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Canada or Australia: Which is Better for Indian Students in 2024

Updated on 06 June, 2024

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Canada and Australia are amongst the most popular destinations for higher studies. As per Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI) Report 2023, over 20% of Indian students chose Australia, while 18% opted for Canada due to their affordable education.

Given the numerous benefits of pursuing higher education in either of these countries, deciding between them can be challenging. However, several key parameters can help students make an informed choice.

Read this article to help you decide whether to choose Canada or Australia for your education abroad.

Canada or Australia: Which is Better for Students

Key Highlights

The Australia vs Canada debate has been ongoing among students keen on pursuing higher education abroad. Coming to the core question, which is better Canada or Australia? Here are some key aspects that you can note in this regard. 

FactorsAustraliaCanada
Language of instructionEnglishEnglish, French
Average cost of studyAUD17,000–AUD50,000/yr
(INR 927,350– INR 2,727,500
CAD36,000/yr
(INR 2186296/yr)
Average cost of living

AUD 18,000/year

(INR 9,91,506/yr)

CAD 15,000/ year 

(INR9,10,860/yr)

Exams requiredIELTS Exam/TOEFL/PTE Exam and GMAT/GRE TestIELTS/TOEFL Exam/PTE and GMAT/GRE
IntakesThree intakes in a year – Semester/Trimester 1, Semester/Trimester 2, Semester/Trimester 3Three intakes in a year – Fall, Spring, and Summer
Funding sourcesScholarships, aids, and part-time jobsPart-time jobs, scholarships, bursaries, grants, fellowships
Types of degreesDiploma (level 5), Associate Degree/Assistant Degree (level 6), Bachelors (level 7), Bachelors Honors (Level 8), Masters (level 9), Doctorate (level 10)Associate Degree, Undergraduate Degree, Graduate Degree, Doctorate Degree
Top coursesComputer Science and IT, Engineering and Management, Business and Management, Medicine, Science, Law, Arts and Design, Accounting, Education and TeachingComputer Science and IT, Engineering, MBA, Business and Finance, Media and Journalism
Best student citiesSydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, BrisbaneToronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec, Calgary, Waterloo

Register for Study in Canada FREE Course

The Canada hosts the largest number of international students from across the world. Over the past few years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad. Reasons such as best-ranked institutions, excellent support facilities, flexible academic environment, and cultural diversity contribute to making it the most preferred destination amongst students planning to study abroad.

Read More: Study in Australia from India | Career Opportunities in Australia 

Canada vs Australia for Study: Education System in Both Countries

Which country is better, from an educational perspective? Let's find out. Canada has two types of educational institutions offering high-quality education  – private and public universities and colleges. The country has over 100 private and public universities offering over 15,000 programs.

In Canada, education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6-18 years. Universities, colleges, and vocational schools offer higher education, with the latter providing practical learning.  

On the other hand, the education system in Australia is one of the most sought-after for being well-structured and  formulated. As per the AQF or Australian Qualifications Framework that was introduced in 1995, you can move through 10 different levels after completing secondary education, provided you meet your student visa requirements. 

The higher education system in Australia begins with Diploma (level 5) till a Doctorate (level 10).

Study in Canada

Type of InstitutionKey points
CollegesThese tend to focus on hands-on learning through co-ops, internships, labs, and placements. They can be both public and private. College graduates tend to enter the workforce faster. 
UniversitiesMost universities offer academic degrees such as undergraduate and graduate programs. However, some also train students to excel in applied fields of work. 

Study in Australia

Type of institutionKey points
Public UniversitiesA number of research institutions fall under this category, and all of them are funded by the government.
Private UniversitiesThese are not funded by the government and have strong relations with businesses and industries.
Private CollegeOffers bachelor’s and master’s degrees across various fields. They emphasize skill development and employability. 
TAFE: Technical and Further EducationFocuses on apprenticeships, vocational and work experience courses at diploma and certificate level.

