THE COST OF STUDYING IN CANADA
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 for Full-time Study *
|Field of study grouping||Undergraduate||Graduate|
|Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies||$20,571||$13,150|
|Social and behavioural sciences||$21,604||$13,557|
|Law, legal professions and studies||$27,056||$16,549|
|Business management and public administration||$23,555||$20,518|
|Physical and life sciences and technologies||$24,456||$13,730|
|Mathematics, computer and information sciences||$25,273||$13,067|
|Architecture and related technologies||$22,171||$20,123|
|Agriculture, natural resources and conservation||$20,268||$12,416|
|Other health, parks, recreation and fitness||$20,117||$16,031|
*weighted average tuition fees by field of study (in Canadian dollars)
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 can range from about $600 to $1,600 per month*, 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.
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 $110, 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.