American Teens Applying En Masse to Canadian Colleges to Escape Donald Trump

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By Emily Zanotti | 12:29 pm, January 2, 2017

They may not be able to navigate Canada’s onerous immigration policies, but American teens who don’t want to live under a President Donald Trump think they can escape for four years by applying to Canadian colleges and universities.

Applications from American students to Canadian schools are up as much as 70% in some places, such as the University of Toronto, which says they’re having to adjust their systems to respond to the sudden increase in international requests.

McMaster University in Ontario says applications are up 34%, and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, says it’s seen a significant jump — though neither are commenting publicly about whether it has anything to do with Trump’s win.

The University of Toronto, however, held a panel in Washington DC on the election, in the hopes of attracting more American students.

And American students are going along with the program. One student, Lara Godoff, 17, of California, even told the Associated Press that she added “safety schools” in Canada, just in case her first Canadian choice turned her down.

“If we live in a country where so many people could elect Donald Trump, then that’s not a country I want to live in,” she told AP. On major reason: she believes Trump will ease laws against sexual assault, making campuses “less safe for women.”

Like their celebrity brethren who claim they will relocate, though, American students will have to confront a stringent quota system. While Canadan schools take thousands of foreign students every year, only about 9,000 of those are from the US. Most of the foreign spots in Canada are reserved for students from China and southeast Asia.

Meanwhile in the US, colleges and universities are seeing a slight drop in foreign interest, perhaps for the same reason American students are applying overseas.

“I think everybody in international education is a little uneasy, in part because some of the rhetoric in the campaign frightened people overseas,” said Stephen Dunnett of the University at Buffalo. “It’s going to be perhaps a little bit rocky for a couple of years.”