Cost of Living in Canada for International students

For any international student, studying in Canada is a rewarding recognition to their profile. Admission to globally recognized and prestigious educational institutions in Canada requires meticulous planning and financial commitment.

Most colleges provide estimates on the cost of living in Canada. As an international student, it is compulsory to yearly financially commit of Canadian Dollars (CAD) 10,000 as the cost of living in Canada to the authorities at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The cost of living in Canada includes accommodation, food, medical insurance, transportation, books, and clothing. Tuition and other fees are not included. Fortunately, Canada allows international students to be accompanied by their spouse or any other dependent. An additional yearly financial commitment of CAD 4000 for spouse and CAD 3000 for each dependent has to be made to the CIC authorities.  

Cost of living in Canada: Average Tuition fees

Tuition fees in Canada vary from institutions to institution yet Canada offers one of the lowest tuition fees in comparison to major universities of USA, UK, and other European institutions.

Report from Statistics Canada shows average tuition fees for international students enrolled in undergraduate courses that include engineering, medical, humanities, business studies at CAD 27,300 per year. The average tuition fee for international students enrolled in post-graduate courses in Canadian institutions is CAD 16,600 per year. As the global trend for business courses show high yearly tuition fees, MBA programs in Canada could cost around CAD 50,000 per year. 

Cost of living in Canada: Housing & Health insurance

It is highly recommended to apply for campus accommodation as it is always cheaper and secure. It varies from CAD 3,400 to CAD 7,500 per year for campus residence.  However, being accepted by a Canadian university does not automatically guarantee on-campus residence. It is observed that cost of living in Canada for international students outside the campus residence is around CAD 8,400 per year. 

Additionally, over-the-top expenses may range from CAD 600 to $800 per month. Occasionally, eating out may cost up to CAD 14 per person. 

Private healthcare for non-residents is very expensive and it can swell up your cost of living in Canada. Therefore, it becomes essential to get medical insurance before applying for a study visa in Canada. Also, some universities require compulsory insurance coverage before admitting any international student. 

Some provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Labrador extends health insurance coverage to an international student under their provincial budget plan, thereby easing off their cost of living in Canada. In other provinces, international students may opt for any private health insurance cover at an affordable premium rate 

Cost of living in Canada: Include taxes too!

Working on-campus or off-campus in Canada on a student visa in Canada is included under taxable income. Also, any scholarship or financial assistance from your institution may be taxable under federal or provincial laws. Make sure to include your taxes paid in the cost of living in Canada. 

Popular Canadian cities among International students

The cost of living in Canada or anywhere in the world, for that matter, is always high in urban centers. Toronto & Vancouver remain the costliest urban centers in Canada and is popular among international students. However, other cities popular among international students are described below:

  • Calgary, Alberta: Famous for the University of Calgary, the low provincial taxes in Alberta makes the cost of living in Canada much more manageable. Calgary is a beautiful place with open spaces, breath-taking scenic beauty. The city is popular for leisure activities and boasts of the most extensive bikeway system. 


  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Saskatoon region has more opportunities for business and individuals because of infrastructure, research and development facilities, natural resources, and educated workforce. Competitive wages keep the cost of living in Canada in this region manageble. 


  • Winnipeg, Manitoba: University of Winnipeg attracts several students to this region in Manitoba. Students are able to sustain themselves with several employment opportunities to grab in the hospitality, information and creative industries. This eventually keeps the cost of living in Canada for students affordable.


  • Montreal, Quebec: Education, food, housing in Montreal is surprisingly less than any other major city in Canada. This keeps the cost of living in Canada under check and os several international students prefer to study and work here. 
  • Ottawa, Ontario: Quality of living standard is combined with excellent education opportunities for overseas students. Though prices in Ottawa have considerable rose still the cost of living in Canada, especially in this region, is very affordable compared to other bigger cities.


For detailed information on Canadian universities and colleges, available financial assistance, ways to obtain a student visa to Canada, contact a verified Canada education consultant