Cost Of Living In Canada For International Students

Cost Of Living In Canada For International Students

International students look to Canada as the best place to study because Canada is known for its natural beauty and multicultural diversity. In addition, Canada has been placed on the globe when it comes to the quality of the education they impart on students hence the need to go there to study.

Getting an education from Canada is very rewarding and most people consider it to be an investment as it will help boost your career goals with their degree to show for it and help land that top job you aspire to get. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires some proof that you have sufficient money and funds available.

However, living in Canada has its challenges and you will have to make enough research, plan and most importantly save enough money. Money can never be too much when planning to stay in Canada. Although, there are reasons as to why the cost of living can be different from person to person – the city in which you plan to settle will play a major factor. Having to live in Canada will prove to be a different ball game from that of your home country.

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) offers a useful online tool that allows prospective international students to quickly calculate the costs of studying at different universities in Canada, as well as providing guidance on the documents needed to apply.

Basic Cost Of Living In Canada

Accommodation in Canada does not only necessarily mean housing; there are other basic amenities that the Canadian government expects international students to have.

Health Care

Health is wealth and can not be overemphasized. Health is a major factor to consider when thinking of how to save money. The healthcare system in Canada is very expensive hence the need to get your hospital and medical insurance upon the first week of arrival.

Some provinces do administer health insurance, some universities will demand you have medical insurance. Provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Alberta will extend their health insurance to cover international students.

On the same note, provinces like Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island do not extend their health insurance. Therefore, the cost of health insurance is solely on the international student.


Food is another major factor to consider. However, this factor depends solely on the individuals eating habits. If an international student curtails the eating habit, they tend to spend lesser. Also, the type of food and where the food is sold will play a factor in how expensive it is. Therefore there is no fixed price for feeding.

However, on average, the cost of feeding in a Canadian restaurant will cost about 10-15 Canadian dollars per individual. If individuals prefer cooking home meals than eating out then it will save more as well.


Transporting from your place of living to the university on a daily basis should be factored in. If you plan to get a job, then the plans to move to and fro should be considered. In large cities, there are buses that will be used to take you to your destination and will help cost down on cost.

In addition, once you settle into the country, you will definitely make friends and you will want to explore cities in Canada. Canada is a very beautiful place and it will be a shame if you went there and did not visit places with your new friends. Traveling will incur bills that will need to be sorted out.

Study Materials – Books

International students will have to think about the books and textbooks/materials they will be used to study while at school. Averagely, international students spend between 1000 – 2000 Canadian dollars per year on books and other study materials. The cost of this is drastically reduced if/when the international students decide to opt for e-learning and getting the materials in PDF format.


Tuition varies from school, provinces, courses, year of study, etc. The tuition is expected to be covered upon arrival, that is, proof of tuition funds should be shown to the officer. This fee is aside from the accommodation needed.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Students should set aside money they will use in case of emergency or as the case may be items of clothing. Some provinces in Canada are very cold and students will have to buy clothes that fit the weather. Over 900 Canadian dollars are spent on items of clothing. Another expense that could possibly crop up could be when you have repairs of phones or laptops that you did not plan for.

There are other miscellaneous expenses that could be chilling with friends, seeing a movie, or any other social activity. Religious activities could also be quite demanding too.

International students should calculate to know how long they plan on staying and how often they would be going out or spending, however, upon analysis, we suggest an average of 1000 – 2000 Canadian dollars.


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