Canada vs Germany: Which is Better for Indian Students in 2024?

If you are looking to choose between Canada vs Germany for studying abroad, then you need to do a deep dive into the pros and cons of both, on a variety of factors – from costs and kind of education to campus life and post study work scenario. The decision to choose between Canada and Germany will depend on what’s right for you – not only for academic aspirations but also for future professional trajectories and personal development.

Over the past year, the Indian student population in Germany has surged by 26%, reaching a total of 42,997 during the Winter Semester 2022-23. Indians represent the largest group of international students at German universities, with the majority pursuing degrees in Engineering (60%), followed by Law, Management, and Social Studies (22%), Mathematics, and Natural Sciences (14%), and other fields (4%).

Similarly, in 2022, Canada achieved a remarkable immigration milestone, welcoming 551,405 international students from 184 nations. Notably, India was a key contributor, with 226,450 Indian students selecting Canada as their preferred destination for higher education.

Let’s explore factors such as the quality of education, immigration policies, cost of living, and more to gain valuable insights and make an informed decision.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in each country?

Germany Canada Your choice depends on
Quality of Education
  • Ranked 3rd in the world. (World Population Review data)
  • Ranked 4th in the world (World Population Review data)
  • Both Germany and Canada offer world-class education with a wide range of programmes and research opportunities, ensuring students receive an exceptional quality of education.
  • Has double degree programmes
  • Students can enroll in two part-time programmes or combine full-time and part-time studies.
  • Students can personalize their education, aligning it with their career goals.
  • Students can  customize their curriculum
  • Have options for part-time and full-time study.
  • Both countries provide flexible options to students.
  • Bachelor’s degree: 3 to 4 years
  • Master’s degree: 1 to 2 years
  • PhD programmes: 5 to 6 years.
  • Bachelor’s degree: 3 to 4 years
  • Master’s degree: 1 to2 years
  • PhD programmes: 3 to 6 years.
  • Both Germany and Canada typically have similar durations for bachelor’s and master’s programmes.
  • However, Canada often offers shorter PhD programmes – can be a benefit if students are looking for a finishing the doctoral degree faster.
Average Tuition Fees
  • No Tuition fees for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students.
  • Students usually pay a modest semester contribution from €100 to €350 (US $108 to US $380).
  • Federal State of Baden-Württemberg charges non-EU citizens €1,500 (US $1637) per semester.
  • Bachelor’s degree: CAD $36,100 (US $26,817.28)
  • Master’s degree: CAD $21,100 (US $15,582)
  • PhD programmes: CAD $6,000 (US $4416)  to $20,000 (US $ 14,721)
  • Germany’s free tuition offers a distinct advantage over Canada
Work Regulations
  • International students can work part-time for 20 hours, with a minimum wage of €12.00 (US $13) per hour since October 2022.
  • After graduation, international students can apply for an 18-month residence permit to seek employment in Germany.
  • International students in Canada can work 20 hours per week during term and full-time during breaks.
  • The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) enables up to three years of post-graduate work.
  • Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) offering up to three years of post-graduate work is notably advantageous compared to Germany’s post-study work options.
Campus Life
  • Ranks 7th in the world in terms of quality of life.
  • Ranks 3rd in the world in terms of quality of life
  • Both countries have a multicultural and welcoming campus life. If you want an English-speaking nation, then Canada is your choice
Cost of Living
  • About EUR €11,208 (USD $12,181) annually.
  • About CAD $15260.38 (US $11,220) per year on average per year
  • Effective January 1, 2024, the financial requirement for international students applying for study permits will increase to $20,635.
  • Canada’s affordable cost of living is an important factor to consider for international students. However, the revised financial requirements may prove to be a burden for many applicants making Germany a better choice overall.
  • According to World Population Review, Germany has a crime rate index score of 35.79
  • According to the World Population Review, Canada holds a crime rate index score of 41.89.
  • Overall, Germany is safer as compared to Canada
  • Experiences diverse weather – warm summers and cold winters
  • Experiences varying climates – extremely cold winters in some regions.
  • The weather can be challenging for those unaccustomed to colder temperatures.
  • Canada’s range from temperate to subarctic conditions can pose notable challenges for international students, especially those from warmer climates, during their academic journey.

