American students eye Canadian universities; Is the US 2016 election day joke coming true?

It has been more than a month since the US 2016 elections declared Donald Trump as the next President elect. While the election day was eventful with a pandora of debates, overloaded tweets and live news, the joke of the day remained the probable intentions of American citizens trying to escape from the country. On the one hand, there were polls trending on social media asking Americans as to where would they like to migrate to, and on the other, came the news of the Canadian immigration website crashing on the same day. Today, almost two months later, the chaos hasn’t yet subsided, with the Canadian university listing websites reporting a 17 fold increase in their viewership. 

The International Admissions Director, University of Toronto, affirmed, “We have received thousands more applications from American students during the period after the elections as compared to the same time last year.” McMaster University in Hamilton too confirmed a 34% increase in their US applicants this year. According to McGill University, “This year, 22% more applicants from the USA have applied to McGill University’s undergraduate programs than had applied by this time last year.”  

In fact, a survey conducted in 2016 by FPP Edu Media, an international student research agency found that almost 39% Indian, 48% Indonesian and more than 80% Mexican students said they were less likely to study in the US under Trump’s administration.

While the major reason for the spike in application to Canadian colleges is the fears of a Trump Presidency, some part of the spike can be attributed to Canada’s recent policy changes making permanent residency easier for foreign students (link) as well. The first Express Entry Draw of 2017 issued record-breaking number of invitations to applicants for Canadian Permanent Residency. Such factors are likely to add to an increased interest in studying in Canada amongst Americans and Asians alike. “It is possible that the change in the American political landscape has caused the shift in interest of students towards Canadian universities. However, other important factors include McGill’s top ranking, the country’s favourable currency exchange rate, and the appeal of having a culturally enriching international experience in universities that enroll students from more than 150 different countries.”

What is worth noting, is that the increase in application to Canadian universities has come not from Indian or Chinese students, but from American students. After all, is the election day twitter poll of Americans wishing to migrate to Canada coming true? Here’s a flashback of what Americans on twitter had to say about it. (images) 

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