Typical Costs in Canada for International Students
A general guide to expenses in Canada so you can start budgeting for your education.
Here are some typical costs (in Canadian dollars) for items and services in Canada to help you budget for your new life as an international student. These amounts are estimates only and may vary significantly. Please ensure you bring enough funds to support yourself through your first year in Canada!
||Monthly cost (Canadian dollars)
||Description and notes
||Private room with shared bathroom and kitchen: $600 - $800 monthly
1-bedroom apartment with private bathroom and kitchen: $1,200 - $1,700 monthly
Please note that most landlords require you pay your first and last month's rent up front when you sign your lease
||Payments for heat, air conditioning, water, and electricity, and internet may be additional to the rent you pay, so please ask your landlord before you sign anything.
||$150 - $300
||Food costs vary depending on where you buy your groceries, and how often you eat out.
• Restaurant meal for 1 person: $20
• Fast-food meal (McDonald's McChicken, fries, and drink): $12
• Cup of coffee: $3
• 5 kg bag of rice at grocery store: $10
||Depends on your location. Conestoga College students in Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, and Guelph can get transit passes. Students in Brantford have transit passes already included in tuition.
|Phone and Internet
||$50 - $100
||Costs depend on your phone, how much data you add on, and what speed your internet is.
• Check if your phone will work in Canada
• Internet packages may be shared by all living in the same household
• Free wi-fi is available in many public spaces, including across Conestoga College
||$100 - $200
||• Cold weather clothing is necessary: budget for winter jackets, boots, scarves, and hats.
• Approximately $5 for a bottle of soap or shampoo
||$500+ per term
||Conestoga College students can check the booklist here for pricing
Cost of living tips from Conestoga International
The Conestoga International YouTube channel has lots of great videos featuring international students sharing their experiences and advice on spending and saving in Canada. Here's just a sample of what's on offer:
Looking for more student insight? Check out the Conestoga International Instagram, where students weigh in on everything from groceries to transportation:
Living in Canada can be expensive, but the world-class education makes it worth it! Plus, Canada offers a generous pathway to permanent residency for international students — so if you want to become a new Canadian, attending a Canadian school is a great way to start.
Check out the Conestoga College Student Guide
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