Compared to many countries, studying in Canada is very affordable. You will likely need between C$20,000 and C$30,000 annually to cover tuition and living expenses. However, this cost range is an average only and will vary according to the institution and program in which you are enrolled, your location and your living expenses.
Tuition fees for international students vary across provinces and programs. The table below shows the weighted average tuition fees (in Canadian dollars) for full-time foreign students, by field of study.
2018–2019 International Tuition Fees by Field of Study *
|Field of study grouping||Undergraduate||Graduate|
|Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies||$22,950||$14,144|
|Social and behavioural sciences||$24,808||$14,304|
|Law, legal professions and studies||$29,756||$15,941|
|Business management and public administration||$26,395||$22,442|
|Executive MBA||Not available||$56,282|
|Regular MBA||Not available||$37,697|
|Physical and life sciences and technologies||$29,067||$14,664|
|Mathematics, computer and information sciences||$30,187||$15,553|
|Agriculture, natural resources and conservation||$24,101||$14,016|
|Other health, parks, recreation and fitness||$23,192||$16,590|
|Personal, protective and transportation services||$20,453||$13,948|
*weighted average tuition fees by field of study (in Canadian dollars)
Source: Statistics Canada
Do remember that the costs associated with attending university go beyond tuition fees. You must also budget for items such as books, living expenses and housing.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada mandates that you prove you have enough money to meet your financial needs while studying in Canada before you start. So it’s important to begin sorting out your finances – and looking into the possibility of obtaining a scholarship to help fund your education – early on.
Most universities offer on-campus residences for students, some of them specifically for scholars from abroad. But acceptance at a Canadian school does not automatically mean you can get a room in residence. Students must apply separately for on-campus housing, and its cost varies across institutions and will depend on whether or not you want a private room or a meal plan, for example.
Some international students choose to live off-campus in an apartment. Rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment in Canada averages $1,025 per month*, but varies depending on the city or neighbourhood and the type of accommodation. As a renter, you may also need to pay additional monthly costs for utilities such as electricity, home phone, Internet and cable television, as well as personal expenses and renters’ insurance. Some students share apartments or entire houses in order to reduce their housing costs, or they rent rooms in private houses, sometimes also paying for use of the kitchen.
Most universities can provide assistance with finding housing, both on and off campus, and answer questions through their housing office or student services.
*Source: CMHC (Fall 2018)
Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk or bike to campus. Many students, particularly those in larger cities, choose public transportation: buses, subways, commuter trains or ferries. One-way public transit fares typically cost a few dollars, and monthly passes range from about $80 to $150, although many transit providers offer student discounts.
All international students in Canada must have health insurance, and the medical coverage that’s available varies from province to province. Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan cover international students under their provincial health care plans, but coverage generally depends on the length of your stay.
However, international students planning to study in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island or Quebec must arrange for private health insurance.
You can find out more details about health coverage through the university websites and those of the provincial ministries of health.
Lump sum Estimate :
Total cost of tuition:
Tuition can vary but it is generally around $25000/year.
Cost of staying:
- On Campus: If you are staying on campus, the cost can be around $800/month
- off campus: The cost of staying off campus can be a bit cheaper. It is generally around $500/month
Cost of food:
- On Campus: The cost of food on campus is generally around $700/month
- Off Campus: The cost can be around $200/month
The total cost of staying on campus can be generally around $1500/month and the total cost of staying off campus is generally around $800/month.
Please do not think that every international student pays this much money to study in Canada. There are many ways which can help you reduce the cost.
If your profile is good, then chances of getting scholarship is high. There are many universities that offer scholarships to students. There are different types of scholarships as well:
- University Scholarships: University Scholarships have two types:
i. Entrance scholarships: Most universities have entrance scholarships for which you will be considered as soon as you apply to the university. If your profile will be good enough, they will offer you the scholarship.
ii. Application based scholarships: Now, many universities have application based scholarships as well. You will have to fill up a separate application to get the scholarship. These scholarships can be very specific like scholarships for girls who are studying computer science.
2. External scholarships: There are many external scholarships as well provided by external organisation to students studying abroad. Like Microsoft provides scholarships to international student studying computer science in USA or Canada.
Now, it is possible that you can get multiple scholarship if your profile is exceptional. If so, then those multiple scholarships can add up together and cover the cost of your studies completely.
Suggestion: Apply for as many scholarships as you can. This increase the chance of getting the scholarship. That’s what I did.
Alternative: Now it is possible that you may feel that your profile is not exceptional and you will not get scholarships. No need to feel low. There is other way. Apply to affordable universities.
There are number of affordable universities in Canada and their tuition is not very high even for international students. Some cheap universities in Canada are: Brandon university, memorial university, Canadian Mennonite university, South Alberta institute of technology, Kings university college, Concordia university of Edmunton. You can apply in one of them.
Studying in one of these affordable universities can cost you around $1800/month including tuition + food + staying