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Cost of Living in Canada for Indian Students [2024]

Are you wondering what is it like to study in Canada? This blog can give you a glimpse of the cost of living in Canada for Indian students. It also covers taxes, food and more.

Canada is one of the most chosen countries by scholars. People who go to Canada are aware of the standards of living there. However, with high stakes comes a high cost of living in Canada for Indian students. This blog will teach you how to manage the living costs and survive in Canada. Moreover, it will also give you a glimpse of the lifestyle in Canada. Staying in Canada can be expensive and even impossible if you don't know how to manage your finances.
Moreover, doing a job while studying is how many students manage their expenses. A scholar who works and studies would need a permit. Thus, knowing about the Canadian tax system can be helpful as well. To know the living expenses in Canada for international students per month read more.

Average Cost of Living in Canada for Indian Students

The annual cost of living in Canada for Indian students can be 15,000 CAD to 20,000 CAD (9,23,172 to 12,30,896 INR). It can vary due to many factors. The average monthly cost of living can be around 880 CAD (54,159 INR). However, the experts advise a monthly budget of at least 3000 CAD (1,84,634 INR) to cover the most basic needs in Canada.
Refer to the tables below to get a brief on monthly expenses in Canada for Indian students:

SERVICES AVG. MONTHLY COST
Accommodation / Stay Shared: 300-700 CAD (18,496.15 INR - 43,157.68 INR) Apartment/Suite: 450-1,500 CAD (27,744.22 INR - 92,480.73 )
Public Transport Buses: 100-150 CAD (6,165.38 INR - 9,248.07 INR) Subways: 65-99 CAD (4,007.50 INR - 6,103.73 INR)
Food 200-300 CAD (12,330.76 INR - 18,496.15 INR)
Studies/Library/Stationary 2,916 CAD (Approx.) (1,79,782.55 INR)
Internet 25Mbps: 30 CAD  (Approx.)
(1849.61 INR) 100Mbps: 50 CAD  (Approx.)
(3082.69 INR)
Other 600-700 CAD (36992.29 INR - 43157.68 INR)

Stay / Accommodation

It is one of the main spending in a different nation. There are several types of rentable places in Canada. Three of them are below: 1 Student Residence 2. Off-Campus Shared Apartment 3. Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment Rentals

  • Student Residence: Almost all institutes offer students a stay on or near the campus. They have two options: Dormitories and Townhouses. A Dormitory is a huge building for many students to live in. However, a Townhouse is a more private house for three to six students. The cost of each of them is:
    RENTALS COST
    Dormitories 350 CAD - 600 CAD/ INR 21,093 - 36,159
    Townhouses 250 CAD - 650 CAD/ INR 15,066 - 39,17
  • Off-Campus Shared Apartment: These are like a townhouse where students share the apartment and its utilities. They often have a single bedroom in the living space.

Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment Rentals: To study and stay in Canada, scholars can use several apps to find a place. Airbnb, Wimdu, Craigslists, HouseTrip, for instance. You can find furnished or unfurnished rentals using these apps. The cost of these living spaces are:

RENTALS COST
Shared Apartment 400 CAD - 800 CAD/ INR 24,106 - 48,213
Unfurnished Apartment Rentals 300 CAD - 500 CAD/ INR 18,079 - 30,133

Transport

The student ID can be of use to avail of public transport. It is a great way to cut the cost of living in Canada for Indian students. However, you can also take taxi passes that are monthly or annually.

Food

Some people prefer a veg or a non-veg diet. Many Indians still stick to a vegetarian diet. You can find pure veg restaurants in Canada. However, Canada is not very famous for vegetarian options. The table below shows the monthly expenses for the same:

VEG ITEMS COST
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.42 CAD (149.18 INR)
Milk (1 ltr.) 2.89 CAD (178.15 INR)
Loaf of White Bread (500g) 3.56 CAD (219.45 INR)
White Rice (1kg) 5.09 CAD (313.77 INR)
Apples (1kg 5.75 CAD (354.45 INR)
Banana (1kg) 1.93 CAD (118.97 INR)
Oranges (1kg) 5.16 CAD (318.08 INR)
Tomato (1kg 5.66 CAD (348.90 INR
Potato (1kg 3.60 CAD (221.92 INR)
Onion (1kg) 3.61 CAD (222.53 INR
NON-VEG ITEMS COST
Regular Eggs (12) 4.69 CAD (289.11 INR
Chicken Fillets (1kg) 16.48 CAD (1015.89 INR)
Beef Round (1kg) 19.22 CAD (1184.80 INR)

Now, let us move onto the reasons why there are cost variations in every province.

