Cost of Living in Canada for International Students

Cost of Living in Canada for International Students 2021

Canada is not only prominent for its mesmerizing natural beauty and multicultural cities; it is also famous for its exceptional educational institutions. Canadian institutions draw students from all over the world irrespective of the cost of tuition and living.

These institutions have, over time, lured many people from around the globe to the country. The cost of living in Canada for international students is relatively less when compared to other countries, as most universities in Canada are government-funded.

For everything concerning tuition fees, each University decides it, and there is a difference in the cost with each province in Canada. Note that as an international student, you pay more fees than residents.

Luckily, government funding makes it easier for international students to study in Canada. If a student comes in through scholarships or financial assistance, then the cost of living is considerably lower.

Studying in Canada

Canadian Universities are famous for wide varieties of courses with lesser tuition fees, making a living in Canada quite affordable for international students. When considering studying in Canada, most international students are particularly bothered about tuition fees, and not forget the incurable cost that comes during the duration of learning.

Aside from tuition fees, other costs you’ll have to pay include; living expenses, medical insurance, accommodation, feeding, etc. All these must be included in your budget while planning to study in Canada.

International students planning to study in Canada must prove to the Canadian government that they are financially capable of fending for their financial needs to learn and live in Canada.

Generally, the cost of living in Canada depends on the province, lifestyles, and personal needs. On average, international students can expect to spend about 600 – 800 CAD monthly on food, transport, entertainment and other daily expenses, excluding accommodation.

Canada has always been the go-to destination for students seeking to study abroad. The list of universities available for students to pick from per province is endless. With institutions like the University of British Columbia, McGill University, and the University of Toronto, Canada provides cost-effective education for international students.

The quality of education and the affordability of living costs in Canada are among the primary reasons why international students choose Canada over other countries. However, for international students, the cost of living is not fixed. The value can fluctuate depending on the location of the University. A province like Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto has been among Canada’s most expensive cities.

This article will give you an insight through every important detail on the cost f living for international students in Canada. Insight on the cost of items like accommodation, meals, transportation, books and study materials, clothing and miscellaneous, health insurance, etc.

Cost of Accommodation for International Students

When budgeting, accommodation should b a priority on your list. The university location usually plays a significant role in the living cost in Canada. Most international students in Canada prefer to stay on-campus, popularly known as Halls of Residence.

On-campus accommodation requires students to share their rooms with a roommate while sharing other students’ laundry room, kitchen, and social areas. The average accommodation cost on-campus is between 4000 – 8000 CAD yearly and varies depending on the province you choose.

Note that not all admission into any Canadian University comes with university accommodation for students. Thus, students must prepare to foot the bill of an alternative option.

An alternative option for students who were unable to secure accommodation on-campus is separate on-campus housing. The cost of such accommodation depends on the institution of studies, kind of room, shared or private, and if the student chooses a meal plan.

There is also the option of renting an off-campus apartment, which some students prefer. If you decide to go for off-campus accommodation, you should be aware of the average rent and living costs in that province. Below is an insight into the average cost of renting accommodation in a different region in Canada.

Average Monthly Provincial Cost of Rent in Canada


Province

Average Monthly Rent (CAD)

Ontario

800-1000

British Columbia (BC)

1500-2000

Quebec

800-1300

Alberta

950-1300

Nova Scotia

500-750

Saskatchewan

500-700

Manitoba

700-1000

New Brunswick

650-1100

Newfoundland and Labrador

735-905

Prince Edward Island

550-750

Some students move out of on-campus accommodation after their first year, with reasons ranging from privacy to wanting to share an apartment with their friends to save cost. Another accommodation option available for international students is home-stay.

A home-stay is an accommodation plan wherein a host family allows students to live with them. The average monthly cost of a home-stay is between 750 – 950 CAD, which includes meals.

Cost of Studying in Canada for International Students

The average cost of tuition fees for international students (undergraduates) is around 28,000 CAD. And with a valid visa, international students can work up to 20 – 40 hours/week on study duration and holiday period. You can check up our article on how to find a job in Canada by clicking here.

