Study in Canada: Fees, Accommodation, Expenses and Taxes


Study in Canada: Fees, Accommodation, Expenses and Taxes

Studying in Canada can be expensive, but thankfully, Canada is one country where quality education is available at tuition rates lower than many other countries.   

According to the report published by Statista Research Department, the number of study permit holders at the end of 2020 was 530,540. The idea of opting for overseas education in Canada has now become one of the most preferred decisions for students globally. 

The primary reason to choose Canada is its advanced education system, high-ranking institutions, and highly safe and secure thriving environment. Along with these essential reasons, students head towards Canada because of its pocket-friendly tuition fee structure for all the educational programs.   

But before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage, and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in Canada. This will help you plan your budget more effectively.  

Expense on Tuition Fees 

Your expenditure on tuition fees depends on the type of qualification and institution you opt for. 

Most commonly, humanities, education, and art courses are cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at a postgraduate level, the tuition fee is typically higher, and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive.  

The following table will give you an overview of tuition fees in Canada: 

Program  Average Annual Fee   
Undergraduate program CAD 13,000 to 20,000 
Postgraduate master’s degree CAD 17,000 to 25,000 
Doctoral degree CAD 7,000 to 15,000 
MBA  CAD 30,000 to 40,000 

Off- Campus & On-Campus Accommodation 

Most universities in Canada offer on-campus residence facilities to international students. You can also opt for off-campus accommodation, wherein you can share apartments with other students from India. 

Costs for on-campus accommodation may range anywhere from CAD 8,000 to CAD 10,000 (annually), whereas living in a shared apartment can cost you around CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month, depending upon your location and time of the year.  

Another option is a homestay where you stay with a host family in Canada. In this, you will have to pay a placement fee of CAD 200 and a monthly fee of CAD 750 – 950 in return for meals and a room. However, you’ll be able to participate in local activities with the host and learn about the culture closely. 

 Remember, the rentals vary from city to city. 

The following table will give you an overview of accommodation costs in Canada: 

Type of Accommodation    Price (CAD) 
Dormitories 350 CAD – 600  
Townhouses 250 CAD – 650  
Shared Apartment 400 CAD – 800   
Unfurnished Apartment Rentals 300 CAD – 500 

How to Get Canadian Study Permit? 

To study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a student visa for the duration of your stay.  

If your course or program lasts six months or less, you do not need a Canadian study permit. Applying for a study permit costs CAD 150. 

Always refer to the official website of IRCC for the latest updates and information on the visa application process and related costs. 

How to Track your Expenditure in Canada? 

1. Living expenses 

You need to save a little money for your grocery shopping, social activities, and emergencies. When living in a foreign country, it is better to keep track of your expenditures so that you do not overspend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in Canada comes out to be approx. CAD 15,000. Have a look at these common expenses: 

2. Communication expenses 

As a student from India, you’d frequently call your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget. The average cost is approx. CAD 20 per month. 

3. Books and supplies  

Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. You can manage this in your budget by opting for secondhand books, buying digital versions, or securing a library membership.  

4. Personal expenses and incidentals 

Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself. 

5. Transportation.  

Unless your institution provides a shuttle service to and for from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport. 

Public transportation in Canada is well-connected efficient, and safe. To cut down on monthly expenses, students opt for public transport. Besides, cycling or walking to your college, depending on where you live, are also good ideas. 

You can avail student discounts while using public transport by showing your student I-Card. This is a great way to cut your monthly living expenses in Canada. 

The following table will give you an overview of transportation costs in Canada: 

Type of transport    Price per month (CAD) 
Buses 100 – 150  
Subway 65 – 99   
Taxis (1 km) 40 – 50   

6. Health support and insurance 

Health insurance is another important part of living costs in Canada for international students. It is mandatory for all students traveling to Canada to get medical insurance before the commencement of their program.  

In Canada, international student health insurance is priced between $600 and $900 per year. Certain provinces offer local health coverage to sure international students, either for free or for a premium. In these cases, international students must apply to their respective provinces.  

 In British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland, Manitoba, Labrador, or Saskatchewan, you will be insured under the respective provincial health plans as per the length of your stay. 

7. Taxes 

Indian students studying in Canada with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your Canadian earned income will be taxable. Additionally, the federal and state governments may tax these wards if you have a scholarship or assistantship from your institution. 

Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also seek a part-time job while studying in Canada or seek a scholarship at the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent.  


This was all about the different expenses you need to keep in mind while apprehending the cost of studying and the cost of living in Canada for Indian students. Planning to study abroad is a tedious and complicated process. And we hope this article gives a fair idea of how much a student needs to spend a year in Canada to pursue their studies with relevant data and information (it could be an approximation but not the exact cost of living – because it varies from lifestyle to lifestyle)  

Pro tip: Ensure that you make a thorough comparative study before choosing the country/ city you want to study in! 

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