The True Cost of Studying in Canada


As an international student, you might be surprised to learn that there are many costs you must cover before your classes even begin. These expenses will depend on where you choose to study in Canada, and can quickly add up to thousands of dollars over the course of your program of study. To help you plan ahead and save money, here’s what you can expect to pay before, during, and after your time as an international student in Canada: […] [1] (List all expenses)

Tuition Costs

University tuition costs vary across provinces, with international students facing higher rates. For example, tuition fees at Carleton University in Ottawa and McGill University in Montreal exceed $6,000 per year. At Simon Fraser University and Université Laval in Quebec City, first-year international students pay more than $6,500 annually. While tuition costs are generally lower outside of major cities such as Toronto or Vancouver—the University of Winnipeg charges just under $5,000 per year—some programs charge non-Canadian students nearly triple what Canadian students pay. For example, education programs at Memorial University of Newfoundland cost nearly $12,000 for an undergraduate degree alone. Fees also apply to graduate students; a master’s program in nursing at Dalhousie University costs about $8,000 per year.

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Student Accommodation

If you live off-campus, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Accommodation options include renting an apartment or house with other students (called house sharing), living with a family as part of an exchange program, or renting your own apartment or house (which is more expensive). Housing costs vary depending on where you live and how much space you want.

Living Expenses

When you move to a foreign country for school, you’ll want to make sure that your living expenses are covered. To do so, look into stipends or assistantships (depending on your field) at your university; most schools offer some sort of financial aid to help international students adjust to their new environment. You can also take a job part-time while going to school—but you’ll need a work visa and, depending on where you live, might need additional study permits as well. If you have family in Canada, consider staying with them during your studies; many families will be happy to accommodate an international student from abroad.

University Fees

Fees for international students vary depending on whether you’re studying at a public or private university. According to StudyPortals, most English-language public universities charge between CA$7,000 and CA$30,000 for one year (or three semesters). These fees don’t include accommodation costs. Private universities are more expensive and can run anywhere from CA$30,000 to $60,000 per year. Some programs may also require you to pay an application fee of up to CA$100. If your program lasts longer than one year, additional tuition will be charged per semester. For example, if your program is two years long and there are six semesters in total, then you’ll pay tuition twice during that period—once at the beginning and once at the end. All told, yearly tuition could cost as much as CA$90,000 or more!

Insurance and Miscellaneous costs

When preparing to study abroad, be sure to take into account your insurance. In many cases, you will need international medical and evacuation coverage. Make sure you can afford these fees. It’s also a good idea to check for job opportunities once you arrive at your destination and work out how much money you might need if you aren’t working during your studies (or find part-time employment). Don’t forget about miscellaneous costs such as transportation, accommodation and entertainment too! To give you an idea of what you might expect to spend when studying abroad, here are some estimated figures:Final Thoughts on How Much it Costs to Study Abroad: The amount that it costs to study abroad depends largely on where you want to go and how long you plan on staying there. Generally speaking, North America is less expensive than Europe or Asia but more expensive than Central America or South America.

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