Study Costs

Study fees for universities in Canada depend on which university and course you choose. All prices in this article are in Canadian dollars. Undergraduate degrees start at $17 000 per year, and post graduate courses cost upwards of $12 000 per year. Many students choose Canada because it offers high quality education at very reasonable prices.

Living costs for international students studying in Canada are between $20 000 and $30 000, including study fees. Scholarships are available to help cover study and living costs, check your university’s website for more details.

Accommodation Costs

International student accommodation in Canada includes on campus student accommodation, off campus rental properties, and homestay.

On campus accommodation ranges from $3000 to $6000 per year, while off campus rentals could be cheaper if you are willing to share with other students. Homestays with local families cost between $650 and $800 per month, and usually include meals. Renting a room on average costs $450 to $1000 per month, but costs vary across different cities, for example one bedroom condo in Toronto costs about $1,300 outside of the City and $1,650-$1,700 in the City. The cost of accommodation in Montreal is usually much cheaper than other big cities in Canada.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for international students in Canada and is needed at the time of visa application. The average cost of health insurance for international students is $600 per year.

Work and Study

Generally, international students in Canada can work while they are studying except when the student is undertaking English language studies or French language studies (unless the study is during school holidays). You’ll need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to get started. There are a lot of situation specific rules so check the Government of Canada’s website for the latest criteria.

If you would like to stay and work in Canada after you complete your course of study then you can apply for a post-graduation work permit. As well as allowing you to work, this permit makes it easier to achieve permanent resident status if you would like to stay in Canada permanently.

Living Costs

Living costs for international students studying in Canada are between $20 000 and $30 000, including study fees. Your university may have scholarships to help cover these costs.


In addition to course fees and accommodation costs, living costs in Canada include textbooks, other university fees, transport, groceries, utilities, health insurance, and clothing. Expect heating to be a large cost.

If you study and work in Canada for more than 183 days you could be deemed a resident for tax purposes, which means you might need to lodge a tax return. Check your status here.

International students on average earn between $17 and $24 per hour.


A Canadian bank account is essential to use your money in Canada.

Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar (CAD).

Major banks in Canada include:


Buses are available in most Canadian cities for public transport. Depending on which city you choose to study in, there could be trains, trams, light rail, and subway options too.

Save on public transport by buying tickets in advance. Students can get a concession rate with a valid student ID card from their university.

If wish to drive in Canada you’ll be able to use your foreign driver licence temporarily and an International Driving Permit with translation will be required. Rules on how long you can use a foreign driver licence vary between provinces, so check the rules in your province for specific details.

Health and Safety

Life expectancy in Canada is 82 years, higher than the average of 80 years.

Canada’s homicide rate is 1.5, which is much lower than the average rate of 4.1. This makes Canada a relatively safe place to live. To compare, while Toronto and Chicago have about the same population, homicide rate in Toronto is 10 times lower than Chicago.

Phone and Internet

Prepaid SIM cards are recommended for mobile phones and internet use, though plans are also available.

To make an international call from Canada, first dial the exit code 011. Then enter the country code for the country you are calling, followed by local area codes, then the phone number itself.

Education System