Study In Canada: How To Budget As An International Student in 2022

This post explains in details how to make a reasonable Budget as an International Student in Canada.
Studying in Canada is one of the best immigration decisions you will make this year as it is one of the best countries to immigrate to whether you want to study or work in Canada.

Compared to many other countries, studying in Canada is very cheap. You will likely need CA $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 a year to cover tuition costs.


This range is only an average and varies depending on the institution and degree program in which you are enrolled.

The cost of a room, board, and other living expenses will vary depending on your location and your own needs, but CA $ 15,000 per year is not an uncommon estimate.


Canada boasts a strong education system as it is home to some of the best universities in the world. It is a good choice for your undergraduate degree or college.

The good thing about studying in Canada as an international student is that you can work alongside your studies.

If you really enjoy your time in Canada and want to stay in Canada after you graduate, you need to plan, budget, and save money.

In this article, we are going to show you how to budget your finances as an international student in Canada so that you can live well in this great country.


Thus, without further ado lets dive in..

What is a student budget?

A student budget is a breakdown of all of the funds you have received plus the funds you are spending. It helps you estimate and plan your expenses so that in the end you don’t spend more than you have.

Budgeting tools for students

Before you fly, it’s worth doing some research. Check out the average cost of living in your dream study abroad destination. Websites like numbeo will allow you to compare the cost of living in different cities and countries so you know what to expect before you set off.

Once you have an approximate estimate of the cost of living in your new home, you can enter other expenses, such as tuition and rent, into an online student budget calculator. This will give you a more accurate forecast.

However, you will not understand the real cost of studying abroad until you arrive in your host country. Once you are settled in, you can keep track of your expenses with a budget table.

What to include in your student budget

Breaking down your expenses into material and non-essential expenses is one of the easiest ways to organize your budget.

Core costs/ essential expenses: are items or services that you need to purchase. You need to prioritize these needs in your budget.
Non-core costs / Non-essential expenses: are items or services that you value but don’t necessarily need.
Here’s a look at the essential and non-essential costs that most international students face:

Essential costs Non-essential costs
Tuition fees Clothing
Accommodation costs Haircuts & beauty products
Utilities (gas, electricity, water) Gym membership
Groceries Dining out
Mobile phone, WiFi, TV Household supplies
Insurance (health and contents) Nights out (club entry, alcohol, takeaways, taxis)
Visa application fee Music and film subscription services (Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, Spotify)
Books and academic supplies Hobbies (cinema tickets, music gigs, games consoles)
Transport (buses, trains, fuel, car insurance) Sports club membership fees and kit

Having a small emergency fund in your budget is a sensible move. Hopefully, you’ll never need to dip into this pot, but it could cover the cost of urgent healthcare or an unplanned flight home.

How do you calculate a student budget?

Calculate Your Total Income: This is all of the money you receive in the form of loans, scholarships, grants, part-time work, savings, and contributions from parents or guardians.
Subtract your essential expenses: Subtract the total cost of your essential expenses from your total income.
Calculate Your Disposable Income: The remaining money is what you can afford to spend on non-essential items and services.
How to create Your Budget As An International Student in Canada

As mentioned earlier, studying in Canada is a great opportunity for you as you can compete with graduates from other top universities in the world.

Studying in Canada teaches you life skills like problem solving, time management, adaptability and cultural awareness.

The standard of living in some cities in Canada is quite high, such as Toronto, and getting an education here means learning how to manage your finances adequately.

But in doing so, you need to create a budget and stick to it. Managing your expenses may not be easy, especially if you don’t have a job and can therefore find a part-time job that will help you make extra money to cover the expenses.

There are certain expenses that you need to consider when preparing your budget.

Let’s take a look at some of the daily expenses that you must budget for as an international student in Canada.

Tuition fees
Health Insurance;
Visa Fees
#1. Tuition fees

As a student, this is probably the most important expense you need to make, and it will also be the most expensive. You should know that as an international student, you will pay more than Canadian citizenship or permanent residents, especially in public schools across the country.

