Study in Ontario, Canada: Best Universities for International Students

Study in Ontario, Canada: Best Universities for International Students

Top Reasons why Ontario is a great destination for international students 

Ontario, Canada's key province, stands out as an exceptional destination for international students seeking higher education. Renowned for its economic stability, diverse range of institutions, abundant job opportunities, and proximity to the majestic Great Lakes, Ontario boasts a compelling array of attractions for students from around the globe. Its vibrant cities serve as education hubs, offering a rich tapestry of academic programs and cultural experiences. In this guide, we'll explore some of the best universities in Ontario for international students and delve into the top reasons why this province is an ideal choice for those pursuing their educational aspirations abroad. 

Why study in Ontario, Canada?


Quality of Education 

Ontario, Canada, boasts a renowned education system, with institutions consistently ranking among the top globally. Universities in Ontario offer a diverse range of programs and courses, ensuring students have access to high-quality education across various fields. This commitment to excellence in education is supported by rigorous academic standards, innovative teaching methods, and state-of-the-art facilities. Studying in Ontario provides students with opportunities for intellectual growth, critical thinking, and skill development, preparing them for success in their chosen careers. 


Quality of Life 

Ontario offers an exceptional quality of life, characterized by vibrant cities, stunning natural landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. Students studying in Ontario can enjoy a balanced lifestyle, with access to world-class amenities, recreational activities, and cultural events. Whether exploring the bustling streets of Toronto, hiking in the breathtaking beauty of Algonquin Park, or experiencing the charm of small towns, students have ample opportunities to enrich their lives outside of the classroom. 


Highly Ranked Universities 

Ontario is home to several prestigious universities, consistently ranked among the best in the world. Institutions such as the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of Waterloo are renowned for their academic excellence, research contributions, and innovation. Studying at these institutions provides students with access to leading experts in their fields, cutting-edge research facilities, and a vibrant academic community, enhancing their learning experience and academic credentials. 


Economic and Financial Centre of Canada 

As the economic and financial hub of Canada, Ontario offers abundant opportunities for professional growth and development. The province's strong economy, diverse industries, and robust job market attract talent from around the world. Studying in Ontario provides students with exposure to dynamic industries such as finance, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, positioning them for successful careers in high-demand sectors. 


Technology Centre 

Ontario is a burgeoning technology centre, home to a thriving ecosystem of startups, tech companies, and research institutions. Cities like Toronto, Waterloo, and Ottawa are recognized globally for their innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and clean technology. Studying in Ontario offers students access to cutting-edge research facilities, internship opportunities, and networking events, fostering their growth as future leaders in the tech industry. 


A Safe, Welcoming, and Diverse Society 

Ontario prides itself on being a safe, welcoming, and diverse society, where individuals from all backgrounds are embraced and celebrated. With a reputation for tolerance, inclusivity, and multiculturalism, Ontario offers a supportive environment for international students to thrive and succeed. Whether through cultural festivals, community events, or multicultural initiatives, students have the opportunity to engage with people from diverse cultures and perspectives, broadening their horizons and enriching their educational experience. 


Outstanding Job Opportunities 

Ontario's strong economy and diverse industries translate into abundant job opportunities for graduates. The province's strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and skilled workforce attract companies from around the world, creating a competitive job market with opportunities across various sectors. Additionally, Ontario's immigration policies make it easier for international students to transition to the workforce after graduation, providing pathways to permanent residency and citizenship for skilled professionals. 


Emerging Sectors 

Ontario is at the forefront of innovation and growth in emerging sectors such as renewable energy, cybersecurity, and digital media. With increasing investment in research and development, coupled with government support for innovation initiatives, the province offers exciting prospects for students interested in pioneering new technologies and solutions to global challenges. Studying in Ontario provides students with access to resources, networks, and mentorship opportunities in these burgeoning fields, empowering them to make meaningful contributions to the future of their industries. 


