Cheap & Affordable Tertiary Education in Canada

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In today’s article, we shall be looking at the cost associated with studying and living in Canada as an international students. As a student it’s important that you consider thecost of study in the country you have chosen to pursue your study. Different countries have different cost of study. In Canada, you can actually get some low tuition universities where tuition fees is affordable for international students.

You might wonder what is the cost of studying on low tuition in Canada? If you are keen on studying in Canada, one important thing to consider is the cost involved. This article will break down the cost of every aspect of university life to ensure that you have all your questions answered.  

As we always say, have at the back of your mind that prices and exchange rates are correct only at the time of publication and may vary over time. 

Tuition fees

Each institution in Canada determines how much it will charge for tuition and this depends largely on the course, the student’s home country, the province and the degree .

As at 2017, the average Canadian citizen who studied in Canada paid $6,571 or £3,880 (note that all amounts quoted are in Canadian dollars) at the undergraduate level and $6,907 (£4,078) per year for a graduate course.

International students on the other hand pay more than Canadian citizens, although it is still much cheaper than they would pay in other Anglophone countries such as the UK, the USA or Australia – the 2017/18 average was $25,180 (£14,866) per year.

Engineering and medical courses tend to cost more for international students (usually at $28,625 or £16,906 per year) while arts and humanities courses are slightly below that. Business and management programs are cheaper than the national average, at roughly $24,683 (£14,573) per year.

Postgraduate courses, also known as “grad” programmes, last between a year and three years’ full-time study. A postgraduate program will cost $4,000 and $6,000 (£2,500-3,600) per year, although some can go for as much as $22,485 (£15,000) per year.

Canadian students can expect to graduate with $27,000 (£15,920) debt based on a three-year programme. International students who graduate from a Canadian university can expect to carry a debt burden of $75,540 or £44,538 (although in some cases some programs last for four years, in which case the cost will be more).

Accommodation Expenses

There are a bunch of options when it comes to student accommodation in Canada. We have a homestay (where students live in a lodging in their university town), university accommodation or private accommodation and these vary in cost. The average cost is about about $6,000 (£3,537) per year.

Note that some homestay services charge an initial placement amount of $200 (£117) and the average cost per month is then $400-800 (£235-471). The average cost of a university residence or dormitory is $3,000-7,500 per year (£1,769-4,422) and offers campus dining meal plans. Private shared accommodation is around $250-700 (£147-413) per month, or $8,400 (£4,953) per year. This amount varies across the different provinces.

Other essential student costs

Under Canadian student visa laws and regulations, you are expected to have at least $10,000 (or $11,000 if you are studying and living in Quebec) in addition to your tuition fees, although your budget should be more than this in order to cover essential living expenses.

The University of Montreal for example estimates that students will require a total of $15,050 (£8,873) per year inorder to take care of housing, books and course supplies, phone bills and other costs. The University of British Columbia on the other hand estimates $15,500 (£9,139). It is interesting to note that Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada to live in, per rental expenses. Cities found in Quebec are some of the cheapest for international students to live in.

An important cost to actively consider is the compulsory health insurance, which is about $600-800 (£354-472) per year. Medical coverage differs from province to province; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan cover international students under provincial healthcare plans however be informed that depends on how long you intend to stay. International students intending to study in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario or Prince Edward Island should arrange their own private health insurance. Explore every opportunity and seek ways to study on cheapest tuition in Canada.

Do not forget to invest in purchasing warm winter wear to live in Canada, as temperatures can go as low as low as -40°C. Roughly $150 (£88.44) per month should be sufficient for your basic utilities, such as electricity, heating, water and the council bills. Internet will cost $150 per month (split evenly between tenants).

Approximately $600 (£354) should cover all books necessary for an average academic year and a mobile phone package is about $30 per month.

Note that one-way public transport fares normally cost a few Canadian dollars and monthly passes cost roughly $80-100 (£47-59), although several transport systems offer student discounts. Taxis are one cheap form of transport in Canada and cost roughly $2 and $6 per kilometre (£1.18-3.54). The average amount spent on fuel by car-owning students in Canada in 2017 was $200 per month (£117.92), or $2,400 per year (£1,415).

What financial assistance is available

Inorder to adhere to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration laws, students are expected to prove they have sufficient funds required to meet their financial needs while studying in Canada before starting their course. There are tons of scholarships, grants and bursaries that international students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels can avail themselves of. 

Do well to start researching these options as early as possible.Note that scholarship funding is super competitive and in limited supply as well. Scholarships can be found for sporting or academic achievement or particular prowess in one subject. There are equally university-specific scholarships which you can find on the institution’s websites, but it’s equally important to research study abroad scholarship opportunities awarded by your home country’s organisations.

One popular option is the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program which provides funding assistance  for students of other Commonwealth countries.

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