Cost of Living in Canada for International Students

Student Living Cost in Canada

Before you move to Canada, you must estimate the cost of living so that you can prepare your finances beforehand. Living in Canada will be an altogether different experience than your home country so it is important that you explore the lifestyle and cost of living in the city where you are planning to stay.

As an international student, you must also have an idea of the average cost of living and monthly expenses required besides tuition fees. Also, while applying for a student permit/ visa, you must prove to the Canadian government that you have enough money to meet the financial expenses.

Particulars 

Average Cost in CAD

Average Cost in INR

Education Cost

Undergraduate: CA $13,000 - CA$ 20,000 per year

Postgraduate: CA$ 14,000 - CA$ 25,000 per year

Undergraduate: Rs. 7,71,886 to Rs. 11,87,518 per year 

Postgraduate: Rs. 8,31,262 to Rs. 14,84,397 per year 

Accommodation Cost

On-campus - CA$ 8,000 to CA$ 10,000 per year

Shared Apartment Off-campus - CA$ 400 to CA$ 700 per month

On-campus - Rs.               4,75,007 to Rs.  5,93,759 per year

Shared Apartment Off-campus - Rs.  23,750   to Rs. 41,563 per month

Cost for Food & Drinks

CA$ 200 - CA$ 600 per month

Rs. 11,875 to Rs. 35,625 per month

Transportation Cost 

CA$ 80 - CA$ 120 per month

Rs. 4,750 to Rs. 7,125  per month

Books and Study Material 

CA$ 200 to CA$ 350 per semester

Rs. 11,875 to Rs. 20,781 per semester

Movie Ticket Cost (1 person)

CA$ 12 to 14

Rs. 712  to Rs. 831

Health Insurance Cost 

Varies depending on providers and coverage 

Varies

Miscellaneous 

CA$ 500 to CA$ 1,000 per year

Rs. 29,687 to Rs. 59,375 per year

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of August 12, 2021.

The average cost of living in Canada depends on the region and university that you choose. For instance, cities in Canada like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are more expensive than other cities. 

 Also, the expenses will vary depending on whether you are choosing to stay on-campus or off-campus as the on-campus living cost is less than the off-campus living.

Also Read: Top Universities in Canada to Study MBA 

Need More Information About Pursuing Higher Education in Canada?

Cost of Living in Canada: A Comparison to Other Countries

While it is obvious that studying abroad is going to cost way more than studying in the home country, an international student should make certain of doing a careful comparative study of cost of living in the top study destinations. Here, the below-mentioned table will help one find out how expensive Canada is in comparison to other countries.

Country

Accommodation Cost

Transportation Cost (INR)

Food & Water Costs (INR)

Education Cost (INR)

Canada

On-campus - Rs. 4,75,007 to Rs. 5,93,759 per year

Off-campus (shared) - Rs. 23,750 to Rs. 41,563 per month

Rs. 4,750 - Rs. 7,125 per month Rs. 11,875 - Rs. 35,625 per month

UG courses - Rs. 7,71,886 - Rs. 7,71,886 per year

PG Courses - Rs. 10,09,390 - CA$ 14,84,397 per year

USA

On-campus- Rs. 7,27,559-8,24,072 per year

Off-campus- Rs. 33,408 (room shared by 4) per month

Rs. 2,969 - Rs. 7,424 per month

Rs. 3,260 per day

UG Courses: Rs. 4,45,444 - Rs. 26,60,046 per year

PG Courses: Rs. 18,56,018 - Rs. 30,43,870 per year

UK

On campus- Rs. 41,120 - Rs. 61,681 per month

Off-campus - Rs. 61,694 - 2,05,648 per month

Rs. 4,420 - Rs. 7,812

Rs. 20,560 per month

UG Courses: Rs. 10,28,020 and Rs. 26,72,854 per year

PG courses: Rs. 20,56,041 per year

UAE

On campus: Rs. 51,025 per year

Off-campus- Rs. 63,640- Rs. 1,74,850 per month

Rs. 4,043

Rs. 1,010 - Rs. 2,021 per day

UG: Rs.1,11,189 to Rs. 5,66,054 per year

PG: Rs. 1,41,513 to 11,11,892 per year

Australia

On-campus- Rs.  5,488 - Rs. 13,970 per month

Off-campus- Rs. 4,500 - Rs. 21,953 per month

Rs. 70 - Rs. 7,000

Rs. 120 per week

UG & PG Courses: Rs. 4,91,539 to 87,93,090 per year

Germany

Rs. 25,000 - Rs.  60,000 per month

0 - Rs. 13,065 per month

Rs. 13,065 - Rs. 21,776 per month

UG & PG Courses: Rs. 20,000 - Rs. 30,10,000 per year

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of August 2021.

