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Canada the world's most-Googled destination for studying abroad

A person bicycles past the University of Toronto campus on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette) A person bicycles past the University of Toronto campus on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
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An analysis of Google search data has found that Canada is among the most desired countries for studying abroad.

According to a report published by Remitly, a money-transferring platform, Canada was the most-searched destination for studying abroad in 36 countries spanning from Colombia to India. That's more than any other nation.

The data was put together by analyzing monthly search volume for common search terms, such as "study in (location)" or "university in (location)" for 164 countries.

The next-highest on the list was Spain, which was the most-searched destination in 13 countries, followed by England, which was No. 1 in 10 countries. The report found that France was the most searched destination for Canadian students.

The report also looked at search interest for the top 2,000 ranked universities according to the Center for World University Rankings. The University of Toronto was found to be the most searched Canadian university and was ranked 7th in worldwide search interest. Harvard University topped that list, followed by UCLA and the University of Oxford.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, international student enrolment in Canada had more than tripled within 10 years. In the 2018-2019 school year, there were 313,395 international students at Canadian post-secondary institutions, compared to just 100,968 a decade prior.

As a result of the higher tuition fees that international students are charged, universities and colleges have been increasingly relying on international tuition fee revenue for their operating budgets.

Some fields have seen an explosion of growth in international students. Programs in mathematics, computer and information sciences have seen a 374 per cent increase in international students during that time. International students enrolling in programs related to the transportation sector have also increased nearly seven-fold.

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