What are the Pros and Cons of Going to Another Province for University or College?
For Canadian high school students considering university or college as their next step, the question of which post-secondary school to apply to is a major one. There is no question, you have to do your research, but don’t limit yourself to schools within your province. Universities and colleges in other provinces may be just as good or better than the ones in your current province.
PRO: Gaining personal independence and maturity
Attending university or college outside your home province is a huge step in your personal growth. You are making a commitment to live and study in a place that may be completely foreign to you: the language or dialect may be different, the climate may be different, the food may be different. You will have to learn to navigate all these differences while ensuring you do not fall behind academically. Being able to persevere through from frosh week to graduation will mold you into an independent, mature adult.
CON: Feeling homesick
The obvious flipside of going outside your home province is that you will probably feel homesick. The possibility of spontaneously going home for the weekend is small, and you may even be in a different time zone, making phone calls and Skype calls more complicated to arrange. Some students struggle with loneliness and homesickness in local universities and colleges, so the struggle is compounded when the school is in another province altogether.
PRO: Building a new support network
One way to ward off loneliness and homesickness is to build a strong support network. The friends you make at your new school become your chosen family. Your years at university or college are going to be difficult, no matter where you go, but it is even more vitally important for those studying out of province to have a strong support network nearby. They will help you through the tough times, and you will help them through.
CON: Higher cost and therefore higher debt upon graduation
A significant barrier to attending post-secondary schools out of province is the cost. The tuition you pay may be higher than the tuition paid by in-province students at the same program at the same school. There may also be less financial aid available for you, as a student from another province. All this translates to you graduating with a potentially higher debt load than if you had gone to a school in your home province.
The question of where to go for your post-secondary education is not one to be made on a whim. You need to do serious research, consult your family and friends, and weigh your application choices carefully. Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of going to a school outside your home province, research a few schools in depth and if interested, why not apply? The even more difficult choice will come to deciding which offer to admission to accept.