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Student Life in Canada – Cost, Culture, Work & More

Updated on 18 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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Wondering what student life in Canada is like? From bustling cities to serene nature, Canada offers a vibrant backdrop for your educational odyssey. It is a very welcoming country for international students, who have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make lifelong friends. Let's look into the various aspects that impact student life and what students can expect. 

Read More: What is the Student Direct Stream in Canada?

Cultures in Canada

Various cultures in vibrant cities enhance student life in Canada. One of the significant benefits that Canada will bring to you is exposure to multiculturalism. Because of the diverse cultures of Canada's immigrant population, it has incorporated multiculturalism and celebrates Canadian Multiculturalism Day on 27 June. 

History of Canada shows that Canada's lifestyle and culture throughout has been highly influenced by European traditions, typically by the British and French, as well as its indigenous cultures. Canada comprises three distinct groups of indigenous people: First Nation, Inuit, and Metis. These three groups are divided in Canada among the three territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon) and 10 provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador). These groups belong to more than 50 nations and speak more than 50 indigenous languages. 

Therefore, Canadian culture has a blend of British, French, American, and several other influences. The impact of British and American influences is deeply ingrained in the daily life of English-speaking regions of Canada. At the same time, Quebec's French culture stands out prominently and is evident in its unique architecture, music, and cuisine. The indigenous culture reflects in popular First Nations art, including basket making, bone sculptures, carving, and stone sculptures.

Languages Spoken in Canada

Canada follows bilingualism and has two official languages – English and French. Since Canada has 1.4 million native people, it has more than 50 indigenous languages. Also, the country has more than 8.3 million foreign people as of 2021 who speak various languages like Punjabi, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Tamil, Russian, Bengali, Korean, Persian, Vietnamese, Gujarati, Telugu, Malayalam, Greek, Japanese, Romanian, Turkish, Hungarian, Hebrew, and Dutch. Who knows you might just pick up one or more of these languages. 

Food and Cuisine in Canada

Canada lifestyle and culture highly impact the food and cuisine in the country. Canadian cuisine offers a delightful fusion of flavors reflecting its multicultural heritage, regional ingredients, and indigenous traditions. If you are a meat-lover, you will definitely love French-Canadian food, Poutine. This iconic dish of crispy fries topped with cheese curds and dipped in savory gravy has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and tourists. 

Another such delight is Peameal Bacon, commonly known as Canadian Bacon, which is a lean pork loin rolled and brined in cornmeal. Butter tart, maple syrup, split pea soup, and beaver trails are a few more enticing specialties of the country.

Indian students in Canada will find many restaurants that serve authentic Indian food. Whether you are a fan of dal, rajma, chole, rice, dal makhani, kulcha, naan, butter chicken, paneer or dosa, sambhar, and idli, you can easily find it all even in this foreign nation. 

Cost of Living in Canada for Students

Student life in Canada for Indian students significantly varies based on the location where you want to put up. For this reason, living cost plays a crucial role in your selection of a city in Canada. As your living cost varies depending on the different cities, you must make a budget plan before leaving for your studies. Toronto is the most expensive city and will cost you the most in Canada. The most expensive city list in Canada is further followed by Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary. How much you will have to spend on living costs in Canada is certainly one of the major factors that you will look into. Here is how much Indian students in Canada can expect to shell out - 

CategoryEstimated Cost (per month)
Housing and Accommodation (on-campus or off-campus apartment, duplex, private room, den)CAD 500 to CAD 2,000
Food and GroceriesCAD 240 to CAD 480
Utilities and Cable (Electricity, gas, water, security, and so on)More than CAD 100
InternetCAD 50 to CAD 100
Phone BillMore than CAD 60
Health InsuranceCAD 75 to CAD 120
EntertainmentMore than CAD 120 
Transportation PassCAD 80 to CAD 156

Most Canadian universities offer public transit pass to their students, which is mostly included in the tuition fees. It provides you access to commute by bus, car, cruise ship, boat, sea bus, and subways or metro trains. It lowers the traveling cost significantly.  

Climate in Canada

Canada experiences diverse climatic conditions. The British Columbia coast has heavy perspiration and maintains relatively moderate summer and winter temperatures throughout the year. Whereas the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), located in the central-western region of the country, endure more climatic variations, characterized by cold winters and hot summers. Southern Ontario and Quebec experience hot and humid summers, while winters are cold and snowy. The coast of Newfoundland and Labrador has cool air with frequent fog. 

Typically, most parts of Canada maintain an average temperature that is below freezing and remains covered with snow throughout. So get ready to enjoy some freezing temperatures and pack your bags accordingly. 

Read More: Guide on Provincial Nominee Program Canada

Work and Study in Canada

Canada is admired by international students for its world-class education facilities, thriving job opportunities, varied specializations, and promising research opportunities. Canada has some of the top-ranked 100 universities and colleges worldwide, like the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, McGill University, and McMaster University. These universities hold a global rank and offer prestigious and valuable degrees to international students. Canada offers various degrees and specializations for students from various backgrounds. Some of the most popular courses in Canada are medicine, nursing, business administration, management, finance, information technology, engineering, bachelor’s degrees, design, law, and architecture. 

The Post-graduation work permits and part-time job opportunities in Canada make it one of the most preferred destinations for study abroad programs. International students can enroll in part-time jobs for 20 hours a week, and full-time on the weekends and vacations. 

