April 18, 2009

College in Canada...

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As you can see from this news clip, many Americans are looking to Canada for college. As we've mentioned in many, many posts...taxes are high in Canada. That said, we're also seeing some of the benefits. What the? That's if we stay in this country long enough to take advantage of some of them.

As far as school goes, each Province is different. But this is basically how it works in Quebec. Kids go from kindergarten to grade 6 in an elementary school. That school is French or English, depending on the eligibility. In order to go to an English school, one of the parents has to have been educated in an English school in Quebec. Or, they have a work visa like us. Otherwise, they have to go to a French school -- or an expensive private school that does not take government funding. Even is someone immigrates to Canada from the U.S. (without a temporary resident status like us) then they have to go to French school. However, even the English school are considered bilingual. For example, 50% of Louis' day is in French. Danielle has two classes in French and they are expected to master the language no later than grade 11.

High School covers grades 7-11. After grade 11 kids have the option to to to CEGEP for two years, which is like a community college and they get the basic courses done. It's a win-win if you think of it. If a kid just doesn't want anything more to do with school, they get out after grade 11 and the government is not investing the time or money. Most CEGEPs are free, although there are some private ones. Then they start applying for "University" which is three years. This is where McGill, University of Montreal, Concordia, University of British Columbia, etc. some in the picture. And get this -- tuition at a school like McGill, which many compare to the level of any Ivy League school -- costs Canadians around $3,000 a year. An American coming into McGill would pay about $20K for McGill as this report suggests. Imagine thinking that $20K is a bargain these days. But it's looking like it is.

Danielle is still in Boston this weekend and had the chance to look at Harvard and thought it was "cool." Hopefully not that cool. 

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