Cost of Living in Canada for International Students

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 29, 2021 17:26 IST

Cost of Living in Canada for International Students

Studying in Canada is considered a rewarding investment for your future as you have access to premier education, cross-cultural experiences, and a globally recognized degree. For international students, getting admitted to universities and colleges in Canada requires planning and financial commitment before you are there.

International students will have to meet the costs of studies and living in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires some proof that you have sufficient money and funds available. Your college provides a cost of living estimate, the immigration officer will follow it. If your college doesn’t provide it, you will be required to show evidence of $10,000 for 12 months of living expenses in Canada as a student. An additional $4,000 will be required for the spouse and another $3,000 for each dependent. This amount includes accommodation, food, medical insurance, transportation, books, and clothing. Tuition and other fees are not included in this amount.

It is vital that students obtain medical and hospital insurance as healthcare in Canada is very expensive. Public health insurance plans are administered independently in each province. Some universities require compulsory insurance coverage. The coverage should be secured within the first week after arrival.

There are a few factors that affect the cost of living for each student. They are listed below-

Big city life vs. Suburban areas

Like anywhere in the world, living costs in urban centers are more than those in the suburbs. Many students prefer on-campus housing much more, which may not be the lowest-cost option always, but is definitely more convenient. Toronto and Vancouver are the most expensive cities to live in and with the shortage of affordable housing in Toronto, costs are the highest there and still continue to rise.

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Based on educational institutions

As the cost of living varies from city to city and depending on where the school is located, the best estimated living expense will depend on the university you are applying to. As mentioned earlier, every college provides estimated fees and living expenses in Canada. Some colleges have reasonable and affordable on-campus boarding options, some colleges charge quite a lot for the same.

Here is a table to help you understand approximate monthly costs as well as annual costs.







Student Fees



Health Insurance






On-campus Rent



Mobile phone (basic package)



Public Transit Pass









Car: Insurance



Car: Fuel



Total Expenses



*Average 1st-year tuition fees is based on 343 MS courses in Canada (source:

FAQs for the cost of living in Canada for international students

Q. Is Canada expensive for international students?

A. If you compare to other popular study destinations then studying in Canada is affordable. A student needs around C$20,000 and C$30,000 depending on the course/city to cover his tuition. Apart from this, the cost of food, living, and other living expenses will be around C$10,000. This is quite affordable if you compare it to other popular study abroad destinations.

Q. What are some of the most expensive cities in Canada?

A. The top most expensive cities in Canada are:

  1. Vancouver, British Columbia
  2. Toronto, Ontario
  3. Montreal, Quebec
  4. Calgary, Alberta
  5. Ottawa, Ontario

Q. What is the cheapest course to study in Canada?

A. Canada offers affordable education in both undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses. Check out the list of some of the affordable and cheap universities and courses in Canada here

Q. Which are some of the popular vocational courses to study in Canada?

A. Vocational courses are equally popular in Canada as degree courses. Read the most popular vocational courses in Canada here

Q. What province in Canada has the lowest cost of living?

A. Living expenses in Canada vary from city to city, Quebec City is one of the most affordable large cities in Canada with an estimated living cost of C$1600 per month.

Q. Which jobs are in high demand in Canada?

A. Learn about the most popular jobs and job sectors in Canada in detail here

Q. Which city in Canada offers more job opportunities?

A. The most number of jobs were added in the provinces of Ontario (151, 000), Quebec (98, 000), British Columbia (70, 000), and Alberta (68, 000).

Q. How much does it cost for international students to study in Canada?

A. As per Shikshastudyabroad, the average first-year tuition fee for postgraduate courses based on 343 MS courses in Canada is C$ 18,894. Also, the average first-year tuition fees for undergraduate courses based on 334 BE/Btech courses in Canada is C$33,591.

Q. How much money students required per month to live in Canada as an international student?

A. The cost of living in Canada varies from city to city. Living in Canada is relatively affordable in comparison to other prominent study destinations. Above we have given general expenses to live in Canada. Monthly expenses can be C$1500-2000 depending on the city and your lifestyle.

Q. How much students get paid per hour in Canada?

A. Usually, a student earns around C$10-15 an hour in Canada, however, it may vary depending on the city and job you perform.

Q. Which is the best part-time job in Canada?

A. International students can work up to 20 hours per week while studying and 40 hours during vacation. Read what are the part-time work options in Canada for international students and learn more about them.

Related articles about studying in Canada:

Life at Popular cities of Canada

Average IELTS scores at the best Universities in Canada

Apply to SPP Colleges for quick and easy Canada Student Visa

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio




water melon


I have completed my +2 and i am a bit confuse about which course should i choose can you suggest me some diploma courses in canada

Reply to water melon


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi, please refer to the below URL and check out the options to study in Canada after 12th:

Sir I just wanted to know that after paying the first year fees and gic from parents support will I be able to pay the fees and expense from 2nd yr onwards on my own ?

Reply to Deepanshu saini


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Deepanshu, with part-time work you can cover some of the expenses, we suggest you to arrange for the funds as you move ahead.

I have completed my bba in india now which course should i take in canada by which i can get proper job aspect doing mba ?

Reply to Shrey Patel


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Shrey, you can go for MBA, however, good universities prefer candidates with certain work experience for an MBA program.


nalini s


Hello, I want to know which college is best for pursuing Early Childhood Education course in Canada?

Reply to nalini s




Hi, I have done Mca and in ielts I have got 6 overall and 5.5 in one module. Can I apply for canada visa.

Reply to Rimpy


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert


Hi Rimpy, if you secure admission in a recognized school then you are eligible to apply for a Student visa.

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