Read More: Cost of studying in Canada for overseas students | Cost of studying in Australia

Top Universities: Australia vs Canada for Indian students

Many popular universities in Australia and Canada excel in several aspects of teaching and research. The top institutions in both the countries as per QS World Rankings 2024 and their average tuition fees are given below.

Top Universities According to QS  World University Rankings 2024

AustraliaCanada
UniversitiesQS WUR 2024Average annual tuition feesUniversities QS WUR 2024Average annual tuition fees
The Australian National University34

AUD 33,000 – AUD 50,000

(INR 1,782,000 – INR 2,700,000)

McGill University30

CAD 21,000 – 56,000

(INR 1,281,000 – 3,416,000)

The University of Melbourne14

AUD 30,000 -AUD 48,000 

(INR 1,620,000 – INR 2,592,000)

University of Toronto



 

21

CAD 30,000 – 58,000

(INR 1,830,000 – 3,538,000)

The University of Sydney19

AUD 30,000 – AUD 59,000

(INR 1,620,000 – INR 3,186,000)

University of British Columbia34

CAD 32,000 – 55,000

(INR 1,952,000 – 3,355,000)

The University of New South Wales19

AUD 16,000 – AUD 40,000

(INR 864,000 – INR 2,160,000) 

University of Alberta111

CAD 13,000 – 49,000

 (INR 793,000 – 2,989,000) 

The University of Queensland43

AUD 30,000 – AUD 43,000

(INR 1,620,000 – INR 2,322,000) 

University of Montreal141

CAD 18,000 – 36,000

(INR 1,098,000 – 2,196,000) 

Monash University42

AUD 25,000 – AUD 37,000

(INR 1,350,000 – INR 1,998,000) 

McMaster University189

CAD 25,000 – 60,000

(INR 1,525,000 – 3,660,000)

The University of Western Australia72

AUD 23,000 – AUD 53,000 

(INR 1,242,000 – INR 2,862,000)

University of Waterloo112

CAD 30,000 – 62,000

(INR 1,830,000 – 3,782,000)

The University of Adelaide89

AUD 23,000 – AUD 53,000

(INR 1,242,000 – INR 2,862,000) 

Western University114

CAD 21,000 – 52,000

( INR 1,281,000 – 3,172,000)

University of Technology Sydney90

AUD 20,000- AUD 37,000

(INR 1,080,000 – INR 1,998,000)

University of Ottawa203

CAD 16,000 – 32,000

(INR 976,000 – 1,952,000)

University of Wollongong162

AUD 20,000- AUD 30,000

(INR 1,080,000 – INR 1,620,000)

University of Calgary182

CAD 18,000 – 36,000

 (INR 1,098,000 – 2,196,000)

Popular Courses in Canada & Australia

The type of course you wish to pursue will also influence whether you choose Canada or Australia to study abroad. Both countries offer various courses in engineering, business management, and medicine, which are widely opted for by students across the globe.

Popular Courses in Australia

Popular coursesDurationAverage annual tuition fees
B.Eng Civil Engineering3 years

AUD 35,000

(INR 1,792,700)

BMed + MD5-6 years

AUD 28,000

(INR 1,434,160)

LLM 1 year

AUD 28,000

(INR 1,434,160)

MBA 2 years

AUD 60,000

(INR 3,073,200)

MSc Information Technology2 years

AUD 30,000

(INR 1,536,600) 

MSc Data Science1-2 years

AUD 45,000 

(INR 2,304,900)

MSc Computer Science1.5 – 2 years

AUD 35,000 

(INR 1,792,700)

MA Applied Economics2 years

AUD 25,000 

(INR 1,280,500)

Popular Courses in Canada

Popular coursesDurationAverage annual tuition fee
BSc Nursing2-4 years

CAD 33,000

(INR 1,758,570)

LLM1-2 years

CAD 20,000

(INR 1,065,800)

MSc Nursing2 years

CAD 44,000

(INR 2,344,760)

