Study in Calgary, Canada





Study in Calgary, Canada

Calgary's concise motto is an apt summation of its spirit: “onward.” This former frontier town, huddled against the looming backdrop of the Colombian Mountains to the west, retains much of the earnest disposition of its pioneer founders, and celebrates their culture and lifestyle through festivals, rodeos, and the cowboy hat proudly displayed on the city flag. Just as the early settlers made their way into the vacant expanse of prairie land before Calgary was founded, so the modern city forges boldly into the 21st century as a major center of art, music, dining, and high tech industry. Ranching is no longer the primary livelihood for Calgary's residents – instead, they work in a variety of white-collar jobs in business, manufacturing, and education. Oil and natural gas, which are found in huge quantities in the province of Alberta, are the main sources of wealth in Calgary.
 
The oil industry and the jobs that come with it (Calgary has one of the highest employment rates in Canada) have caused an enormous growth in population which, in turn, has given rise to a rapid swelling of the city's outer suburbs. Since the nearest geographic boundary is the mountains many miles away, the city has simply sprawled out into the adjacent prairies, creating a vast and diffuse urban landscape. Keeping pace with population growth has proven to be a challenge for Calgary's infrastructure, particularly its public transportation system, which is quite poor in some of the more far-flung areas. Still, given the immense growth in population, Calgary's buses and rail system are fairly comprehensive, and getting around on foot remains easy enough in the central neighborhoods.
 
While oil-related jobs account for the great bulk of Calgary's population expansion, education comes in as a close second. The job market in Calgary is wide open for those who have the proper academic credentials, and so numerous prestigious institutions have stepped in to provide those credentials. The largest and arguably most prominent is the University of Calgary, whose 30,000 students are spread out among 55 departments and 36 special research institutes, covering all areas of the arts, sciences, and humanities. Notable alumni include Calgary's current mayor, Naheed Nenshi, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
 
The University of Calgary, while extremely well-known, is far from the only postsecondary school in Calgary. The city is home to 4 other public universities and a handful of private institutions, which tend to be a good deal smaller and more specialized. SAIT Polytechnic (short for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) is another major place for higher education in Calgary–it has roughly 75,000 students, all pursuing technical and vocational degrees, certificates, and various forms of job training. SAIT coordinates closely with the private sector to ensure that graduates are well prepared to succeed in Calgary or elsewhere in Alberta.

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