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Benefits of Studying in Canada

Cost of Studying in Canada



A recent study indicates the number of international students studying in Canada is over 250,000, a figure that is constantly growing. Many of these students are choosing Canada over other potential destinations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and France, because of certain advantages that studying in Canada can bring. With quality and more affordable tuition, safe cities, employment options (both during and after the study period), and as a pathway to Canadian permanent residence, the decision to study in Canada can be one of the most important, and best, decisions made by young people from around the world.


World-class Universities and Colleges

Canadian universities and colleges located across the country are renowned for their research and innovation. Canada's higher education institutions are diverse - varying in size, scope, character and breadth of programs. High academic standards and thorough quality controls mean that students may gain a high-quality education that will benefit their careers over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is generally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.


Lower tuition costs

Canada is often the preferred choice for students who may also have the option of studying in countries such as the United States or United Kingdom because of the lower tuition costs. Compared to other countries, Canadian international tuition fees, accommodation and other living expenses remain competitive.



Canada wants students

More than anything, Canada does not see international students as a source of income for privately-owned educational institutions, to be shown the door when they have completed their studies. On the contrary, Canada wants students because Canada is all about nation-building. Young, intelligent newcomers who have proven they have the credentials and means to assimilate are a big part of that. In short, Canada wants students to come here, study, contribute socially and economically, and stay permanently.


Work while you study

Students in Canada have the advantage of being able to work while studying. Among other benefits, this allows them to manage their finances without incurring enormous debt. To gain the right to work off-campus, students must:


  • have a valid study permit;
  • be a full-time student;
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level; and
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.


If a candidate qualifies, his or her study permit will allow him or her to:


  • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions; and
  • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.


Post-graduate work permit

A typical path from student to permanent resident status in Canada is through taking advantage of something Canada offers that is not available, or more difficult to obtain, in other countries - a post-graduate work permit. This work permit may be issued on completion of the study program for the duration that the program, up to a maximum of three years. Thus, a graduate who completed a four-year study program could be eligible for a three-year post-graduate work permit, while a graduate who completed a study program twelve months in duration could be eligible for a twelve-month post-graduate work permit.



A pathway to Canadian permanent residence

Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program helps graduates to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).



Compared to many countries, the cost of studying in Canada is very affordable. As a guide, you will likely need between $15,000 Cdn and $30,000 Cdn annually to cover tuition and living expenses. However, this cost range is an average only and will vary according to the institution and program in which you are enrolled, your location, and living choices.




Tuition fees for international students vary across provinces and programs. The table below shows the weighted average tuition fees for full-time foreign students, by field of study.


Remember, however, that the costs associated with attending university go beyond tuition fees. You must also budget for items such as books, personal living expenses, and housing.


University tuition fees for full-time foreign students (in Canadian dollars)


Field of study grouping                                                                                                      Undergraduate                                 Graduate

Education                                                                                                                             $14,600                                            $12,742

Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies                                           $17,530                                            $12,152

Humanities                                                                                                                           $18,365                                            $12,633

Social and behavioural sciences                                                                                          $18,078                                            $12,461

Law, legal professions and studies                                                                                      $23,552                                            $15,065

Business management and public administration                                                                $19,641                                            $18,157

Executive MBA                                                                                                                     Not applicable                                $44,800

Regular MBA                                                                                                                        Not applicable                                $32,424

Physical and life sciences and technologies                                                                        $20,039                                            $12,618

Mathematics, computer and information sciences                                                               $20,699                                            $12,113

Engineering                                                                                                                          $21,819                                            $14,315

Architecture and related technologies                                                                                  $18,793                                            $15,982

Agriculture, natural resources and conservation                                                                  $17,558                                            $11,634

Dentistry                                                                                                                               $47,621                                            Not available

Medicine                                                                                                                               $29,198                                            Not available

Nursing                                                                                                                                 $16,435                                            $11,585

Pharmacy                                                                                                                             $30,479                                            $12,231

Veterinary medicine                                                                                                              $51,538                                            $8,364

Other health, parks, recreation and fitness                                                                          $17,793                                            $16,460

(weighted average tuition fees) Source: Statistics Canada



Most universities offer on-campus residences designated for international students, or residences generally available to all students on campus. However, acceptance at a Canadian school does not automatically mean you can get a room in residence. Students must apply separately for on-campus housing. The cost of on-campus housing varies across institutions and will depend on whether or not you want a private room or meal plan, for example.


Some international students choose to live off-campus in an apartment or flat. Rent for an apartment in Canada can range from approximately $400 Cdn to $1,500 Cdn per month depending on the city or neighbourhood and the type of accommodation. As a renter, you may also need to pay additional monthly costs for utilities, such as electricity, home phone, Internet and cable television, as well as personal expenses and renters’ insurance.


Most universities can provide assistance with finding accommodations, both on- and off-campus, and answer questions through their housing office or student services.


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