Canada has long been a destination for Americans looking to evade difficult political situations. It all started during the Vietnam War when thousands of young American men fled north to escape the draft that would have thrust them into the center of the futile conflict.
Since that time, progressives in the United States have routinely declared their intentions to "move to Canada" when the American political landscape shifted out of their favour.
Such statements were mostly empty whims. That is, until recently.
According to CNBC, while American universities' applicant pools have plummeted dramatically, those of Canadian schools continue to climb.
That's partly due to the fact that applicants from outside of the United States and Canada are discouraged by the harsh immigration policies under the Trump administration.
But American students, too, are opting to venture north for their post-secondary education, and I'm one of them. I came to Montreal for university because Canada's low education cost and high quality-of-life greatly appealed to me. I could attend a top university and continue to live cheaply after I graduated.
The Canadian federal government also makes it easy for foreign students to stay in Canada after graduation with a work visa that is valid for up to three years.
To put things in perspective, my international tuition approached only twenty thousand dollars per year and I paid only six hundred dollars per month for my first 1.5 apartment. A comparable American school would have cost me sixty-five thousand dollars per year, and a studio apartment in a major American city on the Atlantic seaboard can go for anywhere between thirteen and fifteen hundred dollars each month.
Thousands of American students already came to Canada before Trump took power. His presidency undoubtedly multiplied that number. Anecdotally, I can say I've met dozens more Americans here since 2016. According to official reports, the number of American students fleeing to Canada has almost tripled in the past ten years.
Until Trump is out of office and the U.S. can reform its education system, we can more and more young Americans to start anew in Canada.