Your average costs of living per month are likely to be around CA$600-800 (~US$450-600) for food and other expenses, not including accommodation, which will be your largest expenditure after tuition fees. Living expenses including accommodation in Canada are likely to be approximately CA$10,000-15,000 per year (~US$7,550-11,300). Living costs are generally more expensive in the biggest cities.
If you’re under 18 (or 19 in the provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories) you must live with a host family in a homestay, which may be arranged by your university. At approximately CA$650-800 (~US$490-600) a month, this could be another fairly affordable option, particularly as your host family is likely to provide you with meals at no extra cost.
Here are some examples of average living costs in Canada:
- Eating out at a restaurant: CA$10-15 per person (~US$8-11)
- One-way ticket on local public transport: CA$3 (~US$2)
- Loaf of bread: CA$2.80 (~US$2)
- Cinema ticket: CA $12.25 (~US$9)
Student visa and application fees:
In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay. You do not need a Canadian study permit if your course or program lasts six months or less. Applying for a study permit costs CA$150 (~US$110).
You should also remember that it is compulsory to purchase health insurance while studying in Canada. This will cost approximately CA$600 (~US$450) per year.
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. 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.
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 is available varies for provinces. Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan cover international students under their provincial health care plans, such coverage generally depends on the length of your stay.