Studying abroad is a transformative experience, and Germany as well as Canada, are educational powerhouses offering unique advantages and distinct challenges. Germany, renowned for its academic excellence, provides affordable education, diverse programmes, and generous post-study work opportunities.

Meanwhile, Canada boasts multiculturalism, high-quality institutions, and a welcoming environment.
However, alongside these advantages come certain disadvantages. Germany’s complex bureaucracy and language barrier can be daunting, while Canada’s higher cost of living may pose financial constraints.

Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of studying in Germany and Canada.


Canada has streamlined immigration procedures, student-centric policies and robust employment opportunities cementing its status as a coveted destination for top-tier education.

In 2022, the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship lifted the 20-hour-per-week work restriction for post-secondary students, expanding financial support avenues. Canada’s steadfast commitment to welcoming immigrants, equivalent to 1% of its population, underscores its inclusive values.

Canada has recently announced updates to three temporary policies for international students:

  • The 20-hour-per-week off-campus work limit waiver, which allows international students to work more than 20 hours per week during the school year, is extended until April 30, 2024. The government is also considering increasing this limit to 30 hours per week.
  • The policy allowing students to count online study time toward their post-graduation work permit will continue until September 1, 2024, for those who begin their program before that date. This measure won’t apply to students starting after that date.
  • A temporary policy granting an 18-month work permit extension to post-graduation work permit holders expiring by December 31, 2023, remains in effect. However, it won’t be extended beyond this date.

Aspiring students must navigate certain considerations. The choice of city significantly influences living costs; while dynamic metropolises like Toronto and Vancouver offer vibrant lifestyles, they come with higher expenses, necessitating prudent financial planning.

Moreover, Canada’s vast geographical diversity leads to a wide range of climates. Summers in some regions can see temperatures as high as 25 to 30°C, providing a warm and pleasant experience. In contrast, the winters in certain areas can bring frigid lows of -25°C or lower. Students should be prepared for these climate variations when choosing their study destination and packing for their Canadian adventure.

As of 2023, Statistics Canada reports the following costs for higher education:

  • Undergraduate degree: Approximately CAD $36,100 (US $26,817.28) on average.
  • Postgraduate degree: Generally starts at CAD $21,100 (US $15,582) for international students in graduate programmes.
  • Doctoral degrees: Range from CAD $6,000 (US $4,416) to CAD $20,000 (US $14,721).

Considering an average annual living expense of CAD $15,000 (US $11,220.60) is vital for effective budgeting while pursuing education in Canada (Universities Canada, 2019). Additionally, starting January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants in Canada will increase.

It will be annually adjusted based on Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO) to ensure that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada. Previously unchanged since the early 2000s at $10,000, the new requirement for 2024 will be $20,635, alongside first-year tuition and travel costs, for single applicants. This change applies to new study permit applications from January 1, 2024.


Germany is home to a large international student community, with over 400,000 international students as of 2021/2022. According to the BintHo study, Germany is the first choice for more than three-quarters of international students surveyed (76%).

Students choose Germany primarily for its specific course content, the reputation of its institutions, the absence of cost of studying, and the availability of English-language programmes.

Germany has a rich tradition of scientific and research excellence. It boasts the oldest university in Heidelberg, founded in 1386, and has produced over 80 Nobel Prize winners, including pioneers in natural sciences, medicine, and technology.

Half of international students in Germany are enrolled in English-only degree programmes, making it accessible for non-German speakers. Germany is often more affordable than many other study destinations.

Here’s the fee structure for international students:

  • Tuition fees are non-existent in most German states for graduate, postgraduate and doctoral students.
  • Students usually pay a modest semester contribution, typically ranging from €100 to €350 (US $108 to US $380).
  • This contribution often includes a semester ticket for convenient public transportation access.
  • The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg charges non-EU citizens €1,500 (US $1637) per semester. However, doctoral students don’t have to pay any fees.

Upon graduation, international students have the opportunity to apply for a residence permit, which allows them to stay in Germany for 18 months to search for employment. Germany offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous bars, clubs, museums, cinemas, and theatres.

One of the most significant challenges faced by international students in Germany is finding suitable accommodation. Approximately 60% of international students struggle with this issue. The demand for student housing often exceeds the available supply, especially in major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt.

Although many top universities offer English-language programmes, there can still be language barriers for international students, particularly when dealing with administrative application processes, local authorities, or daily life situations. Learning German may be necessary for a smoother experience outside of the classroom.