In conclusion, studying in Ontario, Canada offers a unique blend of academic excellence, quality of life, diverse opportunities, and a welcoming environment that prepares students for success in their academic and professional endeavours. With world-class institutions, thriving industries, and a vibrant culture, Ontario stands out as one of the best places to study for students seeking a transformative educational experience. 


Quick facts about Ontario 




Approximately 14.7 million (as of 2021) 



Largest City 


Cost of Living 

Moderate to high, varying depending on the city and lifestyle 


Four distinct seasons: cold winters, mild springs, warm summers, and cool autumns 

These are just some basic facts about Ontario. The province is diverse and dynamic, offering a wide range of experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors alike. 


Popular courses to study in Ontario 

Ontario, particularly cities like Toronto and Waterloo, is renowned for its world-class education institutions and a diverse range of courses across various streams. Here's a breakdown of why Ontario is infamous for education in business, finance, technology, arts, and STEM: 


  1. Business and Finance: Ontario hosts several prestigious business schools offering programs in business administration, finance, accounting, and related fields. The University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, York University's Schulich School of Business, and the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School are highly regarded both nationally and internationally. These institutions offer cutting-edge curricula, opportunities for experiential learning, and connections to the business world through internships and networking events.
  2. Technology: Ontario is a thriving hub for technology and innovation, particularly in cities like Toronto, Waterloo, and Ottawa. The University of Waterloo is renowned for its cooperative education programs, which provide students with hands-on experience in leading tech companies. Additionally, institutions like the University of Toronto and Ryerson University offer programs in computer science, engineering, and information technology, attracting students from around the globe. Moreover, Ontario's commitment to research and development fosters an environment conducive to technological advancements, making it an ideal location for studying technology-related disciplines. 
  3. Arts and Humanities: Ontario boasts world-class universities offering diverse programs in arts, humanities, and social sciences. The University of Toronto, for example, is recognized for its strong humanities departments, including English, History, and Philosophy. Institutions like York University and Queen's University also offer comprehensive programs in liberal arts and humanities, providing students with a well-rounded education and opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment. 
  4. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics): Ontario is home to leading institutions in STEM fields, with a strong emphasis on research and innovation. The University of Toronto consistently ranks among the top universities worldwide for its STEM programs, covering a wide range of disciplines from biology and chemistry to physics and mathematics. Similarly, the University of Waterloo is renowned for its engineering and science programs, with a focus on experiential learning and collaboration with industry partners. Moreover, institutions like McMaster University and the University of Ottawa also offer excellent STEM programs, contributing to Ontario's reputation as a hub for scientific excellence. 


Overall, Ontario's education system is highly esteemed for its academic rigour, diverse course offerings, research opportunities, and industry connections, making it an attractive destination for students aspiring to excel in business, finance, technology, arts, and STEM fields. 

Education system in Ontario 


Publicly Assisted and Affiliated Institutes: 


  • Ontario boasts a diverse range of publicly funded institutions, including universities and colleges, offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs. 
  • These institutions receive government funding and adhere to provincial standards for curriculum and accreditation. 
  • Notable examples include the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, and the University of Waterloo. 


Private Institutions: 


  • In addition to publicly funded institutions, Ontario is also home to private universities and colleges that operate independently of government funding. 
  • These institutions often offer specialized programs and may have smaller class sizes or unique teaching approaches. 
  • Examples include the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) and Tyndale University. 


Out-of-Province Public Institutions: 


  • Ontario attracts students from across Canada and around the world, including those seeking education from institutions outside the province. 
  • Several out-of-province public institutions have satellite campuses or partnerships with Ontario institutions, providing students with access to a broader range of educational opportunities. 
  • Examples include McGill University's School of Continuing Studies in Toronto and the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business in Vancouver. 


Colleges and Vocational Programs: 


  • Ontario's college system offers over 3,000 programs across various fields, including business, health sciences, technology, arts, and trades. 
  • These programs typically provide hands-on training and practical skills geared toward specific industries or careers. 
  • Colleges like George Brown College, Seneca College, and Centennial College offer a diverse range of diploma, certificate, and apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of students and employers alike. 


