Costs to Consider When Studying in Canada

by Kat Tretina | In Guides and Tools | 17 April 2023 | Updated on: June 1st, 2023

Canada is an increasingly popular destination for international students looking to continue their studies. In fact, Canada received nearly 450,000 new study permits in 2021, breaking the previous record. 

That figure is no surprise considering that Canada is home to a host of top schools. 

Studying in Canada as an international student can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to research typical costs and learn about ways to find funding to study abroad. 

Studying in Canada: What Expenses to Expect

The cost of studying in Canada depends on several factors, including the school and program you choose. When planning your education, be sure to take the following expenses into account: 

1. Application Fees

Many Canadian universities require application fees to even be considered for enrollment. For example, some universities will charge between $150 and $200 (CAD) to apply. 

2. Study Permits

Most international students will need a study permit to attend school in Canada, and you must have an acceptance letter from a qualifying college or university and a current passport to apply for a permit. 

You can apply for a permit online or by visiting a visa application center in your country. The fee for a new study permit is $150 (CAD). 

3. Health Insurance

While Canada has an excellent healthcare system, the government doesn’t pay for the medical costs of foreign students. Schools require international students to have a qualifying health insurance plan, provided through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) or a similar program.

UHIP allows you to get coverage for yourself and your spouse and children. The cost per academic year ranges from $756 for a single person to $2,268 (CAD) per student and two or more dependents.

4. College Tuition

Tuition is the cost of enrolling in a program and attending classes. It’s one of the most significant expenses you’ll pay. In Canada, the cost of tuition can range from $7,000 to $22,000 (CAD) per year. 

5. Room and Board

Besides tuition, room and board is the biggest expense. It covers your lodging and meals while you’re enrolled in school. On average, you should expect to spend about $15,000 per year on living costs (CAD). 

6. Travel

As an international student, you have to factor in the cost of traveling to and from Canada. Flights can be very expensive, so your travel expenses can add thousands to your overall education cost. 

7. Other Expenses

While you’re studying in Canada, there may be additional expenses. For example, you may have to buy warm clothing and coats to get through a Canadian winter, and you may want to set aside money for travel and sightseeing during weekends and breaks. 

The Cost of Studying in Canada (CAD) for One Year

Application Fee $150-$200 per application
Study Permit $150
Health Insurance $756
College Tuition $7,000-$22,000
Room and Board $15,000
Travel* $2,000
Other Expenses* $1,000
Total $26,056-$41,106
*Assumes $2,000 in roundtrip airfare and other transportation and $1,000 to cover other expenses and fees. 


Funding to Study Abroad in Canada

Studying in Canada can cost anywhere from $26,000 to $42,000 per year (CAD). Thankfully, there are different financial aid and funding options that can make the cost more manageable. 

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships are available from the colleges and universities, the Canadian government, research institutes and non-profit organizations. For example: 

  • Anne Vallee Ecological Fund Scholarship: The Anne Vallee Ecological Fund Scholarship provides two $1,500 (CAD) scholarships to students registered in animal research at the doctoral level in a Quebec or British Columbia university. 
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship: The University of Toronto issues the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship to students that display exceptional academic achievements. The scholarship provides a full-ride, covering all of the school’s tuition costs. 
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship: Qualified doctoral students may qualify for up to $50,000 (CAD) per year — for up to three years — in funding through the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program. To qualify, students must be nominated by a Canadian institution and study health research, natural sciences or engineering or social sciences and the humanities. 

You can search for available scholarship opportunities through the EduCanada database

Part-time Work

Most international students are eligible for employment while studying. You may qualify for a work-study program through your school, or you can secure a part-time job on your own. In general, international students can work for up to 20 hours per week in an off-campus job while enrolled in school. 

Canada’s minimum wage varies by territory and province, but it’s typically between $13 and $16 (CAD) per hour. 

However, from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students in Canada are not limited to the 20-hour rule, and can work more hours if they wish. 

Student Loans

If you need additional funding for your education, international student loans can help cover the remaining balance. And with MPOWER Financing, you can borrow between US$2,000 and US$100,000 with fixed interest rates and no prepayment penalties. Students studying in Canada can use our loans for tuition and students studying in the U.S. can use our loans to cover all eligible school-related expenses.

You can find out if you are eligible for an MPOWER student loan to study in Canada by filling out the application online

Author: View all post by Kat Tretina

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