
Post edited by safarichick101 on
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Replies to: An "American" in a Canadian school?

  • tomofbostontomofboston Posts: 2,114Registered User Senior Member
    If you like Sarah Palin, you will not like Canada.

    Seriously:

    Pros:
    Low tuition if Canadian citizen
    Chance to see how the "other half" of North America lives
    Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver offer an urban experience that doesn't exist in Texas

    Con:
    Far from home, unless you still have family in Canada
    Of course, the climate

    This thread is mostly populated by Canadians seeking to go to school in the US so you may get some biased responses from others.
  • safarichick101safarichick101 Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Haha noooo worries. Sarah is a joke in my head. :)
  • JonoWonoJonoWono Posts: 62Registered User Junior Member
    I know people doing that and they love it. Unless you're turning down an ivy you can get a lot more bang for the buck by going to Canada, plus now you stand out in the student body.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Posts: 9,238Registered User Senior Member
    There are lots of Americans at Canadian universities. One of my Ds had a friend at U of Toronto from Austin and he loved Toronto so much, he went to grad school here, married a Canadian and stayed. :) If you're at one of the large Canadian universities, and maybe even at some of the smaller ones, being an American won't make you 'stand out'.
  • gypsyfpgypsyfp Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    I went to Dalhousie University for my BA and MA and I loved it! Halifax, Nova Scotia is a beautiful city with a very unique personality. The weather could get cold, but it was always gradual so that you could prepare yourself.
    The tuition was ridiculously low, I felt like I received an Ivy League education, I had health care, great Canadian friends, and my department even gave me partial funding for my 2 year MA program, which is something that no American school would do!
    The only bad thing about being an American in Canada was having to justify my presence there and at times having to defend America, which was a real pain in the butt considering I had spent most of my life on military bases in Asia.
    From what I hear, Alberta is the province that has the most similarities with Texas, but I don't know how good the university is.
    The top schools in Canada are UBC, UoToronto, McGill, and Dalhousie, respectively.
    When I was 16 and thinking about Canadian universities, I strongly considered UBC and Toronto, but was put off by the size of their student body and urban atmosphere.
    I was all set to apply to McGill, but some not so smart person put pictures on McGill's website showing people wearing parkas and shoveling 5 feet of snow! The pics of Dal were green and beautiful! SOLD! :)
    Most Americans have no idea how great and affordable it is to go to school in Canada. They are truly missing out on an excellent alternative to the high cost of American education.
    There's only one major bad thing that I would have liked to know before I spent all this time in a Canadian university.
    If you try to get a job for the US government and you have received a degree from a foreign institution, including Canada, you will have to defend that degree and have that university and program evaluated by a licensed third party or else you won't be considered for that job. Sucks, but it's true. I found this out the hard way, and it took forever to get my evaluation.
    Good luck and I hope you go to a Canadian University because Sarah Palin might win in 2012!
    I left the US just before Bush Jr. came to power and I consider myself very lucky!
    :P
  • FatumFatum Posts: 870Registered User Member
    BTW, if you want to come to Canada, you need to start calling the schools here "universities" instead of "colleges" :P. Talking about "colleges" to canadians will raise some eyebrows.
  • ExengineerExengineer Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    Best part of being an American student in Canada is if the U.S. suddenly restarts the military draft, you are already in the right place to avoid it. Just stay where you are and they can't touch you.
  • xShadow63xShadow63 Posts: 381Registered User Member
    @Exengineer I don't think I've ever seen a comment as stupid as this on this website...

    OP, I'm a Canadian at a Texan school (exactly opposite of you, haha), so I can give you an unbiased opinion on this. Personally, I prefer American schools to Canadian schools. Although it is far cheaper to go to school in Canada, the opportunities after school are much more abundant in the US. If you plan on coming back to the US, you will have to get certified. It's also far easier to get a job in the US than in Canada; a fresh graduate from a good American school is almost certain to get a good job, and while the same also stands for Canada, the number of jobs is much more limited. I know this because I know a lot of people who have done both, and those in Canada seem to always complain and take longer to start pursuing a career.

    Assuming you have good grades, UT, for example, will offer you a far better education than any Canadian school - even McGill or UBC cannot compare to a good school in the US. Reasons for this are numerous; the biggest is that good schools in the US are far better endowed financially than schools in Canada. Additionally, research opportunities are far better at American schools for the same reason; they have more money to spend.

    Oh, and another thing is that Canadians, for some reason, like to hate on America. I'm not saying they won't like you, because that is farthest from the truth; they're very friendly. The thing is, you're going to end up defending America a lot because they like to nitpick on every little detail about America. I'm at home for Christmas break and I find myself having to shut people up with facts and logic because they say the stupidest things about America. They're not all like this, but most do like to bash on America quite a bit.

    tomofboston said Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver offer an urban experience that doesn't exist in Texas. That's not entirely true - they are nice cities for sure, and definitely worth a visit, but urban experiences are a dime a dozen in Texas. Austin and Dallas, for example are pretty similar (just go to 6th Street in Austin haha). San Antonio is also a pretty great city.

