Guide to Cost of Studying in Canada for International Students

Cost of Studying in Canada

Canada is one of the most sought-after higher education destinations offering undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses to students worldwide. The country offers courses through both private and public colleges. While a public college is subsidized by the Canadian government, private colleges do not have that advantage. However, these esteemed educational institutions cost less than colleges and universities in many other countries. Hence, students from across the world looking to study abroad are tempted to choose Canada to pursue various courses.

There are more than 6,50,000 international students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, diploma, and certificate courses in Canada. Overseas education in Canada has now become one of the most preferred choices for international students due to  its affordability. The foremost reason for it is Canada’s advanced education system, high-ranking institutions, and an extremely safe & secure environment. Along with these, students also head towards Canada because of its pocket-friendly tuition fee structure for all the educational programs.

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.

Tuition fees in Canada

The amount of tuition fees generally depends on factors like the course program, the institution, type of student (international/domestic), level (graduate/undergraduate/Ph.D.), etc. To cover this, students require between CAD 13,000 to CAD 35,000 annually. The courses in humanities, education, and arts are less expensive, while subjects like medicine and engineering tend to be costly. The tuition fee at the postgraduate level is comparatively higher and the cost differs depending on the program. Like most other countries the MBA programs of Canada are the most expensive of all academic programs. Hence, the average cost for students aspiring for these programs ranges between CAD 30,000 to CAD 42,000. 

Here’s a brief idea about the cost of education in Canada as per the study program:

  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 

Private universities

The private universities of Canada allow 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, 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, etc. 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. Given below are the fees for some of the private colleges and the universities for international students:

  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 public universities are more. There is not much difference in the academic standards of private and public colleges in Canada. But public universities offer more financial aid options to students. Hence, they are recommended for 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 their  approximate fees are listed below:

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

Course wise cost of education in Canada

The approximate cost of studying in Canada depends on the courses they decide to pursue in the country. While some of these, such as bachelor’s and diploma courses are inexpensive, medical and business courses are quite costly. For a brief idea, refer to the list below:

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

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 for students studying in expensive provinces like Vancouver and Calgary, the living costs can reach even 2,000 CAD a month.

1. Accommodation

Students 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 a month

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

c) Rent & share an apartment — 300 – 700 CAD a month, rent also depends 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 per 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.

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 of 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 costs

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like