Fascinating cities, majestic mountain ranges, wide steppes, dry deserts, green rainforests and Caribbean dream beaches – all this is offered by studying in North America. The third largest continent on our planet is often equated with the United States and Canada. In addition to the political and economic supremacy, this is mainly due to the size of these countries. Canada and the United States cover a total of almost 20 million square kilometers, which is around a fifth of the total land mass of the North American continent. An almost infinite variety of different landscapes can be discovered in this huge area. There are also some Caribbean islands, the countries of Central America and Mexico.

Study in North America: Canada

Canada, sometimes referred to as the “land of vastness”, impresses above all with its unspoiled nature. In Canada there are the Rocky Mountains with their snow-capped peaks and huge forests on the one hand, and extensive prairie landscapes, pristine lake plateaus and rough coastlines on the other.

Wildly romantic landscapes are one thing. The special Canadian charm can also be experienced in the cities. Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and the country’s cultural capital, Montreal, are just a few examples.

Due to its colonial history, both English and French are official languages in Canada. So if you want to improve your French and still study in North America, you’re in good hands in Canada.

No. 1 for studying in North America: USA

When it comes to studying in North America, the United States is at the forefront of popularity. The southern neighbor USA is not short of scenic beauty either: the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the sun-drenched west coast and tropical Hawaii are just a few examples. As a classic country of immigration, the United States is home to people from all over the world. Big cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Washington offer an almost endless cultural and culinary offer.

Country Public expenditure on education as a share of GDP (per cent) Public expenditure on education as a share of the state budget (percent)
Antigua and Barbuda 2.5 (2009) 6.9 (2009)
Bahamas 2.2 (2000) 18.9 (2000)
Barbados 4.7 (2017) 12.9 (2017)
Belize 7.4 (2017) 21.7 (2017)
Costa Rica 7.0 (2018) 30.2 (2017)
Dominica 3.4 (2015) 10.5 (2015)
Dominican Republic 2.0 (2007) 12.6 (2007)
El Salvador 3.6 (2018) 16.1 (2016)
Grenada 3.2 (2017) 42.8 (2016)
Guatemala 2.9 (2018) 23.1 (2017)
Haiti 2.8 (2018) 13.1 (2016)
Honduras 6.1 (2018) 21.7 (2017)
Jamaica 5.4 (2018) 18.4 (2017)
Canada 5.3 (2011) 12.2 (2011)
Cuba 12.8 (2010)
Mexico 4.9 (2016) 19.0 (2015)
Nicaragua 4.3 (2017) 17.9 (2016)
Panama 3.2 (2011) 13.0 (2011)
Saint Kitts & Nevis 2.6 (2015) 8.6 (2015)
Saint Lucia 3.7 (2018) 22.4 (2016)
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 5.7 (2018) 18.6 (2017)
Trinidad & Tobago 3.1 (2003) 13.9 (2003)
USA 5.0 (2014) 13.5 (2014)

Central America’s population

A total of 25 million people live in the seven countries of Central America. According to Countryaah, the population is predominantly of Native American origin, although only a few are purely Native American without European blood in the veins. In addition, there is an African minority in most countries. These are descendants of slaves who were introduced during the Spanish rule and live mainly on the east coast of the Caribbean. Among the African population groups as well as in Belize, they speak English, otherwise the main language of the region is Spanish.


As a result of the great extent of the North American continent in the north-south direction, there are a number of different types of climate. In the far north, the climate is cold, in the middle temperate and in the Caribbean and on the Central American nose tropical. When mountain ranges or other topographic barriers in the east – west direction are missing, the entire continent becomes funnel-open from north to south. This facilitates the exchange of air masses of different character, and the weather development can be very dramatic. Thus, cold air masses can penetrate far south and cause frost and snow, while on the other hand warm and humid air masses can affect the climate all the way up in southern Canada. Tropical cyclones often develop in the border zone between hot and cold air, which can cause major damage, especially in the southeastern United States.

A topographical feature of the continent’s structure that has a significant impact on the climatic conditions in the western parts is the Cordillarians. Because the air currents from the Pacific are forced upwards as they reach the high and long mountains precipitates abundantly with precipitation on the west side of the mountains, while rain shadow and dry climates arise further east. From Oregon in the northwestern United States to Alaska, the west wind impacts and causes rainfall to exceed 2,000 mm per year in a narrow belt along the coast. The California current (a cold ocean current outside of California) and outward winds mean that the rainfall here is very low. Within this western area also arise storms which are then driven by a jet stream and converge towards New England.

Cold climates have a very wide distribution in North America. This is largely due to the continent’s location and shape – the continent has its greatest breadth at high latitudes and tapers to the south. The northernmost parts, including the Canadian Shield and Archipelago and Greenland, have polar climates. The average temperature here is around –18 °C for five to seven months of the year. Only during June to September is the temperature above 0 °C. The majority of the area has constantly frozen ground, permafrost, with tundra and polar desert. South of this, an extensive area of cold-temperate, humid climate takes over. It extends from Alaska to Newfoundland, from Hudson Bay to the Ohio River. The winter is cold and long and the temperature from October to April is below 0 °C. Freezing periods in spring and autumn can destroy the crops, while tropical air masses from the south quickly raise the June temperature to above 10 °C. The rainfall stays between 275 mm and 875 mm, which is sufficient because it falls during the growing season and the evaporation is small.

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