Cost of Studying in Canada

Cost of Studying in Canada

But before you depart from your country, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage, and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in Canada. This will help you plan your budget more effectively.

Tuition fee

Tuition fee is your prime expenditure or expenditure on tuition fee depending on the type of qualification and institution you opt for. You will need approximately CAD 13,000 and CAD 35,000 a year to cover this. 

Most commonly, humanities, education, and art courses are cheaper. At the same time, subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. Suppose you wish to study at a postgraduate level. The tuition fee is typically higher, and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs ranges between CAD 30,000-42,000.

You can apply for various scholarships to bring down your educational expenses.

Accommodation costs

Most universities in Canada offer on-campus residence facilities to international students. You can also opt for off-campus accommodation, wherein you can share apartments with other students from your country. Costs for on-campus housing may range anywhere from CAD 8,000 to CAD 10,000 (annually), whereas living in a shared apartment can cost you around CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month, depending on your location and time. Remember, the rentals vary from city to city.

An additional option is a homestay where you stay with a host family in Canada. You will have to pay a placement fee of CAD 200 and a monthly fee of CAD 750 – 950 in return for meals and a room. However, you’ll be able to participate in local activities with the host and learn about the culture closely.

Cost of your student visa and permit

To study in Canada, the first step is to secure a valid study permit, which comes with its costs (approx. CAD 150). Feel free to consult your IDP counselor for the latest updates and information on the visa application process and related expenses.

Living expenses 

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities, and emergencies. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep track of your expenditures and not overspend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in Canada comes out to be approx. CAD 15,000 (indicative). It would help if you also considered these common expenses when creating your budget:

  • Communication expenses: As an international student, you’d frequently call your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget. You can find a phone plan that suits your needs; however, the average cost is approx. CAD 20 per month.
  • Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering courses can cost you approx. CAD 250 to CAD 350. The value can go even higher for law, medicine, and pharmacy courses. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second-hand books, buying digital versions, or securing a library membership.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals: Your daily costs will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.

Consider health support and insurance.

It is mandatory for all students traveling to Canada to get medical insurance before the commencement of their program. You will be insured under the respective provincial health plans in British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland, Manitoba, Labrador, or Saskatchewan. In Canada, international student health insurance is priced between $600 and $900 per year (indicative).


Know how much it will cost to move around unless your institution provides a shuttle service to and fro from your lodging; you’ll have to rely on the available public transport. 

For short distances

Make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. Metropolitan cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal offer buses and subways. Smaller towns may or may not have subways, but you can always avail buses, commuter trains, or local taxi services. Commuting costs can range anywhere between CAD 80 and CAD 110 for a month (indicative). It is good to get monthly passes for commuting to college as they are reasonably cheap.

Park and Ride service

If you live far from the bus stop, some cities give you the option to drive down to a particular parking area where you can park your car and then take a train or bus. You can also rent a car by getting an international driver’s license. Your commute expense will vary accordingly.

For long distances

For traveling between different cities, you can avail yourself of long-distance buses, railways, and flights.

Don’t ignore your taxes.

International students studying in Canada with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) can work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. Your Canadian earned income will be taxable if you choose to work alongside your studies. If you have a scholarship or assistantship from your institution, the federal and state governments may tax these wards.

Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also look for a part-time job while studying in Canada or seek a scholarship in the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent.