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Study in Canada

Education Cost:

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.

S.no.Study programAverage annual fee (in CAD*)
1Undergraduate program$12,000 to $25,000 per year
2Postgraduate master's degree$14,000 to $35,000 per year
3Doctoral degree$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.

Explore accommodation options.

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 process.

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.

Education System:

Here’s an overview of the Canadian education for you.

One of the major reasons behind Canada’s popularity among students is its affordable quality education. The Canadian government spends generously on higher education and is among the top three countries to spend per capital on post-secondary education. Let’s find out more about the Canadian education system.

Study levels in Canada

Since the education system in Canada is managed by the provincial governments, the study levels and educational stages may lie in different clusters with different names. Here’s a synopsis:

QualificationDurationDescription
Certificates and Diploma1 to 2 yearsVocational and job oriented programs, mainly technical
Associate degree2 yearsEquivalent to first two years of a 4-year bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree3 to 4 yearsAnd undergraduate degree which requires successful completion of secondary school. The duration of your course depends on the province and type of program although most courses last for 4 years. Certain provinces like Quebec have bachelor's degree of 3 years.
Bachelor's Honors degree4 yearsThis will require getting a specific GPA or credits, a majors or a specialist program
Postgraduate diploma1 to 2 yearsA post bachelor degree qualification
Master's degree (by thesis)1 to 2 yearsOften referred to as research masters, this requires mandatory submission of thesis for assessment and course completion
Master's degree (by non-thesis)1 to 2 yearsThis is a taught master's degree, not requiring thesis submission
Doctorate or PhD4 to 7 yearsPh.D. is awarded when students complete dissertation and successfully defend their work before a panel of faculty members
Post-Doctoral ProgramsNo time limitSpecialised research-oriented programs

Types of institutions

There are different types of qualifications offered by various institutions of Canada.

  • University: Students can apply for undergraduate degree, postgraduate certificate, diploma and degree, professional degrees and doctorate in universities of Canada.
  • University colleges: Programs offered by university colleges include diploma and university transfer programs.
  • Community colleges: Students can get certificate, diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree and postgraduate diploma in community colleges.
  • Career and technical colleges: Certificate and diploma offered for technical education.

Co-operative education

This unique platform brings together classroom-based education and practical work experience making for more structured and pragmatic learning. This is an exceptionally wonderful avenue for international students who do not wish to consume themselves in a completely lecture-based education. Note that 50% of the program will include work experience therefore you must have a work permit.

Academic year

September is the main intake in Canada and witnesses maximum number of student admissions. While most colleges and universities offer the September and January intake, you may also be able to get admissions in the Summer intake that starts around April/May.

Pedagogy in Canadian classrooms

Active participation, research and analysis via presentation, assignments and lab tests are the basis of Canadian learning. Classes are usually a mix of lectures, tutorials and lab sessions having a student strength of about 30 to 200. While lectures may have a higher number of students, tutorials are generally held within small groups for better and in-depth understanding of the concept. Canadian universities focus on providing a holistic experience wherein students get opportunities that improve their learning, career and life.

Tuition fee

In comparison to the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Canada offers the lowest tuition rates for foreign students.

To cover tuition fees, you will need between CAD 7,000 and CAD 29,000 (indicative costs) a year. However, this is a general guide only and cost varies in relation to the institution and program you are applying for, as well as the location and lifestyle.

Financial aid

Financial aids are available for Indian students applying to Canadian students in the form of scholarships, grants, bursaries, tuition waiver, etc. Note that the amount of the reward and its type varies between various institutions and programs. Since getting a scholarship is competitive, we recommend you to start with the procedure about 8-12 months before the preferred intake begins.

Here’s an overview of the kinds of scholarships you can apply for based on your study level.

For undergraduates (UG)

  • Merit-based scholarship
  • Provincial Government scholarship
  • Need-based grants and bursaries by college
  • Tuition waiver
  • Commonwealth scholarship
  • Private/Organisational scholarship

For Postgraduates (PG)

  • Merit-based scholarship
  • Provincial Government scholarship
  • Research associate-ship
  • Professional Development award
  • Fellowship
  • Teaching assistantship
  • Commonwealth scholarship
  • Private/Organisational scholarship

Popular programs among Indian students

Global Business Management Mechanical Engineering- Industrial & Design / Automotive
Project Management Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts
Biotechnology I.T. Business Analytics
Big Data Analytics Embedded Systems
Wireless Networking Fitness and Health Promotion

Partner Institutions

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University of King's College
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University of Toronto
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University of Victoria
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University of Waterloo
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University of Alberta
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Thompson Rivers University
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The King’s University
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George Brown College
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Laval University
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Georgian College