the logo

Canada rated most popular study-abroad country

In a survey of 21,000 students, Canada came out on top as the most popular location to travel for study

    Seeta Bhardwa's avatar

    Seeta Bhardwa

    Editor, THE Student
    April 21 2023


    Canada is the most popular study-abroad country, according to a global survey of 21,000 students from more than 100 countries. 

    Students were asked which countries they were most interested in studying in, in the Emerging Futures survey conducted by IDP Connect. Canada was the most popular answer, with 27 per cent of respondents placing it as their first choice. 

    Canada is becoming a popular destination among international students because of its low tuition fees and good post-study work opportunities for international students. 

    The cost of studying at a university in Canada
    Everything you need to know about studying in the US
    A guide to post-study work visas in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany and New Zealand
    Everything you need to know about applying to university in Australia

    Australia and the US were the second and third most popular choices, with 23 per cent and 21 per cent of respondents selecting them as their first-choice destinations. 

    Other countries that students chose included the UK, New Zealand and Ireland.

    Since the last survey was conducted, in August 2022, both the UK and Australia have dropped two percentage points as first-choice destinations. The US has gained three percentage points and Canada remains the first choice for studying abroad for the third time in a row. 

    Post-study work opportunities were the top factor for students when considering their destinations. Sixty-three per cent of students said that the availability of post-study work opportunities was important, and 72 per cent of respondents stated that they would be applying for post-study work visas.

    Simon Emmett, IDP Connect chief executive, said: “Students are weighing up a number of factors when choosing where to study, but the ability to gain work experience post-graduation remains number one.

    “If policymakers, educators and employers can link up in meaningful ways, then we will see more students choosing to study in that country, more skilled and educated people entering the workforce and a better return on their individual investment for the student.”

    However, the rising costs of living and tuition fees are causing some students to question whether they still want to study abroad. Just over half of respondents (51 per cent) were reconsidering studying abroad because of the costs involved and more than 80 per cent were intending to or were already working part-time to fund their studies.

    Just under a third of students said that part-time work would be their main source of funding for their studies. 

    Students from Nigeria, India, China, Ghana and the Philippines were among the 108 source countries to respond to the survey. The survey was conducted between February and March 2023.

    You may also like

    Waitress with customers

    Working on a student visa in Canada

    Do you want to know what work you can and can’t do on a student visa in Canada? This guide explains everything you need to know

    Grace McCabe

    August 29 2023
    sticky sign up

    Register free and enjoy extra benefits