MEng Aerospace and Engineering3 years

CAD 38,000

(INR 2,025,020)

MEng Industrial Systems and Engineering2 years

CAD 45,000

(INR 2,398,050)

MBA1-2 years

CAD 38,000

(INR 2,025,020)

MSc Business Management1 year

CAD 29,000

(INR 1,545,410)

MA Media Studies2 years

CAD 35,000

(INR 1,865,150)

Academic Requirements/Eligibility Criteria: Canada vs Australia

 AustraliaCanada
Undergraduate/bachelor’s degree
  • Must have completed a total of 12 consecutive years of education
  • English language proficiency requirements – IELTS/ TOEFL
  • Must have completed 12 years of schooling
  • SAT exam/ACT exam scores (if required by the university)
  • English language proficiency test – IELTS/TOEFL
Masters degree
  • Recognized bachelor’s degree of three or four years
  • Entrance exams, if any
  • GRE or GMAT Exam is necessary 
  • English language requirements – IELTS/ TOEFL for English
  • Must have completed 16 years of education (12 years schooling + 4 years undergraduate studies)
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • English language proficiency test – IELTS/TOEFL

Eligibility Criteria: Canada vs Australia 

When considering studying abroad in Canada or Australia, it's important to understand that the eligibility criteria for admissions vary based on the course and the university you choose.

However, here's a comparison of Canada vs Australia based on the standard eligibility process followed by all the universities.
Canada
Undergraduate Degree

  • Completion of high school or an equivalent qualification from a recognized board such as ICSE/CBSE. 
  • Meet the minimum English language proficiency score requirements (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, etc). An IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 is recommended.
  • SAT/ ACT may be required for some courses. A SAT score of 1430-1540 and an ACT score of 32-35 is desirable. 

Master's Degree
 Completion of a first-class bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • English language proficiency is similar to undergraduate programs. An IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 is recommended.
  • There may be other requirements depending on the program. You might need to submit additional materials like a portfolio or written samples.
  • A GMAT score above 550 is recommended for management programs
  • GRE scores may be required for some programs, though they are not mandatory.

Australia
Undergraduate Degree

  • Completed 12 years of pre-university education, equivalent to an Australian Year 12 Certificate. 
  • You will need to provide evidence that you have achieved one of the following levels of English language proficiency. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall is recommended.

Master’s Degree

  • Completed a 3-year bachelor’s degree program or a 4-year Engineering degree at UG level.
  • You will need to provide evidence of English language proficiency. An IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 is preferred.
  • GMAT scores are required for management programs. A GMAT score of 695 or above is desirable. 
  • Some management courses will also require a work experience of around 2 years. 
  • GRE scores for other programs.

Application Process: Canada vs Australia 
Canada
The application process for studying in Canada is as follows:

Research universities: Explore universities in Canada that align with your academic goals. Consider at least three options to have alternatives.

Check admission requirements: It involves checking aspects like admission times, language requirements, and credit score requirements for the degree or program you're interested in. It also involves preparing an application letter to introduce yourself to the university.

Submit required documents: For most universities, you will have to complete the application online by submitting the application form along with the following documents:

  1. Copy of diploma or degree
  2. Updated CV
  3. Letter of intent:
  4. Language proficiency results
  5. Proof of funds
  6. Reference letters

Receive an offer of admission: Once your application is processed, you'll receive an offer of admission (also called an acceptance letter). After this, you must apply for a study permit or a student visa.
Australia:

Choose your course and university: Research and select the course you're interested in and the educational institution where you'd like to study.
Learn about the application process: You can download application forms from the institution's website or request them to be sent by post. 
Evaluate the academic entry requirements: It is important to review the admissions requirements for various courses at the university of your choice. For instance, Vocational education and training(VET) institutions may not require entrance exams. But, for other courses, you may have to take entrance tests. 
Prepare all the documents:  You may need the following documents to apply to an Australian university: 

  1. Certified proof of your level of English language proficiency.
  2. Previous academic qualifications, such as academic transcripts.
  3. Proofs of your employment experience (if applicable).

