Bridgewater State University
Minnock Institute for Global Engagement
Bridgewater, MA 02325
(508) 531-6183
Fall: April 1
Academic Year: April 1
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While the name Canada means "village," the country's land mass places it as the second largest country in the world made up of ten provinces and three territories. Canada spans most of North America, bordering three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. Canada also holds bragging rights to having more fresh water lakes than any other country. While Canada's total area is impressive, the population density is one of the lowest in the world with an estimated 3.5 people per square kilometer. Canada's climate varies from harsh winters to mild temperatures and rainy winters from province to province and coast to coast. While the east and west coasts see summer temperatures in the 70s, some interior lands occasionally experience unbearable summer temperatures reaching 104 degrees.

The country is a parliamentary democracy with a federal system of parliamentary government and strong democratic traditions. Canada's constitution consists of written text and unwritten traditions and conventions. The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act) established governance based on Parliamentary precedent "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom" and divided powers between the federal and provincial governments. The position of Prime Minister, Canada's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Commons.
Present Canadian values of multiculturalism have perhaps been influenced by its history of immigration and ethnic diversity. Canada prides itself on being a bilingual country with the two official languages being French and English. Canada has a rapidly growing free-market economy and natural resources and strong trade with the United States ensure that Canadians will only continue to prosper. Among its abundant natural resources are natural gas, oil, gold, nickel, lead, aluminum, and wheat. Canada also has a rich logging industry and is the largest producer of zinc and uranium. National symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and First Nations sources. Particularly, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol as well as the beaver, Canada goose, common loon, the Crown, and the RCMP.

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Quick Facts

Population: 34,300,083
Capital: Ottawa
Per-capita GDP: $ 41100
Size: 9,984,670 km2
Time Zone: (GMT - 05:00 hours) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
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Country Specific Info.

Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and
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Bridgewater State University Study Abroad Office