Canada is one of the most popular destinations to study abroad for international students. They choose to continue their studies in Canada knowing that it is the perfect place to invest their time and money. The land of opportunities, as they call it, welcomes international students from all over the world and gives them the chance to succeed in their academic and professional life. Many students think that Canadian universities are very expensive in tuition fees, so they don’t even think about it as a suitable place to study abroad. Is it true though? Is the cost of studying in Canada for international students high? and how much will it cost you in total to get a university degree from Canadian universities?
You will be surprised to know that the study cost in Canada for international students is cheaper than what you think! Through this guide, you will get full information about the cost of studying for all study levels. In addition, we will mention the cost of living in Canada for international students.
Study cost in Canada for international students 2023
Canada is considered the cheapest English-speaking country for international students to study abroad, compared to the United States, UK, Australia, or New Zealand.
The cost of studying in Canada varies depending on many factors. This includes the chosen program, the study level, the university, and whether the student is a Canadian or international student.
According to the latest report by Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada have changed during the past few years. It has decreased by 5.3 percent for Canadian undergraduate students and has increased by 7.6 percent for international undergraduate students.
As for Canadian graduate students, tuition fees have decreased by an average of 4.5 percent and increased by 4.4 percent for international graduate students. In addition, the cost of studying in Canada is expected to rise during the next few years.
Canadian universities are free to set their own tuition fees for local and international students in accordance with their objectives and goals. In 2023, Memorial University of Newfoundland increased its tuition fees by double! It has gone from being the cheapest university in Canada to one of the most expensive Canadian universities in 2023.
In general, it can be said that a Canadian student is expected to pay an average of CA$6,463 per year for an undergraduate degree and around CA$7,056 per year for a graduate degree. International students in Canada are expected to pay more fees for their studies. You will find everything you need in the following sections.
1. The cost of studying high school in Canada
Local residents in Canada get high school education for free. However, the cost of studying high school in Canada for international students is between CA$10,000 – CA$25,000 per year.
Tuition fees vary depending on the Canadian high school. For example, Private high schools are more expensive than public ones. In addition, some schools may charge additional fees for joining sports teams, school trips, and meals.
Not to mention that, if your children would like to study and live in a Canadian boarding school, the cost starts from CA$30,000 per year. This is because a boarding school includes housing and meals, in addition to being a private institution.
2. The cost of studying the English language in Canada
The cost of studying English in Canada for international students depends on the school chosen and the duration of the English language course. Also, the type of the program, whether part-time or intensive with more weekly hours, has an effect on the cost.
If international students choose to learn English at a private Canadian language school, usually courses start every week or month. Therefore, students enroll in courses of duration in weeks. However, Canadian universities offer English language preparatory year programs during one, two, or three semesters. Also, these programs usually start in February or September,
The average cost of studying a full-time English foundation Year at a Canadian University (ESL Program) for international students is around CA$5,000 for a duration of 44 weeks per year.
3. The cost of studying Diploma in Canada
The cost to study Diploma in Canada is cheaper than undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Also, cost varies depending on the duration of the program and specialty.
In general, the average cost of studying a Diploma in Canada is around CA$10,000 for international students. However, many Canadian universities offer Diploma programs at a lower cost.
4. The cost of studying bachelor’s degree in Canada
The average cost of studying bachelor’s degree in Canada for international students is around CA$29,714 per year. However, some majors such as medicine and engineering programs tend to be more expensive.
For example, the average tuition fees for a bachelor’s in human medicine is around CA$38,450 per year, CA$50,000 for dentistry, and CA$33,703 for engineering majors.
On the other hand, other majors are cheaper than the average tuition fees. The average cost of studying for a bachelor’s in Humanities is CA$5,542 per year. Also, Management majors in Canada cost an average of CA$6,827 per year.
5. The cost of studying Master’s degree in Canada
Master and Ph.D. programs in Canada are generally less expensive than undergraduate programs. The average cost of studying Master’s programs in Canada for international students is CA$17,000 per year.
EMBA in Canada is generally the most expensive Master’s program, with an average cost of CA$56,328 per year. The average cost of an MBA in Canada is CA$27,397 per year.
6. The cost of studying Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Canada
The duration of a Ph.D. program in Canada is at least three years of full-time study and a maximum of six years. The average cost of Ph.D. programs in Canada for international students is CA$6,000 per year. However, for some majors, the tuition fees for Ph.D. might hit CA$25,000 per year!
Bear in mind that the cost of a Ph.D. degree varies depending on many factors. PhDs that involve taught classes and assessments are normally more expensive than those that focus on independent research.
In conclusion, it can be said that the average cost of studying in Canada for international students ranges between CA$10,000 – CA$35,000 per year. In addition, this includes tuition fees only! Students will have more expenses to cover. Let’s take a look at the living cost for international students in Canada.
The cost of living for international students in Canada
The quality of life in Canada is very high and it’s ranked as one of the best countries in the world for living, education, security, scientific development, jobs, profits..etc. Therefore, you should expect to spend more living there as the cost of living as a student will be a bit high.
In general, the cost of living in Canada for international students ranges between CA$800 – CA$1500 per month. This amount is enough to live in most Canadian provinces as an international student, such as Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa.
1. The cost of housing and accommodation in Canada for international students
There are many housing options available in Canada for international students. Most Canadian schools offer on-campus housing for students who would like to maximize their student experience. For others who would like to share accommodation with friends outside the university, off-campus housing is a great option.
In addition, Canadian families welcome thousands of students from all around the world every year. This is a good option for those who like the family atmosphere and would like to practice their English on a daily basis.
The cost of on-campus housing in Canada for international students is between CA$200 – CA$600 per month. In some cases, on-campus housing might include daily meals.