Application acceptance and Visa application: Once you receive the offer letter from the institution, check with the country's immigration services and apply for a student visa.

Academic Cycles/Intakes: Canada vs Australia

Here’s a comparison of Canada vs Australia intakes to help you decide which country to go for and streamline your application: 

Australia

Canada

  • Semester/Trimester 1 intake spanning from February/early March to late May/early June; with deadlines before October or November
  • Semester/Trimester 2 intake spanning from late July/early August to early September; with deadlines usually falling between April to May
  • Semester/Trimester 3 intake spanning from September to late November; with deadlines falling between September to November
  • Fall intake spans from September–December/early January; with deadlines falling between December to March
  • Winter intake from January–May; with deadlines falling between September and November
  • Summer/Spring intake running from May-August; with deadlines usually falling in February

Cost of Studying for International Students in Canada vs Australia

The cost of education is one of the most important factors to consider when wondering if Canada or Australia would be better for you. The tuition fees differ across universities and courses in both countries. Therefore, we present to you the average annual tuition fees.

Comparative Study of Cost of Study in Canada and Australia

Degree type Average Annual Tuition Fee in CanadaAverage Annual Tuition Fee in Australia
BachelorsCAD46,000–CAD71,560
(INR 2,530,000–INR3,930,800)
AUD33,888–AUD69,760
(INR18,68,473–INR38,46,338)
MastersCAD52,160–CAD77,800
(INR2,873,800–INR4,309,000 )
AUD42,576–AUD85,024
(INR2,277,816–INR4,548,784) 

Living in Canada or Australia – Which is Better

The cost of living in Australia and Canada for international students depends on the lifestyle of the students. Students interested in knowing  if Australia is better than Canada in terms of living expenses can refer to the table below. 

Expenses Average cost per month in AustraliaAverage Living Cost Per Month in Canada
RentAUD1,754–AUD3,568
(INR93,839–INR190,888) 
CAD1,926–CAD3,115
(INR106,430–INR171,325)
Food and expenses incurred on dine-out

AUD25–AUD120

(INR1,337.5–INR6,420)

CAD25–CAD100

(INR1,375–INR5,500)

Transportation

AUD60–AUD167

(INR3,210–INR8,934.5)

CAD39–CAD105

(INR2,145–INR5,775)

Utilities

AUD41–AUD306

( INR2,193.5–INR16,401)

CAD64–CAD205

( INR3,520–INR11,275)

Source: Numbeo

Canada or Australia – Job Opportunities in Most Popular Sectors

Both Australia and Canada boast robust economies, with a working population of 14,289,600 and 21,828,500, respectively(as of April 2024). Here are some of the in-demand fields and their average salaries in both countries: 

Area of specialization for job opportunities in AustraliaAverage annual salaryArea of specialization for job opportunities  in CanadaAverage annual salary
HealthcareAUD 80,000
AUD 60,500
(INR4,280,000)
HealthcareCAD 1,47,307
(INR8,129,888.5)
Statistics/Data Science

AUD 1,15,000

(INR6,152,500)

Statistics/Data ScienceCAD99,46387,248
(INR 5,470,509)
IT & Computer Science

AUD 1,22,445

(INR6,550,807)

IT & Computer Science CAD71,95075,768
(INR3,957,250 )
Business ManagementAUD 1,48,000Management

CAD 86,733

( INR4,770,315)

Education & Training 

AUD80,332

(INR4,297,762)

Education & Training 

 

CAD 62,255
(INR3,424,025)

Source: Glassdoor(As of April 2024)

Scholarships: Canada vs Australia

There are multiple scholarship opportunities for international students in different universities across both Australia and Canada. In the debate of Australia vs Canada, we have compiled a list of the top 5 notable scholarships these countries offer, along with their eligibility criteria and benefits.