Factors Responsible for Living Expenses in Canada

The region and city you live in make a difference. Many products are cheaper in suburban and rural areas than in urban areas. The other reason is the university fee. Moreover, the cost of living in Canada for students can vary due to:
1. University Fee
The ranking of a university and its tuition fee are linked. Every college charges a different amount. However, the average tuition fee in Canada is 20,000 - 30,000 CAD.
2. Urban / Rural Cities
In urban regions, there is a high cost for everything. As compared to rural areas, suburban townsand urban cities are more affordable and less populated. Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto have high living expenses in Canada. The transport and other utilities are not as cheap as the rural cities.

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These were the two factors which are responsible for cost variations. Now, let’s explore some cities with low rental costs in Canada.

Rent in Top 9 Cities in Canada

Toronto is one of the best cities for students in Canada. The universities, opportunities, and quality of life are top-notch. Read the table below for the rental figures of the nine most student-friendly cities in Canada:

CITY AVG. RENT
Toronto $1,708 (1,05,055 INR)
Montreal $1,599 (98,351 INR)
Vancouver $2,367 (1,45,589 INR)
Ottawa $1,954 (1,20,186 INR)
Quebec $1,587 (97,613 INR)
Edmonton $1,334 (82,051 INR)
Calgary $1,721 (1,05,855 INR)
British Columbia $2,367 (1,45,589 INR)
Waterloo $1,700 (1,04,563 INR)

Now, let us move on to the tuition fee for popular programs in Canada.

Canadian colleges have three intakes. There are Spring, Fall, and Winter intakes in Canada. Every intake has a popular set of academic courses that scholars prefer. The table below talks about 10 such courses and their average tuition fee in Canada.

COURSE NAME AVG. TUITION FEE/YEAR
Computer Science 33,000 to 61,000 CAD
(20,29,761-37,51,983 INR)
Business 20,000 to 60,000 CAD
(12,30,158-36,90,475 INR)
Engineering 50,000-65,000 CAD
(30,75,396-39,98,014 INR)
Health Sciences 52,000-169,000 CAD
(31,98,411-1,03,94,838 INR)
Physiotherapy 12,000- 40,000 CAD
(7,38,095-24,60,316 INR)
IT 20,000-30,000 CAD
(12,30,158-18,45,237 INR)
Gaming and Animation
30,000-40,000 CAD
(18,45,237-24,60,316 INR)
Hospitality
9,000-32,000 CAD
(5,53,571-19,68,253 INR)
Journalism 5,000-30,000 CAD
(3,07,539-18,45,237 INR

This part talked about the various courses and their average tuition fee in Canada. The next section will cover how to save money in Canada.

How to Reduce Cost of Living in Canada?

Canada, indeed, has a high quality of life. However, it also means an expensive life. Thus, the cost of living in Canada for Indian students can be reduced in the following ways:

  1. Set a Budget
  2. Learn to Cook Well
  3. Save What You Can
  4. Manage Your Money
  5. Hold Your Own Hand
  6. Part-Time Jobs Full-Time Help
  7. Consult Locals for Cheaper Options
  8. Use Your Student ID Outside of College

Set a Budget

It is vital to decide how much you can spend in a day/week or a year. Make charts with the items you need every month, for instance. Moreover, always keep track of the rate of inflation in the country. The current inflation rate in Canada is 3.4% in 2024.

Learn to Cook Well

If you feel homesick due to a foreign diet, an Indian restaurant might sound like a good option. Yet, it is not! The best option would be cooking your meal and avoiding huge bills. It can happen often if you improve your cooking skills.

Save What You Can

The most vital yet the hardest step is this one. While setting a budget, you must have a column for savings. It can be a certain part of your total income (20% of the total income, for instance). In addition, it can also be a specific amount of dollars, for example.

