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Cost of Living in Canada for Indian Students in 2024

Updated on 27 January, 2024

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Canada is one of the world’s most popular destinations for international students. The country offers diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth. For those keen to study in Canada, the good news is that living expenses in Canada for international students are generally cheaper than in other Anglophone destinations (the UK, Australia, and USA).

Moreover, studying in Canada is considered a rewarding investment for the future of the students as they will get access to premier education in tandem with a globally recognized degree. It would be a prudent choice to plan and reckon their expenses before going to Canada. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) needs evidence that candidates have sufficient funds to study and live in the country. Canadian universities provide a cost of living estimate to the incoming students. Moreover, to live a comfortable life in Canada, students should have CAD 20,635 in addition to the first year tuition and airfare, as stated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

 

Canadian Education System 

The Canadian education system is administered by provinces and is divided into four levels: pre-elementary, elementary or primary, secondary, and post-secondary. In Canada, colleges primarily offer certificates, diplomas, and vocational training programs, whereas universities offer degree programs such as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

 

With its unique culture, scenic beauty, extraordinary wildlife, excellent medical and healthcare facilities, best colleges and universities, Canada is rightfully the best country in the world for living. No wonder so many people choose to migrate to Canada every single year. Everything about Canada is perfect and promising. This country is worth all the praise associated with it. 

Important Link: Cost of Living for Studying Abroad

Average Living Expenses for International Students in Canada 

Students need to set aside money for other day-to-day and unavoidable expenses and should be prepared for recurring expenses such as housing and accommodations, food and groceries, travel health insurance, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. Moreover, the best way to manage the cost of living in Canada for international students and other expenses, they should apply for an International Student Identification Card, on reaching Canada for additional benefits.

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The Canada hosts the largest number of international students from across the world. Over the past few years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad. Reasons such as best-ranked institutions, excellent support facilities, flexible academic environment, and cultural diversity contribute to making it the most preferred destination amongst students planning to study abroad.

Monthly Cost of Living in Canada for Students

Expenses Cost (CAD)
Accommodation (shared apartments)$400 – $800
Travel$80 – $110
Food$300- $400
Entertainment$150
Health Insurance (BC MSP Program)$74
Utilities (Electricity, cooling, water, heating, garbage)$164.64 
Utilities (Internet – 60 Mbps or more)$78.82 

Cost of Accommodation for International Students

Student living expenses are usually based on their lifestyle. Moreover, if they decide to live on-campus or off-campus, the accommodation cost would vary. The on-campus facility will be offered to them depending on the university they decide to apply to. It is advisable to apply separately for on-campus accommodation. 

Moreover, the cost for on-campus accommodation may range anywhere from CAD 8,000 to CAD 10,000 (annually). However, a shared condo would cost the student around CAD 400 to CAD 700 (monthly). It depends on their location and the time of the year they are renting it. 

Moreover, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation published housing research and market report, states that the average two-bedroom rent in Canada is CAD 1,167/month. The rent may vary based on the city. 

Type of AccommodationAverage Cost (CAD)
On-campus $8,000 to $10,000 (annually)
Shared accommodation Off-campus$400 to $700 (monthly)
1 BHK in City Center$1,332 (monthly)
1 BHK Outside of City Center$1,123 (monthly)

City-Wise Average Rentals in Canada 

City Average Two-Bedroom Rent/month
Vancouver $1,8254
Edmonton$1,270
Victoria $1,571
Calgary$1,355
Ottawa $1,550
Toronto $1,666

Source: Rental Market Report by CMH

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Cost of Living for International Students: City-Wise

Without an iota of doubt, living expenses in Canada for international students will vary based on the province the student decides to live in. 

City Average Annual Cost of Living (CAD)
Calgary$26,904
Montreal$25,000
Ottawa$20,000
Toronto$37,000
Vancouver$38,484

Travel Expenses 

Depending on where the student chooses to put up in Canada; on-campus or off-campus, their commute expense would vary. If they choose to travel by public transportation; subways or commuter trains. One-way public transit fares can cost a few dollars, and monthly passes can cost from about CAD 80 to CAD 150. 