Canada
1. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student
  • Currently in your final year of secondary school or have graduated no earlier than June of the previous year.
  • Have exceptional academic achievement and creativity.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills.
  • Be nominated by your school and apply to the University of Toronto for undergraduate studies.

Benefits:

  • Covers full tuition.
  • Provides books.
  • Covers incidental fees.
  • Full residence support for four years of undergraduate study.

2. Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award at the University of British Columbia
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student.
  • Entering a UBC undergraduate program from a recognized secondary school or a post-secondary institution.
  • Demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and leadership skills.
  • Require financial assistance to study at UBC.

Benefits:

  • Award value ranges from CAD14,000–CAD34,000 
  • Provides partial funding for tuition.
  • Covers living expenses based on demonstrated financial need.

3. York University International Student Scholarship
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student.
  • Applying to an undergraduate degree program at York University.
  • Demonstrate excellent academic achievement.
  • Involvement in community service or extracurricular activities.

Benefits:

  • Scholarship amount varies based on academic excellence.
  • Can range from partial to full tuition coverage.

4. Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be a graduate student pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at a publicly-assisted university in Ontario.
  • Demonstrate high academic achievement (typically an A- average in the last two years of study).
  • Be enrolled in a full-time program for a minimum of two terms.

Benefits:

  • Provides financial support of CAD10,000 for two consecutive terms or CAD15,000 for three consecutive terms.
  • Funds are intended to cover research and academic excellence costs.

5. University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student.
  • Entering any undergraduate program at the University of Winnipeg.
  • Have a minimum admission average of 80% or equivalent.
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities.
  • Engage in activities that support leadership development.

Benefits:

  • Covers tuition and fees.
  • Scholarship values range from $3,500 to $5,000.

Australia 
1. Australia Awards Scholarships
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be an International student
  • Meet English language proficiency requirements.
  • Plan to return to your home country for at least two years after availing the scholarship.

Benefits:

  • Full tuition fees.
  • Return air travel.
  • Establishment allowance.
  • Contribution to living expenses.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
  • Introductory academic program.
  • Additional support if necessary (such as English language courses).

2. University of Sydney International Research Scholarships
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student commencing a full-time PhD or master's by research program.
  • Be willing to undertake a research degree within the University of Sydney.

Benefits:

  • Tuition fees offset.
  • Living allowance for up to three years (with a possible six-month extension for PhD students).

3. Melbourne Research Scholarships (MRS)
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student.
  • Must have applied for and meet the entry requirements for a master's by research or doctoral degree at the University of Melbourne.
  • Demonstrate excellent academic achievement and research potential.

Benefits:

  • Full fee offset, with an award valued at AUD1,35,000
  • Living allowance.
  • Relocation grant for students moving to Melbourne from interstate or overseas.
  • Health cover.

4. UNSW International Scientia Coursework Scholarships
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student commencing full-time study in the University of New South Wales’ undergraduate or postgraduate coursework program.
  • Meet the entry requirements for the chosen program.
  • Demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential.

Benefits:

  • Full tuition fee coverage or an annual award of AUD20,000 payable towards tuition fees. 
  • Health cover.
  • Possible additional benefits depending on the specific scholarship.

5. Adelaide Global Citizens Scholarship 
Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an international student of high academic standing.
  • Have applied to undertake an undergraduate or postgraduate program at the University of Adelaide.
  • Provide evidence of meeting the University of Adelaide’s English language proficiency requirements.

Benefits:

  • Tuition fee waiver of around 15–30%
  • Annual living allowance.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (if applicable).

