Though a worthwhile long-term investment, international education can be expensive. Being aware of all living costs and budgeting accurately is critical for ensuring students have the financial means to complete their education.
According to Statistics Canada, the average annual tuition fee for international students for academic year 2018/2019 was $27,159 CAD for undergraduate studies, and $16,497 CAD for graduate studies.
Fees can vary greatly depending on the field of study, as well as by the academic institution. At the undergraduate level, annual fees range from approximately $20,000 CAD to $60,000 CAD for professional programs like dentistry and veterinary medicine. For graduate studies, annual tuition fees can range from $10,000 CAD to $57,000 CAD for an Executive MBA.
In addition to tuition, students must also account for books, housing, food, and other day-to-day living expenses. Costs are generally more expensive in bigger cities and will also depend on a student’s lifestyle, choice of accommodations, and spending habits. The costs, on average, breakdown as the following:
- Off-campus costs assume the student is living independently. Students can lower costs by sharing off-campus housing with other students.
- Books and supplies costs vary by program.
- Utilities and Internet are included and available at on-campus residences.
- Transportation is not needed on a daily basis if a student is living on-campus as the residences are located within walking distance of the campus and its classrooms.
- When it comes to food, some institutions require students to purchase a meal plan. Students can use the money added to their meal plan to purchase meals from on-campus cafeterias and restaurants.
International students have a few financial aid options available to them to finance their studies in Canada, including scholarships, bursaries, and loans.
Scholarships are awarded to students with academic excellence through a competitive application process. Students can apply for scholarships at their chosen institutions when they apply for admission. We strongly recommend searching for scholarships early on in the admission process as many scholarships have early application deadlines.
Many post-secondary also grant automatic entrance scholarships to students with high GPAs. Students can check the amounts they may be eligible for by visiting the institution’s website for scholarship, bursaries and financial aid.
Government of Canada and related government agencies also offer numerous scholarships to international students. Additionally, students can also get scholarships from their home country and should do their research ahead of time to ensure they don’t miss any deadlines.
Grants and Bursaries
Bursaries are offered by post-secondary institutions and are available to students who demonstrate financial need. Students typically need to submit an application with details of their finances to show financial need.
International students can apply for student loans from financial institutions in Canada in the form of a student line of credit (LOC). Student LOC typically has a lower interest rate than a regular credit card and the credit limit is based on the student’s tuition and level of studies.
Students can apply for a LOC when they are in Canada and enrolled in a full-time postsecondary program.