In the quest to know the cost of studying in Canada birthed the question; how much does it cost to study in Canada?
A brief history about Canada
Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, located in the North American country. Canada is sparsely populated, with forest and tundra dominating the majority of its land area. It is highly urbanized and has over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities.
Its climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from hot summers in the southern regions to arctic weather in the north, with four distinct seasons.
One of the world’s most popular countries for international students is Canada. It offers different variety of opportunities and experiences. Tuition fees are generally less expensive in Canadian universities than in other major English speaking countries (the US, UK, and Australia).
Hence this is good news to those interested in studying in Canada although the tuition fees are still quite high compared to that in other countries.
A useful online tool is offered by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), which allows prospective international students to calculate quickly, the costs of studying at different Canadian universities, also providing guidance on the needed documents to apply.
Canadian universities’ tuition fees
Canadian universities all set their own fees, and these fees vary depending on several factors. These factors include;
- Are you an international or home student?
- Are you studying at postgraduate or undergraduate level?
- What programme are you studying?
If you’re a citizen of Canada that wants to study in Canada, an average of CA$6,463 per year for an undergraduate degree and an average of CA$7,056 per year for a postgraduate degree is what you should expect to pay.
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Canadian universities’ postgraduate tuition fees
To study at postgraduate level, they have generally lower tuition fees which vary depending on the programme of studies. According to Statistics Canada, the average postgraduate tuition fees for international students in 2019/2020 are CA$17,744 per year which is approximately US$13,437 (a four percent increase from the previous year).
Executive MBA programs are generally the most expensive as is the case worldwide. Their tuition fees around the average of CA$56,328 (~US$42,657), while regular MBAs cost an average of CA$27,397 (~US$20,747).
Canadian universities’ undergraduate tuition fees
Statistics Canada puts the average tuition fees for undergraduate international students in 2019/2020 to be CA$29714 (~US$22,500) per year. Courses in humanities tend to be cheaper (an average of $5,542), while courses such as engineering and medicine are usually among the more expensive.
An average of CA$21,717 (~US$16,446) for dentistry and CA$14,162 (~US$10,724) for Medicine . Fees for business and management courses are lower than the national average, at CA$6,827 (~US$5,170) per year.
Cost of living in Canada
Although the requirements of Canadian student visa say you must have at least CA$10,000 (~US$7,570) (or CA$11,000/~US$8,300 if studying in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees, for living expenses in Canada, you’ll likely need to budget much more than this.
Your costs of living will vary considerably depending on your spending habits and location, with large cities being generally more expensive to live in.
The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada estimates living costs to be about CA$15,500 per year, excluding mandatory health insurance, which is CA$864 per year under the BC Health Plan. The Université de Montréal also estimates that students would need a total of CA$14,700 per year including housing, accommodation, food, books and course supplies, phone costs and miscellaneous expenses.
The three common types of student accommodation which include homestay, university accommodation, and private accommodation considerably vary in costs, with students paying around CA$3,000-7,500 (~US$2,271 – 5,680) for on-campus accommodation each year. Accommodations that are privately shared can cost around CA$8,400 (~US$6,361) per year plus bills.
Accommodation in university is sometimes cheaper, with some universities offering meal plans to allow you to buy meals from the food outlets of the university. According to Numbeo in October 2019, some examples of average costs of living in Canada are as follows;
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- Eating out at a restaurant costs about CA$16 per person (~US$12)
- A one-way ticket on local public transport: CA$3 (~US$2.27)
- Loaf of bread: CA$2.86 (~US$2.17)
- Cinema ticket: CA$13.50 (~US$10.22)
- Monthly gym fee: CA$48.25 (~US$36.54)
While studying in Canada, it is needed to buy compulsory health insurance which will cost approximately CA$600-800 (~US$455-607) per year. Extra costs, such as warm winter clothing if you don’t already have any should also be budgeted for.
Having Student jobs in Canada
While studying in Canada, if you’d like to get a part-time job to aid in supporting yourself, you can decide to work off or on campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters. You can also decide to work full-time during semester breaks like the summer or winter holiday breaks.
You can do these without the need for a work permit. Although to qualify, there are certain requirements. These requirements are as follows;
- Have a valid study permit
- Be a full-time student
- You must be enrolled at a designated post-secondary institution of learning.
- Be studying for an academic, vocational or professional training program of least six months in duration that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- In order to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada.
Financial aid to study in Canada
Financial aids such as scholarships, grants and bursaries are available for international students wishing to study in Canada, at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. These include subject-specific scholarships and specific scholarships for sporting and academic achievement.
Many Canadian universities offer their own scholarships, making it possible to also be able to apply for scholarships exclusively offered by the university. International applicants are advised to research scholarship opportunities to study abroad offered by organizations in their home country.
The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students from all Commonwealth countries.
Student visa and application fees
Studying in Canada requires obtaining a Canadian study permit, which will serve as a student visa for the duration of your stay. However, a Canadian study permit is not necessary if the duration of your programme or course is for six months or less. The cost of applying for a Canadian study permit is CA$150 (~US$114).
Canadian universities’ application fees vary depending on the university and your country of origin. For example, the University of British Columbia charges undergraduate Canadian students CA$70.50 (~US$53.40) and international students CA$118.50 (~US$89.70). This fee may be waived if you are an international student from a developing country.
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