Living costs: Students must meet the costs of study and living in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires proof that the student has sufficient money available. If the institution provides a cost of living estimate, the immigration officer will generally follow it. In the absence of a cost of living estimate, the immigration officer will require evidence of $10,000 to cover 12 months living expenses for a single student. An additional $4,000 will be required for a spouse and an additional $3,000 for each dependent, to cover 12 months living expenses. This amount includes food, accommodation, transportation, medical insurance, books, clothing and sundries. These are minimum estimates. Tuition and other student fees are not included in this amount.
The amounts required for Québec (2003) are slightly different: $9,600 for a single student, $12,960 for two people (student plus one dependent), $16,000 for three people (student plus two dependents), and an additional $2,240 for each additional dependent. A $500 installation amount is also required.
Accommodation: Acceptance at a Canadian school, university or college does not automatically secure accommodation in residence. At universities and colleges, on-campus housing is often available; arrangements for on-campus housing must be made separately through the Director of Residences. Such accommodation is limited, and reservations must be made early, usually by the May preceding September enrolment. Off-campus housing in rented rooms, housekeeping flats or apartments cannot be reserved in advance. It may be necessary to secure temporary accommodation upon arrival until permanent housing is arranged.
Information on housing is available from the housing office or the International Student Adviser at most institutions.
Secondary students are usually responsible for finding their own housing.
Sometimes the international student office will arrange homestay (room and board with a family), or assist in finding apartments for students. Ask about housing services at the time of application.
Clothing: Students from warmer climates must expect to spend a considerable amount of money in the first few months on winter wear such as coats, boots, sweaters and gloves. On campus, most students dress informally.
Medical expenses: It is imperative that every student and dependent obtain medical and hospital insurance, as health care in Canada is expensive. Public medical and health insurance plans are administered independently by each province, and some private or supplementary plans are available. Some universities and colleges require students to purchase health insurance coverage through them. It is not possible to arrange for coverage in advance, but it should be secured within the first week after arrival. Please note that even if provincial coverage is available free of charge to international students, the students must nevertheless register with the provincial health coverage authority to ensure coverage.