Winner: Germany

Germany stands as a compelling study-abroad destination, offering unique advantages when compared to Canada. Notably, Germany boasts highly regarded universities that provide world-class education often with minimal or no tuition fees.

The country’s central location in Europe allows for easy exploration of neighbouring nations such as France or Spain, enriching the cultural experience. Furthermore, Germany’s strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning through internships and co-op programmes prepares students for the job market effectively.

While Canada excels in many aspects, including a welcoming environment and diverse society, Germany’s combination of academic excellence, affordability, and career opportunities makes it an enticing choice for international students.

How is campus life in each country?

Campus life offers a unique blend of academic, social, and cultural experiences. Let’s understand the contrasting facets of campus life in Germany and Canada and the distinct student experiences each country has to offer.


Canada, renowned for its commitment to excellence, ranks among the top study-abroad choices globally. It boasts a high quality of life, with over 8,000 colleges and 16,000 top Canadian universities’ programmes, ensuring a tailored educational journey.

Seven Canadian institutions are in the global top 200, reflecting world-class education. Canada’s cultural mosaic includes 250+ ethnic origins, 200 languages, and 70 Indigenous languages, promoting inclusivity. Both English and French are widely spoken and students typically do not face language barriers.

According to the World Population Review, Canada holds a crime rate index score of 41.89. Campus life in Canada offers quality education, inclusiveness, affordability, and a pathway to a bright future.


German universities have a strong sense of community, and there are numerous student clubs, associations, and events that offer opportunities for socializing and networking.

The quality of education is world-class, and students benefit from well-equipped libraries, cutting-edge research facilities, and engaging academic environments.  As reported by the World Population Review, Germany has a crime rate index score of 35.79 making it a safe destination for international students.

Students can connect with DAAD Young Ambassadors i.e. individuals who have personally experienced studying or conducting research in Germany for assistance and guidance.

Overall, Germany provides a well-rounded experience, combining academic excellence with cultural exploration and personal growth, making it an attractive destination for international students.

Winner: Germany

Germany offers a distinct campus life that sets it apart from Canada in several ways. German universities are renowned for their strong emphasis on research and practical experience, fostering an environment where students actively engage in cutting-edge projects.

The dual education system integrates classroom learning with real-world work experience, enhancing career readiness.
Germany is known for its high level of safety, providing international students with a secure environment to pursue their studies.
The DAAD Ambassador programme involves experienced individuals who have studied or researched in Germany, offering guidance and insights to prospective students, and making the transition to German academia smoother.

What are the career opportunities in Canada vs Germany?

When considering international career prospects, Canada and Germany stand as two prominent contenders. Each offers a unique landscape of opportunities, shaped by their distinct economies, industries, and immigration policies.


International students holding a Canadian student visa can work while pursuing post-secondary education at designated learning institutions (DLIs) if their programme exceeds six months and leads to professional certification.

They can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic term and full-time during breaks, provided they intend to resume full-time studies. Employment eligibility begins when their programmes commence, with a minimum wage set across provinces, typically ranging from CAD $13 (USD $9.5) to CAD $16 (USD $11.76) per hour.

After graduation, international students can access full-time employment as skilled workers in Canada by obtaining a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for up to three years, a valuable opportunity to gain work experience.

To work in Canada, individuals must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) alongside a valid work visa. The SIN is essential for tracking employment history, tax payments, and hours worked, contributing to Canada’s economy and local communities.


Part-time work in Germany offers international students an opportunity to supplement their income and gain practical experience. The minimum wage for part-time work in the country has been set at €12.00 (US $13) per hour since October 2022.

International students have the option to hold a mini-job, allowing them to earn up to €520 (US $565.96) per month. If earnings exceed this threshold, students must acquire a tax number, resulting in a monthly deduction from their wages. However, students can reclaim this deducted amount by filing a tax return at the end of the year.

Graduates of German universities find it relatively straightforward to obtain a residence permit for employment in Germany, with over 40% of international graduates choosing to stay and work in the country.

They can apply for a post-study work permit for up to 18 months after graduating to search for suitable job opportunities.  Successfully securing a job during this period results in a residence permit for gainful employment and allows for continued stay in Germany.

