With lush landscapes, crazy cities and tranquil terrains, there isn’t a more idealistic country to study in than Canada. Home to some of the world’s top universities, with campuses nestled between wondrous mountains and overlooking dramatic views, it’s no wonder that students from 186 nations flock to study in Canada. One major aspect to figure out before joining them is the costs to study in Canada in 2021.

Back in 2017, a year of Canadian higher education would cost you an average of CAD$19,500 — which largely comprised tuition fees and rent. Here’s an updated estimate for the year 2020/2021, according to CanadianVisa.Org.

University fees

Statistics Canada estimates that an average undergraduate programme would now cost CAD$29,714 per year, while a postgraduate programme can reach CAD$17,744 annually. An MBA will approximately cost around CAD$27,397 each year. You will have to pay higher tuition fees for undergraduate courses like dentistry, medicine, and law, while social sciences, humanities, and education programmes are on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

You should also account for university application fees, which typically start at around CAD$100 and can go up to CAD$500. These fees are non-refundable whether or not you get accepted, but remember, not all universities charge them either.


When you apply for a study permit to Canada, you will be granted a temporary travel visa at the cost of CAD$150. You can also apply for an additional work permit for CAD$155; you will need this to work on or off campus for 20 hours a week.

Average living

Since international students can work part-time in Canada, you can make side income to support yourself. You should budget at least CAD$10,000 for yearly living expenses excluding accommodation. On-campus accommodation costs between CAD$3,000 and CAD$7,500 annually, while private shared accommodation run higher at CAD$8,400 (excluding bills).

Food and beverages take up a large chunk of your living expenses, too. You can expect to spend CAD$17 to CAD$35 on a meal at a restaurant, while a take-away meal would cost between CAD$10 and CAD$15.

Neuvoo estimates that you will pay prices below for other living expenses:

  • CAD$76.51 per month for unlimited internet 
  • CAD$50.00 per month for gym fees
  • CAD$97 per month for a public transportation pass
  • CAD$600-800 per year for health insurance

Bear in mind that Canada is a large country, and the costs above vary between locations. On top of the basic expenses above, you should also consider Canada’s welcoming immigration policies as well as safe and tolerant communities when deciding where to study abroad.

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