Tuition Fees & Cost of living in Canada

Although Canadian student visa requirements say you must have at least CA$10,000 (~US$8,100) (or CA$11,000/~US$8,900 if studying in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees, you’ll likely need to budget much more than this for your living expenses. Your living costs will vary considerably depending on your location and spending habits, with large cities generally more expensive to live in.

The University of Montréal estimates students will need a total of CA$15,050 per year including housing, food, accommodation, books and course supplies, phone costs and miscellaneous expenses. Similarly, the University of British Columbia, located in Vancouver, estimates living costs of CA$15,500 per year, not including mandatory health insurance, which is CA$864 per year under the BC Health Plan. (Vancouver has been named the most expensive Canadian city to live in, particularly in terms of rent.) It’s also a good idea to budget for extra costs, such as warm winter clothing if you don’t already have any.

The three main types of student accommodation (home stay, university accommodation and private accommodation) vary considerably in costs, with students paying around CA$6,000 (~US$4,850) for accommodation each year. Private shared accommodation can cost up to CA$8,400 per year. University accommodation is often cheaper, with some universities offering meal plans to allow you to purchase food from the university’s food outlets.

Here are some examples of average living costs in Canada:

• Eating out at a restaurant: CA$15 per person (~US$12)
• One-way ticket on local public transport: CA$3.10 (~US$2.50)
• Loaf of bread: CA$2.76 (~US$2.20)
• Cinema ticket: CA$12.99 (~US$10.50)
• Monthly gym fee: CA$48.42 (~US$40)

You should also remember to purchase compulsory health insurance while studying in Canada. This will cost approximately CA$600 (~US$485) per year.