Cost of Living in Canada vs USA for International Students

By Raghuram Sukumar Study in Canada Edit

Question – What is the typical cost of living in Canada vs USA  for international students in Canada. I’m from India and planning  to study Masters, but split between Canada vs USA.

Lets looks at cost of living  in Canada vs USA and compare tuition fees per year for Canadian vs US Universities.

Living Expenses typically include your apartment rent, utilities, food, entertainment, personal expenses, etc.

Typical room and board expenses listed at university websites under cost of living assume you are not sharing your apartment or room.

Students from India share the apartment (2 to 4 person per apartment). When expenses gets shared my roommates, then your cost of living comes down.

Cost of Living in Canada

  • Apartment/Housing Rental: Rent can vary from $300 to $500+. If you live in single bedroom apartment, then it will be expensive. Shared rental will be cheaper. So, it’s based on your preference.
  • Other expenses:  Between $250 to $400 depending on food, eating out, cellphone, internet and television connections.

Total you are looking at $350 + $250 = $600 (Canadian Dollars per month) for your day-to-day expenses.

At time of this writing 1 USD = 0.984189 CAD.

Here is the table  from University of British Columbia on cost of Living

Estimated minimum annual living costs for single person (not including tuition)
Student fees $655 Includes U-Pass full public transit pass for 3 terms
Room & Board $12,000 On or off-campus housing and food costs
Books & Supplies $800 Reading materials, lab/studio costs vary by program
BC Health Plan $648 Mandatory basic health coverage
AMS/GSS Extended Health Plan $224 Prescription drugs, vision, dental coverage
Personal & Household Expenses $2100 Clothing, personal care, household goods, etc
Entertainment  $600 Having a bit of fun!
$17,027 Remember, this does not include tuition

We calculated $600 per month based on sharing an apartment, which comes to $600×12 = $7200 per year including food, entertainment. But, you can estimate around $10,000 in living expenses per year.

Cost of Living in USA

Cost of living in US Universities is along the same lines.

You can negate cost of living factors while deciding between US and Canada if you are comparing similar cities. Major difference comes into picture when you include tuition fees. Lets cover tuition fees between Canadian and US Universities in next post.

Do you have any other questions about cost of living in Canada?

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