Under specific conditions, graduates may qualify for a settlement permit, granting indefinite leave to remain, after just two years. Meeting all requirements, including a proficient command of the German language, enables graduates to apply for citizenship after eight years.

For highly qualified individuals from non-EU countries, the EU Blue Card is an option. This card allows them to live and work in Germany, provided they hold a recognized degree and an employment contract with an adequate annual salary.

In 2021, Statista reported that the mean gross yearly income in Germany stood at € 47,700 (US $51,930.75). Your specific earnings can significantly vary based on factors such as your geographical location, professional background, educational qualifications and the size of the company you work for,

Winner: Tie

Both Germany and Canada provide exceptional opportunities for international students to pursue their education and career goals. Graduates from both countries find it relatively easy to obtain residence permits for employment, with opportunities for extended stays, settlement permits, and pathways to citizenship, especially for those with recognized qualifications.

Germany and Canada offer unique advantages, providing international students with a wealth of opportunities for education and career advancement.

Cost of living: Which country is better?

Understanding the cost of living is a pivotal consideration for international students. From accommodation and everyday expenses including entertainment, let’s understand key factors that influence the affordability of life in these nations.


Understanding the cost of living in Canada is contingent on personal lifestyle preferences and the selected city for residence. To facilitate prudent financial planning, here is an estimate of recurring costs:

Housing and Accommodation (Monthly Average Cost):

  • Rent for private housing off campus:
  • CAD $500 (US $367) – CAD $2,000 (US $1470)

Food and Groceries (Monthly Average Cost):

  • Expenses for groceries and cooking: CAD $240 (US $176) – CAD $480 (US $353)
  • On-campus residents can opt for a meal plan, granting access to their institution’s cafeteria for all meals. This will be an additional cost.

Utilities and Services (Monthly Average Cost):

  • Utilities and cable: CAD $100 (US $74)+
  • Internet: CAD $50 (US $37) – CAD $100 (US $74)
  • Phone: CAD $60 (US $44)+

Health Insurance (Monthly Average Cost):

  • Monthly health insurance expenses: CAD $75 (US $55) – CAD $120 (US $88)
  • Healthcare system coverage varies by province or territory in Canada; international students must confirm the availability of coverage.
  • In provinces without international student coverage, schools often offer medical insurance plans for purchase. Tuition fees for full-time students may include insurance covering dental, vision, prescription drugs, and other health services.

Entertainment and Leisure (Monthly Average Cost):

  • Entertainment expenses: CAD $120 (US $88)
  • Transportation (Monthly Average Cost):
  • Transportation pass cost: CAD $80 (US $59) – CAD $156 (US $115)

Please note that these figures are general estimates, and your actual expenses may differ depending on your personal choices, location, and individual circumstances.


International students in Germany encounter a range of living expenses while pursuing their education abroad. Here is a breakdown of expenses:

Proof of Financial Resources for Study Visa:

  • All international students must demonstrate financial capability to cover study costs. Starting from January 2023, it is required to show financial resources of EUR €934 (USD $1015) per month or EUR €11,208 (USD $12,181) annually.

Semester Contribution:

  • Unrelated to tuition fees; supports student services and student government or AStA. The amount ranges from EUR €100 (USD $109) to EUR €350 (USD $380) depending on the institution.

Living Costs in Germany (Monthly Average Cost)

  • International students typically have a smaller budget compared to their German peers, with an average monthly allowance between EUR €725 (USD $788) to EUR €934 (USD $1015).
  • By presenting a valid student ID, you can frequently enjoy reduced prices for tickets at theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, and various other cultural venues.

Average Everyday Prices:

  • Bread (500g): EUR €2 (USD $2)
  • Potatoes (1 kg): EUR €0.99 (USD $1)
  • Milk (1 litre). EUR €0.90 (USD $1)
  • Mineral water (0.75 litres): EUR  €0.80 (USD $0.9)
  • Café coffee: EUR €2.50 (USD $2.72)
  • Pub beer: EUR €3 (USD $3)
  • Restaurant pizza: EUR €7 (USD $8)
  • Cafeteria lunch. EUR €2.50 (USD $2.72)
  • T-shirt: EUR €10 (USD $11)- EUR €50 (USD $54)
  • Trousers: EUR €30 (USD $33) – EUR €100 (USD $109)
  • Cinema ticket (student discount): EUR €6 (USD $7)
  • Theatre ticket (student discount): EUR €6 (USD $7) – EUR €30 (USD $33)
  • Museum ticket (student discount): EUR €2 (USD $2) – EUR €8 (USD $9)

Financing Options for International Students

  • Limited work permissions for international students in Germany.
  • International students are allowed 120 full days or 240 half days of work per year. Students cannot engage in self-employment or freelancing opportunities.
  • Seek permission from the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) and foreigners’ office (Ausländerbehörde) for more work; approval depends on labour market conditions.
  • Academic assistants have no work limit but must inform the foreigners’ office.

