Why Canada Is a Popular Choice for University Students from Pakistan

Canada By Serra Pinto Avimlah July 17, 2023

Canadian universities are a popular choice for international students pursuing higher education. Pakistani students, in particular, have become one of the largest growing demographics at Canadian universities in recent years. Since student visa applications have become more accessible, Pakistani students are choosing to study in Canada, for many good reasons.

Why is Canada a popular choice for Pakistani university students

Top-tier education 

Canadian universities are widely recognized as being some of the best educational facilities around the world. They are on par with American, UK, and Australian universities. In fact, in 2023, The World University Rankings listed 40 Canadian universities as some of the best degree programs in the world. With a wide range of degree programs, students have plenty of educational opportunities and career choices.

Affordable tuition 

Canada has some of the most affordable tuition costs compared to other top universities worldwide. Compared to the tuition fees of American, Australian, and UK universities, Canadian tuition is much more affordable. Students from Pakistan, India and many other countries choose to study in Canada because it is both a good financial and educational investment.

Cultural diversity 

Canada has earned a reputation for being very welcoming to immigrants and international students from all over the world. The country has comprehensive visa programs as well as many cultural groups to help migrants feel more at home. Canada prides itself on celebrating and respecting many different cultures and religions. In fact, Justin Trudeau’s cabinet regularly recognizes and celebrates Islamic holidays.

Plus, if you’re moving to Canada from Pakistan, you may find your school has several Pakistani student groups or associations to help you navigate life in Canada.

Part-time employment 

What’s great about studying in Canada is that universities allow students to work up to 20 hours per week during their studies. On summer and winter breaks, students can even work up to 30 hours per week. Plus, many employers do not expect international students to have a work permit for part-time jobs while in school.

Canada is also well-known for its co-op programs, which give students experience in relevant career sectors. Co-ops are part of many university requirements that help students gain relevant work experience while making connections in their professional fields.

Like many other students, Pakistani students can work part-time jobs to help support themselves, and some even manage to send money back home. If you plan to send money to Pakistan or elsewhere overseas to family and friends (or receive it), you can conveniently use Western Union’s money transfer app or with our website. Download the app and send money to loved ones all over the world. The recipient can then either receive the money directly into their bank account, or pick it up as cash at an in-person location. Western Union provides flexibility for families to receive and send money in multiple ways. (Check out 4 things to know before sending a money transfer.)


Canada is considered to be a very safe place to live, and crime rates are notoriously low. In 2021, U.S. News ranked Canada as the fourth safest country in the world, so students can expect to pursue their education in relative peace. Plus, Canada has an amazing all-around quality of life, with clean air, clean water, quality health care, and many green spaces. University students have the right to access Canada’s higher quality of life just like any other citizen.

Post-grad opportunities 

Canada is one of the few countries that helps its international students pursue employment opportunities after graduation. This popular post-graduation work permit allows students to get work experience in Canada following their education. A recent survey reports that 73% of international students plan to stay in Canada following graduation.


Which student visas are available in Canada

If you’re looking to apply for a student visa in Canada, a few options are available. In November 2019, Canada introduced the SDS, the Student Direct Stream, for students from Pakistan for the first time. It is a more expedited processing system due to the application’s requirements. Students must pay for one year of tuition and purchase a $10,000 guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) from one select Canadian bank before applying for their visa. Visa applicants must also prove their English language proficiency by taking the Academic IELTS and earning at least a 6.5 score overall.

There is also the regular Canadian study permit, which has a longer processing time of 3 to 6 months. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, even in March/April, for a semester that starts in September. Prospective applicants will need sufficient funds in a Pakistani bank account and supporting documents that prove their ties to Pakistan.

Some prospective applicants make a few common errors while applying. The most common errors include insufficient funds, lack of sustainable finances, or lack of proven ties to Pakistan. If you need help filling out your student visa application, then check out to help increase your chances of receiving a visa.

Choosing to study at a Canadian university can be a wonderful educational experience for Pakistani students and provide many educational and financial benefits.