Cost of Living in Canada as an International Student: A Comprehensive Guide

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Canada has emerged as one of the top destinations for international students seeking quality education and ample opportunities for personal and professional growth.

While pursuing education in Canada offers numerous benefits, it's essential to understand the cost of living in the country. Through this blog, Viapply Team aims to provide an in-depth overview of the various factors that contribute to the cost of living in Canada, including accommodation, food, public transportation, health insurance, and more.

Keep an eye for the end of the blog where we talk about money-saving tips and insights into average salaries, enabling international students to plan their finances effectively.

A Pool of Opportunities for International Students:

Canada's educational system is renowned globally, and studying in Canada offers a gateway to a prosperous future. The country provides a wide range of opportunities for personal and professional development, making it an attractive destination for international students. Moreover, the cost of living in Canada for international students is generally lower compared to other popular study destinations such as the UK, Australia, and the USA.

Cost of Accommodation:

Finding suitable accommodation is a crucial aspect of student life in Canada. Many universities offer on-campus housing options, which are often preferred by first-year students.

The cost of on-campus housing ranges between CAD 8,000 and CAD 10,000 per year on average.

Alternatively, off-campus housing options are available, with shared accommodations being more affordable. The average cost of unfurnished apartment rentals ranges from $300 to $500 per month, while shared accommodation off-campus typically costs between $400 and $700 per month.

Cost of Food:

While Canada offers a diverse range of cuisines, the cost of food can be slightly higher compared to some other countries. On average, international students can expect to spend between CAD 200 and CAD 600 per month on food and other expenses. A meal at a restaurant can cost between CAD 10 and CAD 15 per person.

Cost of Public Transportation:

Canada boasts a well-connected and efficient public transportation system, offering various options such as buses, trains, subways, and light-rail trains. International students can benefit from using public transportation and avail student discounts by presenting their student I-Card. The average monthly transportation costs for students in Canada include:

- Buses: CAD 100-150 - Subway (monthly pass): CAD 65-99 - Uber (per km): CAD 20-50

Health Insurance in Canada:

Health insurance is mandatory for international students studying in Canada, although the coverage may vary depending on the province of study. Certain provinces provide coverage under the provincial government's health plans, while in others, private health insurance is required. The costs of health insurance plans for international students in Canada can range between CAD 225 for three months (iMED plan) to CAD 74 for one month (BC MSP Program). Average annual premiums for health insurance typically range from $500 to $700.

Money-Saving Tips for International Students:

To manage living expenses effectively in Canada, international students can utilize the following money-saving tips:

Apply for scholarships: Canada offers around 800 scholarships for international students, which can cover various expenses such as tuition, housing, travel, and health insurance. Securing a scholarship can significantly reduce the overall cost of living in Canada.

Take advantage of student discounts: Canada values its student population and provides daily discounts for students. By presenting your student I-Card or student card, you can enjoy discounts at department stores, bookstores, restaurants, and public transportation. These savings can add up and help you save money during your stay.

Explore part-time job opportunities: International students in Canada can work part-time while studying. On-campus part-time jobs are available, and after six months of study, you can also apply for an off-campus employment permit. Working part-time not only helps you gain control of your finances but also provides valuable work experience.

Create a budget and track expenses: It's important to create a budget and track your expenses to ensure you're staying within your financial means. Identify your essential expenses and allocate a certain amount for each category. Use budgeting tools or apps to monitor your spending and make adjustments as needed.

Cook meals at home: While dining out can be convenient, it can also be expensive. Consider cooking meals at home to save money on food expenses. Plan your meals, buy groceries in bulk, and prepare your own meals whenever possible. This not only helps you save money but also allows you to explore your culinary skills.

What are the Average Salaries in Canada?

Apart from the cost of living, it's crucial to consider the potential earnings in Canada. Salaries can vary depending on the location and industry. Here are some average salary figures for job roles in Toronto and Montreal:

Job Roles in Toronto:

  • Product manager: CAD 69,402
  • Software engineer: CAD 57,673
  • Mobile developer: CAD 53,257
  • Financial analyst: CAD 52,067
  • Web developer: CAD 43,663
  • Teacher: CAD 40,439
  • Graphic designer: CAD 37,966
  • Copywriter: CAD 35,130
  • Receptionist: CAD 23,763
  • Cashier: CAD 21,101

Job Roles in Montreal:

  • Product manager: CAD 59,398
  • Mobile developer: CAD 57,956
  • Software engineer: CAD 52,127
  • Financial analyst: CAD 42,722
  • Web developer: CAD 42,015
  • Teacher: CAD 37,889
  • Graphic designer: CAD 33,831
  • Copywriter: CAD 33,534
  • Receptionist: CAD 22,486
  • Cashier: CAD 16,273

These figures provide an overview of the average salaries in Toronto and Montreal, but it's important to note that salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, qualifications, and the specific company.

Hope this helps!