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: 10,500 to 20,000 per year 

Postgraduate: 18,000 to 35,000 per year 

Undergraduate: 6,06,216 to 11,54,698 per year 

Postgraduate: 10,39,228 to 2020,721 per year 

Accommodation Cost

1,300

75,055

Cost for Food

600 to 800 per year

34,640 to 46,187 per year

Transportation Cost 

80 to 120 per month

4,618 to 6,928 per month

Books and Study Material 

500 to 1,500 per year

28,867 to 86,602 per year

Movie Ticket Cost 

12 to 14

692 to 808

Health Insurance Cost 

Varies depending on providers and coverage 

Varies

Miscellaneous 

500 to 1,000

28,867 to 57,734

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of March 23, 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 (INR)

Transportation Cost (INR)

Food & Water Costs (INR)

Education Cost (INR)

Canada

On-campus- 1,72,774-4,31,936 per year

Off-campus- 74,868 per month

4,607-6,910

3,188 per day

UG Courses: 10,36,479-20,15,376

PG Courses: 6,04,612-1,15,164

USA

On-campus-5,21,688 per year

Off-campus-32,605-2,17,370 per month

2,898 to 7,245

3,260 per day

UG Courses: 12,31,765-38,03,982

PG Courses: 18,11,420-29,70,728

UK

On campus-6,98,997 year

Off-campus- 59,914-3,49,498 per month

14,978

3,994 per day

UG Courses: 9,98,568-19,97,136

PG courses: 19,97,136

UAE

On campus: 49,792-17,41,95 per year

Off-campus- AED 4,931-14,795 per month

39-128

1,183-2,959 per day

UG: 7,39,788-13,80,937

PG: 10,85,022- 14,79,576

Australia

On-campus- 2,63,424-6,24,000 per year

Off-campus- 16,000-88,000 per month

6,502

2,898 per day

UG & PG Courses: AUD 5,20,410-89,52,462

Germany

On-campus- 2,99,495- 5,78,336 per year

Off-campus- 18,073 to 30,982 per month

0-12,909

2,409 per day

UG & PG Courses: 21,515-30,12,170

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of March 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

15,560

34,578

4,956

14,40,746

16,712

Alberta

16,251

27,719

4,206

5,18,668-25,93,344

19,478

British Columbia

16,078

50,195

6,224

8,93,262

19,709

Quebec

15,675

24,377

2,420

5,18,668-6,91,558

18,326

New Brunswick

14,119

26,394

4,091

6,91,558- 13,83,116

13,658

Saskatchewan

14,926

32,272

4,783

6,91,558-10,37,337

17,922

Manitoba

14,580

28,526

5,763

9,79,707

17,692

Nova Scotia

14,119

28,815

3,919

6,91,558- 13,83,116

14,234

Newfoundland & Labrador

15,502

28,526

3,976

2,30,519-5,76,298

13,485

Note: The cost has been calculated based on the exchange rate as of March 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 UG Course Fee PG Course Fee
Pharmacy $32,886 $10,500
Nursing $18,000 $12,000
Medicine $33,000 Not Available
Architecture and Related Technologies $22,100 $20,000
Engineering $26,582 $15,800
Mathematics and Computer Science $25,000 $13,000
Business Management $23,500 $20,000
Law $27,056 $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 CAD$ 3000 to CAD$ 7500 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$1,300 per month to live in Canada.

Cost for 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 $600-800 per year. For instance, the breakfast, lunch or dinner in a restaurant may cost between CAD$ 10 to CAD$ 15 per person.

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 $80 to $120.

Transportation/Vehicle

Average Cost in INR

Monthly Transport Pass (Toronto)

8,710

Taxi Tariff, 1 km

115

2020 Volkswagen Jetta, new

14,65,988

2021 Toyota Corolla, new

11,03,612

Bus Ticket, single use

187

Gasoline (1 litre / 0.25 gallon)

69

Cost on 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 CAD $500 to CAD $1500. Apart from the paper materials students can choose to refer to e-books and online materials shared by institutes. 

Cost on 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 CAD $500 to CAD $1000 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 CAD $12 to CAD $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

71,888 excluding rent

Ottawa

67,310 excluding rent

Vancouver

66,277 excluding rent

Victoria

65,357 excluding rent

Montreal

62,148 excluding rent

Most Affordable CIties in Canada:

City

Average Cost of Living Per Month (in INR)

St.Catharines

61,852 excluding rent

Abbotsford, British Columbia

57,124 excluding rent

Moncton

58,206 excluding rent

Laval

55,157 excluding rent

Sherbrooke

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.

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