Cost of Studying in Canada for International Students

Canada has earned its reputation as a welcoming and diverse country and its well-deserved, it attracts students from all corners of the globe to pursue their education. Everyone wants to study in Canada!

Cost of Studying in Canada for International Students

The country parades world-renowned universities and a high quality of life, it’s no wonder that Canada is a top choice for international students. However, before starting your journey to study in Canada, you need to understand what is involved in terms of cost.

Good things don’t come easy, right? So is studying in Canada. It can get costly to study here and if you want to be on the safer side of the coin, you should know what to expect before coming to study here.

You are leaving your home country and coming to a new country where you probably do not have anyone to run to if you get stuck so, you should be prepared. If you are planning to study in Canada, below are the costs involved, and what you should expect to spend on. This will help you to effectively plan your finances.

Cost of studying in Canada for international students

From tuition fees, cost of living, utility bills, transportation, and leisure, the cost of studying in Canada can get high, you need to prepare financially.

Tuition Fees

What you should expect to pay as Tuition fees can vary greatly, it depends on the university, your level of study (Master, Undergraduate, or Ph.D.), and the program you choose.

On average, undergraduate programs can cost between CAD 9,000 to CAD 20,000 per year for an international student, while graduate programs can range from CAD 10,000 to CAD 40,000 annually.

In most universities and colleges, Engineering and medical degrees tend to be at the higher end of this range. If you are coming for any of these categories, you need to thoroughly research the right school, and compare tuition fees across different institutions and programs before making your decision.


Accommodation is one of the major components of your living expenses, sorry, you can’t do without it. But lucky you, there are a few options you can consider:

On-Campus Housing

Many universities offer on-campus housing options such as dormitories or shared apartments. The costs vary but generally fall within CAD 8,000 to CAD 12,000 per year.

Campus housing options are always cheaper than off-campus but you do not live on your terms, schools have rules that guide students on campus.

Off-Campus Housing

Renting an apartment off-campus is another popular choice. The cost depends on the location; cities like Toronto and Vancouver have higher rent prices compared to smaller cities. On average, off-campus housing may range from CAD 800 to CAD 2,500 per month.

Food and Groceries

Canada offers a diverse culinary scene, you can get any kind of food here, and your food expenses will depend on your eating habits and location.

If you eat out often, you can expect your monthly food expenses to be from CAD 200 to CAD 400. Cooking at home is often more cost-effective than eating out regularly. If you can, you should always cook at home especially if you live off-campus.


Public transportation is very much available in all Canadian cities and is a practical option for students. No matter where you live, you can catch a ride to wherever you want to go. To use public transport, you need a monthly pass.

This pass lets you travel on buses, trains, and subways as much as you want for a whole month. The cost is different in each city, usually around CAD 80 to CAD 150. With this, you are paying once to ride anytime!

If you plan to drive, remember to factor in fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs. Choosing how to get around depends on your style and where you are.

In big cities like Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, buses and subways are smart and money-saving. But if you’re in a smaller city or the countryside, having a car might be better.


As an international student in Canada, taking care of your health is important. Luckily, many provinces have healthcare plans just for students like you. These plans help with basic healthcare needs.

When you’re a student, the province you’re in usually gives you a healthcare plan. This plan covers things like going to the doctor or staying in the hospital. It’s often part of your tuition fees, so you don’t need to pay extra.

While the province’s healthcare plan is great, it might not cover everything. For example, if you need medicine that’s not included, you’d have to pay for it. This is when extra health insurance comes in handy.

Getting extra health insurance is like having a backup plan. It helps pay for things the basic healthcare doesn’t cover. This could be prescriptions, dental care, or even if you’re traveling and need medical help.

Books and Supplies

The cost of books and supplies varies based on your field of study. On average, you can expect to spend around CAD 1,000 per year on textbooks and materials.

Personal Expenses

Personal expenses include entertainment, clothing, and other discretionary spending. Budgeting around CAD 300 to CAD 500 per month for personal expenses is a reasonable estimate. If you love the outdoors a lot, you can expect to spend more.

Miscellaneous Costs

It’s wise to set aside a buffer for unforeseen expenses, such as travel, visa renewals, and emergencies. Keeping around CAD 1,000 to CAD 2,000 as a safety net is a good idea. Anything can happen, right?

If you are planning to study in Canada, you should expect a lot of twists and turns in expenses, at a point, you may pay higher than you expect. Your location, lifestyle, and personal choices will greatly influence how much you spend daily.

If you eat out a lot, it might cost more than cooking at home, if you live in a big city like Toronto or Vancouver, they are more expensive than in smaller towns. In addition, sometimes, unexpected stuff happens. Maybe your computer breaks or you need to visit the doctor. These surprises can make costs go up.


The cost of studying in Canada for international students involves several factors, your tuition, accommodation, food, transportation, and personal expenses are all lining up to take money away from your pocket. You need to properly prepare your finances if you wish to make the most of your academic journey in Canada.

Understand what you need most and what you can do without, if you are studying on a budget, you can get a job to support yourself while you are here.

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