Canada Coast to Coast: Studying in Alberta

Did you know that Canada is the world’s second-largest country by landmass, covering 9.98 million km²? With 10 provinces, three territories, and multiple climates, Canada is a land of contrasts and diversity.

The Visa Centre has embarked on a trip across Canada to assist international students get a better feel for this unique country and discover the region that best aligns with their educational goals. The second stop in the Coast-to-Coast Canada series is Alberta.

This post explores some of the advantages of studying in Alberta and a few of The Visa Centre / ApplyBoard partner schools in the province.

Top 4 Reasons to Study in Alberta

Alberta is a province in Western Canada. Its landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests. It has more than 600 lakes, and rich mineral deposits. The Capital is Edmonton A native Alberta mammal, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was designated as the provincial animal in 1989.

Alberta is a destination of choice for students seeking both high-quality education and natural beauty. Alberta is the 4th largest province in Canada.

  • **Alongside the majestic Rocky Mountains, Alberta contains over 600 lakes, 245 rivers, lush boreal forests, fertile prairies and desert badlands
  • **Alberta experiences all four seasons, from mild summers to snowy winters, and boasts the most comfortable weather in Canada

Here are just four reasons why Alberta is a great place to study abroad:

1. World-Class Education

Students who choose to study in Alberta benefit from superior programs in cutting-edge facilities recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. Alberta has the highest number of international students in the Canadian Prairies

2. Affordable Cost of Studying

Studying in Canada is considered inexpensive when compared to the other study destinations around the world. Choosing the cheapest universities in Canada is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable education as an international student.

3. Excellent Employment Opportunities

International students in Alberta can take advantage of employment opportunities—both while studying and after. International students can work 20 hours/week during school semesters and up to 30 hours/week during school breaks.  Post-Graduation, international students can remain in Alberta, by obtaining a PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit), which is valid for 3 years after graduation.

4. Great Immigration Policies

The Canadian province of Alberta announced the coming into effect of two new immigration streams in June 2020. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) changes will provide many benefits for current and potential applicants, including international student graduates.

  • 0 Alberta Express Entry Stream

The now active Alberta Express Entry stream offers international students with a profile in the federal Express Entry system a route to Canadian permanent residence. In reference to this new stream, the AINP announced that “Candidates who have demonstrated strong ties to Alberta and who can help support the government’s economic development and diversification priorities will be invited to apply. International graduates will also be invited under this stream.”

  • 0 Alberta Opportunity Stream

The Alberta Opportunity Stream requires applicants to be currently working full-time in Alberta in an occupation deemed eligible by the AINP. Many international students interested in applying to this stream may already be working in the province on a Post-Graduation Work Permit. The AINP says international students who graduated from an approved Alberta post-secondary institution and are working on a Post-Graduation Work Permit are eligible for the Alberta Opportunity Stream.

The Visa Centre / ApplyBoard Partner Schools in Alberta

Bow Valley College

Since 1965, Bow Valley College has prided itself on being a student-focused community college that is immensely diverse. That diversity is reflected across the breadth and depth of their programming scope, including foundational skills development and English language learning. They offer certificate and diploma programs in health care, community services, business and creative technologies and many of their career programs include work experience. This means students will get hands-on experience before they graduate. If one already has a degree, the post-diploma certificates give students the fast, focused skills to keep moving forward in their career. Regardless of where a student is beginning, Bow Valley offers support services that help them succeed. Programs are designed in partnership with industry leaders to make sure the skills they teach are the skills employers want. Bow Valley’s experienced instructors want to see students reach their goals. So, get ready for an exciting career journey with programs that get students job-ready in one or two years, support services that set them up for success and flexible learning options that fit their life. 

MacEwan University

A member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, the Founded in 1971, MacEwan University provides student-focused instruction in a warm and supportive atmosphere. The University focuses on teaching, so that students can focus on learning. It’s been a cornerstone of MacEwan’s identity for more than 40 years. And the University continues to build on that reputation. MacEwan University inspires students with a powerful combination of academic excellence and personal learning experiences. Through learner-centered teaching, MacEwan University connect with its students—creating a unique post-secondary experience that opens up diverse pathways for their achievement and growth.

Offering more than 65 programs, the University provides a transformative education in a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Creativity thrives through research and innovation that engages students, faculty and the community. 

NorQuest College

With the strength of a NorQuest College education, learners have the skills and confidence to further their studies, begin new careers, provide better lives for their families, and make valuable contributions to society. At NorQuest, they have a unique ability to provide students with the skills Alberta needs in a supportive and inclusive environment. And with input from industry, business, and the public sector, they make learning relevant and rewarding.

Norquest understands that their learners come with varying levels of education and they assist them at the times and places that meet their needs, whether that is in the classroom, via distance learning or continuing education. Norquest helps identify learner’s strengths, work on their areas of need, and move them towards exciting learning paths and life-changing careers. The post-secondary diploma and certificate programs offer careers in health, community studies, and business. They also uniquely deliver to the increasing demands of the economy.

Located on traditional lands referred to as Treaty 6 territory, Norquest serves 19,354 learners. This translates to 10,874 full-time and part-time credit students, and 8,480 non-credit or continuing education students, including assessment examinations. As a regional steward, they provide access to adult education in Edmonton and the surrounding region. Norquest is proud to embrace diversity and honour inclusiveness: 62% of their students are born outside of Canada from 131 different countries, and there are 115 languages spoken on campus. 

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Established in 1916, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Canada is a global leader in applied education and offers 100+ career programs, 1,300+ continuing education courses and corporate training courses to more than 200 companies annually. SAIT students’ study within eight academic schools — Business, Construction, Energy, Health and Public Safety, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Communications Technologies, Manufacturing and Automation and Transportation. Hands-on learning in unique labs and classrooms, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with industry partners ensure SAIT students are career-ready when they graduate.

University of Lethbridge

Founded in 1967 as a liberal arts institution, the University of Lethbridge has evolved into a comprehensive university with a broad range of programs. More than 500 Faculty members educate nearly 8,500 students in undergraduate and graduate programs in education, fine arts, health sciences, humanities, management, nursing, sciences and social sciences, leading to academic degrees at the bachelor, master’s and doctoral levels. The institution also provides select degree completion opportunities for transfer students and diploma graduates, and programs and degrees that lead to a professional designation. As one of Canada’s top primarily undergraduate universities, the university is ranked third overall in the primarily undergraduate category within the Maclean’s Canadian University rankings (2017) and number one in student services.

Sticking with the Prairies for the next stop on the cross-country Canada journey, we looking at exploring Manitoba!

Our first stop in the Coast-to-Coast: Canada series was Saskatchewan – click on the link below to learn more about Saskatchewan