How is life and living in Canada for an International student?
Canada is a fantastic choice for students interested in studying internationally. Offering an abundance of university opportunities, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people, and often tuition rates and cost-of-living expenses that are drastically cheaper than some of the other western countries, many international students will find that Canada is the place they want to choose for university studies.
Top Places to Study and Live in Canada:
- Montreal in the province of Quebec pulled in at number 10 of the top universities in the world for international students. One of only two cities to make the top 10 in the Americas, Montreal offers a mix of wonderful qualities for any international student. With seven universities, some speaking French predominately, and others English, Montreal has quite the selection of schools and languages for international students. The city, which is the most populous town in the province of Quebec, is something like the Paris of Canada, brimming with culture, so students from around the world will find it to be an exciting place to live.
- Canada's biggest city, Toronto, is also a great place for international students to call home. The capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto certainly has the big city feel that many students are looking for. With a city this size, students are certain to find that work during and after the finish university, is abundant. Some of Toronto's leading industries are business, engineering, telecommunications, and software production so students interested in these fields might find Toronto to be a good choice. With five universities within the city and much more in nearby towns, Toronto offers a wide selection for students looking for specific qualities in their international studies.
- Vancouver is the favorite city of many visitors and Canadians alike. This biggest city in the westernmost province, British Columbia, is known for its international flair and its earthy side. Boasting some of the best weather in this sometimes cold country, Vancouver is popular for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy getting out and about during their study breaks. In addition to this, Vancouver is popular with students looking to enjoy the nightlife too. With four universities in the city and much more in neighboring cities, students who want to live in Vancouver have lots of options.
The first and foremost concern of any international student is the currency conversion rate from their home to the currency in Canada. Even though Canada's currency is the dollar, same as the US, the rate of currency differs between both the countries. The conversion rates aren't always consistent and would go up and down almost every day, so it is a good idea to frequently check the conversion rates to avoid any problems that may occur.
The most recent conversion rate is: 1 U.S. dollar is equal to about 1.26 Canadian Dollars.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition fees varies from city to city, with Toronto averaging the highest followed by Vancouver. International students will pay much more than Canadians to go to school at a Canadian university, but the rates might be surprisingly less than some European universities. The national average for a year's tuition for international students during the 2012/2013 school year rose 5.5% to $19,000. In the more populous provinces education can be more expensive whereas, in provinces like Newfoundland or Labrador, rates are typically lower. International graduate students rates vary similarly from province to province, but overall are much less than undergraduate with a national average of $13,500.
Well, its no surprise that Canada offers two kinds of housing - On-campus and Off-campus. On-Campus housing is said to be cheaper than Off-campus housing, mostly because your private living expenses are way lesser when living On-campus. However, many students prefer to live Off-campus as it gives them a better opportunity to experience the lifestyle of Canada and move around much more. Needless to say, the experience of living on-campus and off-campus differ by a huge margin.
To help in deciding if on-campus or off-campus would be a better choice, let us look at some details below.
The on-campus option is ideal for students, and highly recommended for the students starting their first year in the university. The reason being that a new student needs time to adjust to the student life and it is easier to navigate your way to the university from the on-campus accommodation.
Living on-campus also means that you will get to meet and mingle with new students from various parts of the world. A strong connection can help new students get the feel of being home and help them to enjoy their student life to the fullest. An on-campus accommodation at Canadian universities are either single or shared. The shared accommodation are relatively cheaper than the single room accommodation.
The other option that students can look into is an off-campus, rental apartment. Usually, these apartments are designed to be shared between the students and their friends or acquaintances. The areas that are shared between the students are the living room, kitchen, and sometimes the bathroom. Almost every time the bedrooms will be private to a single person, which is ideal for quite a few students.
The cost of living in a rental apartment is obviously lesser since the rent is being split between a lot of roommates. But it is important to keep in mind that the additional costs are something that you would need to take care of. This includes the electricity bill, water bill, internet, and heating. Of course, the bills will also be split between the roommates and sometimes, the private accommodation providers include either of the necessity bill in the rental fee.
Cost of Living in Canada
Many people find that the cost of living in Canada is much cheaper than in Europe, especially than in the U.K. While life in all of these cities comes with various expenses, some of them will put a much bigger dent in your wallet. Vancouver ranked as the most livable city in the world, is also one of the most expensive. Toronto is much cheaper to live in than Vancouver, but not quite as cheap overall as Montreal. Expenses in Canada could be much less for the average student than in other parts of the western world, except for the U.S.A. Food is cheaper in Canada, dining out is cheaper, petrol/gas is cheaper, electricity is often cheaper, although you might use more during the winter.