Canada offers you quality education with cheaper tuition fees unlike some of the other top universities in the world. The average tuition for an undergraduate program ranges from $ 30,598 to $ 32,500, and that ratio was set in 2021, according to Statistics Canada. Additionally, tuition fees for a postgraduate program range from $ 16,750 to $ 19,252.

You should be aware that tuition fees can also vary from province to province, so you can pay more or less depending on the province you want to study in. The most expensive province is Ontario and the cheapest is New Brunswick.

The most expensive provinces for tuition fees in Canada are more like home to some of the best universities in the world and you should also be aware that the cost of living in these provinces are also high budget and make sure you stick to them.

How much will it cost to study in Canada in 2022?

We’re going to look at how much it costs to study as an international student in each of Canada’s provinces, whether you want to study a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Average tuition fees (CAD) for international students by province
Province Undergraduate program fee
Ontario $35, 564- $40,720
British Columbia $26,846- $28,240
Manitoba $15,300- $17,399
Saskatchewan $16, 003- $20,700
Alberta $25, 364- $27,500
New Brunswick $12, 465- $16,744
Nova Scotia $16, 758- $19,659
Prince Edward Island $17,900- $21,093
Quebec $23, 640- $26,200
Average tuition fees (CAD) for international students by province
Province Post-Graduate program fee
Ontario $23, 647- $25,202
British Columbia $16,456- $20,200
Manitoba $9,746- $11,558
Saskatchewan $5, 465- $6,496
Alberta $12, 758- $14,683
New Brunswick $10, 000- $12,374
Nova Scotia $19, 263- $21,780
Prince Edward Island $8,657- $10,598
Quebec $15, 950- $17,689
International Tuition Fees by Field of Study

Field of study grouping Undergraduate Graduate
Education $20,875 $15,764
Visual and performing arts, and communications technologies $25,127 $14,737
Humanities $28,676 $13,667
Social and behavioural sciences $27,647 $15,032
Law, legal professions and studies $33,192 $17,237
Business management and public administration $26,680 $24,693
Executive MBA Not available $66,665
Regular MBA Not available $38,950
Physical and life sciences and technologies $31,536 $15,421
Mathematics, computer and information sciences $33,012 $16,647
Engineering $33,703 $19,301
Architecture $26,457 $23,992
Agriculture, natural resources and conservation $26,208 $14,452
Dentistry $56,621 $22,472
Medicine $32,450 Not available
Nursing $21,922 $16,168
Optometry Not available $14,014
Pharmacy $40,960 $12,876
Veterinary medicine $63,323 $10,099
Other health, parks, recreation and fitness $24,626 $18,551
Personal, protective and transportation services $20,332 Not available
*weighted average tuition fees by field of study in Canadian dollars.
Source: Statistics Canada. Tuition and Living Accommodations Costs

#2. Accommodation

Your accommodation as a student is another important part of your budget and for you as an international student; You need to find a place where the rent is not too high.

It is up to you to decide where to stay, whether on campus or off campus, but you need to consider the cost of renting each of these decisions, as well as the pros and cons of the type of accommodation you want.

How To Budget As An International Student in 2022
How To Budget As An International Student in 2022
#i. Off-campus Accommodation

Staying off-campus has its ups and downs, and many universities in Canada do not offer on-campus accommodation, especially after your freshman year of study.

So even if you want to take accommodation off campus, it must be closer to the school and also be beneficial for you as a student. You don’t need a luxury apartment, but finding comfortable accommodation is just as important.

Rent also varies depending on the type of apartment and apartment furnishings, and one way to keep rental costs down is to live with a roommate or two so you can share the rent with them, remember that you will have to pay other expenses. .

#ii. Accommodation on campus

Living on campus means staying in college dormitories and student dormitories and not having to worry about being late for class or missing classes because you live on campus.

This is really a good option for freshman students as Canada is a new place for them and they are not yet familiar with the local area and life in Canada.

