fees & costs
Do your sums carefully before deciding to study in Canada. You need to be confident that you can cover the costs of your tuition fees as well as living expenses.
The Canadian immigration bodies and your chosen institution will require proof that you have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your tuition fees and living costs; you will need to prove that you have access to at least CAD$10,000 ($11,000 in Quebec) per year (twelve months) to cover living costs (on top of tuition fees). This amount will increase if you bring family members to Canada with you. However, your living costs may be more - or less - than this, depending on a number of factors. Often your chosen institution will provide an estimate of yearly living costs for students.
The cost of tuition fees has risen over the last few years and varies in each province. Often tuition fees for international students are referred to as 'differential fees'. The average cost of one year's tuition for international undergraduate students in 2011/2012 was CAD$17,571.
As well as varying in each province, tuition fees also vary for different subjects. You can learn more about the different tuition fees in the provinces and for different subjects by visiting the Statistics Canada website.
Financial help and scholarships
A limited number of Canadian universities offer scholarships to international students. To find out if your chosen institution offers scholarships, contact their international office or finance office - an international officer or financial officer will be able to advise you further. It is also recommended that you contact the Ministry of Education in your home country for advice and information on scholarships in Canada and any financial aid they can offer you. It is best to begin researching scholarships as early as possible.
Scholarships Canada is an excellent website which lists available scholarships and offers search facilities to find scholarships in particular regions and institutions. Study Canada offers information on scholarships for international students.
- Accommodation - rent, utility bills, food, laundry (see our Travel & Accommodation page for average costs)
- Course materials - textbooks, field trips, equipment
- Health insurance
- Travel, clothing, social expenses and entertainment costs
Below are some average prices of common everyday goods in Canada (all prices in CAD$ and are approximate figures):
- Meal at a fast food restaurant - $8
- Milk (1 litre) - $2
- Loaf of white bread - $2.50
- Eggs (dozen) - $3
BillsGas and electricity should be around $75-125 per month combined
- Bus ticket (one way) - $2.50
- Taxi (5km) - $10-15
- Cinema ticket - $12
- Meal at a mid-range restaurant - $26
HealthcareHealthcare requirements for international students vary in each province. All healthcare insurance must be arranged before you depart for Canada. This may include registering on your chosen institution's health plan or joining a private healthcare plan.
For further details on healthcare requirements, contact your chosen institution.
Key questions to ask your bank are:
- Are monthly service charges included?
- Is telephone and online banking available? If so, are there any additional charges for these services?
- What charges can be incurred on the account and what interest rate is available?
- How simple is it to transfer funds to/from an account in your home country?
- As an international student you will usually need the following items to open a bank account in Canada:
- A valid passport or birth certificate
- A secondary piece of identification, for example a study permit or driver's licence
- Money to deposit (normally approximately $100)