international students in Canada
International students are the main source of funds for Canada's universities and colleges. Source: Shopify Partners/Burst

Do you have your heart set on studying in Canada?

The country is home to some of the world’s top universities, but depending on where you study, the cost of tuition for international students can vary greatly. This depends on several factors, including the university and programme you enrol in, as well as the location (i.e. province and territory).

As tuition is among the biggest chunk of your expenses as a student, it helps to compare the average prices of tuition in various areas as a benchmark and navigate your way from there to help you choose the right university that suits your budget, personal and professional goals.

So, if you’re looking to obtain an international education without breaking the bank, which would be the cheapest or most affordable place in Canada that offers competitive tuition, according to your budget?

According to Statistics Canada, the average undergraduate tuition fees for international students in 2018/2019 is CND$27,159 (over US$20,000/£15,000) per year and CND$16,497 (over US$12,000/£9,000) per year for graduate studies.

But here’s a further breakdown, according to area and level of study:

Location Average tuition fees (CND$) 2018/2019
International undergraduate International graduate
Newfoundland and Labrador 12,035 4,087
New Brunswick 14,290 11,593
Manitoba 15,582 10,995
Nova Scotia 17,662 18,907
Saskatchewan 20,211 6,032
Prince Edward Island 21,525 11,905
Alberta 21,548 11,804
Quebec 21,857 15,392
British Columbia 25,472 16,988
Ontario 34,961 21,686
Source: Statistics Canada

Top 3 cheapest locations for international students to pursue undergraduate studies:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. New Brunswick
  3. Manitoba

Top 3 cheapest locations for international students to pursue graduate studies:

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Saskatchewan
  3. Manitoba

Statistics Canada notes that two-thirds of international students were studying at the undergraduate level.

“Of this group, 30% were enrolled in business, management and public administration, with an average tuition fee of $26,395, which was slightly below the national average for all fields of study in 2018/2019,” it said.

“On the other hand, 14 percent of international undergraduate students were enrolled full-time in engineering, which had above-average tuition fees of $30,742.”

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