International Students’ Living Costsin Canada

Many international students tend to choose Canada for higher studies due to the living expenses being lower, especially when compared to countries of the same tier like the UK, America or Australia. When applying for a study permit, international students to prove that they have at their disposal, at least, CAD $10,000 as year’s living expenses besides the tuition fee. This amount supposedly covers all expenses a student may encounter for 12 months including accommodation rent, food and groceries, medical insurance, transport, books and stationery, clothing, entertainment, and other such things. In this section, we’ll discuss the costs a typical international student should expect when they start residing in Canada.

It’s a common practice for most international students to live in university managed accommodation for the first year of their stay in Canada. Depending on your university and the city you end up residing in, the on-campus residence should cost between CAD $3000 to $7500 for the year.

Afterwards, students typically share a house or a flat with others in order to split costs. The cost of off-campus accommodation does not vary wildly from their on-campus counterparts, therefore, students are expected to have a budget in mind of CAD $250 – $700 per month.

Another accommodation option for international students is being part of a homestay, which is basically living with a host family in Canada. The appeal of a homestay lies in that you’ll be partaking in activities with your host, brushing up on your English language skills as well as getting to know about the culture more intimately. To be part of a homestay, there is an initial placement fee of CAD $200 after which there is a fee of CAD $400 – $800 per month.

All in all, tuition fees and accommodation rent are the major expenses, but we have compiled an approximate breakdown of expected monthly and yearly costs in the following table:





Tuition $8,000
Student Fees $400
Health Insurance $70 $840
Textbooks $600
On-campus Rent $600 $7,200
Mobile phone (basic package) $30 $360
Public Transit Pass $40 $480
Groceries/Food $300 $3,600
Entertainment/Clothes/Gifts $80 $960
Car: Insurance $1,500
Car: Fuel $200 $2,400
Total Expenses $1,320 $26,340