Cost of Studying and Living in Canada

Canada has increasingly become a notorious destination that attracts international students, especially in the last years. Having prestigious universities, vivid student cities and well-organized lifestyle, Canada turned into a country with high demands and a high reputation. Canada has 26 universities listed among the best academic institutions worldwide according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In addition, according to a OECD study, Canada was also ranked as one of the world’s most educated countries.

Read below and you’ll find useful information about tuition, living costs and scholarship opportunities for studying in “The Great White North”.

1. University tuition fees in Canada

Tuition fees in Canadian universities are a bit demanding, but lower than those from countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA or Australia. University fees may vary yearly, as you will notice differences depending on the city or degree programme. Newfoundland universities for instance, have the lowest tuition fees, while Ontario is the most expensive area.

Tuition fees for Bachelor degrees

Average tuition: 6,500 CAD/year

Examples of expensive programmes:

  • Dentistry (21,000 CAD/year)
  • Law (11,400 CAD/year)

Examples of affordable programmes:

  • Social sciences (850 CAD/year)
  • Education (2,000 CAD/year)
Tuition fees for Master and PhD degrees

Average tuition: 7,000 CAD/year

Examples of expensive programmes:

  • MBA (27,500 CAD/year)
  • Engineering (37,000 CAD/year)

Examples of affordable programmes:

  • Design (2,000 CAD/year)
  • Humanities (1,800 CAD/year)
Most affordable universities in Canada

Check the list of Canadian universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

  1. Memorial University of Newfoundland– average tuition fees 1,700 CAD/year.
  2. Simon Fraser University– average tuition fees 6,400 CAD/year.
  3. University of Saskatchewan– average tuition fees 7,000 CAD/year.
  4. Athabasca University– average tuition fees 5,000 CAD/year.
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top ranked Canadian universities:

  1. University of Toronto– average tuition fees 38,000 CAD/year.
  2. University of British Columbia– average tuition fees 8,500-9,000 CAD/year.
  3. McGill University– average tuition fees 8,000 CAD/year
  4. University of Montreal– average tuition fees 10,000 CAD/year.

2. Student living costs in Canada

Living costs in Canada are a bit above average, but the high quality of life is guaranteed. You would need a minimum amount of 1,000-1,200 CAD/month for most provinces, such as Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa.

Vancouver and Calgary are some of the most expensive cities in Canada, where you would need around 1,200-1,500 CAD/month.

Accommodation costs

There are many housing options to choose from in Canada, and an equally diverse price range.

The main housing options for students in Canada are:

  • Student residences: prices are between 250 – 625 CAD/month
  • University-provided homestays usually: rates start from 400 and can lead to 800 CAD/month.
  • Share an apartment: 250 – 700 CAD/month, prices for rent depend on location and facilities.
Other costs associated with accommodation

When you rent an apartment or studio, you would have to add extra expenses to the rent price, such as:

  • basic utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage): 150 CAD/month
  • internet: 57 CAD/month
Food costs

You won’t spend too much on food bills, just around 200-250 CAD/month for shopping from the local supermarkets and groceries. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you can find all over Canada are Canadian Superstore, Walmart, No Frills.

If you wish to eat in a restaurant, you will have to pay around 10 – 25 CAD. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will cost 60 CAD.

Transportation costs

Students enrolled in a Canadian university aged between 18 and 25 will benefit from discounts when purchasing the monthly transport pass.

  • The total price of a transport pass is 91 CAD/month, while a one-way ticket is worth 3 CAD.
  • Taxis are also a common way of transport all over Canada and fares are between 2 and 6 CAD/ km.

3. Funding & student support

Canada has plenty of programmes that support students financially during their studies.

Here is a list of specially-designed awards for international students:

  • Scholarships provided by various Canadian universities for Master and PhD studies
  • Scholarships available to non-Canadian academic institutions to facilitate collaboration with the local academic community
  • Scholarships available to foreign students for study/research in Canada
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