The benefits of the 2+2 route

More and more international students are choosing the 2+2 route through higher education; two years in a college followed by two years in a university.

This route can have a number of benefits and might actually provide you with a smoother journey to graduation.

What is the 2+2 route?

The 2+2 route involves studying for two years at a college and then transferring to a 4-year university to complete your bachelor’s degree. 

In Canada, you will study a 2-year diploma and then move on to a university taking your two years of credit with them. The way that this works differs from school to school. Make sure to discuss it with your educational advisor.

The 2+2 route has a number of benefits:

1) College gets you work ready!

A Canadian college education is very much focused on hands on applied skills and knowledge. All college programmes are developed in conjunction with an industry panel to ensure what you are being taught is what employers want you to know.

2) Cultural acclimatization

Moving to a new country, getting to grips with a new culture and meeting lots of people is very exciting, but it can also be quite overwhelming. Colleges tend to be smaller than universities and you might find that this is a little easier to handle. 

Spending your first two years studying at a college gives you chance to ease into a new culture in a less intense environment.

3) Cost benefits

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the more you pay for an education, the better your education will be. You don’t want to be lumbered with debt for the rest of your life. 

Colleges tend to be much cheaper than universities, while providing a similar quality of education over a broad range of subjects. 

4) Support networks

Colleges tend to be able to provide more support for international students. This can be essential in the early stages of your higher education. 

Because colleges are smaller, they can provide more personal support for international students. If you are struggling with your work or you are finding it hard to settle in, there is a lot of support for you at a college and the best thing is, in most cases it’s free!

5) Language benefits

Universities can be very intense places that demand a lot of you from day one. And that’s no bad thing. If you’ve been accepted, you are probably a brilliant student who can handle anything they throw at you. 

But you might need some time to get used to the language and to ingratiate yourself with how to study in Canada. At college, you will have smaller class sizes so you get to know your classmates really well – it’s much easier to practice your language skills with friends, than have to comment on something in a class of hundreds of strangers.

Fiona Richards, Director, Durham College International Office, Durham College (Can)