How much is the cost of studying in Canada for international students?

Cost of Studying in Canada

Canada is one of the sought-after higher education destinations offering undergraduate, post-graduate, and doctoral courses to students worldwide. The country offers courses through both exclusive private and famous public colleges. While a public college is subsidized by the Government, the private colleges of Canada do not offer that advantage to the students. However, these esteemed educational institutions entail less expense than colleges and universities from many other countries. And that is why students from across the world looking to study abroad are tempted to choose Canada to complete their studies. 

There are more than 6,50,000 international students pursuing their education for Bachelors, Masters, Diploma, and Certificate courses in Canada. The idea of opting for overseas education in Canada has now become one of the most preferred decisions for students globally owing to the affordability of the cost of studying in Canada. The foremost reason for it is definitely Canada’s advanced education system, high-ranking institutions, and an extremely safe and secured environment to thrive in. Along with these essential reasons, students head towards Canada because of its pocket-friendly tuition fee structure for all the educational programs. 

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Cost of studying in Canada

Students eager to know the cost of studying in Canada should understand that private universities in Canada decide their fees. It depends on factors like the study program they are opting for, if they are studying at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, and if they require on-campus accommodation.

Apart from the academic costs, there are several other factors like transportation, basic utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage), taxes, and insurance that affect the overall cost of studying in Canada. Considering all these, it can be said that Indian students in Canada have to spend around Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 19 lakh annually.

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Why to study in Canada?

Canada is recognized as one of the most exceptional countries in the world to pursue higher education due to many reasons. Their education system is said to be one of the most remarkable ones in the world. Below are the other major reasons why students should pursue higher education in Canada:

1. Affordable fees 

If compared to other countries and even prominent universities of the USA, the tuition fees of Canadian universities are quite affordable. 

2. Best reputation 

Canada has an excellent reputation of providing world-class education to students globally. That is why when a learner pursues education from the country, the value of the degree is comparatively more and provides better career opportunities to the student worldwide. 

3. Comfortable and quality living

When a student visits Canada to continue higher education, the individual not only gets the latest and upgraded version of education in the most renowned universities of the world, but they also get the benefit of a comfortable lifestyle and ease of living.

4. Career opportunities

The students pursuing education from Canada not only get access to world-class education, but they even are exposed to better career opportunities. The prospects may be in other nations, or they can even settle in Canada for that matter.

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Tuition fees in Canada 

The expenditure of a student on the tuition fee totally depends on the type of qualification and institution they opt for. In order to cover this, they will require approximately between CAD 13,000 to CAD 35,000 annually.  The courses in humanities, education, and arts are less expensive, while the subjects like medicine and engineering tend to be more expensive. If they require to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fee is comparatively higher, and the cost differs depending on the program they select. Just like the other countries, even the MBA programs of Canada are the most expensive ones among the academic programs offered.  That is why the average cost for students aspiring for these programs range between CAD 30,000 to CAD 42,000. Here’s a brief idea about the cost of education in Canada as per the study programs: 

  1. Undergraduate program — around CAD 5,500 to CAD 30,000 
  2. Postgraduate and MBA programs — around CAD 18,000 to CAD 57,000 
  3. PhD — CAD 7,000 to CAD 15,000

If the students can’t afford this amount for the courses or educational programs, they even have an option to seek scholarships from the institutions. Various private and public universities of Canada provide exclusive scholarship plans for both their native and international students seeking admission there. While the students get lesser chances of such financial aid from private universities, the public universities are more generous with their scholarship plans for the aspirants. Some of these scholarships that the students can apply for are:

  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  2. Go Clean Scholarship
  3. Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship
  4. Humber College International Entrance Scholarship
  5. Waterloo Merit Scholarship
  6. Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  7. Science and Law School Scholarship
  8. University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships
  9. Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  10. UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award

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Private universities 

The private universities of Canada allow the students to finance a portion of their payment corresponding to the final total registration amount. The English proficiency requirement by the private institutions is an IELTS score of around 5.5 or 5.6. Apart from these, the private universities are divided as per the provisional departments. There are restricted numbers of private colleges in selected provinces such as Manitoba, Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia et al. These colleges don’t get any monetary aid from the central (federal) or the provincial governments and rely entirely on the tuition fees for functioning. Some of the private colleges and the Canada universities’ fees for international students are given below:

  1. The King’s University— CAD 8,348 (annually)
  2. St. Mary’s University — CAD 14,545 – CAD 47,895 (full course)
  3. Trinity Western University — CAD 520 – CAD 824 (per credit)
  4. Fairleigh Dickinson University — CAD 32,000 (annually)
  5. Canadian Mennonite University — CAD 10,915 (annually)
  6. University of Fredericton — CAD 29,124  — CAD 41,263 (full course)
  7. Yorkville University — CAD 4,400 — CAD 6,390 (full course)
  8. University Canada West — CAD 7,020 — CAD 69,600 (full course)
  9. Columbia College —  CAD 1,650 — CAD 33,000 (full course)

Public universities 

Although there are acclaimed private colleges in Canada, the numbers of revered public universities are more. Academically, there is not much difference between the private and public colleges in Canada. But the public colleges in Canada ask for a lower tuition fee for the citizens of the country (compared to the international students). But again, these universities in Canada offer more financial aid options to these students — and that is why they are most recommended for the international students turning to this country to pursue higher education. These institutions ask for an IELTS score of 6-6.5. Some of the top-most universities of Canada and an approximation of their fees structure are listed below:

  1. University of Montreal — $13,048 — -$16,990
  2. Mc. Gill University — $16,815 — $45,623
  3. Mc. Master University — $16,762 — $27,978
  4. University of British Columbia — $8,605 — $36,588 
  5. University of Toronto — $6,990 — $49,880
  6. Brandon University  — $7,203 
  7. Memorial University Newfoundland — $2,150 — $11,460 
  8. University of Regina —$1,715 — $20,050 
  9. York University — $10,00 —-$ 63,600
  10. University of Winnipeg — $ 2,800 — $13,400 

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Course wise cost of education in Canada 

The approximate cost the students bear while studying in Canada depends on the courses they decide to pursue in the country. While some of these such as bachelor’s degree and diploma courses are inexpensive ones, courses like medical or business courses are substantially more expensive. Still, for a brief idea, refer to the chart below:

  1. Vocational or Diploma Courses — CAD 2,000  to  CAD 19,000 per year  that is around 1,09,000 INR to Rs 10,29,000 INR 
  2. Bachelors Course —  CAD 1,800 to CAD 20,000 per year which is near 97,000 INR to INR  10,82,00
  3. Masters Courses — CAD 2,000 to CAD 18,000 per year means 1,09,000 INR to  9,80,000 INR
  4. MBA —  30,000 CAD to 40,000 CAD annually that is around  17,05,000 INR – 22,73,000 INR 
  5. Ph. D — CAD 2,000 — CAD 17,000 which means 1,09,000 INR – 9,20,000 INR 

Average cost of living in Canada 

Living costs in Canada are already above average as compared to other countries. The reason for this remains the high quality of life guaranteed here. The students would need between 800 – 1,500 CAD a month for provinces like Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa. But if the students are studying in the provinces like Vancouver and Calgary, these being the most expensive cities in Canada, the living costs can reach even 2,000 CAD a month.

1. Accommodation 

The students also have numerous housing options to select from in Canada but the prices can be really high. The prominent housing options for students in Canada are:

a) Student residences —  250 – 625 CAD for a month

b) University-arranged home-stays — 400 – 800 CAD a month

c) Rent & share an apartment — 300 – 700 CAD a month, prices for rent also depend on the location and facilities available. If the student prefers to rent a studio or one-room apartment, they have to pay over 1,000 CAD for a month.

d) There are also some other costs associated with accommodation when the students rent an apartment or studio, the costs and facilities for these are:

  • Basic utilities  like electricity, water, heating, garbage — 150 CAD a month
  • Internet — 50-70 CAD a month
  • Food costs

The students don’t have to spend much on food bills. Just around 300 CAD a month is enough for shopping from the local supermarkets for groceries and essentials. There are affordable and famous supermarkets which you can find all over Canada like the Canadian Superstore, Walmart, No Frills, etc. But if the students prefer to eat at a restaurant, they will spend around 10 – 25 CAD per meal. It is because a three-course meal for two in an average restaurant in Canada costs around 50 – 65 CAD.

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2. Transportation costs

All the students who are enrolled in a Canadian university, aged between 18 and 25, benefit a lot from the discounts on public transport provided by the government. They can avail these privileges when purchasing a monthly transport pass:

a) The transport pass — 90 CAD a month

b) One-way ticket — 3 CAD.

c) Apart from these, if the students prefer taxis, the fares can be between 2 and 6 CAD/km.

3. Insurance costs

Health insurance is compulsory for international students studying in Canadian universities and colleges. The cost of the insurance for international students varies across locations and insurance providers. The average annual premium for health insurance for international students in Canada ranges from CAD 600 to CAD 900.

4. Taxes on part-time jobs

While international students can earn from part-time jobs in Canada, the income is taxable. The average tax rate ranges from around 10% to over 15% and it varies from province to province. For example, with an earning of CAD 17.25 per hour or CAD 21,562.50 per year, and an average tax rate of 12.65 % in Ontario, the after-tax income would be at CAD 18,833. This amounts to an annual deduction of CAD 2,729.

Students permit and Visa 

Students need a special student permit to study in Canada. The cost for this is around 150 CAD and they should apply for this permit before they travel to Canada. Some of the documents that the students need to provide during the application process are:

a) Acceptance letter provided by the university

b) A valid passport and a  travel document

c) Documents proving the procedure of financial support in Canada


For any student, studying in a college in Canada is a crucial decision, as it significantly changes their lifestyle and even the future. They get exclusive and world-class education with lots of privileges in the safest and the most wonderful environment. Therefore, being rightly informed will help them choose the right institution, course, and even further educational programs and career paths. But the students should remember to set proper goals and objectives so that they can achieve their best in Canada. This will help them define the path they should follow to benefit the most from the opportunities that this country offers them. 

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Cost of studying in Canada – FAQs

Q1. Which is the best city to study in Canada?

A: Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal are considered the best cities for studying in Canada.

Q2. Which are the cheapest Universities of Canada?

A: The list of the cheapest universities in Canada includes the University of Manitoba, McGill University, University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, and Memorial University.

Q3. Are there any free universities in Canada?

A: So far there aren’t any universities providing free education in Canada, but the students can avail certain scholarships available for the international students in this country.

Q4. Are there part time jobs available in Canada for students?

A: If the students require working part time along with studying in Canada, they must get a special permission from the university they are enrolled in and then pursue the job.

Q5. Which source is best to help the Indian students pursue higher education in Canada?

A: There are several higher education providers in India to help students prepare and pursue higher education in countries like Canada, but upGrad abroad is the best source that provides ease of assistance to the students and helps them in their exams like IELTS and even secure better opportunities to enroll in the great universities of countries like Canada.

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