Manage Your Money

Learn to manage and organize your assets. Your money, whether you invest it or save it, must be safe. Keep track of every penny you spend daily and segregate the necessities. Your money must be safe from fraud and financial irresponsibility from your side.

Hold Your Own Hand

It speaks for itself. Do not spend too much on items you want to buy but don't need to. In a different nation, it is better to stay safe rather than be sorry. If you do not have a guardian over you to stop you then, hold your own hand.

Part-Time Jobs Full-Time Help

There are a few jobs that will help you make money while studying in Canada. These part-time jobs can also give you experience if they relate to your course. Moreover, you can assist in the university you study to earn a stipend or get tuition fee relief.

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Consult Locals for Cheaper Options

Naturally, the people who live there for quite a while will know better about the region. Hence, asking them for cheaper stores, products, and places can help you save a lot. Moreover, the expensive sides are not always better. Thus, you can ask them for better options as well.

Use Your Student ID Outside of College

Cost cutting in Canada involves saving on travelling. The locals can help you find the cheapest mode of commuting. However, public transports, in many places, give a discount to students. You can use your college ID to avail of these. Let us now talk about the healthcare system in Canada. If you are from a hot or humid country, the Canadian weather can give you chills. Literally! After knowing about the living expenses in Canada for Indian students, read more to know about the health insurances in Canada.

Healthcare Insurance in Canada

In Canada, every province has a different healthcare policy. Thus, several provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, and New Brunswick do provide insurance. It costs 600 CAD to 900 CAD.

  • However, to avail of these, scholars must be in Canada for at least 6 months.
  • The directions for the health insurance system in Canada are from the government.
  • Colleges also offer Health Insurance for international students in Canada.
  • Moreover, in many provinces, students have the right to opt out of these packages. However, they must have proof of getting another private insurance package in Canada.

The cost of living in Canada for Indian studentsalso includes health insurance.
Take a look at the table below to understand health insurance policies. It also states eligibility for every Canadian province:

PROVINCE NAME HEALTH INSURANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Alberta
  • Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers insurance for international students.
  •  A 12-year study permit is needed.
  •  If you move out of Alberta, you have to get it cancelled.
British Columbia
  • Can apply for MSP (Medical Services Plan) after reaching to British Columbia.
  • The staying period must be at least 6 months.
  • The wait period is of at least 2 months. Thus, scholars must have a private plan for this period.
Manitoba
  • Primary coverage is by Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP).
  • The secondary coverage is by UMSU Health and Dental Plan.
  • Must be enrolled for a course in the university of Manitoba.
New Brunswick
  • Has to be a full time student in New Brunswick.
  • Has to be enrolled in any post secondary institution in New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The student must be in minimum 12 month study program.
  • Medical Care Plan (MCP) of the province covers every international student studying in this province.
Nova Scotia
  • A student has to first legally reside in the province for at least 12 months.
  • This province does not offer public health insurance to international students upon arrival.
Ontario
  • No public healthcare insurance for international students.
  • Public universities offer UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan).
  • Private universities offer insurances from various providers.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
  • Must be eligible to work off campus.
  • PEI must be your primary stay for at least 6 months.
Quebec
  • Quebec Health Insurance Plan for international students(RAMQ).
  • It is for full time students.
Saskatchewan
  • Saskatchewan Health Card for international students whose programs have started.
  • Student has to reside in the province.
  • Must arrange an alternative insurance plan for the wait period.

So, these were the health insurance plans for all the ten provinces in Canada. Now, let us know which jobs can make you earn the cost of living in Canada.

Professions and Their Average Salaries in Canada

A good job in hand can help you survive well in Canada. However, what is a well-paying job? Which well paying jobs are available in Canada? Jobs in the IT sector, indeed, have a great salary. Yet, many non-tech jobs pay well too. Check out the table below:

PROFESSION NAME AVG. SALARY PER YEAR
Engineering Technologies/Technicians 71,358 CAD
(43,89,082 INR)
Software Developer 68,476 CAD
(42,11,816 INR)
HR manager 71,773 CAD
(44,14,608 INR)
Sales manager 63,120 CAD
(38,82,380 INR)
Lawyer 76,772 CAD
(47,22,086 INR)
Finance Manager 79,193 CAD
(48,70,996 INR)
Network Engineer 72,223 CAD
(44,42,286 INR)

These are the various career prospects in Canada. The next section will talk about the Tax system in Canada for international students.