FactorsAverage Monthly Cost 
SubwayCAD 65 – CAD 99 (Monthly Pass)
BusesCAD 100 – CAD 150 
Taxi (1km)CAD 40 – CAD 50 

Education Cost in Canada

The education cost in Canada depends on the course, university, and tuition fee. Every year, universities revise their tuition fees for both undergraduate and undergraduate international students. Students must confirm the tuition fees before applying to a university. Let us look at the average education cost of different courses in Canada:

DisciplineUG Course Average Fee (Per Year)PG Course Average Fee (Per Year)
PharmacyCA$ 32,886CA$ 10,500
MedicineCA$ 33,000Not Available
Architecture and Related TechnologiesCA$ 22,100CA$ 20,000
EngineeringCA$ 26,582CA$ 15,800
NursingCA$ 18,000CA$ 12,000
Mathematics and Computer ScienceCA$ 25,000CA$ 13,000
LawCA$ 27,056CA$ 16,549
Business ManagementCA$ 23,500CA$ 20,000

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University Tuition Fees in Canada 

Like most developed and smart countries, students in Canada enjoy free public school up to 18. The cost of education in Canada is comparatively less than that in the USA. That said, the quality of education is equally remarkable and practical, if not better. College hunting can be a tedious task, and to make sure you land the college best suited for your course, you can use upGrad Abroad. It sorts out your educational preferences for you, so you can have the best affordable college options available for you. 

The average cost of a single year for a four-year graduate program in Canada is $22,750 for students with college residence and $11,330 for students living at home.

For more expensive universities, the same fee can be as much as $135,000 and $65,000, respectively.  

Tuition costs for undergraduate courses in Canada: 

UG CourseTuition Fees
Business$56,000
Computer and IT$55,000
Engineering and technology$55,000
Social and natural sciences$53,000 to $56,000

Tuition costs for  postgraduate courses in Canada: 

PG CourseTuition Fees
Business$52,700
Computer and IT$52,500
Engineering and technology$52,500
Social and natural sciences$37,000 to $58,300

Average Tuition Fees in Popular Universities in Canada:

UniversityTuition Fees
Memorial University of Newfoundland$11,460 per year
University of Regina$20,050 per year
Athabasca University$17,250 per year
Royal Roads University$27,500 per year
Humber college$29,500 per year
Thompson River University$35,650 per year

Canadians like to ride or drive to work. In major Canadian cities, people prefer to use public transport, being aware of the effects of pollution and climate crisis. The local transport is affordable in Canada – a one-way ticket costs $3.25 while the cost of a monthly transport pass is $92. A car costs $24,000 and can go unbelievably high depending upon the model and features.  

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Health Insurance for International Students

All international students in Canada must have health insurance, and the available medical coverage varies based on the province. If they have decided to apply to New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, then their provincial health care plans would keep them covered. 

However, the coverage depends on the duration of their stay. Moreover, they should meticulously read about health insurance on the university’s official website. If they have planned to study in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, or Edward Island, then they should arrange for private health insurance. 

Taxes in Canada

Once students start studying in Canada and decide to work, then they would require a Social Insurance Number (SIN). It indicates that they will be allowed to work during academic sessions and during vacations. But if they decide to work during the study period, then their income would be taxable.

Affordable Cities in Canada for International Students

To manage the living expenses in Canada for international students, they should gather in-depth information about the cities and the cost of living before shifting to Canada. 

Affordable Cities in Canada 

City Average Living Cost (per person)
London, Ontario$1,013
Regina, Saskatchewan$1,124
Calgary, Alberta$1,154
Edmonton, Alberta$1,183

Factors Affecting Cost of Living in Canada for Students

Once a student has decided to study in Canada, multiple factors affect the cost of living in Canada. Major factors that affect the cost of living in Canada for international students are as follows:

Based on educational institutions 

It is a no-brainer that the cost of living varies based on the city the university is located in. Every college living expense will depend on the university a student is planning to attend. To comprehend which university will best suit the needs of students, read ahead.
 

Big suburban areas vs. cities

The cost of living in urban centers is higher than those in the suburbs. Many students prefer on-campus housing, which might not be the lowest-cost option available always, but would be a relatively convenient option. In Canada, Vancouver and Toronto are the most expensive cities to live in, and with the scarcity of affordable housing in Toronto, costs have accelerated there and continue to skyrocket. 

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6 Tips to Save Money in Canada 


Students should comprehend that it is essential to keep in mind that savings will always get them through. Students need pragmatic planning to avoid debt. Here are a few steps that can help students to save money in Canada:  

1) Make a spending plan

Allocate the amount that they want to spend on clothing, grocery, entertainment, and so on. Restrict themselves from going beyond. Stick to the plan. When they formulate how they want to spend their money, they automatically keep in mind the factor of saving money. Prioritize saving instead of putting in crumbs that are leftover at the end of the month. This bank account will be their safe door. 

2) Apply for scholarships 

Students should ensure to apply for scholarships. Canada offers several scholarships to international students. Check the official university website for this information.