Province-wise Average Cost of Living in Canada

The table added below will give an idea of the cost of living for an international student in the provinces of Canada:

Province

Food (INR/month)

Accommodation (INR/month)

Transportation (INR/month)

Education (INR/year)

Other Expenses (INR/month)

Ontario

Rs. 15,560

Rs. 34,578

Rs. 4,956

Rs. 14,40,746

16,712

Alberta

Rs. 16,251

Rs. 27,719

Rs. 4,206

Rs. 5,18,668- Rs. 25,93,344

19,478

British Columbia

Rs. 16,078

Rs. 50,195

Rs. 6,224

Rs. 8,93,262

19,709

Quebec

Rs. 15,675

Rs. 24,377

Rs. 2,420

Rs. 5,18,668 - Rs. 6,91,558

18,326

New Brunswick

Rs. 14,119

Rs. 26,394

Rs. 4,091

Rs. 6,91,558 - Rs. 13,83,116

13,658

Saskatchewan

Rs. 14,926

Rs. 32,272

Rs. 4,783

Rs. 6,91,558 - Rs. 10,37,337

17,922

Manitoba

Rs. 14,580

Rs. 28,526

Rs. 5,763

Rs. 9,79,707

17,692

Nova Scotia

Rs. 14,119

Rs. 28,815

Rs. 3,919

Rs. 6,91,558 - Rs. 13,83,116

14,234

Newfoundland & Labrador

Rs. 15,502

Rs. 28,526

Rs. 3,976

Rs. 2,30,519 - Rs.5,76,298

Rs. 13,485

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of August 2021.

Education Cost In Canada

Tuition fee in Canada varies course-wise and also the university that you choose. Every year, the university sets a revised tuition fee for international students for undergraduate and postgraduate students. If you plan to take admission in one of the courses in Canadian universities you must confirm the tuition fee for a specific university at the time of admission. Here you check the average cost of study for popular  undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered in Canada:

The average cost of study for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Canada is as follows: 

Discipline Average UG Course Fee (Annual) Average PG Course Fee (Annual)
Pharmacy CA$ 32,886 CA$ 10,500
Nursing CA$ 18,000 CA$ 12,000
Medicine CA$ 33,000 Not Available
Architecture and Related Technologies CA$ 22,100 CA$ 20,000
Engineering CA$ 26,582 CA$ 15,800
Mathematics and Computer Science CA$ 25,000 CA$ 13,000
Business Management CA$ 23,500 CA$ 20,000
Law CA$ 27,056 CA$ 16,549

Also Read: Guide for Int'l Students Travelling to Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Accommodation for International Students in Canada

As an international student, you can easily find on-campus accommodation in Canadian universities. Mostly first-year students prefer to live on-campus. However, you need to check whether on-campus accommodation suits your needs or not as usually students are asked to share their rooms with a common dining area, sharing laundry room and recreational facilities. 

The most important factor that must be considered before going for on-campus accommodation is the rent that you will need to pay for on-campus accommodation. In general, the average cost of living in Canada for on-campus accommodation ranges between CA$ 8,000 to CA$ 10,000 per year.
 
If you are going for off-campus accommodation, the rent may be high. However, accommodation on a sharing basis will be less expensive. In all, you will need at least CA$ 400 per month to live in Canada.

Type of Accommodation Average Cost
On-campus Accommodation CA$ 8,000 to CA$ 10,000 per year
Shared Apartment Off-campus CA$ 400 to CA$ 700 per month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre CA$ 1,332 per month
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre CA$ 1,123 per month

Cost of Food in Canada

Food is not a problem anywhere in Canada. One can find all types of cuisines in every town, be it Indian, American, Continental, Italian, Chinese etc. However, the cost of food must be counted as a part of expenses while staying in Canada.

The average monthly costs in Canada for food and other expenses may cost around CAD $200-600 per month. For instance, the breakfast, lunch or dinner in a restaurant may cost between CAD$ 10 to CAD$ 15 per person.

Item Price
Meal for 1 CA$ 18
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 L) CA$ 2.30
Water (0.33 L) CA$ 1.85
Milk (1 L) CA$ 2.47
Bread (500g) CA$ 2.94
Rice (White, 1 kg) CA$ 3.71
Eggs (1 dozen) CA$ 3.54
Banana (1 kg) CA$ 1.72
Onion (1 kg) CA$ 2.66

Transportation Cost in Canada

The cities in Canada are well connected by aeroplanes, trains, buses, taxis, subways etc. To commute in local areas within the cities one can use the metro services or public buses. 

Monthly pass for trains and buses available for commuters. Special discounts on passes are also available for students. With a valid ID of the college. The cost of transportation in Canada ranges between CA$ 80 and CA$ 120 per month.

