Location and Geography
Covering most of the northern part of the North American continent, Canada is the second-largest country in the world (after Russia), with a total land area of 9.9 million square kilometres. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean on the west, and to the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Northern Canada reaches into the Arctic Circle, while southern Canada stretches below the northern points of the United States (with which it shares the longest border in the world). The capital city is Ottawa (in the province of Ontario).
Because it’s so big, Canada’s climate varies considerably across its regions. But generally the country is known for its cold and sometimes long winters, beautiful and mild “shoulder seasons” (fall and spring), and hot but often short summers.
One of the world’s wealthiest countries, Canada is a major industrialised trading nation. It is a member of the G7/8, the G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and many other international bodies. It boasts a highly educated workforce and an increasingly diversified economy, but it is unusual among developed nations in the continuing importance of its natural resources sector (e.g., logging and oil). The Canadian economy is market-oriented like that of the U.S., yet government tends to provide more support and intervention than does the U.S. government. International trade is an important part of the Canadian economy, especially with the U.S. The currency is the Canadian Dollar.
Living Conditions and Cost of Living
Many people find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country, but of course this is not the case for all students (e.g., students from India or Nepal). International students require approximately $15,000–$30,000 (CDN) per year, including tuition fees, to cover their expenses.