What is The Educational Cost to Study in Canada?

Canada has become a popular study destination for international students. Canada offers a diverse variety of experiences and opportunities in a country known for its organized lifestyle, multicultural cities, and natural beauty. If you intend to study in Canada, you should know the cost to study in Canada and note that the educational costs are generally less expensive than in popular destinations like the US, UK, and Australia. However, the fees are still quite high compared to other countries.

Canada has over 30 universities listed among the best academic institutions globally, this is based on the World University Rankings created by THE (Times Higher Education).

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) provides a resourceful online tool that enables prospective international students to calculate the educational cost to study in Canada at various universities and also provides guidance on the required documents to apply.

Educational Cost to Study in Canada

Canada Tuition fees

Universities in Canada set their own fees, and these fees differ based on different factors. The factors are what program you are studying whether you are an international or home student, the second factor is whether you are studying at an undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Statistics Canada reported that tuition fees in Canada dropped by an average of 5.3% for undergraduate home students and increased by 7.6% for international undergraduates in 2019/2020.

Canadian undergraduate citizens studying should expect to pay an average of CA$6,463 annually while a graduate degree will cost CA$7,056 annually.

International Undergraduate tuition fees in Canada

Based on the report by Statistics Canada, the average cost to study in Canada for international undergraduate students in 2019/20 is CA$29714 (~US$22,500) annually. Courses in humanities tend to be cheaper (averaging $5,542), while courses such as engineering and medicine are considered more expensive. Medicine and engineering courses have an average cost of  CA$21,717 (~US$16,446), dentistry average cost is around $14,162, while medicine courses range from (~US$10,724). Business and management courses have lower fees than the national average, at CA$6,827 (~US$5,170) annually.

Canada International Postgraduate Tuition Fees 

Postgraduate tuition fees are generally lower and also differ based on your program. Based on the report by Statistics Canada, the average postgraduate tuition fee for international students at CA is $17,744 (US$13,437) in 2019/20.

However, executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive globally, averaging around CA$56,328 (~US$42,657), while regular MBAs cost around CA$27,397 (~US$20,747) on average.

Cost of living in Canada

One of the Canadian student visa requirements states that you must have a minimum of CA$10,000 (~US$7,570) (or CA$11,000/~US$8,300 if studying in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees, you will probably need to budget much more than this for your living expenses. Living costs differ based on your location and spending habits, the cost of living in large cities is usually expensive.

The Université de Montréal estimates students will require a sum of CA$14,700 annually including housing, food, accommodation, books and course supplies, phone costs, and other expenses. Also, the University of British Columbia, situated in Vancouver, estimates living costs of CA$15,500 annually, excluding mandatory health insurance, which is CA$864 annually under the BC Health Plan.

Toronto is reported ( 2019 Mercer Cost of Living Survey) to be the most expensive Canadian city to live in accompanied by Vancouver, with rent extremely high in both cities.

In terms of accommodation, the primary types of student accommodation (homestay, university accommodation, and private accommodation) differ in costs, with students paying around CA$3,000-7,500 (~US$2,271 – 5,680) for on-campus accommodation annually. The private shared accommodation cost around CA$8,400 (~US$6,361) annually including bills. The cheapest of them is the university accommodation, some universities offer meal plans to enable you to buy food from the university’s food outlet.

Below are examples of average livings costs in Canada based on Numbeo.com 

  • Restaurant meals cost CA$16 per person (~US$12)
  • A one-way ticket on local public transport: CA $3 (~US$2.27)
  • Cinema tickets cost around CA$13.50 (~US$10.22)
  • gym fee monthly cost around CA$48.25 (~US$36.54)

Health insurance is very compulsory and you are required to purchase it while studying in Canada. Health insurance costs around CA$600-800 (~US$455-607) annually.

Student Visa and Application Fees

To study in Canada as an international student, you will need to obtain a Canadian Study Permit, which is equivalent to a student visa for the duration of your stay. You can also read about the Canadian Study Permit. A Canadian study permit is not needed if your course or program is six months or less. Applying for a study permit costs CA$150 (~US$114). Click here to know the Admission Requirements To Study In Canada For International Students.

Fees to apply to universities in Canada will differ based on the university and your country of origin. For instance, the University of British Columbia charges undergraduate Canadian students CA$70.50 (~US$53.40) and international students CA$118.50 (~US$89.70). Full and partial tuition waivers are available for international students from a developing country, you might be lucky to get a waiver.

Financial aid to study in Canada

There are lots of scholarships, grants, and bursaries available for international students wishing to study in Canada, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These scholarships include certain scholarships for sporting and academic achievement, and subject-specific scholarships.

Numerous universities in Canada offer their own specific scholarships, you can apply for a scholarship offered exclusively by the university at which you plan to study. However, it is necessary you apply as early as possible as scholarship funding is limited and very competitive. International candidates are advised to research and apply for study abroad scholarship opportunities offered by organizations in their home country.

The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program is a notable source of scholarships to study in Canada. They provide scholarships to students of other Commonwealth countries. Financial assistance information can also be on the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website.

Students Jobs in Canada

Students studying in Canada can get a part-time job to help support themself, you can work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without requiring a Canadian work permit.

To be eligible to work as a student, you must:

  • Possess a valid study permit
  • Be a full-time student
  • Be admitted at a designated learning institution (DLI) at the post-secondary level
  • Be studying in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that has a minimum of six months in duration.

Social Insurance Number (SIN) will also be required from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. 

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