Cost of Studying in Canada for Indian Students



Canada is a popular study-abroad destination for international students aiming to pursue higher education either after completing high school or an undergraduate degree in India. It is so because, in comparison to UK and USA, Canada is less expensive and more accepting of foreign students. It is a beautiful country, has a lively city-like feeling and the campuses are close-knit and culturally diverse. The universities not only offer students a variety of programs to choose from, but they also ensure their holistic development. Some of Canada’s noteworthy universities are the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto.

Further, when any student aims to study in Canada, the first thought he/she has is ‘How much will it cost me?’. Now studying abroad could be a costly proposition for a middle-class student from India. However, by understanding the different facets of the application process and the costs involved, students can plan better and achieve their dream of studying at their desired university. This blog thus attempts to highlight the main components that comprise the total facets of studying at a Canadian University.


Tuition Fees in Canada based on the Program of Study

The tuition fees depend on the field of study and, the program one aspires to enrol in. For example, medical and engineering programs are more expensive than arts and humanities, specifically at the UG level. Also, international students in Canada who need to pursue postgraduate studies pay a lower tuition fee, which depends on the program they aim to study. However, one similarity between all the study-abroad destinations is that the MBA programs are among the most expensive programs available at the graduate level.

Some highlights about the yearly tuition fees are that a 3-5 year undergraduate degree will cost around CAD 5,542- 21,717 per annum. Similarly, a 1–2-year postgraduate program will have a total tuition cost of CAD 18,000. A one-year Executive MBA ranges from CAD 45,000 – 1,25,000 and a PhD program costs CAD 4,000 – 19,000/year and can be for a duration of 3- 6 years. To add, the average cost of pursuing an undergraduate degree in Canada across different fields is ~ CAD 30,000 (INR 16,15,000) per year. However, some undergraduate programs can be as affordable as CAD 12,000 (INR 6,46,000)/year as well. Also, as Engineering and Medicine programs in Canada are expensive, the tuition fee for these programs is CAD 22,000 (INR 11,69,000)/year. Further, the tuition fees for pursuing Humanities, Business and Management programs range from CAD 5,500 (INR 2,96,000) to CAD 6,500 (INR 3,50,000) on a per annum basis.

If we look at master’s courses or postgraduate courses, for example, MBBS in Canada, the international aspirant will have to pay an average tuition fees of CAD 18,000 (INR 9,54,000) per year. More so, as highlighted above, the management (MBA) programs tend to be very expensive. While the average total cost of studying MBA in Canada is CAD 57,000 (INR 30,31,000), the tuition for the regular MBA programs is ~CAD 28,000 (INR 14,75,000)/year.


Fees to Register and Appear for Standardised Tests and English Proficiency Examinations

For an international, especially an Indian student to pursue a master’s or any other program in Canada from a reputed university involves appearing for standardised tests like GMAT and GRE. It also involves appearing for IELTS/TOEFL- iBT to prove English proficiency. These examinations need to be taken before an applicant starts the process of applying to the universities. The cost involved for an Indian student in appearing for TOEFL iBT is INR 14,500 and for IELTS is INR 15,500. Further, the GMAT which is typically required for MBA costs INR 21,000. Also, most master’s programs require GRE scores and this examination costs INR 16,300.


University & College Application Fees

Once the applicant is ready with the scores and the documents required to apply, he/she will need to fill out an online application form for each chosen university. Even though Canadian universities offer reasonable and good-quality education, they all charge an application fee irrespective of the program the student aims to apply to. This application fee may range from CAD 50-CAD 250. Hardly 5% of the universities or colleges do not charge application fees, therefore, as the first step for studying in Canada, international students do spend a significant amount of money on application fees, especially if they are applying to multiple universities/colleges.


Canada Student Visa Process and Miscellaneous Fees

GIC Canada Fees: Every international student applying for a Canada Study Permit must have a GIC that proves that he/she can cover the living expenses for a period of one year after arrival. The GIC is worth $10,200 and can be purchased from any bank. The bank deducts about $200 in administrative fees, but this varies from bank to bank.

Study Permit Fees: A study permit is a document issued by Canadian immigration authorities that allows international students to study in Canada. As an Indian or an international student, to be able to study in Canada is only possible if you have a valid study permit. In this regard, Indian students applying for a Canadian Study Permit/Student visa are required to pay CAD 150 (~INR 8000- 9000).


Living Expenses in Canada for International Students

On average, an international student aiming to join a Canadian University should be ready to pay ~CAD 7000- CAD 20,000 for expenses including accommodation, food, and mandatory student health insurance. It is also better to include costs for some unforeseen circumstances or leisure activities like travelling, sightseeing, attending paid social events, or socialising.


Scholarships for Indian Students in Canada

As many Indian students are applying to Canadian universities, various facilities and waivers are available to ease off their financial burden. Scholarships help in reducing the expenses and the total cost of living and they are beneficial for international students. Scholarships in Canada are given on different criteria such as scholastic achievement, sports potential, and the overall merit of the candidate.

Further, each scholarship has its criteria, and the applicant must thoroughly research the same. Some of the scholarships offered for Indian students by the Canadian Universities are Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program, President’s Scholarship for World Leaders, International Leader of Tomorrow Award, University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF), The Seneca Renewable Entrance Scholarship of Merit for International Students and Trudeau Foundation Scholarships.


Flight Ticket Expense from India to Canada

Air India and Air Canada offer non-stop flights from India to Canada and the rough cost of these direct flights ranges between INR 1,00,000 and INR 2,00,000 depending on the season.

It is also important to understand that all the costs and amounts mentioned in this article are for previous years and for the current and updated calculations our team of efficient advisors and counsellors at Manya Education Pvt. Ltd. can be contacted.


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What is the amount of money required to live in Canada monthly as an Indian/international student?

The cost of living in Canada is different in every city. However, the overall cost of living is not expensive and depending on one’s lifestyle, the monthly budget may range from CAD 1500-2000.

Is studying in Canada affordable as compared to other study-abroad destinations?

Studying in Canada is reasonable compared to the UK, Australia, and the USA.

Which are the cheapest courses in Canada?

Diploma courses and one-year PG courses are way cheaper as compared to bachelor’s or master’s courses in Canada.

How much bank balance is required for a Canadian student visa?

The minimum bank balance needed to apply for a Canadian student visa is ~ INR 6,00,000. This balance is proof that funds are available to live in the country and apply for a student permit.

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