Tuition Fees and Living Expenses for Foreign Students in Canada

Tertiary education in Canada is not free, especially for international students, but it is affordable compared to the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. The average undergraduate foreign student pays C$11,903 annually.


Graduate tuition fees vary depending on the province and program of study. Some provinces and territories charge higher fees for foreign students. These are known as differential fees, while some provide a limited amount of exemptions from the exorbitant fees. International students pay higher fees than citizens of the country.

Living Costs

Every student is expected to meet the cost of living and studying in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada insist that all applicants must have enough funds that will cover all their expenses while studying in Canada. The duty of the institution is to provide their cost of living estimate, while the immigration officer follows all the processes.

A single student must have at least C$10,000 which will cover all their 12 months of living expenses. An extra C$4,000 is required for a spouse or close family member that will be staying with you. Tuition and other related amounts are not included in these estimates. This amount includes accommodation, food, medical insurance, transportation, clothing, books, and sundries. 


On campus, most students dress informally even in their traditional attires. Students from warmer climates can wear coats, sweaters, boots, and gloves a few months after their arrival. Generally, winters in Canada are very cold, so you may purchase additional warm clothing upon your arrival, adding at least C$500 might be beneficial. Please keep in mind that this figure is just a suggestion, not automatic. 

Medical Expenses

Medical insurance in Canada is very expensive. While coming you are required to obtain medical and hospital insurance. Most universities and colleges require compulsory medical insurance coverage. You can’t arrange for it in advance, but you can get it upon your arrival in Canada. 

Other Expenses

In the course of your study, you can be making payments either in Canadian or US dollars. One bedroom apartment is about $400 monthly, bus fare, one way is between $1.50 to $2, and the local telephone call is $0. 25 to $0.30, average lunch meal ticket $7, average dinner meal ticket $14, movie $7 to $10, etc. 

If you are from an English country, you can enroll in a French program; this will help you to communicate effectively because Canada is a bilingual country. Knowledge of French gives most international students an edge over others.


You will enjoy your study if you fulfill all the conditions for studying in Canada. Most international students especially those from developing countries of Africa and Asia who have gotten a Bachelor’s degree usually come to Canada for postgraduate academic programs. Acquiring a Canadian degree or certificate will boost their relevance within the chosen field. Most of them used to get pay raises shortly after the completion of their studies. Canadian tertiary education remains one of the best globally. 


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