Study abroad

Our position

Learning across borders is part of a 21st century education. Canada needs to do more to encourage a culture of mobility among Canadian students. Studying abroad helps young Canadians develop the cross-cultural competencies and problem-solving skills that are in high demand from today’s employers.

“Young Canadians … need to know that the world is their classroom, and they need to go abroad to get a full education – one that will prepare them for the future.”



Text on screen: [Universities Canada logo/Universités Canada logo]

Text on screen: [In conversation with …]

Text on screen: [Santa Ono, President, The University of British Colombia]

Text on screen: [The lasting dividends of study abroad]

Sana Ono: If you have the initiative to actually leave your home country, your university, and go thousands of miles away, and to actually take that challenge, which is not always easy, and succeed, it demonstrates something about your grit and your ability to face different situations and to thrive. And that kind of indicator is probably the strongest indicator of future success, even more than one’s academic performance while in university. It’s an incredibly powerful experience. It’s something that’s long lasting. If you speak to alumnae, they often say that that experience in a different country was really transformational, and it was something that contributed to their satisfaction but also had dividends for the rest of their life.

Text on screen: [The Voice of Canada’s Universities]

By the numbers

  • 3.1%
    of students study abroad

    While 97% of universities offer international experiences, just 3.1% of full time undergraduate students had taken advantage of these opportunities in 2012-13.

    Source: Universities Canada, Internationalization survey, 2014.
  • 8/10
    see career benefit

    More than 80% of employers that hire recruits with international and intercultural experiences say these employees enhance their company’s competitiveness.

    Sources: Leger Marketing employer survey for Universities Canada, 2014; and Canadian Bureau for International Education, A World of Learning: Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education 2014.
  • 70%
    see cost as barrier

    Students surveyed say they would study abroad if it was more affordable and part of their study program.

    Source: Why don't more Canadian students study abroad?, 2016 Academica Group survey of 1,400 students.

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