    If money is an issue, apply to UTD. I go here and if you have good grades and a good SAT score, you'll get a great scholarship. Good luck with applications!
  • tomofbostontomofboston Posts: 2,114Registered User Senior Member
    " If you plan on coming back to the US, you will have to get certified." Not true at all unless you are in some health professions and even then Canadian health schools are fully accredited by the American accrediting boards.

    "...a fresh graduate from a good American school is almost certain to get a good job" Have you looked at the unemployment rate for American college graduates in this recession?

    "...even McGill or UBC cannot compare to a good school in the US." They don't compare to the elite schools in the US but are ranked among the best publics in North America.

    @xShadows63: For a Canadian, you seem to be pretty dissatisfied with Canada. Although I agree with your evaluation of Exengineer.
  • ViggyRamViggyRam Posts: 2,216- Senior Member
    I live in Canada but I am also an established Texas resident. IMO, the pros of attending a Texas schools (particularly UT and TAMU) outweigh the pros of attending a top Canadian school. Overall, I think that the Texas state schools (and if you can get into Rice, then that's an other excellent option) offer more than their Canadian counterparts.

    This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. Of course, your intended major, etc. play a role in this too.
  • ExengineerExengineer Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    @Exengineer I don't think I've ever seen a comment as stupid as this on this website...

    @xShadows63: For a Canadian, you seem to be pretty dissatisfied with Canada. Although I agree with your evaluation of Exengineer.

    So two knuckleheads jump to conclusions about me. Any comment you don't agree with is stupid? That tells a lot about you. I am a dual citizen, U.S. and Canadian, graduated from a U.S. university, and yet I do not believe that American universities across the board are better. For a specific example, a ranking of the world's best universities for IT and engineering by U.S. News & World Report has Wisconsin (where I went) at #60, University of Toronto at #14 and University of Waterloo at #39. Since I graduated in an engineering field, would I trumpet that result all over, gloating "We're No. 60!" Hell no. Although I graduated long ago, the rankings were probably even less in favor of Wisconsin then. Maybe I was born and raised in the wrong country. Also found when job searching in 1988-89 that I had more opportunities in Canada than the U.S. Way more.
  • xShadow63xShadow63 Posts: 381Registered User Member
    Sorry, you're right about the certification. I was thinking international graduates (other than Canada) when I said it.

    I knew the unemployment rate was going to be brought up, but keep in mind that this takes into account graduates from ALL schools - even community colleges. If you're going to a good school (ex. tier 1) and graduate with a good GPA, there WILL be a job waiting for you. If you graduate from Los Angeles Community College with a 1.5...there won't be.

    There was a big discussion about comparing top Canadian schools to American schools somewhere on this site, and the general consensus was that they are barely equivalent to UMich. Of course, McGill will be better than a lot of schools...but then there are a crap ton of schools that are far better. North American school rankings do not matter as much because most take into factor the graduate programs as well. If you're going to, let's say, UT as compared to McGill, the networking opportunities alone make it a far better choice to go to UT. Or any other decent American school, for that matter.

    I wouldn't say dissatisfied is the right word...but I do firmly believe that better prospects lie in the US as compared to Canada, both college-wise and career-wise.

    @Exengineer you didn't contribute to the discussion in any way. All you did was absurdly state something that's completely irrelevant and extremely ignorant. No one's saying American universities across the board are better. That's an unfair generalization. Most Tier 1 colleges, however, are better.
  • tomofbostontomofboston Posts: 2,114Registered User Senior Member
    Exengineer wrote "st part of being an American student in Canada is if the U.S. suddenly restarts the military draft, you are already in the right place to avoid it. Just stay where you are and they can't touch you. "

    Being a draft dodger was the first advantage of going to Canada that you mentioned. That says something.
  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 7,016Registered User Senior Member
    If you're going to a good school (ex. tier 1) and graduate with a good GPA, there WILL be a job waiting for you.
    What you study and where you live also matter...

    UT or A&M will be better-known and stronger for networking purposes in Texas than the University of Washington. Replace UDub with UofT or McGill and this statement will still be true in most cases. The reverse also applies if we are talking about reputation in Toronto.

    I'm not sure why this is such a controversial concept.
    There was a big discussion about comparing top Canadian schools to American schools somewhere on this site, and the general consensus was that they are barely equivalent to UMich.
    Since Michigan is a top 15 US school in terms of departmental strength, endowment, business school ranking, law school ranking, medical school ranking, and engineering school ranking that seems like a pretty positive comparison.
  • xShadow63xShadow63 Posts: 381Registered User Member
    Of course what you study and where you live matters; I highly doubt a humanities major living in Cerritos, CA is going to easily find a job.

    UT would be strong in terms of networking across the country, as it is one of the top public schools in the US. I agree with you that the reverse is true, but what I'm saying is that going to a good school is the US is better than a good school in Canada.

    Also, we were talking about undergraduate studies...and UMich is 29th according to USNWR. The BEST Canadian school compares to a 29th ranked school in America? It's not easy to get into McGill or UBC either, and if you go on to compare decent Canadian schools to decent American schools (for example, McMaster or Waterloo to USC or UVA), the American schools blow the others out of the water.

    U of T only has a big reputation in Canada. Sure, it's slightly recognized in America, but people are far less impressed by the school; a lot of people don't even know it. It's not even difficult to get into, frankly.
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