Cooperative Education (Co-op) Programs: 


  • Many institutions in Ontario, both universities and colleges, offer cooperative education programs that integrate classroom learning with paid work placements. 
  • These programs provide students with valuable real-world experience, and industry connections, and often lead to job opportunities upon graduation. 
  • Institutions like the University of Waterloo are particularly well-known for their extensive co-op programs in fields such as engineering, technology, and business. 


Research Opportunities: 


  • Ontario's education system is also characterized by its strong emphasis on research and innovation, with institutions actively engaged in cutting-edge research across various disciplines. 
  • Universities like the University of Toronto and McMaster University are leaders in research and receive significant funding for their research endeavours. 
  • Research opportunities are available to both undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to work alongside faculty members on groundbreaking projects and contribute to advancements in their respective fields. 


Universities in Ontario, Canada


Ontario is home to several prestigious universities offering a wide range of programs across various disciplines. Here are some of the top universities to study in Ontario: 


1. University of Toronto: 

  • Renowned for its academic excellence and research output across multiple fields. 
  • Offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. 
  • Campuses are located in Toronto, Mississauga, and Scarborough. 


2. University of Waterloo: 

  • Known for its strong focus on cooperative education (co-op) programs, which integrate work experience with academic studies. 
  • Recognized for its engineering, computer science, and mathematics programs. 
  • Located in Waterloo, Ontario. 


3. University of Ottawa: 

  • Bilingual institution offering programs in English and French. 
  • Strong emphasis on research and innovation is located in the heart of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. 


4. York University: 

  • Offers a diverse range of programs across multiple faculties, including liberal arts, business, science, and engineering. 
  • Known for its strong community engagement and multicultural environment. 
  • Located in Toronto, Ontario. 


5. McMaster University: 

  • Known for its medical school and health sciences programs. 
  • Strong emphasis on research and innovation, particularly in the fields of engineering and technology. 
  • Located in Hamilton, Ontario. 


6. University of Guelph: 

  • Recognized for its agricultural and veterinary science programs. 
  • Offers a wide range of programs in areas such as business, arts, and sciences. 
  • Located in Guelph, Ontario. 


7. Western University: 

  • Known for its strong faculties of business, engineering, and health sciences. 
  • Offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. 
  • Located in London, Ontario. 


8. Queen’s University: 

  • Renowned for its strong undergraduate programs and vibrant campus life. 
  • Offers programs in arts and sciences, engineering, business, and more. 
  • Located in Kingston, Ontario. 


9. Ryerson University: 

  • Known for its strong focus on career-oriented education and practical learning experiences. 
  • Offers programs in areas such as business, engineering, media, and design. 
  • Located in downtown Toronto, Ontario. 


10. Carleton University: 

  • Known for its strong programs in public affairs, journalism, and international relations. 
  • Offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. 
  • Located in Ottawa, Ontario. 
  • These universities are highly regarded nationally and internationally for their academic excellence, research contributions, and diverse learning environments. 


Accommodation options for international students 

Here are the various accommodation options available for international students studying in Ontario: 


1.  On-campus Housing: 

  • Many universities and colleges in Ontario offer on-campus housing options such as dormitories or residence halls. 
  • On-campus housing provides convenience and proximity to academic buildings and campus facilities. 
  • Students living on campus often have access to meal plans, study spaces, and organized social events. 
  • On-campus housing can be a great way for international students to immerse themselves in campus life and build a sense of community. 


2. Off-campus Housing: 

  • Off-campus housing options include apartments, condominiums, or houses located outside of the university or college campus. 
  • Off-campus housing offers more independence and flexibility compared to on-campus options. 
  • Students can choose to live alone or with roommates, depending on their preferences and budget. 
  • Off-campus housing may require students to commute to campus, but it provides opportunities to explore the surrounding community and experience local culture. 