Winner: Canada

Canada’s cost of living often emerges as a more affordable option for international students when compared to Germany. While Canada may have higher tuition fees, it compensates with affordable and accessible healthcare and a lower cost of living.  Rent and everyday expenses vary by city for example Montreal or Quebec may have a higher cost of living, but there’s a wide range of accommodations to fit different budgets.
In contrast, Germany offers low or no tuition fees and cost-effective healthcare. However, expenses can mount in cities like Hamburg, Munich or Frankfurt. Ultimately, the affordability of each country depends on individual circumstances, making it crucial for international students to evaluate their specific needs and financial resources.

Courses and study duration

Choosing the right courses and study duration is a critical aspect of an international student’s journey. Let’s explore the academic offerings and study timelines in these countries, shedding light on the educational pathways available to those aspiring to study abroad


A recent report analyzing university major preferences in Canada highlights psychology and computer science as the most favoured choices among students. Examining global trends in degree preferences across 181 programmes, the study reveals psychology, computer science, and business as the top picks in Canada.
The country’s graduate and postgraduate programmes are recognized for their efficiency and alignment with career goals.

Typically lasting one to two years, master’s programmes facilitate rapid knowledge and skill acquisition, while Ph.D. programmes, with durations of three to six years, emphasize extensive research and expertise development, ensuring a comprehensive and rewarding academic journey.


For aspiring undergraduates, bachelor’s programmes are available in an array of fields encompassing science, engineering, humanities, social sciences, management, arts, medicine, and more.

In the 2022-23 academic year, 60% of Indian students opted for Engineering courses, down from 68.21% in the previous year, according to data from The Free Press Journal.

This change saw an increase in enrollment in other subject fields like Law, Management, Social Studies (22%), and Mathematics and Natural Sciences (14%), compared to 13.97% and 11.93% in the previous year. Outside of these prominent disciplines, Indians comprise only 4% of students in other courses in Germany.

The duration of bachelor’s programmes typically spans from 3 to 4 years, depending on the chosen subject. Importantly, for international students, Germany provides a wealth of options with approximately 300 bachelor’s programmes offered in English, alongside a staggering 2000 programmes delivered in German.

For master’s programmes, students can opt for programmes with German as the medium of instruction, immersing themselves in the language and culture, or select from a vibrant array of English-taught programs known as “International Programmes.” Most postgraduate courses in Germany are between 1 to 2 years.

Germany provides a plethora of Ph.D. programmes conducted primarily or exclusively in English, including the language for your thesis. The journey to achieve a doctorate in Germany typically spans five to six years, though the duration may vary based on specific research fields and individual progress.

Winner: Tie

Canada and Germany offer diverse and globally recognized courses with study durations tailored to suit students’ needs. In Canada, programmes are renowned for their alignment with career goals. Both countries also require international candidates to submit English language proficiency scores i.e. TOEFL, PTE, IELTS etc as well as GRE or GMAT scores for certain courses.

Similarly, Germany stands out with its practical and research-focused courses. Both countries provide excellent opportunities, ensuring students receive quality education aligned with their aspirations.


Germany stands out as an exceptionally favourable study-abroad destination for Indian students when compared to Canada. One of its most compelling advantages is the low or non-existent tuition fees at many of its public universities. This feature significantly reduces the financial burden on students and their families.

Moreover, Germany offers an abundance of career opportunities, particularly in the STEM fields, which aligns well with the aspirations of many Indian students. Its robust economy and emphasis on research and innovation create a thriving job market.

Post-graduation, Germany’s generous post-study work options allow graduates to stay for up to 18 months to seek employment, providing a pathway to permanent residency.
All these factors make Germany an appealing destination for Indian students seeking world-class education, great career prospects, and a vibrant cultural experience.

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