Cost per course for international students in Canada


Field of study

Undergraduate (CAD)

Graduate (CAD)

Education

20,875

15,764

Humanities

28,676

13,667

Law, Legal Professions and Studies

33,192

17,237

Pharmacy

40,960

12,876

Social and Behavioral Sciences

27,647

15,032

Business Management and Public Administration

26,680

24,693

Veterinary Medicine

63,323

10,099

Visual and Performing Arts, and Communications Technologies

25,127

14,737

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation

26,208

14,452

Dentistry

56,621

22,472

Architecture

26,457

23,992

Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences

33,012

16,647

Engineering

33,703

19,301

Physical and Life Sciences and Technologies

31,536

15,421

Nursing

21,922

16,168

Other Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness

24,626

18,551

Cost per University for international students in Canada


Name of the University

Average Tuition (CAD)

University of Toronto

27,240

University of Waterloo

20,860

University of Calgary

18,338

University of Alberta

21,590

University of British Columbia

22,578

University of Victoria

16,693

York University

12,780

Ecole Polytechnique

17,127

Queen’s University

23,621

McGill University

15,348

Cost of Food

Food is a priority alongside accommodation and tuition. And as an international student, if you don’t budget well, you might see yourself spending heavily on food. The cost of food depends on several factors; food preference, eating habits, cuisine, location, etc.

An average meal in a Canadian restaurant per person costs about 10 – 15 CAD and an average of 1500 – 3000 yearly. You can cut costs by eating home-cooked meals. Check out our article on the cost of eating out in Canada.

Aside from the tuition fee and accommodation fees, there are other expenditures international students should budget for while preparing to study in Canada. Below are some of the spending:

Cost of Transportation

Students residing on-campus might not spend much on transportation as most prefer to commute by walking. Students staying off-campus, maybe farther away from the cities like Vancouver, Montreal, or Toronto, might commute through metro or bus. If you choose to commute via a train, it cost an average of 80 – 110 CAD. But with a valid student Identification card, you could get a discount.

Most international students love to travel and explore their new environment. So, you might see yourself travelling between campuses, cities, study tours, etc. This expanse must be put into consideration while budgeting the cost of living in Canada. An average of 980 CAD is spent yearly on transportation per international student in Canada.

Cost of Health insurance

Health insurance is essential for international students. Regardless of the province in Canada you choose to study in; you must be covered by health insurance in Canada.

Medical insurance for international students in Canada depends on the region. International students in a province like Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are insured.

While other areas like Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick do not provide this facility for international students, in provinces that do not cover health insurance, an international student must cover this at personal expense.

There are two major categories of medical health insurance in Canada; provincial health care and private health insurance. The regional health care covers essential preventives and emergency service. All international students in Canada with a valid study visa are eligible for this provincial health care card to access the services when required.

For private health insurance, international students can choose to use the assistance of a private provider. There are several perks to private health insurance than provincial health care. Private hospital rooms, ambulance services, dental costs, prescription drugs, etc., are personal health insurance benefits.

The average price of private health insurance in Canada is between 600 – 1000 CAD. The average amount of private health insurance in Canada ranges between 600 and 1000 CAD.

Cost of Books and Studying Materials

The cost of living in Canada for students includes paying for books, instruments to aid their learning process, and other study material required during their studying.

As an international student, you should budget an average of 1000 – 2000 CAD yearly on books and other studying materials. You can save cost by using different methods to get books like; the university library, online PDFs, eBooks, etc.

Cost of Clothing and Miscellaneous

You might need to get a few clothes as the temperature difference can affect you and your studies. About 900 – 1100 should be set aside for clothing and other miscellaneous if you’re considering studying in Canada.

Other miscellaneous expenses you’ll need to budget for include; personal leisure, going to the cinema, taking part in activities, internet service, etc. So, you should budget about 1000 – 2000 CAD yearly for miscellaneous expenses.

There are several reasons why international students love to study in Canada. But maybe the biggest reason is the possibility to stay in Canada after graduation. Especially in Atlantic Canada, which has a retention program for international students.

Whatever your reason might, you can start your admission process using this guide as a tool.

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