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How much does it cost to study and live in Canada for international students?

Learn about the cost of study, living expenses and most affordable universities in Canada

Studying in Canada can be an expensive affair. However, an efficient budget plan can help you manage your living expenses more effectively. Check out our comprehensive guide about the cost of study, tuition fees, living expenses and the most affordable Canadian universities to help you plan well for your new life in Canada!

How much does it cost to study in Canada?

Your expenditure on the tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. To cover this, you will need between CAD 13,000 and 40,000 annually.

Study program Average annual fee in CAD
Undergraduate program $13,000 to $20,000
Postgraduate master's degree $17,000 to $25,000
Doctoral degree $7,000 to $15,000
MBA $30,000 to $40,000


Most commonly, courses in humanities, education and arts are a little cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. Check out below the cost of some of these subjects at the undergraduate level:

Subject Average cost in CAD
Business & Management $29,000
Engineering $34,000
Medicine $33,000
Pharmacy $41,000
Dentistry $57,000
Veterinary Medicine $63,000

*Please note that all figures are indicative


If you want to bring down your educational expenses, it is best to apply to various scholarships in Canada.

What’s the cheapest university in Canada for international students?

If you’re asking this question, then you should know that the answer depends on many factors, such as your preferred field of study, type of program or qualification, and the university. However, some universities offer lower tuition fees than others.

These are the top 5 most affordable Canadian universities for international students:

University Average Annual Fees in CAD
University of Prince Edward Island $10,000
Cape Breton University $18,000
University of Canada West $21,000
University of the Fraser Valley $21,000
University of Northern British Columbia $22,000


Accommodation costs in Canada

Most universities in Canada offer on-campus residence facilities called the Halls of Residence to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option. However, you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself. The average cost is usually between CAD 8,000 and CAD 10,000 per year.

There are also other popular accommodation options in Canada for international students:

Accommodation type Average cost per month in CAD
Hostels $300 - $600 ($10 - $20 per night)
Private apartment $400-$1500
Shared rental $250 - $700
Homestay $400 - $800

All prices are indicative only. You can explore more about the accommodation options available to you in Canada here.


Cost of Canada Student Visa

In order to study in Canada, the first step is to secure a valid student visa. Canada student visa is called a Study Permit and the cost of this permit is approximately CAD 150.

Read more about Canada Study Permit and the application process.

Can I bring my family to Canada while studying?

Yes. According to Immigration and Citizenship Canada (CIC) website, you’re allowed to bring your spouse and dependent children with you to Canada if you’re applying for a study permit through the Student Direct Stream. They may be eligible for a study or work permit, or a visitor visa. You must submit their applications online when you apply for your study permit.

What’s the cost of living in Canada?

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:

Expenses Average cost per month in CAD
Internet/phone $50- $76
Food and groceries $1200- $1500
Electricity/gas $200
Transport $100 - $150


Check out the complete guides of these top Canadian cities: Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Remember! When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you don’t overspend.

Here are some tips to help you save your money when living abroad!

What’s the cost of the health insurance?

It is mandatory for all students travelling to Canada to get medical insurance before the commencement of their program. In Canada, international student health insurance is priced between $600 and $900 per year (indicative). In British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland, Manitoba, Labrador or Saskatchewan, you will be insured under the respective provincial health plans as per the length of your stay.

Read more about health and support services in Canada

Can I work in Canada while studying?

Yes. In fact, this is a good way to earn some money for your expenses and get valuable work experience while studying in Canada. As an international student in Canada with a study permit of full-time enrolment in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you can work for a total of 20 hours per week during academic year, and full-time during the summer break. You can work for any employer in any occupation anywhere in Canada.

Kick start your journey to Canada! Book your free counselling session now with IDP Education Counsellor to turn your study ambition into action!

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Scholarships

Governments and universities around the world value high performing students and have many scholarship programs designed to attract the world’s best and brightest to undertake study in their country.

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