Transportation/Vehicle

Average Cost

Monthly Transport Pass (Toronto)

CA$ 90

Taxi Tariff, 1 km

CA$ 4

2020 Volkswagen Golf, new

CA$ 26,000

2021 Toyota Corolla, new

CA$ 24,547

Bus Ticket, single use

CA$ 3.25

Gasoline (1 litre / 0.25 gallon)

CA$ 1.17

Cost of Books and Study Materials

The cost of books and other study materials is an additional expense and it must be managed by the students. 

The range of amount spent on books and study materials ranges from CA$ 500 to CA$ 1,500. Apart from the paper materials students can choose to refer to e-books and online materials shared by institutes. 

Cost of Health Insurance in Canada

International Students in Canada need to buy their own private health insurance. So, as soon as you arrive in Canada you must contact the ministry of health in the province or territory to check if you need to buy any extra health insurance or not. Some provinces in Canada exempts foreign students from buying any health insurance.

The cost of health insurance varies depending on the providers and the medical coverage. 

Miscellaneous Cost in Canada

In addition to the above-mentioned students must have some extra amount ranging between CA$ 500 to CA$ 1,000 per year for miscellaneous expenses. It includes the amount spent on leisure, entertainment, sports, clothing, shopping etc. 

The movie ticket cost in Canada can cost between CA$ 12 to CA$ 14. 

Which are the Most Expensive and Cheapest Cities in Canada?

While picking the right student city for you and learning about the average cost of living in Canada, it is important to look at the most expensive and most affordable Canadian cities. So, here it is:

Most Expensive CIties in Canada:

City

Average Cost of Living Per Month (in INR)

Toronto

Rs. 71,888 excluding rent

Ottawa

Rs. 67,310 excluding rent

Vancouver

Rs. 66,277 excluding rent

Victoria

Rs. 65,357 excluding rent

Montreal

Rs. 62,148 excluding rent

Most Affordable CIties in Canada:

City

Average Cost of Living Per Month (in INR)

St.Catharines

Rs. 61,852 excluding rent

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Rs. 57,124 excluding rent

Moncton

Rs. 58,206 excluding rent

Laval

Rs. 55,157 excluding rent

Sherbrooke

Rs. 51,099 excluding rent

Are There Pay Cheque Deductions in Canada for an International Student?

Given that the cost of living in a foreign country is way higher than in one’s home country, many international students work part-time while studying in Canada. For most jobs in the country, the employer will deduct a certain amount of money from the pay cheque which may reduce the pay by 25-35%.

These deductions usually pay for income taxes, Canada Pension Plan, employment insurance, union dues, or any other deductions that the employee and employer may agree to in writing.

FAQs

Q. What type of accommodation is available for international students in Canada?

A. Most colleges/ universities in Canada provide on-campus hostel facilities to international students at an affordable cost. The on-campus living expense may range between Rs.1.75 to 4.25 Lakhs per year. Students can also choose to stay off-campus. There are several sharing apartments, flats, private hostels, and PGs that provide accommodation facilities to international students around the city. The place of stay can be decided based on the budget, location, and preference of students. The off-campus living expenses may range between Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 per month. 

Q. How can I prepare financially before planning to study in Canada?

A. Before moving to Canada for higher education, figure out the overall cost of studying in Canada. Apart from tuition fees, find out the accommodation expenses, travel expenses, transportation expenses, cost of food, insurances, and miscellaneous expenses in Canada for international students. Based on the overall expense, ensure you have enough funds to manage your stay in Canada throughout the completion of the course. Speak to a financial adviser to know how to manage your expenses, if needed. You can also apply for education loans and scholarships if your admission is confirmed in Canada. 

Q. How to manage the living expenses in Canada?

A. Once you are enrolled in an institution in Canada, you can choose to take a part-time job while studying. Both on-campus and off-campus part-time job options are available for international students in Canada. The maximum duration for which you can work as a part-time employee is 20 hours per week. The working hours can be extended during vacations or holidays. Meanwhile, you can keep applying for scholarships that are best suited for you based on your performance in higher educational institutions.

Q. Is financial proof needed to study in Canada? 

A. You must prove that you have funds to manage your studies and living expenses throughout your studies in Canada. For this, you need to submit the following document/ document (s) at the time of the Canadian study visa process

  • Your bank statement of 4 months

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, in case you have transferred money to a Canadian bank

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution

  • Proof of education loan

  • Payslip of tuition fee

  • a letter from the person or organization lending you money

  • Proof of scholarship, if any

  • Canadian-funded educational program

Q. As an international student, how much money do I need to study in Canada?

A. The cost of study varies depending on the Canadian province you are staying in, your institution. Course opted etc. In addition to the tuition fee of the course, you must have adequate funds to manage living expenses, travel costs, transportation costs, health insurance, and miscellaneous expenses. Apart from the tuition fees, you must have a minimum fund of $11,000, if you are living in Quebec. The minimum fund required outside of Quebec is $10,000. 

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