Estimated Cost of Living in Canada for International Students


More and more students from across the world are attracting towards Canada’s the top-notch education system and unrivaled work experience. The country is consciously working on blueprint to channelize this well educated and highly productive force of youngsters for the furtherance of country’s economic development.

Though, the cost of education, in terms of tuition fee and living expenses, is quite moderate in comparison to that in USA, Australia and UK, yet, it becomes challenging for the students of developing countries like India where the exchange rate of the country’s currency is rather unfavorable.

herefore, before plunging into the idea of moving to Canada for higher study, it becomes imperative, for the students and parents, to have a thorough understanding of the total cost involved, which would be pretty helpful in taking judicious decision.

University/College tuition Fee:

The cost of completing an educational plan in a foreign country like Canada may vary greatly. Because different universities have different tuition fee plan as per their provincial rules and regulations. So the tuition fee, which is the fix expenses, depends broadly on what course a student selects for the higher studies as well as the university where he has got himself enrolled as an international student.

As the tuition fee vary from CAD 6500 to CAD 25000 depending on the course and university of your choice. The Students should check it with your study abroad consultant. Who will provide you the most accurate information on tuition fee. They will also suggest you the best possible alternatives to suite your requirements.

Health Insurance:

Although, Canada is well known for its universal health care program. However, these benefits are largely restricted to the citizens of Canada and people of permanent residence. Considering the high cost of medical services, it is mandatory for the international student to buy the medical cover through a private medical insurance company.

It has been made compulsory by the universities and colleges for all the international students to either opt for the health insurance plan provided through the Universities or produce a proof of the insurance cover within the first week of commencement of their education program.

As, this is not an optional plan, the cost of buying a comprehensive health insurance plan is necessary to factor in, which ,vary company to company and province to province. By and large, the cost of buying a health insurance plan falls between CAD 700 and CAD 900. Which broadly covers the cost of hospitalization, visit to doctors, paramedical support, to name a few.

Cost of Accommodation:

Soon after the selection of the college or university, the student is expected to take the decision regarding the accommodation in the area where his college campus lies. Though, the universities and colleges do offer on-campus students’ accommodation. Yet, most of the international students from India prefer to make their own arrangement owing to the cost factor.

While the rent for the on campus residence may cost anywhere between CAD 700 and CAD 950. A student can bring it to the half by selecting “off-campus” accommodation in the city on the sharing basis, which brings the cost of accommodation to about CAD 350 to CAD 400.

The decision regarding on-campus or off-campus accommodation is primarily based on the budget a student wants to allot for his accommodation. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages. While, on- campus accommodation is within the college, a lot more time is saved. The off- campus accommodation help you save some Canadian dollars at the expense of traveling time.

Also remember, the cost of accommodation also varies city to city. Just like any other country, the rental value in urban centers is substantially higher in comparison to rentals at country side campuses.

Besides this, the most popular and most preferred cities such as:

  • Montreal,
  • Toronto,
  • Vancouver,
  • Ottawa,
  • Calgary, and
  • Quebec City are also the most expensive in terms of living cost including rental one.

Before boarding the plane for Canada, students should use KIJIJI (a local classified site in Canada) or Face book accounts to look for the rental-accommodations available nearby your campus. Some colleges’ websites also carry the information regarding the availability of rental locations

Food Expenses:

Canada is famous for its departmental stores which tempt you to buy large quality items at a very cheap price. But it generally results in buying unnecessary things and you end up in overspending. Which may be quite annoying during the initial days in Canada. It is therefore suggested to either shop with a friend. Where the bulk quantity can be shared or buy the things as per the pre-decided budget.

Barring the first month, when a student has to buy a lot of things to give a head-start, the average monthly bill on grocery turns to CAD 75 to CAD 125. One should avail the sale, coupon, and cash back deals of these stores. This would minimize the grocery bill. The monthly bill varies because some students may prefer to try some new dishes and recipe. The food bill may also inflate in case of large numbers of outdoor hangouts and Uber eats orders. Otherwise a student’s food bill may remain well within the limit.

Transportation and Communication Expenses:

As most of the international students prefer to live off-campus. They have to depend on public transport to reach their colleges and for their work place. The cost of public transportation is significantly high. It manage judiciously, lest, it may adversely affect the monthly budget. There are good numbers of means as far as public transportation is concerned.

A student may avail the services of Metro Network, Local buses, Taxis, bicycle ride. Though the cost of a single ride does vary city to city. It generally comes with an average of CAD 3.25. International students should buy monthly PRESTO card by showing the student ID, which fetch a certain amount of discount. It comes to student with concession by paying CAD 128.15. on monthly basis irrespective of the public transportation pen uses.

Just like transportation, there is plethora of options in mobile plans for an international student to choose from. There are some companies Such as Bell and Rogers that provide high-end plans which may be hard on the pockets. On the other hand the, most of the student go with Virgin and Freedom companies plans which cost about CAD 45 to CAD 60. So a student should factor in the monthly bill of about CAD 55 while estimating the monthly cost of living in Canada.

Miscellaneous Expenses:

These are the expenses which a student has to bear while

  • Going for the outing with the friends,
  • For buying the clothes,
  • Shoes or
  • Any other expenses on food and drinks which generally comes to about CAD 50.

Though, it does not constitute the major portion of the monthly bill. Still, keeping an eye over these expenses would always be a wise step towards prudent budgeting planning.

So, after calculating and summing up all the above mentioned expenses, an international student from India would need a monthly budget of about CAD 700 to CAD 850 for living comfortably during the study period.

To know more about study abroad, study visa, study in Canada or IELTS preparation,you may visit our office. Or can log in at We have experience of more than ten years in the field of study abroad and visa consultancy.

Also Read:- How to settle down in Canada as an International Student from India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close ×

Enquiry Form