Studying abroad can be an expensive affair, but thankfully, Canada is one country where quality education is available at tuition rates lower than many other countries. But before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in Canada. This will help you plan your budget more effectively.
1. Tuition fee is your prime expenditure
Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and institution you opt for. To cover this, you will need approximately between CAD 7,000 and CAD 29,000 a year.
Most commonly, courses in humanities, education and arts are a little cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at a postgraduate level, the tuition fee is typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs is around CAD 42,000.
*Please note all fee figures are indicative
||Average annual fee (in CAD*)
||$12,000 to $25,000 per year
||Postgraduate master's degree
||$14,000 to $35,000 per year
||$7,000 to $10,000 per year
You can apply to various scholarships
as well to bring down your educational expenses.
2. Calculate accommodation costs
Most universities in Canada offer on-campus residence facilities to international students. You can also opt for an off-campus accommodation wherein you can share apartments with other students from India. Cost for on-campus accommodation may range anywhere from CAD 8,000 to CAD 10,000 (annually) whereas living in a shared apartment can cost you around CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month depending upon your location and time of the year. Remember, the rentals vary from city to city.
3. Cost of your student visa and permit
In order to study in Canada, the first step is to secure a valid study permit and that comes with its own costs (approx. CAD 150). Find out about visa application
4. Living expenses
You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in Canada comes out to be approx. CAD 15,000 (indicative).
You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:
- Communication expenses: As a student from India, you’d be frequently calling your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts in order to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget.
- Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering courses can cost you approx. CAD 250 to CAD 350. For courses like law, medicine and pharmacy, the value can go even higher. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second hand books, buying digital versions or even securing a library membership.
- Personal expenses and incidentals: Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.
5. Consider health support and insurance
It is mandatory for all students travelling to Canada to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their program. The average annual cost for medical insurance ranges between CAD 300- CAD 800 a year (indicative)
. Know more about health and support services in Canada
6. Transportation. Know how much it will cost to move around
Unless your institution provides with a shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.
- For short distances
You can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. Metropolitan cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal offer buses and subways. Smaller cities may or may not have subways, but you can always avail buses, commuter trains or local taxi service. You can check the schedule on the web or in your phone book’s yellow pages or white pages with city government listings. This can range anywhere between CAD 80 and CAD 110 for a month (indicative). It is a good idea to get monthly passes for commuting to college as they come in fairly cheap.
- Park and Ride service
If you live far from the bus stop, some cities give you the option to drive down to a special parking area where you can park your car and then take a train or bus. You can also rent a car by getting an international driver’s license. Your commute expense will vary accordingly.
- For long distances
For travelling between different cities, you can avail long-distance buses, railways, and flights.
7. Don’t ignore your taxes
Indian students studying in Canada having a Social Insurance Number (SIN) are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your Canadian earned income will be taxable. Along with this, if you have a scholarship or assistantship from your institution, the federal and state governments may tax these wards.
Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also look for a part time job while you are studying in Canada or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent.
What are the student visa requirements for Canada?
Applying for a Canadian student visa?
The Canadian Government provides an opportunity to all Indian students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a Study Permit and a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
What is a study permit?
This is not a visa, it’s a permit or a document issued by the Citizen and Immigration (CIC) which allows you to study in Canada. If you hold a study permit, you must remain enrolled and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing your course.
Along with your study permit, you will also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for your entry in Canada. Please note that a study permit is a document that allows you to study
in Canada while a TRV is a visa that allows you to enter
in Canada. Your counsellor will help you access the latest information and connect you with authorised migration experts.
Documents required for your study permit
To apply for your study permit, you will need:
You must also:
- An acceptance letter from your education institution, and
- A valid passport or travel document
- Prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
- tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- Be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada (you may have to provide a police certificate)
- Be in good health (you may need to complete a medical exam)
You will also be required to appear for a personal interview at the Canadian embassy or consulate.
To prove you can financially support yourself and any accompanying family members, you may be asked to provide:
*Please note that these are the basic requirements.
Student Direct Stream
- Documentation of a Canadian bank account in your name, if money has been transferred to Canada
- Documentation of a student/education loan from a financial institution
- Bank statements
- A bank draft in convertible currency
- Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees
- A letter for the person or institution providing your funding
- Proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are enrolled in a Canadian-funded educational program
As an Indian student, you can get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). If you choose to apply through SDS, you may need certain additional documents in this case.
Applying for your visa online
You’ll have to apply for your student visa application online using the CIC official website. You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel to Canada. Remember, your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.
Study permit fee
As an applicant from outside Canada, you will have to pay CAD150 as your visa fee (do check the latest fee at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit.html).
English language requirements
To gain your Canadian visa, you’ll have to provide with an evidence of proficiency in the English language. This usually means passing a secure English language test to be able to prove your communication and correspondence skills.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. The IELTS results are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.
You can always come to us for a free counselling session where we can guide you on how to go about the entire visa application process.