If you are headed to Canada for a summer vacation, consider stopping at some of the fine colleges. Kim Cook is someone who knows the situation from both sides -- ex-pat Canadian, freelance writer, her family has lived in the U.S. for the past 12 years and her high school daughter is leaning toward a Canadian college. Kim is, essentially, the author of today's blog, and she says we'll be impressed with Canada's schools.
Take a look at the stats. Macleans and the Globe publications are the two major sources for rankings of Canadian colleges.
Canadian schools are typically well endowed, so even for international students the cost is on par with in-state U.S. schools, plus merit scholarships are phenomenal. On the East Coast there are several large and small institutions - Dalhousie (big research university in Halifax, Nova Scotia), Mount Allison (small "ivy" in Moncton, New Brunswick.)
As you head west, Kim says, there's McGill (very popular with New Yorkers, a big school in a cosmopolitan city) and Waterloo, University of Toronto, Western in Ontario outside of Toronto and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver -- gorgeous and perfect for outdoorsy kids who like to ski, mountain bike and do water sports.
All are just a plane ride away, the cities and town are well-integrated with the schools, safety is excellent, and with the smaller schools you get a lot for the money: a close knit community, small class sizes, study abroad opportunities and the welcoming Canadian hospitality. And the schools tend to draw a lot of foreign students, which enriches the college education even more.
Kim's question: Why spend $40,000 a year here when you can get two years for that in Canada, all inclusive, with the bonus of an international experience?