3. Homestay

  • Homestay involves living with a local host family in their home. 
  • This accommodation option provides international students with the opportunity to experience Canadian culture firsthand and improve their language skills. 
  • Host families often offer meals and support to students, making the transition to a new country easier. 
  • Homestay can be a more affordable option compared to other accommodations, and it offers a supportive environment for students adjusting to life in Ontario. 


4. Temporary Housing Options: 

  • Temporary housing options include hotels, hostels, or short-term rentals that provide accommodation for a limited duration. 
  • International students may choose temporary housing while they search for more permanent accommodation or wait for on-campus housing availability. 
  • Temporary housing can be convenient for students arriving in Ontario before the start of the academic term or for those needing temporary accommodation during breaks or transitions. 


5. Student Residences: 

  • Some private companies and organizations offer student residences specifically designed for university or college students. 
  • These residences often provide furnished rooms or suites with shared common areas and amenities such as laundry facilities, study rooms, and recreational spaces. 
  • Student residences may be located near campuses or in popular student neighbourhoods, offering convenience and a sense of community. 


6. Rental Housing or Private Rentals: 

  • Rental housing options include apartments, houses, or condominiums leased directly from landlords or property management companies. 
  • Students can rent a single room, share an apartment with roommates, or rent an entire unit depending on their preferences and budget. 
  • Rental housing offers flexibility in terms of location, amenities, and lease duration, allowing students to customize their living arrangements according to their needs. 


These accommodation options provide international students in Ontario with a range of choices to suit their preferences, budget, and lifestyle while pursuing their studies.


Transportation system in Ontario 


Public Transit: 

  • Ontario cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton offer extensive public transit systems comprising buses, streetcars, and subways. 
  • Organizations like the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), OC Transpo in Ottawa, and the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) provide affordable and convenient transportation options for students commuting to and from campuses and around the city. 


GO Transit: 

  • GO Transit operates commuter trains and buses in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and serves as a vital transportation link between suburban areas and downtown Toronto. 
  • Students can use GO Transit to commute to and from campus or travel to nearby cities and towns for work, leisure, or academic purposes. 


Metrolinx and Presto: 

  • Metrolinx is a regional transportation agency in Ontario responsible for planning, building, and operating transit infrastructure. 
  • Presto is an electronic fare payment system used across various transit networks in Ontario, including TTC, GO Transit, and several regional transit agencies. 
  • Students can use Presto cards to pay for fares seamlessly across different modes of transportation, eliminating the need for multiple tickets or passes. 



  • Many campuses in Ontario are pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks, crosswalks, and designated walking paths. 
  • Walking is a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation for short distances, allowing students to get around campus or nearby neighbourhoods quickly and affordably. 



  • Ontario cities are increasingly becoming bike-friendly with dedicated bike lanes, trails, and bike-sharing programs like Bike Share Toronto. 
  • Cycling is an efficient and sustainable transportation option for students, providing an active and affordable way to commute to campus or explore the city. 


Taxi and Rideshare: 

  • Taxi services and ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft operate in Ontario cities, offering convenient transportation options for students, especially during late-night or off-peak hours. 
  • Students can use taxi or rideshare services for door-to-door transportation or to reach destinations not easily accessible by public transit. 



  • Some students may choose to drive their vehicles or carpool with classmates to commute to campus, especially if they live off-campus or in suburban areas with limited transit options. 
  • Ontario has an extensive network of highways and roads, making driving a viable transportation option for students with access to a vehicle. 



  • Carpooling involves sharing rides with classmates or colleagues who have similar commuting routes. 
  • Students can organize carpools to reduce transportation costs, alleviate traffic congestion, and minimize environmental impact by reducing the number of vehicles on the road. 


Train and Buses: 

  • Via Rail and Ontario Northland operate intercity train services connecting major cities and towns across Ontario and beyond. 
  • Intercity bus companies like Greyhound and Megabus also provide affordable transportation options for students travelling between cities and regions within the province. 


These transportation options offer students in Ontario a range of choices to commute to campus, explore the city, and travel within the province efficiently and affordably. 


