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The Most International Canadian Universities

Last updated: 30 January 2023 Canada University Rankings

The best universities in the world are global by nature, home to diverse communities of students, scholars and teaching professionals. Many factors go into a campus feel international, including:

Canada has some of the world's most international universities, attracting many overseas students, and research shows that a diverse community of students improves the institution's teaching and learning experience. When students (both local and international) get the opportunity to study abroad, they are better equipped to be true global citizens.

Times Higher Education has compiled data from the "international outlook" pillar of its global rankings to identify the most international universities globally. Four Canadian universities were placed in the ranking, and the following factors were used to produce the results: international staff score, international student score, international reputation and international co-authorship in journal publications. Equal weightage was given to all these factors while compiling the list of most international universities by the survey.

If you wish to study at the most international universities in Canada, book a free consultation call with SI-Canada today to discuss your options for studying in Canada.

most international universities in canada

Most International Universities in Canada

1. University of Windsor

With the largest number of overseas students in Canada, the University of Windsor stands out as the most international university in the country, with almost 35% of its students coming from across the globe. They can choose from various undergraduate and postgraduate law, Business, Education, Nursing, and Social Work programs. 

The University of Windsor is known to have strong student-faculty relationships, enhanced by award-winning faculty members and staff. Students can find a stimulating environment across all the faculties, enabling them to become lifelong learners and receive exceptional teaching and research guidance. Located in the southernmost city of Canada, the university allows students to enjoy some of the best weather conditions and affordable living costs. All international students feel welcome in the city and ok campus, where they can find job opportunities through the support of dedicated career officers. Students needing to improve their language skills can also take English language improvement courses

2. University of British Columbia

UBC is one of Canada’s top-ranked universities that attracts students from across the globe. Around 30% of the master's students and 44% of doctoral students at the university are international students. By offering professional and research-based courses through 85 academic units, UBC provides guaranteed tuition awards of up to $3,200 to all international students pursuing the research-based programs. As a global university, UBC values diversity and encourages students to apply to the various undergraduate, graduate and doctoral study programs

The university offers support services for international students, including assistance with visas and immigration, English language support, and cultural adjustment programs. UBC also has numerous international partnerships and exchanges, allowing students to study abroad and gain a global perspective on their fields of study. All these efforts at different levels have made the university among the most international institutes attracting the highest number of foreign students in Canada.

3. Concordia University

Concordia University is among the youngest universities to have created a reputation for excellence among international students. Founded in 1974, it is one of the three English language universities in the province of Quebec and has two campuses around 7 kilometres apart in Montreal. 

With almost 50,000 students enrolled, including 34% of students from across the globe, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate and 100 postgraduate programs in various disciplines. All international students have access to the International Students Office (ISO), which helps them get health insurance, financial support, and guidance to live and work in Canada. The ISO advisors can be contacted either virtually or in person, and they can help students find the best resources to study, live and work with enhanced knowledge of French. 

4. Simon Fraser University

The university is considered to be among Canada’s top research-intensive universities and is known for its innovations and knowledge development. Through the eight faculties, Simon Fraser University offers several undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to its more than 37,000 students, many of whom come from over 145 countries worldwide. 

International students can take up full-fledged degrees or short-term courses as exchange students from other institutions. The International Services for Students Office can be contacted to get help from the staff members and find guidance on studying and working in Canada. Students can also go to the Global Student Centre to form intercultural connections with people from other countries. The university organizes several workshops and events to help international students settle in their new environment. 

5. McGill University

McGill University has over 12,000 international students, making up almost 29% of the student body. McGill offers diplomas and degrees in over 300 fields under the six main faculties. McGill is also Canada's most internationally diverse institution for medical-doctoral research programs, with students from over 150 countries. 

International Student Services at the University are top-notch, giving foreign students various non-academic resources and services to help them settle in the new country. To help in the transition, there is also the provision of an International Student Buddy Program that connects new international students with returning university students. McGill University has partnerships with over 150 universities in 39 countries, giving students a unique opportunity to study abroad while participating in the university. McGill students can also take up internships at international locations and make their degrees global in all the term's senses.

6. York University

York University is a prominent teaching and research institution in Toronto that has a welcoming environment for international students who can form a global perspective through the diversity in the student population. With over 10,000 international students enrolled at York, the university offers innovative courses and experiential opportunities. 

The university is committed to positively changing the local and global community through more than 300 partnerships in over 70 countries. Students who choose to study at York get the opportunity to graduate with tools for personal and professional success in the long run. They also have the chance to build a flexible degree program that aligns with their interests. International students get all the support they need to study and live in Canada, including guidance from the York University English Language Institute to enhance their language skills. 

7. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is Canada's top-ranked public research university, with almost 26% of the entire student population internationally. U of T is also ranked highest in global graduate employability, making it the university that trains its students to be job-ready in a global scenario. The range of services given by the university to its students makes it among the best in the country. Health and Wellness services, Career Learning Networks, Experiential Learning opportunities, study abroad options, community-engaged learning, and international development internships help students get diverse experiences with their degrees.

Internationally recognized degrees students earn through the state-of-the-art infrastructure, and world-class faculty members give them the edge they need to pursue a motivated academic and professional career. The University of Toronto has partnerships with more than 140 international institutions in over 40 countries, which helps students gain international experience and be global citizens even before graduation.

8. University of Alberta

One of the most prestigious universities in the country, the University of Alberta offers a globalized learning environment to students and helps them realize their career aspirations. International students form a major part of the student body as they can choose from more than 200 undergraduate programs, 500 graduate programs with 250 specializations and 300 research areas apart from continuing education opportunities. 

The university offers International Student & Visitor Services to support all international students' academic success. They can also get help from the International Service Centre by setting appointments with the staff. The students at U of A also have the option to study abroad and find internship placements, which is done through the university’s Go Abroad programs and other short courses and projects with international partners. 

9. Dalhousie University

Among the oldest universities in Canada, founded in 1818, Dalhousie University is known for providing teaching excellence and innovative research opportunities to students. It is Atlantic Canada’s primary research university that attracts students and researchers from around the world. 

Dalhousie University has International Centres that welcome almost 4,000 international students each year. The centre also works to provide services to students to strengthen their experience at the university. International students can apply for entrance awards to get scholarships and bursaries to finance their studies at Dalhousie University. The university's Office of International Relations has entered over 300 partnerships with universities from 67 countries. Researchers from Dalhousie collaborate with colleagues from over 100 countries to work on special projects. 

10. University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is a prominent Canadian educational institution in the capital city. International students from more than 145 countries choose to study at the university due to the high quality of education and lower tuition fees. 

The university offers several services to improve the experience of international students through uOInternational where they get immigration support, health insurance, and mentorship to find ways to settle in the new country. Students at the University of Ottawa also get to stay abroad to enhance their academic qualifications and experience by choosing from over 100 international partner institutions. Many exchange students also come to the University of Ottawa to experience excellence in education. 

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Universities featured in this article:

  • University of Windsor
  • University of British Columbia
  • Concordia University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • McGill University
  • University of York
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Alberta
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Ottawa
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