Study in Canada: Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Canada has increasingly become a popular study destination that attracts international students, especially in the last years. Having prestigious universities, vivid student cities and a well-organized lifestyle, Canada turned into a country with high demands and a high reputation.

Canada has over 30 universities listed among the best academic institutions worldwide according to the World University Rankings created by THE (Times Higher Education).

Keep reading to find useful information about tuition fees, living costs and scholarship opportunities for studying in “The Great White North”.

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1. University tuition fees in Canada

Tuition fees at Canadian universities are a bit high but generally lower than those from countries like the United Kingdom, the USA or Australia. University fees may vary yearly, as you will notice differences depending on the city or degree programme. Newfoundland universities, for instance, have the lowest tuition fees, while Ontario is the most expensive area.

Tuition fees for Bachelor's degrees

Tuition range: 550 – 30,000 CAD/year. Bachelors in Medicine, Engineering, and Social Science are among the most expensive study programmes.

Tuition costs for popular disciplines:

Tuition fees for Master's degrees

Tuition range: 1,075 – 65,000 CAD/year. Masters in Business, Engineering, Computer Science and Law are the most expensive.

Tuition costs for popular disciplines:

The purpose of these tuition fee ranges for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes is to help you figure out what kind of budget you need to study in Canada. You don’t have to choose the most expensive programmes because higher costs don’t always equal better education. Focus on finding the sweet spot between your budget, tuition, and what you want to get from your study programme.

There are also degrees which are very expensive, with tuition fees of 100,000 CAD/year or more. Due to their low number, we’ve decided not to include them in the tuition ranges. You can still find them on our portals: Bachelorsportal & Mastersportal.

Seaside view in Canada Most affordable universities in Canada

Check the list of Canadian universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

Even at these affordable universities you can find several study programmes that cost over 30,000 CAD/year. They are usually Master’s degrees in Business, Law, Dentistry or MBAs (Master of Business Administration). An MBA is particularly expensive, with tuition fees that go above 50,000 CAD/year.

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of tuition fees at some of the top-ranked Canadian universities:

At these top universities, some Master’s programmes in Architecture, Computer Science, and Business Administration can cost over 63,000 CAD/year.

2. Student living costs in Canada

Living costs in Canada are a bit above average, but the high quality of life is guaranteed. You would need between 800 – 1,500 CAD/month for most provinces, such as Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa.

Vancouver and Calgary are some of the most expensive cities in Canada, where living costs can reach 2,000 CAD/month.

Accommodation costs

You'll have many housing options to choose from in Canada, and an equally diverse price range.

The main housing options for students in Canada are:

  • Student residences: 250 – 625 CAD/month
  • University-arranged homestays: 400 – 800 CAD/month
  • Rent & share an apartment: 300 – 700 CAD/month, prices for rent depend on location and facilities. If you choose to rent a studio/one-room apartment, you can pay over 1,000 CAD/month.

Other costs associated with accommodation

When you rent an apartment or studio, it comes with extra costs:

  • basic utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage): 150 CAD/month
  • internet: 50-70 CAD/month

Food costs

You won’t spend too much on food bills, just around 300 CAD/month for shopping from the local supermarkets and groceries. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you can find all over Canada are Canadian Superstore, Walmart, No Frills.

If you wish to eat in a restaurant, you will have to pay around 10 - 25 CAD. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will cost 50 - 65 CAD.

Transportation costs

Students enrolled in a Canadian university, aged between 18 and 25, will benefit from discounts when purchasing the monthly transport pass.

  • The total price of a transport pass is 90 CAD/month, while a one-way ticket is worth 3 CAD.
  • Taxis are also a common way of transport all over Canada and fares are between 2 and 6 CAD/ km.

Canadian city during evening 3. Funding & student support

Here are some financial aid programmes that support international students in Canada:

Search through all funding opportunities for your studies in Canada.

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4. Student permit and visa in Canada

To study in Canada, you will need a student permit. It costs 150 EUR and you should apply for it before you travel to Canada. These are some of the documents you need to provide during the application process:

  • Acceptance letter from the university
  • Valid passport or travel document
  • Documents that show you can financially support yourself in Canada

You can learn more about the student permit on the Canada.ca website. Keep in mind that the student permit isn’t a visa and it doesn’t allow you to enter Canada. When you apply for the student permit, also check what type of visa you need and how you can get it.

Here are more details about the student visa for Canada, based on your nationality: 

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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