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Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program
There aren't that many programs in Canada, so you may as well apply to all of them. I actually interviewed for a job at one of the schools that would be on your list. The faculty was smaller than my PhD school, but they still publish in top journals. They just also publish in lower tier journals. I was under the impression that they teach students to publish high, but realistically expect placements at places that care about more than 3 or 5 journals. So, the training is similar to us schools ranked 50+ probably.
Time off as a phd student is a different concept. You get the normal school breaks and you can take them, but you will always have more to do. I think it is good to schedule some vacation time, but not as much as you can. It's a lot like being an entrepreneur. You have lots of flexibility, but you are accountable for your results.
Nothing more, but ask questions.