The cost of studying and living in Canada for international students


Canada has become known for its esteemed universities with highly organized campus grounds. In fact, Canada has become renowned for its higher education, with over 26 Canadian universities featured in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Not only that, but a study conducted by The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found Canada to be among the top countries invested in education.

In our previous articles, we discussed important information you need to know when studying in Canada. We listed the best universities in Canada and the requirements for admission. We also discussed how you can get your Canadian student visa and gave you all the information you need on student accommodation in Canada.

That being said, today we’ll break down the cost of living and studying in Canada.

How much does it cost for international students to study in Canada?

When calculating the cost of studying and living in Canada, you should begin by considering your tuition fees. In Canada, tuition can be a bit high but quite reasonable in comparison to the United Kingdom, America, and Australia. On another note, tuition fees depend on many variables including the year you enroll in, the location of the university and the program you’re studying. For example, tuition in Newfoundland is cheap in comparison to Ontario, which is the more expensive option.

According to Canadian statistics gathered from previous international students, the average tuition for a Bachelors’s degree is $6,500 annually. That being said, your tuition fees can range anywhere from CAD 1,000 to CAD38,000 a year. Here are some examples of the average tuition fees for Bachelors’s degree programs.

  • Dentistry : CAD 21,000
  • Law: CAD 11,400
  • Social science: CAD 850
  • Teaching: CAD 2,000

Read more on annual tuition fees in Canada

Cost of living for international students in Canada


The cost of living in Canada is slightly higher than the international average. However, the quality of life is relatively higher than in other countries. On average, you’ll need around 1,000 to 1,500 Canadian dollars to cover the cost of living in Canada, which includes accommodation.

Food shopping

The cost of food is pretty reasonable in Canada. As an international student, you can get your necessary groceries for 200 – 250 Canadian dollars a month. As an international student, you should always look for sales and offers at Canadian supermarkets like Walmart and No Frills.

In case you wanted to eat out at a Canadian restaurant, the average meal will cost around CAD 25.


University students in Canada from the age of 18 to 25 get students discounts on monthly public transportation tickets. The cost of a monthly transportation ticket is CAD 91. On the other hand, if you choose to take taxis on a daily basis, that price will go up to around CAD 200.

Cost of studying in Canada: accommodation

The different housing options for students include: townhouses, dormitories, shared apartments, private apartments and homestay. 

You can check our article on the student accommodation in Canada to find out which option of housing is best for you. 

Moreover, it’s common in the country that international students live on-campus the first year. These are usually shared rooms, while the laundry room, kitchen and social area are shared with other students. Rent in these on-campus accommodation depends on the university and the region you study. However, you should expect to pay between CAD 500 and CAD 3,000 per month for this type of housing. 

Past their first year, international students in Canada usually choose to move into individual or shared apartments, off-campus. Again, depending on the city, size of the apartment and the area of the town you decide to move in, students must spend between CAD 750 and CAD 2,200 per month for the rent. 

Along with the housing, students who rent an apartment or a studio will also have to pay extra costs. This includes a utility monthly cost of CAD 150 and an expense between CAD 50 and 70 per month for internet. 

Health insurance cost for students in Canada

The health system in Canada is publicly funded – with each province and territory administering their own healthcare. So, depending on the place you live in Canada, you might not be eligible for a public medical coverage. 

In this case, your university may require you to subscribe to a private insurance to cover at least the costs of the services for essential preventive and emergency health issues. A private health insurance in Canada ranges between CAD 600 and CAD 1,000. This cost depends on the policy you subscribe to. 

Extra living cost while you are studying in Canada

Along with food, housing, and transport, you may also set some money aside for cultural and outdoor activities apart from school. Among the things you might enjoy in Canada would be to visit a renowned museum, watch a movie in theaters or attend sporting events. Cinema tickets cost around CAD 15 while museum might offer free entrance for students. Eating at a casual restaurant will cost also between CAD 15 and CAD 25.

Stay tuned for our next article on Canadian culture and tradition.

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