3) Students should outline their priorities

It is important to list down the necessary expenses for the month. Students should act pragmatically when handling their expenses. In a nutshell, they should cut out on stuff that they can easily manage without for a few months, but they end up buying every month.

4) Travel through public transit 

Students should consider using public transit instead of cabs or Ubers. Moreover, students should ensure to check for student discounts on public transit passes. 

5) Part-Time Jobs  

One of the best ways to manage expenses in Canada is via opting for part-time jobs. The student visa allows international students to take up different on-campus part-time jobs. After completing six months of study, they may also leverage off-campus employment permits.  

6)Students Card 

To alleviate the burden of expenses for international students, the country has the provision of offering discounts to them. International students can leverage the discounts available at bookstores, departmental stores, etc. 

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Canada vs Other Countries

International students must make a thorough comparative study before choosing a country to study in. Every destination has a different cost of accommodation, education, etc. Let us have a look at the accommodation cost of different countries for international students:

CountryAccommodation Cost
CanadaOn-campus – Rs. 4,75,007 to Rs. 5,93,759 annually
Shared Off-campus – Rs. 23,750 to Rs. 41,563 every month
UKOn campus- Rs. 41,120 – Rs. 61,681 every month
Off-campus – Rs. 61,694 – 2,05,648 every month
USAOn-campus- Rs. 7,27,559-8,24,072 annually
Shared Off-campus- Rs. 33,408 every month
UAEOn campus: Rs. 51,025 annually
Off-campus- Rs. 63,640- Rs. 1,74,850 every month
GermanyRs. 25,000 – Rs. 60,000 every month
AustraliaOn-campus- Rs. 5,488 – Rs. 13,970 every month
Off-campus- Rs. 4,500 – Rs. 21,953 every month

Conclusion

As we advance into 2024, the cost of living in Canada continues to be a significant consideration for both residents and newcomers. This diverse and vast country offers a range of living experiences, from the bustling urban landscapes of Toronto and Vancouver to the more tranquil settings of its smaller cities and rural areas. While major cities may offer more job opportunities and cultural activities, they also come with a higher price tag, particularly in terms of housing and rent. On the other hand, smaller cities and provinces like Manitoba and Nova Scotia provide more affordable living options. Prospective residents should also factor in other expenses such as healthcare, which is publicly funded but may have additional costs for certain services, transportation, utilities, and groceries. Despite these costs, Canada's high standard of living, inclusive society, and scenic beauty continue to attract people seeking a balanced and rewarding lifestyle. It's crucial for those considering a move to Canada to carefully evaluate their financial readiness and choose a location that aligns with their budget and lifestyle preferences.

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FAQs- Cost of Living in Canada

How should you manage living expenses in Canada?

Once you are done with enrolment in a Canadian institution, students can easily choose to begin their part-time job and study simultaneously. The cost of living in Canada for students can be managed by part-time jobs for both on-campus and off-campus people. They can also apply for scholarships as per their performance in their present educational institutions.

Q2. What is the cost of living in Canada?

It is an obvious fact that studying abroad costs way more than staying back in the homeland. International students need to make a comparative study of Canada’s cost of living to better understand the total expense. Let us look at the cost of living for students in Canada in comparison to different countries:

 

CountryAccommodation Expense
CanadaOn-campus cost – from Rs. 4,75,007 to Rs. 5,93,759 annually
Shared Off-campus– from Rs. 23,750 to Rs. 41,563 every month

Q3. How much money do you need to live comfortably in Canada?

Every individual has a different standard of living when it comes to comfort. Most Canadians enjoy a comfortable life at C$250,000 annually. Overall, the cost of living in Canada is comparatively high and people who are planning to shift here must keep in my mind how will they manage to finance themselves.

Q4. What are the average monthly expenses for a single person in Canada?

The living cost in Canada varies from one city to another. However, the national average living cost for one person is estimated at CAD 20,625/yearly, which makes it to roughly CAD 1,800 in a month. 

Q5. How to manage your living expenses in Canada?

When you are enrolled in a Canadian university, you have the option of doing a part-time job in addition to your studies. In Canada, part-time employment opportunities are accessible for overseas students both on and off campus. You can continue to apply for scholarships in the meantime that are most appropriate for you based on how well you perform in higher education.

Q6. How is the public transport system in Canada?

Canadian cities have a robust network of metro and bus services, which is one of their best features. Your cost of living in Canada can be decreased with the aid of the public transportation system.

Q7. Is Canada an expensive country to live in?

It is definitely not one of the most economical places in the world to live, but if you are wise with your expenses, it is manageable and affordable.

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Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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