Life on campus is quite cheap and affordable, and it will help you save a dollar or two and cover other expenses. Some universities also offer you a meal.

#3. Feeding

Food is a basic necessity of life and everyone includes it in their budget; It’s just to help you cut your grocery spending.

If you live on campus, you may be lucky enough to have your meal plan included in your accommodation costs and for someone who lives off campus you will have to prepare your own meals.

You need to create a monthly budget that includes your groceries, e.g. B. Shopping, dining, and other grocery-related expenses. Because of this, in some cases; Students living off campus are advised to find one or more roommates to share their expenses with.

Even if you live on campus, it’s not bad to eat out every now and then, like eating pizza or sushi, but you need to make sure you plan to do so.

#4. Transportation

This may be necessary for students who live far from college or university, but it is not excluded for students who live on campus as you will want to go out on certain occasions, which is why this should be included in your budget.

You can use public transport as it is cheaper and would save you money, or better yet, find better ways to get to campus without spending a lot of money. Everything you do should be within your budget.

#5. Recreation

What is college life if you don’t schedule a fun time? All the work and no games make you a boring student and sometimes you have to go out to relax and to see.

Sometimes you may not want to get home quickly during the holidays and don’t want to stay in the hostel for the entire holiday season;

This is the time to enjoy Canada and visit certain places and so it should be included in your budget. Canada is one of the best countries to explore, but you shouldn’t do it without being on your budget.

You can visit the National Park, Niagara Falls, etc.

#6. Health insurance

Medical emergencies are something that you cannot really foresee and so you must be insured for these emergencies and Canada does not get this health insurance whether you are a citizen, permanent resident, or international student.

As an international student, you may be covered by the health insurance of the country you are studying in, and you may have health insurance for medical treatments that your national health insurance may not cover; they are more like private health insurance and are usually included in the training costs.

#7. Visa fees

It’s an expense that you shouldn’t forget to budget for, and the good thing is that it’s a one-time expense;

You don’t have to pay them again if you want to extend your studies. or renew your study permit.

You will need to spend money on everything related to your visa application, such as: Application fees and additional fees for certain specific documents.

Check out These Top 5 tips for saving money in School:

Find the cheapest means of transport: take a bike, take a bus instead of a train and book flights early. If you travel frequently, consider investing in a multi-purpose travel card.
Find Financial Aid: You may be eligible for a variety of financial assistance programs, including scholarships, grants, and grants. If you do your research, you might find some gold.
Earn through learning: If you are starting to feel the effects, you may be looking for a part-time job. It’s a helpful way to make ends meet, but don’t let it get in the way of your education.
Take advantage of student discounts: Many shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues offer student deals and discounts. Remember to show your student ID before paying.
Cook from scratch: Eating out regularly can be a drain on your finances. Home cooking is a fantastic way to save money and improve your cooking skills. Consider buying frozen food instead of fresh and supermarket lines instead of big brands to keep your bill lower.
Can I work in Canada as an international student?

Yes, you can actually work and study in Canada as an international student and it will help you gain Canadian work experience for your future in Canada. If you take a course of more than six months, you can work part-time and full-time around 20 hours a week during the holidays.

This is a great way to make extra cash to meet your needs and save money too. Working as a student helps you gain independence and financial freedom as you can meet your needs without being dependent on others.

How Much Can I Earn As A Student In Canada?

Well, employers love to hire students for a variety of part-time jobs and freelance assignments. In addition, what you earn as a student varies depending on the tariff and employer. There are several student jobs available on and off campus, and you can also earn the Canadian minimum wage of $ 15.00 per hour.


Remember, the costs associated with going to college go beyond the tuition fees. You also need to budget for things like books, living expenses, and accommodation.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires that you demonstrate that you have enough money to meet your financial needs before beginning your studies in Canada.

Therefore, it is important that you start arranging your finances early on and looking into the possibility of receiving a scholarship to finance your education.

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