it seems only americans are answering u, so i'm going to represent canada... ;)
i don't know about the US, but in canada we have colleges and universities, and they're two very different things. university education is, well, academic, and college typically teaches the more practical side of things. colleges issue diplomas, universities issue degrees.
there are a lot of excellent universities in canada to choose from, but u didn't say which program u're looking for, so i can't really point u in the right direction.
i don't know why so many people noted america's warm climate when u're coming from australia... u'd think u'd be interested in seeing something different... aside from which, canada enjoys four seasons. i don't know why americans seem to fail to realize that they get more snow in buffalo than we do in toronto.
canada is a massive country, with a relatively small population by comparison. much of the natural ecosystems here aren't only perfectly in tact, they're also protected, making it an amazing place to explore. it's a very open country, in terms of both society and the natural physical realm of things... a trip across canada is a must.
i totally think that canadian attitudes are far more compatible with australians... and if u're looking for a good time, then seriously, a roadtrip across canada really is amazing. u can go to a kitchen party in cape breton, partying in montreal, site seeing in ottawa and niagra falls, shopping in toronto, u can enjoy the beautiful forrests of northern ontario (u NEED to go camping in ontario), i'd personally hate to live in the prairies, but they're more than lovely to pass through and visit... then u have alberta... there's the calgary stampede, their crazy weather because of their position in relation to the rockies, and banff, which is just gorgeos... on the other side of the rockies u have beautiful BC. i'm sure it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. u have the ocean, with the most amazing massive trees u could imagine, with mountains as the backdrop for all of it... it's really incredible.
there are a lot of activities to do here during the summer, and the temperatures do get up into the 30's C... but definitely, winter sports are the best... u can go skiing, snowboarding, and no one can come here and not learn how to play hockey (on ice, naturally-- there's no other way)... even just a good old fashioned snowball fight is worth the flight to canada, hehe.
compared to the US, canada is incredibly natural. i don't necessarily think canadians are friendlier than americans, but probably more polite. we're definitely softer spoken, more docile and modest, hehe (except when it comes to comparing ourselves to americans :p)... and, our education system here is definitely much better, as are our social systems. we're very lucky in canada to have a wonderful government... regardless of which party is ruling, and how many canadians love to complain about all the things wrong with our government, i'm sure ours is among the best in the world. our standard of living is very high here... in all my experiences traveling, i have never been to a country that has a higher standard of life than ours in canada. when i went to london i was in complete culture shock by the general standard of life there... i had less culture shock in the west bank! lol...
overall, life in canada is very comfortable, very relaxed, and very enjoyable, and i highly recommend it, especially if u're looking for a good education. i think our universities are slightly more grown up than in the US... maybe that's not what u're looking for... but hey, if australians who have been here aren't enough to convince u, then maybe u won't accept my obvious bias either. ;)
...i didn't even mention anything about the cultural diversity here... meeting one canadian to the next, u'll be dealing with various cultures all living under one roof... and we actually maintain our roots here (hence the "roots" logo)... all canadians know where their families originated, and usually still practice the cultural traditions of the countries they originally came from. problems very very very rarely come up between people of different backgrounds in canada. people are very curious and interested in eachother, and accepting of every way of life. the entire nation prides itself on its openess and reputation as a peaceful and accepting country, with people and animals to reflect that....
....so.... still confused? :p hehe... come to canada.... most of us live close to the american border anyway, and it's usually easy to get into the US from here-- so u can come here to study, and go there to visit and be grateful for the decision u made when u come back to canada again. :-D