How To Budget As An International Student In Canada


How To Budget As An International Student In Canada


How To Budget As An International Student In Canada – Studying in Canada is one of the best immigration decisions you would make this year as this is one of the best countries to immigrate to whether you want to study or work in Canada. Canada boasts of a sound education system as it is home for some of the best universities in the world. It is a great choice for either your first degree or your post graduate studies. One sweet thing about studying in Canada as an international student is that you can also work while studying.

If you really want to enjoy your stay in Canada and still have plans of staying in Canada even after your study program, you will have to plan, budget and save money. In this article, we are going to be guiding you on how you are going to budget as an international student in Canada to enable you live well in this great country.

Let’s take you down the road…

How To Create A Budget

Like we mentioned earlier that studying in Canada is a great opportunity for you as you will be able to compete with graduates from other best universities around the world. Studying in Canada teaches you life skills like problem-solving, time-management, adaptability and cultural awareness.

The standard of living in some cities in Canada is quite high like Toronto and schooling here will mean that you will have to learn how to live manage your finance. But in doing this, you will have to create a budget and stick to it. Catering for your expenses might not be easy especially if you don’t have a job and so you can choose to get a part-time job that will help you earn some extra cash to meet up with the expenses.

In creating your budget, there are some expenses you will have to take into consideration and we will call them the common or general expenses.

Let’s look at some of the common expenses you will have to put in your budget as an international student in Canada.

  • Tuition fees
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Health Insurance;
  • Visa Fees
  • Recreation
  • Tuition fees

As a student, this is more like the most important expense you will have to make and it is also going to be the most costly one. You should know that as an international student, you will be paying more than those students that are citizens of Canada or permanent residents especially in public schools in the country.

Canada offers you quality education at a more affordable tuition fee unlike some other top universities of the world. On an average, the tuition fee for an undergraduate program is around $30,598-$32,500 and this report was made according to Statistics Canada in 2021. Also, the tuition fee for a post graduate program is around $16,750 to $19,252.

You should know that the tuition fee can also vary from province to province so you might pay more or less depending in the province you plan to study in. The most expensive province is Ontario and the least expensive is New Brunswick.

The most expensive provinces for tuition fees in Canada are more like the home for some of the best universities in the world and also you should know that the cost of living in these provinces will also be high so you will need to prepare a sound budget and make sure you stick to it.

How Much Does It Cost To Study In Canada In 2021?

We are going to be looking at how much it cost to study in each of the provinces in Canada as an international student whether you want to run an undergraduate program or a post-graduate program.

Average tuition fees (CAD) for international students by province
ProvinceUndergraduate program fee
Ontario$35, 564- $40,720
British Columbia$26,846- $28,240
Manitoba$15,300- $17,399
Saskatchewan$16, 003- $20,700
Alberta$25, 364- $27,500
New Brunswick$12, 465- $16,744
Nova Scotia$16, 758- $19,659
Prince Edward Island$17,900- $21,093
Quebec$23, 640- $26,200
Average tuition fees (CAD) for international students by province
ProvincePost-Graduate program fee
Ontario$23, 647- $25,202
British Columbia$16,456- $20,200
Manitoba$9,746-  $11,558
Saskatchewan$5, 465-  $6,496
Alberta$12, 758-  $14,683
New Brunswick$10, 000- $12,374
Nova Scotia$19, 263- $21,780
Prince Edward Island$8,657- $10,598
Quebec$15, 950-  $17,689
  • Accommodation

Your accommodation as a student is another important part of your budget and for you as an international student; you will have to get a place where the rent is not too high. Where you live whether on campus or off-campus is your decision to make but you will have to look at the rental cost for each of these decisions and also some pros and cons of whichever type of accommodation you want to choose.

Off-campus Accommodation

Staying off-campus has its good side and bad and many universities in Canada do not offer accommodation on-campus especially after your first year. So even if you want to take an accommodation off-campus, it should be one that is closer to school and also conducive for you as a student. You don’t need a luxury apartment but getting a comfortable place is equally important.

The rent also varies depending in the type of apartment and also the facilities in the apartment and one way to cut cost on rent is to live with a roommate or two so you can share the rent with them remember you have other expenses to meet up with.

On-campus Accommodation

Living on-campus means you will be living in dormitories and college hostels and you wouldn’t have to worry about going late to class or missing lectures as you are living within the college premise. This is really a good option for students in their first year as Canada is a new place for them and they are not yet familiar with the environment and life in Canada.

Living on-campus is quite cheap and affordable and it will help you save a dollar or two and also meet up with some other expenses. In some colleges, you would also be offered meal.

  • Food

Food is among the basic needs of life and everybody includes it in their budget; this is just to help you curtail your spending on food. If you are living on-campus, you might be lucky to have your meal plan be included in your accommodation fee and for someone that is living off-campus, you will have to prepare your meals yourself.

You will have to create a monthly budget that will include your feeding like getting your groceries, eating out and other expenses relating to food. This is why in some cases; students living off-campus are advised to get roommate(s) with whom they would share the expenses with.

Even if your living on-campus, it will not be bad to eat out once in a while like eating pizza or Sushi, but you will have to make sure you plan for it.

  • Transportation

This might be needed for students that live far from the college or university but it is not excluded for students living on-campus as you might want to go out on some occasions that is why it should also be included in your budget.

You can patronize public transports as they are cheaper and would save you money or better still find better ways to get to campus without spending much money. Everything you do should be at par with your budget.

  • Recreation

What is college life if you don’t include fun time? All work and no play make you a dull student and sometimes, you will have to go out to chill and sight-see. Sometimes, you might not want to hurry back home during the holiday and you wouldn’t want to stay in the hostel all through the holiday period; this is the time you could enjoy Canada and visit some places and so it has to be included in your budget.  Canada is one of the finest countries to explore but you shouldn’t do this without looking through your budget. You can visit the national park, Niagara Falls etc.

  • Health Insurance

Medical emergencies are one thing you cannot actually predict and so you will have to have a cover in case of these emergencies and also Canada doesn’t joke with this health insurance whether you are a citizen, permanent resident or international student.

As an international student, you can be covered under the health care plan of the province you will be studying in and there are also some health insurance for medical treatments that your provincial health insurance may not cover; they are more like private health insurance and they are usually included in your student fees.

  • Visa fees

This is one expense you shouldn’t forget to budget for and one good thing about this one is that it is a one-off expense meaning you wouldn’t have to pay for it again after you have paid except you want to extend your studies or renew your study permit. You will have to set out money for everything concerning your visa application like the application fee and additional cost for some specific documents.

Can I Work in Canada as an International Student?

Yes you can actually work and study as an international student in Canada and this will help you get Canadian work experience for your future in Canada. If you study a course that has a duration of more than six months, you will be able to work for about 20-hours per week on a part-time basis and full-time during holidays.

This is a great way to make extra cash to meet your needs and also get leftover for savings. Working as a student will help you to gain independence and financial freedom to an extent as you would be able to meet your needs without depending on others.

How Much Can I Earn as a Student in Canada?

Well, employers love hiring students for various part-time jobs and freelance gigs and also what you earn as a student varies depending in your rate and also the employer. There are various jobs available for students on and off-campus and you could also earn the federal Canadian minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

READ ALSO: Best University Programs to Get Jobs in Canada


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