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Experience the culture and history of one of Canada's most beautiful regions, while also attending a top quality university or college.

Nova Scotia has captivated people since it was first settled, and the province has a long and proud history in the realm of higher education and research. Despite a population of under one million, Nova Scotia boasts no less than 10 degree granting universities, the highest concentration of universities per capita in Canada.

In addition to a wide range of undergraduate degrees, Nova Scotia institutions also offer graduate degrees in areas of study and research such as medicine, dentistry, business, engineering, education, fine arts, and more.

The advantages of studying in Nova Scotia

Surrounded by peers

In Nova Scotia, it's difficult to walk down a street without meeting students — and many of them come here from abroad. Nova Scotia has the highest student per head of population ratio in Canada, bringing a unique energy and vibe to life in the province.

Quality institutions

Nova Scotia has some of the top ranked educational institutions in Canada, particularly when it comes to universities offering primarily undergraduate programs. According to the prestigious Maclean's university rankings for 2016, three of the top seven universities in Canada offering primarily undergraduate programs are located in Nova Scotia.

Many pathways to permanent residence

Perhaps more than any other province in Canada, when you set foot in Nova Scotia as an international student, you know that people there want you to stay. Not only will you be well positioned to apply for permanent residence through a federal immigration program, but the Nova Scotia Nominee Program is tailor-made for students. Read more below.

Immigrate after studying in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, one of the many streams of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, provides a pathway to permanent residence for skilled applicants who have worked for a Nova Scotia employer for at least one year. Interestingly, this points-based immigration stream awards points for individuals who have completed at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program of at least two years in duration) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia. In addition, points are also awarded if the spouse or common-law partner of the applicant has completed studies in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream is aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system, allowing for expedited processing times.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program: International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program: International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream provides an immigration opportunity for international students who have graduated from a Nova Scotia university or community college and have started their own business. This stream is currently the only one of its kind in the country.

Atlantic International Graduate Program

The Atlantic International Graduate Program (AIGP) allows international graduates of eligible educational institutions in Atlantic Canada to submit an application for permanent residence without first having to obtain work experience. The AIGP is part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), a Canadian immigration venture that started in 2017.


Express Entry

Candidates for immigration to Canada through the federal Express Entry immigration selection system who have completed their education at a school in Nova Scotia may be awarded a significant number of points on account of their high level of education. Moreover, international graduates of Canadian educational institutions may have obtained important Canadian work experience, another highly valued factor under the Express Entry system.

Premium Schools in Nova Scotia

These institutions are featured due to their size, proximity to urban centres, and tradition for enrolling international students into their student bodies.

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie maintains an inclusive, interdisciplinary focus and strong ties to the surrounding community. Students from Canada's other provinces, as well as thousands of international students, flock here to study every year.


Speciality programs: Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Sciences, Agriculture, Arts, Social Sciences


City: Halifax

St. Francis Xavier University

The St. Francis Xavier University campus harks to Ivy League style architecture, with limestone halls and a sprawling, pedestrian-friendly design. Ranked by Maclean's as the number one undergraduate school in Canada no fewer than five times.


Speciality programs: Business, Education, Engineering, Information Systems, Music


City: Antigonish

Saint Mary's University

St. Mary's has long been known to be very supportive of international students. Its student services are excellent, and the university provides a designated international centre providing support assistance and advice to international students.


Speciality programs: Business, Astronomy, Chemistry, International Development Studies


City: Halifax

Acadia University

Acadia is a place of diversity and community. Nearly 15 percent of its students are international, and almost half of all students live on campus. For a small school, there is no shortage of degree programs: the school has over 200 of them.


Speciality programs: Business, Computer Science, Environmental Studies


City: Wolfville

Other choice Schools in Nova Scotia

The Listed Schools are those that have been assessed for quality, value, and competency with international students. These schools are accredited by Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly the Association of Community Colleges of Canada) or are chosen because of proven pathway programs and exemplary student services.

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