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Study in Nova Scotia, Canada

Population: 921,800

Province overview

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces, meaning it is almost entirely surrounded by water. If you choose to pursue a graduate program here the lifestyle you can expect to find is active, outdoors and healthy – a perfect introduction to Canada and its distinctive culture.  

Nova Scotia is also one of the safest areas to live in the whole of Canada – which is probably why so many overseas students (one in ten of all those enrolled) have chosen it as a place to study. With a vibrant nightlife, a rich cultural scene and a clear feeling of community, it isn’t hard to see why Nova Scotia has become a top destination for study.

Education profile

Nova Scotia has 11 public universities, and more than 90 private colleges, many of which offer postgraduate courses to their students.
Many of Nova Scotia’s universities offer a small number of graduate programs, but largely focus on undergraduate studies. However, some universities do offer extensive and well-established postgraduate courses, and they include:
Masters degrees generally take one year, whilst PhDs take between three and five years.

Immigration and visas

Most foreign nationals will need a study permit to study on a graduate course in Canada and others may need to apply for temporary residence in Canada.

Generally people taking a postgraduate course in Canada that lasts less than six months will not be required to gain a student visa. Regardless of whether or not you need a permit everyone must demonstrate:
  • Acceptance from a university or educational institution in Canada.
  • Ability to pay tuition fees, living expenses and return fares to their home country.
  • Satisfy health requirements.
You can find out more about students visas and immigration in Canada at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website -

Life in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s geography means that, wherever you are, you will never be more than a few minutes from the ocean – so whether you want to sail, swim, engage in water sports or just relax, the opportunity will always be well within reach.

As might be expected from the outdoor lifestyle that Canadians enjoy, sports are an extremely popular pastime – in fact, Nova Scotia is where the national sport of ice hockey was invented.

Aside from outdoor pursuits, Nova Scotia’s cultural heritage is the envy of other provinces across Canada. With its booming film industry and numerous theatres and art galleries, especially centred around the capital, Halifax, there are plenty of things to keep students occupied in the evening.

Choosing to study your postgraduate course here will offer you a whirlwind of varied opportunities – it is certainly something you will never regret.

Working in Nova Scotia

Wages in Nova Scotia are above the national average. Due to its position on the edge of the ocean, tourism is one of the province’s largest industries. There are also opportunities to work in the military, as well as in the aerospace sector. Nova Scotia also has one of the largest film industries in Canada.

If you have an entrepreneurial drive, the province may be one of the best places to start your own business, during or after the completion of your graduate program. There are a number of incentives for small business growth.


Those on graduate programs in Nova Scotia have a variety of options when choosing where to live.

If you want to live in a flat on campus you are likely to be very close to the university lecture halls, and all your bills and utilities will be included in your rent. You will live with other students, usually in a shared flat, and may have a double or single room. You should expect to pay between $6,500 and $8,500 per year.

Alternatively, you might decide to live away from campus, renting privately. A shared house or apartment in Halifax, generally including all utilities, is likely to cost you between $375 and $1,000 per month.

Weather and climate

Nova Scotia is surrounded by ocean, but has a more continental climate than might be expected – its cold winters and hot summers are moderated by the waters that surround it. In fact Nova Scotia is one of the warmest places in the whole of Canada, although it does have a large amount of fog. The seasons in Nova Scotia are distinct; summer is June to August and winter from November to January.

What to do next

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