International Student Life in Ontario 

International student life in Ontario is vibrant and dynamic, attracting students from around the world to its prestigious universities and colleges. Here's how Ontario's allure for students is shaped by its academic excellence, vibrant culture, diverse activities, and the associated living costs: 


Prestigious Universities and Colleges: 

  • Ontario is home to some of Canada's top-ranked universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and McMaster University. 
  • These institutions offer world-class education, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a diverse range of programs across various disciplines, attracting students seeking quality higher education. 


Vibrant Culture: 

  • Ontario's cities, particularly Toronto, are known for their vibrant multiculturalism, offering students the opportunity to experience diverse cultures, cuisines, and traditions from around the world. 
  • Students can immerse themselves in cultural festivals, art exhibitions, music concerts, and theatrical performances, contributing to a rich and dynamic cultural experience. 


Diverse Activities: 

  • Ontario offers a wide range of activities and attractions to suit every interest and lifestyle. 
  • Students can explore natural wonders like Niagara Falls, hike through provincial parks, enjoy outdoor recreational activities, or relax on beautiful beaches along the Great Lakes. 
  • Urban centres like Toronto offer bustling nightlife, shopping districts, sports events, and entertainment venues, ensuring there's always something to do both on and off campus. 


Living Costs: 

  • While Ontario offers unparalleled educational and cultural experiences, living costs, especially accommodation, can be relatively high compared to other provinces in Canada. 
  • Accommodation costs, including rent for apartments or shared housing, can range from $1000 to $2000 or more per month, depending on the location and type of accommodation. 
  • Other expenses such as groceries, transportation, utilities, and entertainment can also contribute to the overall cost of living in Ontario. 


Despite the higher living costs, many international students are drawn to Ontario for its exceptional academic opportunities, vibrant cultural scene, and diverse lifestyle offerings. However, students need to budget and plan accordingly to manage their expenses and make the most of their experience studying in Ontario. 


Employment prospects after studying in Ontario


Employment prospects for international students studying in Ontario are promising, given the province's status as Canada's economic hub and its diverse range of industries. Here's how Ontario's economic landscape and job market offer opportunities for graduates: 


Diverse Industries: 


  • Ontario boasts a diverse economy with key industries including information technology (IT), manufacturing (particularly automotive), mining, forestry, and agriculture. 

  • The IT sector in Ontario, especially in cities like Toronto and Waterloo, is thriving with numerous tech companies, startups, and innovation hubs offering employment opportunities in software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, and other tech-related fields. 

  • Ontario's manufacturing sector, particularly automotive manufacturing, remains a significant contributor to the economy, employing automotive assembly, engineering, research, and supply chain management. 

  • The province's mining industry, which produces commodities such as iron, nickel, gold, and copper, offers opportunities for employment in mining operations, engineering, environmental management, and mineral exploration. 

  • Ontario's forestry sector, known for its production of lumber, paper, and other wood products, provides jobs in forestry management, wood processing, and sustainable resource management. 

  • The agriculture sector in Ontario is diverse, encompassing crop production, livestock farming, agri-food processing, and agricultural research, offering employment opportunities in farming, agribusiness, food processing, and related fields. 


Promising Job Opportunities: 


  • Despite fluctuations in the economy, Ontario's unemployment rate typically matches the national average, which was around 6.8%. 

  • The province's diverse economy and robust job market provide graduates with a wide range of employment opportunities across various industries and sectors. 

  • Ontario's strategic location, strong infrastructure, access to global markets, and skilled workforce make it an attractive destination for businesses, leading to continued job creation and economic growth. 


Overall, international students studying in Ontario can look forward to promising employment prospects after graduation, thanks to the province's diverse industries, strong economy, and ongoing investments in innovation and development. By leveraging their education, skills, and experiences gained in Ontario, graduates can pursue rewarding careers and contribute to the province's economic prosperity. 


chat close Book an Appointment
Karan Gupta Whatsapp