How to Prepare your budget to study in Canada

As an international student in Canada, you should create a budget to plan for the costs of living and studying in another country. You must evaluate the study costs for international students in Canada, from elementary to university level, as well as tuition fees at your preferred institution.

You may find information on college and university programs using our Search colleges and universities tool. You can look up programs at universities across Canada and compare tuition costs. To assist you, the tool includes cost of living estimates.

Living expenses in Canada

After you’ve determined the cost of attending school, you should consider the other costs of living in Canada.

Your student budget

There’s more to your study costs than tuition. Don’t forget to set aside money for:

  • Books
  • Computer
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Fun
  • Clothing
  • Travel
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Travel insurance

Housing and accommodations

What kind of housing will you have in Canada as a student? Most Canadian institutions allow you to live on campus in a residence hall. It’s a terrific opportunity to meet new people quickly, and it’s an intriguing option for first-year students. Many Canadian students prefer to live in residence during their first year. One of them may become your roommate.

Other compelling reasons to live in residence include:

  • Residence is a secure option to begin post-secondary study in Canada..
  • It may be reasonable because the cost of residence includes cafeteria food.

The cost of living in residence will be detailed on your university’s website.

A housing on campus is less likely if you are attending a college or language school. You’ll have to look for off-campus lodging in that situation. Living away from school could entail acquiring your own apartment or sharing one with friends.

How much should you budget for your accommodations? It is determined by the city and your living situation. We normally recommend allocating 25% of your study in Canada budget to housing.

Food and groceries

When it comes to food, Canada has a lot to offer. As a multicultural country, Canada has all of your favorite meals, making you feel right at home. People from all over the world live in our major cities. They have everything from small specialty food stores to large supermarket stores with extensive international cuisine selections.

If you live on campus at your college or university, you can sign up for a meal plan, which provides you access to the cafeteria for all of your meals. If you live off campus, you will most likely cook for yourself or with friends.

Include the cost of food and groceries in your research budget. By checking at Canada’s top national grocery store chains online, you may readily investigate the costs. Look around for the best deals. You may also download applications that allow you to compare prices between stores or get the best food discounts.

If you enjoy eating out at restaurants on occasion, plan to include them in your study budget.

Health insurance

There is no national healthcare plan in Canada. Instead, each province and territory provides its residents with universal health care. This coverage is provided at no cost to all Canadian citizens. It covers the costs of doctors and hospitals, but not dentists, physiotherapists, or other health care providers.

As an international student, you must evaluate whether or not your province or territory provides health insurance. In provinces where overseas students are not covered, your school will provide medical insurance policies for purchase.

Travel health insurance

Travel health insurance is not the same as standard health insurance. It will be handy if your stay in Canada is limited (less than a year) and you intend to dwell in different parts of the country. This could apply to kids who plan to attend:

  • High school for only 9 or 10 months
  • Language school for 12 or 20 weeks
  • A summer camp language school
  • A co-op program or internship

Travel agencies and your school can provide information on travel health insurance.


It is critical to take time to unwind. Make careful to budget for your “fun time” spending. You might enjoy visiting to dancing clubs or seeing the latest flicks at the theaters. Who can say? You may rapidly develop a passion for hockey and desire to attend games. Alternatively, your preferred form of entertainment may entail purchasing an X-box or PlayStation in order to play video games.

How much do you expect to spend on entertainment each month? When making your budget, consider extras like yoga lessons or restaurant dinners with pals.


Set aside some money for your Canadian clothes budget. There are numerous shopping opportunities, including factory outlets, retail centers, boutiques, big box stores, and more. Thrift stores and used clothing stores are also prominent. They provide secondhand apparel and shoes, including winter coats and boots that will keep you toasty without breaking the bank.

Your wardrobe budget will be determined by how much you enjoy shopping and how much you believe you will need to purchase during your time in Canada.


When you arrive in Canada, you will want to get out and about to explore and enjoy your new surroundings. Plan your transportation expenses by calculating how much money you’ll require for:

  • Public transit, like buses and subways
  • Bus or train tickets if you want to explore other cities in Canada
  • Plane tickets home to visit your family

To see and enjoy your new city or town, you may want to get a local bus or subway pass. If you are a college or university student, find out if the cost of a transit pass is included in your tuition. Many cities with public transportation have special student pricing.

When they arrive to Canada, some international students prefer to acquire an automobile. If this is something you wish to do, budget for the cost of your car, auto insurance, gasoline, and parking.

Beautiful bike pathways in recreational areas and bike lanes on busy roadways are common in Canadian cities and municipalities. This makes having a bike a terrific and cost-effective way to explore the city.

School buses are often provided by school boards for elementary and high school students to transport them to and from school each day. High school students in certain cities use public transportation to get to school.


When you meet Canadian students, they may invite you to Thanksgiving or other holidays with their families. This could entail taking the bus or rail.

Why not explore the rest of Canada at other times of the year when you need a break from your studies? When budgeting for your study, keep your vacation plans in mind. If you’re seeking for ideas, visit Destination Canada, the Government of Canada’s travel website.

Your native country may be the most important place you visit while studying in Canada. How much does that set you back? Make sure to budget for this in your annual budget.

Discounts for international students in Canada

Do you enjoy a good deal or a discount? They are everywhere as an international student in Canada. Students can get discounts in stores, restaurants, public transportation, airlines, and trains, among other places. A valid student identity card is required to enjoy these student discounts. For additional benefits, we recommend obtaining the International Student Identification Card. Why not make the most of your study abroad experience in Canada?