Our contributor, Ludwig Lie, shares his great story about studying in Canada. In a country with some of the best universities around the world, Ludwig got an opportunity to study at the University of Waterloo. This university has always been ranked as the top 25 in the world in QS Graduate Employability Rankings.
Ludwig had realized how harsh the weather can get in Canada—even before he flew from Indonesia. However, he believed that it was worth braving the winters to receive the benefits of the high quality of education. After living in that country for a couple of years, Ludwig learned that Canadians are among the nicest people on earth. “I know Canada is cold, but thanks to its people who have made it warmer,” he writes in this article.
“Why Canada?” is always a number one question that I have been asked. I mean out of all the countries out there, why would I pick somewhere far away and cold to study at. A country with not so many people and especially Indonesian students after all. For me, the reasons are rather simple. I would like to study at the World’s largest Mathematics Faculty & Co-op Education. Hence, I have decided to study Mathematics and Finance at the University of Waterloo. Not to mention, Waterloo has always been ranked as top 25 in the world in QS Graduate Employability Rankings. Waterloo has also developed partnership with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, multinational insurance companies and leading Indonesian universities to build actuarial science programs and co-op education in Indonesia.
Rather than deep diving into Waterloo, I would be discussing the real significant benefits of studying in Canada. I would be categorizing them into two; mainly career preparation and life in general.
Many people that I knew took opportunities for granted when they had the chance to study abroad. When they left for university, they only had one mission, simply to study abroad without thinking where they would like to work in the future. Some of my friends had to go back to Jakarta for good because they were not able to secure employment and work visa in the country that they studied in. This had never been an issue for me.
When I received my study permit before I left for Canada, I was issued a work permit as well. This is because I have been accepted in a co-op program, which is a program that allows student to take 1-2 years of paid internship. This means that the bachelor co-op program is usually longer in duration, about 5 years. Attending the university with the largest co-op education in the world has allowed me to get paid internship experience abroad in tech startups and consulting, public sector, retail, and private equity. I believe paid internship experience abroad is definitely something that students can leverage when they enter the workforce after they graduate. Largest co-op education means that recruiters will always be actively recruiting on campus and that the school has the resources to guide you land a co-op job—be it through schools’ connections, networking events or even job postings on school online portal. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of universities in Canada and the US offering co-op programs as well.
International students who completed a four- or five-years bachelor’s degree from Canadian institutions are also eligible to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows the students to work for a maximum of three years once they graduate. So, for those of you who are considering working abroad before settling back home, I would recommend doing more research about Canada and see it as an option.
Life in general
University life is tough, you are always bombarded with deadlines. Canada is a country known for its natural beauty and relaxed way of life. Taking a simple walk in the park or observing the scenic views can simply de-stress your day. Canada has plenty of national parks and ski resorts that you can visit both in the summer and the winter. I remembered vividly that I spent my first new year in Canada watching the Northern Lights. Truly a memory that will last a lifetime.
Studying abroad is expensive. However, living costs and tuition fees in Canada are cheaper than the US. Therefore, Canada has become a popular destination lately. The money being saved can be used for further education later in life such as graduate school if one decides to pursue.
Many parents are concerned with the well-being of their children when they are abroad. On a brighter note, Canada has always been included as the 10 most peaceful and safest countries in the world (Global Peace Index 2019, Business Insider 2018). Not to mention, Toronto and Vancouver have always been fighting to win the Most Livable City in the World. Looking back at my life in Canada, I agree that Canadians are the nicest people on Earth. This is the reason why many have considered Canada as their second home. I know Canada is cold, but thanks to its people who have made it warmer.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it is useful.