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Canada: Student Finances - Must read

Student living costs in Canada

Read our guide to the cost of living in Canada for international students...

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While Canada lies among the most expensive countries in the world, if you were to compare the day-to-day living costs to cities like London and New York, Canada would still come out on top. Take a look at our breakdown of what you can expect to pay if you live in Canada:



It’s common for most students to live on-campus in their first year; these are referred to as your halls of residence. You will usually share a dormitory (or ‘dorm’) with another roommate, sharing facilities like a kitchen, social area and laundry room with other students. It’s suggested that you budget between CAD 3000-7500 per year for on-campus accommodation in Canada, although this will depend on which region you choose.


After first year of university, students will usually share a house or apartment with their peers to split the cost. Here you’ll rent a room and share a kitchen, bathroom and social area. Rent prices will vary from city to city with larger areas like Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver being most expensive (though considerably less expensive than the likes of New York City or London, on average). It’s suggested you budget CAD 750-2200 per month for renting off-campus accommodation.


There is also the option to live as part of a homestay where you stay with a host family in Canada. On top of an initial placement fee of CAD 200, students can expect to pay a monthly fee of CAD 750 - 950 per month in return for meals and a room. However, you’ll also be participating in activities with the host, improving your English and learning about the culture, all of which are valuable experiences.


Need advice about how to survive on a student budget?



In Toronto, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is a dual bus and subway network which spans the whole city. In Montreal, the STM (Société de transport de Montréal) is a 4-line subway network which covers the city fairly comfortably.


Phone contract

Bell is one of the biggest internet providers in Canada. Their packages range from CAD 50-115 per month.


You can find a phone plan at Informr according to your preferences. The average cost is around CAD 20 per month.


Health insurance

All international students are required to have health insurance but coverage will vary depending on the province you’re studying in. If you choose to move to either Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador or Saskatchewan, you will be covered under their provincial health plans depending on the length of your stay. However, in other provinces, you will have to arrange private health insurance.




Check out our infographic for more infromation about living costs in Canada:



Read more:

Tuition fees in Canada’

'Three scholarships to start you off in Canada'