As for the cost of off-campus housing, it varies depending on location, if it’s a shared flat or not, and other factors. The cost of renting a room in a shared flat with other students ranges between CA$300 – CA$800 per month. However, the cost of a private studio or apartment starts from CA$500 per month and may reach up to CA$2000 in some cities.
The cost of housing with a Canadian family for international students ranges between CA$400 – CA$1000 per month. But the advantage of living with a family is that students get a single room with a private bathroom, and daily meals in some cases.
2. The cost of transportation for students in Canada
Canada has a well-developed network of public transportation in all student cities. However, the transportation system in big cities is usually more advanced. As a student in Canada, you will get huge discounts on thr public transportation tickets.
For students, The total cost of a monthly public transportation card is between CA$80 – CA$150, depending on where you live. In addition, in most cities, you might be able to walk or bike to campus. For taxis, prices range from CA$2 to CA$6 per kilometer.
2. The cost of Health insurance for international students in Canada
The health insurance plan for international students in Canada varies depending on the insurance provider. Also, it may differ from one Canadian province to another. However, in some Canadian provinces, such as Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, international students could be covered under provincial health care plans. In most other provinces, students must pay for private health insurance.
The cost of health insurance for international students in Canada ranges between CA$600 – CA$900 per year.
4. Additional living costs for students
In addition to the cost of studying and living in Canada, students might have additional costs depending on their lifestyle. For example, if the student lives on campus, the cost is usually lower. Living off-campus comes with additional costs such as food, electricity, and internet bills. Here are some additional living costs for international students in Canada:
- Basic utilities (electricity, water, heating…): CA$150 per month.
- Phone calls and Internet: around CA$50 – CA$70 per month.
- Monthly groceries and food: CA$200 – CA$400 depending on your location and needs.
In on-campus housing, students might have the chance to choose a daily meal plan and the internet will be available for free. In addition, the university campus is usually equipped with many sports centers to be a part of free sports activities.
For students who like to eat outside in restaurants, the cost of one meal is usually between CA$10 – CA$25. Also, the cost of joining a gym off-campus is around CA$48 per month.
Can international students work in Canada while studying?
One of the main pros of studying in Canada is that international students can have a part-time job while studying. However, students have to be enrolled in a full-time study program in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
International students in Canada can work part-time (20 hours per week), and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter or summer vacation or reading week in the fall or spring. Students can even work off-campus without the need for a work permit. Therefore, students have the possibility to earn extra money that may be used towards the cost of studying or living costs in Canada.
Bear in mind that even if you can work in Canada while studying, your earnings are not gonna be enough to cover your tuition fees and living costs. Therefore, it’s essential to demonstrate sufficient financial resources when you apply for a study permit.
The Student study permit usually has the authorization to work in Canada and the conditions of employment. Students have two options to make the study permit associated with this authorization.
You can either ask for it during your application for a student visa at the Canadian embassy or after your arrival to Canada. Actually, it’s easier to do it after you land in Canada.
The statement of work authorization on your study permit will enable you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada once you arrive. Obtaining a SIN is a key requirement before you can begin working while studying in Canada.
It is very important to know that you can’t start working as a student before your study program has begun. In cases of studying English or French languages, preparatory year for university entry, or short courses to gain experience in a specific field, students are not allowed to work.
Can international students work in Canada after graduation?
If you would like to stay and work in Canada after graduation, you may be able to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) in Canada. The duration of PGWP varies depending on the duration of your study programs in Canada. As follow:
- The duration of your program is less than 8 months: You are not eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada.
- Programs with a duration between 8 – 24 months: The Post-Graduation Work Permit is granted for the same duration as your study program.
- The duration of the program is more than 24 months (2 years): International students can get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada for 3 years.
Note that you have up to 180 days to apply for a PGWP after you get your degree or diploma in Canada.
The PGWP in Canada puts you on the right path to get permanent residence in Canada after you finish your studies.
Universities in Canada with affordable tuition fees for international students
There are many Canadian universities with affordable tuition fees. In this list you will find some of the cheapest universities in Canada for international students:
- Cape Breton University: average fees CA$14,000 per year.
- Booth University College: average tuition fees CA$14,500 per year.
- University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI): the average cost is CA$15,000 per year.
- Brandon University: average fees CA$15,200 per year.
- Atlantic School of Theology (AST): average fees CA$15,500 annually.
- Athabasca University: the average cost is CA$16,000 per year.
- University College of the North (UCN): fees start at CA$16,000 per year.
Are there scholarships for international students in Canada?
One of the most common questions among international students is, Can I get financial aid or scholarship to study in Canada? The answer is YES! Many international students get the chance to finance their studies in Canada through partial or full scholarships.
There are many types of scholarships in Canada, including Canadian university scholarships, Canadian government grants and financial aid, foundations scholarships, and non-Canadian institutions scholarships to facilitate cooperation with the local academic community.
Scholarships in Canada are usually awarded based on academic excellence and financial needs.
International students are advised to start looking for scholarships in Canada before applying for a student visa. They might be eligible to get a partially or fully funded scholarship by applying from outside Canada. However many international students travel to Canada and get financial aid from their chosen university after starting their studies. In both cases, it is very important to meet all requirements when applying for scholarships.
Apply to study in Canada through Golden Gate Agency
This was a full guide on the cost of studying and living in Canada, It is very important to have a solid plan before applying to study in Canada. Choosing the perfect Canadian university might be a tough mission for most international students. We at Golden Gate Study Abroad agency have more than 8 years of experience in offering full services to international students.
We plan your future and we guide you through the whole process, starting from choosing a suitable Canadian university for you, to getting your enrolment letter and student visa. Therefore, We invite you to get a free consultation with one of our experts by filling out our application form. Click on the box below and get your free consultation now!