Part-time jobs are an excellent way to gain some work experience, make new friends, learn new skills, and have a well-rounded stay in Canada. 

Know More:

Top Universities in Canada for MSMasters in Pharmacy in CanadaEducation System in Canada
Summer Intake in CanadaMasters in Economics in CanadaMS in MIS in Canada
Spring Intake in CanadaBest Universities in CanadaMBA in Marketing in Canada
Winter Intake in CanadaConstruction Management in CanadaMS in Computer Science in Canada
MS in Mechanical Engineering in CanadaStudent Visa for CanadaReasons to study at Yorkville University

Check Eligibility to Study in Canada

Leisure Activities in Canada

Canada, a land of breathtaking landscapes and diverse cultures, offers ample leisure and recreational activities that cater to everyone's interests and preferences. This vast country provides a wealth of opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and exploration. 

Outdoor Activities

Some of the most popular outdoor adventures that Canada has to offer are hiking, backpacking, golfing, horse riding, bicycling, bowling, skating, and camping. In the winter, Canada transforms into a winter wonderland, offering world-class skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, and dog sledding experiences.

Canada also promotes eco-tourism, focusing on sustainable and responsible travel practices. From eco-lodges in pristine forests to wildlife conservation tours with a guide, eco-tourism allows you to explore and appreciate nature while minimizing its environmental impact.

Recommended Read: Study in Canada

Water Sports and Activities

A vast coastline and numerous lakes make Canada a solace for everyone. Water sports enthusiasts get to experience many water adventures. Whether its the crystal-clear waterbodies of British Columbia, the tranquil rivers of Ontario, or the waves in Nova Scotia, Canada offers River Rafting, Tubing, Adrenaline Tours, Waterskiing, Jetskiing, Scuba, Snorkelling, Kayaking, Canoeing, Surfing, Boat Tours, and Sightseeing.

Fishing, sailing, and whale watching are also popular water activities for those seeking a maritime adventure.

Encountering Wildlife

Canada is home to a wide array of wildlife, making it a paradise for animal lovers. From Grizzly Bears in British Columbia to Polar Bears in Manitoba, spotting these majestic creatures in their natural habitats leaves you with an unforgettable experience. Wildlife safaris, birdwatching, and marine mammal tours are other such activities that will allow you to come closer to Canada's incredible fauna.

Winter Festivals

Canada embraces its long, snowy winters with various captivating winter festivals. The Quebec Winter Carnival, the Calgary Stampede, and the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa are just a few examples. These festivals feature ice sculptures, snowboarding competitions, dog sledding races, live music, and traditional winter activities, making them a delightful celebration of the Canadian winters.

Overall, Canada can provide an enriching student life for those open to embrace these opportunities. Additionally, you will have a strong community to gel with give the diversity of the Canadian society.  

Important Resources to Read About Canada:

Why Study in Canada?Cost of living in CanadaAverage Salary in Canada Per Month
Part-time jobs in CanadaCost of Studying in CanadaHow to Settle in Canada from India?
Requirements for Studying in CanadaHow to Study free in Canada?Student Accommodation in Canada
SOP for CanadaBest City in Canada for International Students

More Resources About Canada:

MBA Cost in CanadaData Scientist Salary in CanadaStudy in Canada after 12th
BBA in Canada after 12thEligibility for MBA in CanadaSalary after MBA in Canada
Average Salary after MS in CanadaJobs after MS in CanadaAverage Salary in Canada after MS in Computer Science

Also Read:

Canada Post Graduation Work Permit Eligibility

Canada Visa Interview Questions

NOC Code in Canada

Educational Credential Assessment in Canada

Interested to Study In Canada? Apply for Free Counselling

Frequently Asked Questions

How is student life in Canada?

Student life in Canada is very accommodating and simple, thanks to the diversity of the country’s culture and the relative affordability of residing there. Students do not face many language hurdles and can easily find people from their diaspora. The various initiatives taken by the government for international students and the world-class education system makes Canada one of the best countries for international students.


How long can a student live in Canada?

After graduation from a Canadian institution, a student can stay up to 3 years in the country if they apply for and get a post-graduation work permit or PGWP.


How much does it cost to live in Canada as a student?

The biggest chunk of expense for a student is the course fee. Apart from it, the expenses that you will have to bear in Canada during your studies will differ from place to place. These expenses will include accommodation, food, groceries, traveling, shopping, bills, internet, and other miscellaneous expenses. The cost will range around CAD 1,225 to CAD 3,136 per month.


How much can a student earn in Canada?

In Canada, international students have the authorization to work for no more than 20 hours per week during their coursework and for up to 40 hours during vacations. Canada’s average pay per hour for international students is CAD 8-10.


Why do Indian students go to Canada?

So many Indian students go to Canada because of the high quality of Indian student life in Canada, the country’s academic brilliance, high employability rate, and affordability.


Which intake is best in Canada for Indian students?

The fall intake starting in September is the primary intake for most Canadian universities and is the most preferred amongst Indian students. The fall intake offers the maximum number of programs and scholarship opportunities.


How to be an exchange student in Canada?

To be an exchange student in Canada, you must identify the university in your host country that offers a program with a student exchange program in Canada. Enrolling in such programs will allow you to study in Canada for a few weeks or months. Please ensure you meet the college or university requirements to become eligible for such student exchange programs in Canada.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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