Canadian universities offer students the opportunity to study at overseas campuses


An increasing number of Canadian educational institutions are opening up campuses abroad.

York University’s Schulich School of Business, for example, has a campus in Mumbai, India, and has plans to open a new campus in Hyderabad.

The University of Ottawa also plans to open a Canadian School of Communication in Cairo, Egypt, and the University of Waterloo has a campus in Dubai, to name a few.

Ashwin Joshi, executive director of the Schulich MBA program in India, says that the business school’s move abroad was strategic. “The world of business became transnational about 20 years ago, so you have companies that operate all over the world.”

Demand for international experience

With more and more companies operating all over the world, there is a proportionate increase in demand for managers with international experience and who are comfortable working away from their home country.

“The way we develop the global expertise is by giving York students systematic exposure both to North America and India,” Joshi says. “You need managers today that are of Indian origin that can work in China, that are of Chinese origin that can work in Africa, so on and so forth.”

The first phase of this entry strategy into India was to open the campus in Mumbai (it officially opened January 4, 2010). The second, the Hyderabad campus, is anticipated to open in September 2012, or January 2013.

Although current Indian legislation doesn’t allow North American students to study in India, the necessary changes for Canadian students to complete part of their degree in India should be passed through parliament soon. For now, it is restricted to students from India, who complete half of the 20-course program at home in India and then travel to Canada to complete the second half and graduate.

An international university

Ideally, Schulich would like to open up campuses all over the world and be able to offer students the ability to complete their program wherever they would like. “You could start your program in North America, you could do one term in India, you could do one term in China, and you could do one term in South America, and you graduate with your MBA,” says Joshi.

Although Schulich’s ambitions are for students completing business programs, Joshi says he doesn’t think this should be limited to business students. Several other fields could benefit from an increased international presence, particularly engineering and medicine.

For now, this remains an emerging trend. But there may be a time in the future where it is common to do part of any program in one country and flip continents for a semester or two.

Where would you like to study for a semester or two?

About the author

Mira Saraf studied psychology and English at McGill University. When she graduated, she wanted to pursue journalism but somehow ended up working in Montreal's garment industry. From there, she moved to New York to attend FIT. She worked there for a year before moving back to Toronto to work for Winners. Two and a half years in she took over a year off to pursue writing education and a career in freelance writing. She has since returned to the industry and now works for Loblaw/Joe Fresh. She continues to write on a part time basis.