Australia vs Canada: Which is the best country to study

The two former British colonies have a lot in common, a diverse society and a vibrant economy. But how does studying in Australia compare to studying in Canada? The land of Kangaroo and the land of Moose have been successful in attracting a huge number of international students every year courtesy of their developed economies, advanced educational systems, superior healthcare, and excellent social life. Both the countries are great for immigrating people looking for greener pastures. And due to the rising demand for skilled laborers, they are also welcoming high skilled immigrants with open arms.

However, due to so many similarities, most international students are faced with the dilemma of whether to go to Australia or Canada to study. But you don’t have to worry anymore because in this blog we will try to clear the air bit by bit so that you can make an informed decision.

So, let’s compare them side by side and get to understand the two countries.

1. Top Universities

Both Australia and Canada have a reputation for quality education. But when it comes to rankings then Australian Universities are quite ahead of their Canadian counterparts. There are five Australian universities in the top 50 QS World University Ranking 2021 whereas Canada has only three universities on this list.

QS RankingsAustralian UniversitiesQS RankingsCanadian Universities
31Australian National University25University of Toronto
40University of Sydney31McGill University
41University of Melbourne45University of British Columbia
44University of New South Wales  
47University of Queensland  

2. Admission Requirements


As a student applying to study an undergraduate (UG) course in Canada, you must have completed 12 years of education. To get admission to a university/college, a Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is generally not required but you may be required to write language exams like TOEFL or IELTS. 

On the other hand, for postgraduate (PG) programs, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in either 10+2+3 or more commonly 10+2+4 pattern of formal education. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scorecards are typically required for MBA and research-based engineering degrees, respectively. Along with these scorecards you will be required to appear for an English proficiency exam, generally, IELTS or TOEFL if your first language is not English.


To secure admission for undergraduate studies, most universities require you to have 12 years of pre-university schooling. This makes it quite simple for international students to secure admission directly to the program/degree of their choice. Although you must not forget to check your qualification and see if it meets the international academic entry requirements for a particular course.

For getting admissions in the PG programs, you are required to have a three-year UG degree for most programs except Engineering, which requires a four-year graduate degree. Also, it is mandatory to appear for GMAT and GRE to secure admission in management and science courses respectively.

3. Cost of Living

The Cost of Living is relatively high in Australia with an international student spending around AUD 200-400 per week on living expenses. As per the Australian government, the recommended 12-month living cost for a single student is AUD 21,041. This includes rent of accommodation, food, transportation, and few other expenses.

On the other hand, Canada is much more affordable than Australia. You will require approx. CAD 15,000 per year to cover the costs of accommodation, food, and transportation. You are also required to take mandatory medical insurance that ranges between CAD 300 – CAD 800 a year.

4. Post-Study Work Permit


Canada is one of the most immigration-friendly countries in the world with a large number of international students from across the world. To work in Canada after your studies, you’ll need to apply for a PGWP (Postgraduate work permit). This will allow you to gain Canadian work experience. To be eligible for this work permit the course you studied must have been for a minimum of 1 year (equivalent to 8 academic months). Also, the length of the permit you will be issued depends on the duration of the course you studied, for example, if studied in Canada for 4 years, you will be issued a PGWP for 3 years as that is the maximum.


In Australia, you can get a work permit of 2 – 4 years depending on the qualification you obtained from a recognized Australian college or university. Students who have completed their bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree may be qualified to apply for two-year studies.

Table 1

      Region of Study      LocationsBachelor Degree; Bachelor Degree (with Honours); Masters by Coursework    Masters by Research Degree      Doctoral Degree
Major cities  Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane                2 years               3 years                      4 years
Cities and major regional centresPerth, Adelaide Gold Coast Sunshine Coast, Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong Hobart        2 years + 1 year        3 years + 1 year        4 years + 1 year
Regional centres and other regional areasAll other locations2 years + 2 years3 years + 2 years4 years + 2 years

In November 2019, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs announced an additional post-study work arrangement with the aim to allow international students to study and live in regional areas, boosting diversity and prosperity in regional Australia.

5. Climate

This might be the deciding factor too for many students as the two countries have climates that are poles apart. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere, Australia remains warm/hot almost throughout the year. Canada on the other hand has chilling winters with frigid temperatures in the north while cooler temperatures in the south. The summers in Canada last for a few months but are really pleasant. In summary, Canada and Australia are both excellent destinations to pursue your studies abroad. They rank among the top countries for quality higher education, job opportunities, and student experience. Now it is up to you to decide which country suits your needs. And you don’t have to worry about your student accommodation because University Living has plenty of affordable student housing options in both countries. University Living is a global student housing platform that helps students studying abroad book the accommodation of their choice. It has a strong presence in more than 265 cities across the globe.

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