Start Your Study Abroad Journey: Bachelors in Canada | Bachelors in Australia

Best Student Cities

The best student cities in Australia and Canada are given below: 

AustraliaAverage cost of living per year CanadaAverage cost of living per year 
Sydney

AUD 22,800 – AUD 28,800

(INR1,221,600 - INR1,539,600)

Toronto

CAD 22,000

(INR1,210,000)

Melbourne

AUD 18,000

(INR963,000)

Montreal

CAD 15,000

(INR8,25,000)

Adelaide

AUD 24,000

(INR1,284,000)

Vancouver

CAD 17,000

(INR935,000)

Perth

AUD 16,200

(INR869,100)

Ottawa

CAD 15,000

(INR825,000)

Brisbane

AUD15,000–AUD20,000

(INR802,500 - 1,070,000)

Quebec

CAD 20,000

(INR1,100,000)

Canada vs Australia- Permanent Residency 

Students who have graduated from an Australian university can apply for a post-study work visa that allows them to stay in Australia for 2–4 years, depending on their qualifications. A person can obtain a permanent residency in Australia through various routes: family stream, work stream, and business stream. To obtain a workstream PR, an Australian employer must sponsor your stay in the country.

On the other hand, students who have completed their higher studies at institutions in Canada can apply for a post-study work permit. The duration for which they can stay will depend on the type of course they have completed. For instance, those who have pursued their master’s(less than 2 years) can stay back for 3 years to seek employment. After working in the country for 3 years, students can apply through the Express Entry route(Canadian Experience Class) to secure permanent residency. 

Taxation in Canada and Australia

While choosing Canada or Australia for your work, knowing the tax rates in both countries is important as this can significantly affect your take-home income. In Canada, the federal income tax rates are progressive and usually vary from 15–33%, depending on taxable income.

Similarly, Australia has a progressive tax system, with tax rates varying between 19–45%. However, the tax you may have to pay in either country will depend on your deductions and tax exemptions.

Conclusion

Choosing Canada or Australia for Indian students in 2024 depends on individual preferences, career goals, and personal circumstances. Both countries offer high-quality education, diverse cultural experiences, and friendly immigration policies, making them attractive destinations for international students. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which has a lower cost of living, Canada or Australia?

With an average annual cost of living of around AUD18,000, Australia seems to be more expensive than Canada with annual living costs around CAD 15,000. 

What are the benefits of studying in Canada?

Canada is one of the foremost global education destination. Canada welcomes visitors with an easier application procedure for visas and immigration policies. It has almost a hundred highly accredited universities offering several courses including popular ones like Nursing, Engineering, Business Analytics, Computer Science, Data Science, and Psychology among others. 

What are the benefits of studying in Australia?

Australia is one of the most popular educational destinations for international students, courtesy of its highly rated universities and numerous courses and programs that have obtained global accreditation. Australian universities have excellent opportunities for research. The country also offers post-study work visas that are applicable for 2–4 years. 

Which country has more job opportunities Canada or Australia?

In the beginning of 2024, Australia had 363,800 job vacancies as opposed to 678,475 in Canada, signaling the later offering more opportunities. However, such figures tend to fluctuate because of various factors. Thus, it is important to note that both countries have robust economies, thereby offering plentiful jobs for skilled graduates. 

Which is better for immigration, Canada or Australia?

Choosing between Canada and Australia depends on your priorities. While Canada is known for its immigration friendly policies, Australia offers a strong job market with a relaxed lifestyle. It is important to go through the immigration procedures of both countries to make an informed decision.

Which country is better for MBA – Australia or Canada?

In order to decide the best option to pursue MBA, both Australia and Canada are equally good in terms of learning and experience. However, it is important to consider factors such as course curriculum, finance, and future plans before deciding the country that would be ideal for you.

Which country is more expensive Canada or Australia?

When it comes to expenses, Canada is more affordable than Australia both in terms of cost of living and cost of education. Moreover, the higher housing taxes and expenses incurred on food make Australia comparatively costlier than Canada.

Canada or Australia, which is better for master’s?

Both Canada and Australia are renowned for offering high-quality education to students. The discipline in which you want to pursue a master’s should determine which country to choose. If you want to study Business Management, Nursing, Engineering, Media, Hospitality, and Computer Science, then Canada is the country for you. On the other hand, if you want to pursue a master’s in fields like Information Technology, Accounting, Education, Healthcare, MBA, and Hotel Management, then you can choose Australia.

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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