Tax System in Canada for International Students

In Canada, you can avoid paying taxes upon earning a specific amount. For the year 2023, this amount was $15,000. An international student in Canada might earn from jobs or research work. Thus, they will have to pay Canadian income tax. However, there are various tax norms for various residency statuses.

Types of Residency Statuses

There are four types of statuses:
1. Resident
Stay more than 183 days/ year in Canada and have significant ties and relations in Canada.
2. Non-Resident
Stay less than 183 days/ year in Canada. Do not have any significant ties in the country.
3. Deemed Resident 
Stay in Canada for 183 days/year in Canada. Not a resident of your home country as per the tax treaty.
4. Deemed Non-Resident
Have ties in Canada but is also a resident of another country as per the tax treaty.
You can learn more about your taxes in Canada for international students on the official site.
The tax system is vital to calculate living expenses in Canada for international students. Especially if you plan to work abroad, check the table below to know more.

RESIDENCY STATUS TAX SYSTEM IN CANADA
Resident
  • Get a Social Insurance Number(SIN) to file a tax return
  • File an income tax return for your taxable income.
Deemed Resident
  • Report your world income.
  • Are eligible to apply for GST/HST
  • Are subject to federal tax and federal surtax
Non-Resident
and
Deemed Non-Residen
Part XIII Tax
  • Tax rate is 25% usually.
  • It is deducted on your income.
Part I Tax If you run a business in Canada. If you buy or sell taxable Canadian property

These are the tax policies for four types of residents in Canada. Let us now learn various ways to save on taxes in Canada for international students.

How to Save on Taxes in Canada for International Students

Take a look at the pointers below to learn some tips to save tax in Canada:

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Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

  • Save money in RRSP fund and pay tax on the remaining income only.
  • You will get access to this portion of income when you retire.

Open a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)

  • Earn from mutual funds, GICs and stocks without taxation on your income.

Claim Your Federal Tuition Tax Credit

  • It is a great tax credit option for the post secondary scholars.
  • You can claim the fee you paid for skill developement for an occupation.
  • It has to be certified by the Employment and Social Development Canada.

 Claim Your Student Moving Expenses

  • You can claim it if you traveled 40 kms away from your stay for a job.
  • It covers temporary stay, travel, storage etc.

These are some tips to minimize your taxation and increase your savings. Now, let us talk about a few affordable cities in Canada.

Most Affordable Cities in Canada

The best cities to live in are:

  1. Montreal, Quebec
  2. Sherbrooke, Quebec
  3. Calgary, Alberta
  4. Ottawa, Ontario
  5. Abbotsford, British Columbia

Take a look at the table below to know the avg. cost of living in these cities. Also, the cost includes food, rent, fee, and miscellaneous costs.

CITY AVG. COST OF LIVING PER PERSON
(INCLUDES RENT)
Montreal, Quebec

3,275 CAD/ month
(2,01,724 INR)
Sherbrooke, Quebec

2,654 CAD/ month
(1,63,473 INR)
Calgary, Alberta

2111 CAD/ month
(1,30,027 INR)
Ottawa, Ontario

2193 CAD/ month
(1,35,078 INR)
Abbotsford, British Columbia 3,530 CAD/ month
(2,17,431 INR)

So, these are some cities where living does not cost you too much. 
To sum up, there are so many points to take care of before going abroad. If you are planning to stay for long in Canada, this blog coveres all the living expenses in Canada for students. Moreover, it mentions how scholars can reduce their expenses and earn more. It also states the details of the tax system in Canada for various types of residents. You can also consult an expert at Gradding.com if you have any confusion. Apart from stay, they cover a lot of services. They include IELTS exam preparation, course selection, counselling, and finances. We hope this blog covered how to measure the cost of living in Canada for Indian students efficiently. If you have doubts you can go to our website and book a free session now!

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