The Cost of Studying in Canada: Is it Worth it?

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, providing valuable academic and cultural exposure. Canada is one of the top choices among international students, thanks to its quality education, friendly immigration policies, and diverse cultural environment. However, studying in Canada can come at a significant cost, ranging from tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses. In this article, we will explore the cost of studying in Canada and evaluate whether it’s worth the price.

Tuition Fees:

The average tuition fee for international students ranges from $16,000 to $35,000 per year, depending on the course and institution. However, some professional programs such as medicine, dentistry, law or MBA can cost much higher, exceeding $55,000 per year. The good news is that Canadian universities are more affordable compared to other popular study destinations, such as the USA, UK, or Australia.

Despite the cost, many international students choose to come to Canada because of the quality of education and the skillset they gain that will eventually make them more competitive in the workforce. Canadian universities are renowned for providing innovative, research-driven education and offer a range of programs with a high reputation among employers. In addition, students can benefit from professional and research opportunities with their professors or through extracurricular activities in university departments, such as student associations.

Living Expenses:

The cost of living in Canada can vary depending on several factors, such as location, transportation, food, and lodging. In general, students living in big cities such as Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal tend to have higher living costs, as rents and the cost of transportation are higher. On average, students can expect to spend anywhere between $12,000 and $15,000 per year on accommodation, food, books and other living expenses.

However, there are ways that students can reduce the cost of living, such as finding a roommate to share accommodation costs, cooking their food instead of eating out, or using public transport instead of owning a car. Another alternative is to apply for on-campus residence or homestay programs, where students can live in designated housing with other students to reduce costs.

Part-time Jobs:

Many international students can work part-time while studying in Canada, which can aid in reducing the financial burden of studying abroad. International students can work up to 20 hours per week while attending classes and full-time during breaks. However, it’s important to note that not all jobs are suitable for students who have limited working hours, as many employers may require more hours.

Additionally, students have to consider the job market of the location they are living in. Jobs may be more abundant in larger cities with more opportunities and higher competition for those jobs. International students should research the job opportunities and availability before coming to Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permits:

Another incentive that attracts international students to Canada is the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) program. This program allows eligible international graduates to work in Canada after obtaining their degree for up to three years. This permit is significant in allowing students to gain work experience, make Canadian connections, and obtain Canadian work experience important for future job opportunities.

The amount of time international graduates can work in Canada will depend on the length of the program, up to a maximum of three years. This work experience can be valuable in obtaining permanent residence in Canada, and many international graduates opt to stay and settle down in Canada after gaining Canadian work experience.


In conclusion, while studying in Canada can be expensive, the quality of education and opportunities available for international students make it worth the cost. Canada is a welcoming country that respects diversity and has a welcoming attitude towards international students. The post-graduation opportunities through the PGWP program make studying in Canada a smart investment in your future career path. With proper planning and budgeting, students could reduce overall costs by finding alternative housing, reducing the cost of living by cutting back on expenses, and obtaining a part-time job.

The cost of studying in Canada is comparable to other top study destinations, and the benefit of gaining a Canadian education, work opportunities and experiences can be invaluable. Ultimately, the decision to study in Canada should be weighed, taking cost into mind along with the benefits that come with investing in one’s education and future career.