Living Expenses For International Students Studying In Canada

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 So many students around the globe always seek to study outside the shores of their motherland to foreign countries. mostly for a better opportunity, quality, cheaper tuition fees, lower cost of living, or for better weather, and conducive learning environment.

Studying abroad, especially Canada is a dream come true for some international students. Canada with her diverse opportunities, experience, beautiful environment and globally recognized certificate make it a popular destination for students looking to access premier education.

What It Takes To Study In Canada

Canadian citizens pay relatively lower tuition fees compared to international students living in Canada. But compared to other countries like the U.K., London, the United States, and Australia, Canadian Universities pay lesser school fees.

Although their tuition and cost of living are cheaper compared to many neighboring countries, it is still quite expensive to study in Canada.

 In fact, when one applies for a student visa from a Canadian embassy, major criteria and consideration factor will be that that student is financially buoyant that is he/she has a strong financial background to pay for all academic expenses in Canada including accommodation.

You should also have it in mind that the tuition fee varies depending on the institution or program of study, for instance, Medicine and Engineering courses are quite expensive, it also depends on the city and the standard of living of a particular environment.

What do I pay for and what do I get for free? As stated earlier in this article, citizens of Canada who are students pay less for education for either undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

The figures are between $6,500 to $7,200 yearly excluding miscellaneous.

International undergraduates spend around $20,000 to $26,000 yearly and the postgraduates students spend about $30,000 to $35,000 every year.

This yearly fee covers your Accommodation, feeding, school fees, health insurance, transport, and Mobile phone (basic package). below is a break down of some of the expenses starting with you.

Obtaining Your Visa:

To study in Canada, international students must obtain a study permit, which allows them to live and study in Canada legally for the duration of your study.

The application fee for study permit cost around CA$150 (~US$115). If you are an international student from a developing country the application fee may be waived

Most students both international and local may prefer the option of staying off campus which gives them some amount of freedom. But the fact is that you can actually save more money living on campus.

You will most likely share a dorm with another student, sharing bathroom, kitchen, social area and clean washing room with other students which will help save up.

On-campus accommodation is between 3000-$7500 per year.


Accommodation fee for students who wish to stay off-campus varies from city to city.

Below are the average costs in the Canadian dollar of living in 3 bedroom apartments in different cities in Canada:

  • Vancouver: CA$1,950
  • Ottawa: CA$1,300
  • Edmonton: CA$1,500
  • Toronto: CA$1,900
  • Calgary: CA$1,600
  • Montreal: CA$1,050

Some of the food items and groceries might vary but on average these items below cost:

  • Milk (1L): CA$1.77
  • 1 loaf of bread: CA$2.57
  • Rice (one bag): CA$3.07 12 eggs – CA$3.17
  • Boneless chicken breasts (1Kg): CA$12.47
  • Potatoes (1Kg bag): CA$1.98
  • Water (1 L bottle): CA$1.63 etc.


Toronto has the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) which is a dual bus that subways around the city. they charge roughly CA$99.75 per month.

The fee for transport also varies from city to city.

Health Insurance

International undergraduates and postgraduates coming into Canada must have health insurance for the period they intend to stay. But, some regions like Newfoundland, Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Labrador and British extend health insurance cover to international students under their regional plans. But it usually hinges on the interval of the student course of study.

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