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Cost of studying in Canada

Students nowadays are aspiring to study in universities abroad, but the expenses let them down. Thankfully, compared to many countries, Canada is one country where high-quality education is available with affordable tuition fees. It is one of the reasons that Canada is among the top choices for international students. But before you consider admission to Canadian universities, make sure you include other expenses apart from your fees like housing, living expenses, food, health coverage, and travel. You must prove that you have enough money to study in Canada and to sort your finances. So, you should plan early either for a loan or for a scholarship to fund your education.


Tuition fee:

Tuition fees for international students depend upon the institution and program you have chosen. In general, you will need somewhere around CAD 13000 to CAD 35000 per year. Courses in education, arts, and humanities are cheaper than those of medicine and engineering. It also depends on the fact whether you are doing an undergraduate or a postgraduate program. Postgraduate programs like MBA are generally more expensive than undergraduate ones. 


Study Program

Average annual fee

Undergraduate programs


Postgraduate Master’s degree




Housing expense

Most universities offer on-campus stay for international students, but they have to apply to get a room on campus. The cost varies according to the institutions, the city, and the type of room you want. In general, on-campus accommodation can cost from CAD 8000 to CAD 10,000 per year. You can also rent a shared apartment depending upon your location, which will generally cost you CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month. 


You also need to consider additional monthly costs such as electricity, phone and internet bills, insurance, and other personal expenses. Some students rent rooms in private houses where they stay with a host family in Canada. It reduces their housing costs and allows them to participate in local activities and learn about the culture. 


Student visa and permit cost

To study in Canada, you need a valid study permit, and that costs extra. Make sure to get all the information about the visa application process and the relevant costs. 


Transportation costs

The cost of studying in Canada also includes transportation expenses. Depending upon your accommodation, you have to travel to the campus by some mode of transportation. Some institutions provide transportation services for the students. If you don’t get it, you can either choose public transportation like buses, subways, or trains or get your own bike to go to the campus. 


For short distances, you can either walk or make use of public transportation. You can go by bus, commuter trains, or local taxi. It is advisable to get monthly passes as they provide discounts. They range from about $80 to $150 a month.


For long distances, you can choose buses, railways or even flights. However, it is advisable to rent a room near campus.


If you do not have a bus stop nearby, you can drive to a parking area and park your car there. You can then take a train or bus. If you do not have a car, you can also rent one by getting an international driver’s license. 


The cost of commute will vary according to the mode of transportation you choose. 


Living expenses

You also need money for your grocery, personal expenses, and social activities. Living expenses in Canada can cost approximately $15000. In order to keep track of your expenditures, you can consider some of the following costs:


Phone bills:

Keep track of your phone bills and data expenses. You can find budget-friendly phone plants suitable for you. Also, look for student discounts so that you can save more. Phone bills can be around $20 per month. 


Books and stationery:

The cost of books depends upon your course. If you are a student of engineering, law, medicine, or pharmacy, the value of books can be higher. So, maintain your budget based on that, and if it’s possible, buy second-hand books, or get PDFs.


Personal expenses:

It includes laundry, toiletries, social gatherings with your friends, and all of the other extra activities. The costs depend upon your lifestyle. 


Health insurance

The cost of studying in Canada for international students also comprises health insurance. It is mandatory for all students in Canada to have health insurance and medical coverage, depending upon the province. Health insurance for international students costs approximately $600-900 per year. If you study in British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, Labrador, New Brunswick, or Quebec, you will get insurance coverage under the provincial health care plans based on the length of your stay. You can find out more details about health insurance on the respective university websites.



International students are allowed to work full-time or part-time during academic sessions. If you want to work in Canada along with your studies, your income will be taxable. If you have a scholarship for financial aid from the institution, the government may also issue tax on that. Make a budget and look for a part-time job or a scholarship beforehand so that you can support the cost of studying in Canada. 


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