CanadaStudent Life

Student Life

International Students in Canada

  • dot International students in Canada contribute $6.5 billion to Canada's economy annually.

  • dot 70,000+ international students have enrolled as full-time students in Canadian universities in 2008-09

  • dot 47,000 full-time international students were enrolled in undergraduate programs

  • dot Almost 23,000 full-time international students were graduate students (18% of the total graduate student population)

Top countries of origin for international students in Canada

  • dot China 15,000

  • dot United States 7,400

  • dot France 6,900

  • dot India 2,800

  • dot South Korea 2,600

Accommodation for international students in Canada

Homestays (University Provided Accommodation)

Many Canadian families welcome international students. Homestays offer a more stable and secure environment for younger people coming to study in Canada.

Typically, a homestay consists of a Canadian family hosting a student in their home while the student attends classes in Canada. Meals and a private furnished room are provided in the home, and the host family welcomes and encourages participation in family and community activities.

Homestays are arranged by the school and students are matched with families who share similar interests.

Residence / Dormitory (University Provided Accommodation)

Many universities have accommodation conveniently located on or near their campus. Rooms can vary in size and in quality, and many dormitories have shared kitchens, toilets, showers and laundry facilities.

There is usually an option of having either a shared or private room, and dormitories are usually separated by gender. In some cases, there are cafeterias and meal plans that can be included in the cost of the room. Most dormitories come furnished, and are an ideal way to become involved in campus activities and meet other students.

Residence / Dormitory (University Provided Accommodation)

Renting is an option open to international students coming to Canada. Many students share accommodation to keep costs down and usually find places to meet their needs and preferences.

Many schools offer an off-campus housing service, which can provide affordable listings that are near the campus. At this service centre, those seeking shared accommodations can also find roommates. Once on campus, students will often find a variety of postings throughout the campus advertising nearby housing, but it is always best to make arrangements before coming to Canada.

There are different types of places international students can rent in Canada. A house is usually too expensive for one student to rent, but many students share or rent suites (a self-contained unit with a kitchen, toilet, bath and bedroom) within a larger home. Apartments are another option, where one has a kitchen, toilet, bath, and one or two bedrooms. Most rental apartments do not include furniture or meals. Some, however, include the cost of heat and/or electricity in the rent.

Health Insurance in Canada

In Canada, a public health care system covers visits to doctors and specialists, as well as some hospital stays and medical procedures. Dental costs, prescription eye glasses, and non-prescription drugs are not covered and can be paid for through the purchase of private insurance coverage. Each province administers its own health care system and the requirements for international students to access health care will vary from province to province.

Overall, international students have access to good health services coverage at an affordable cost. Health insurance must be arranged before arrival in Canada. Student can purchase health coverage from a private health insurance company or enroll in a university or college health plan. The health coverage requirements vary from province to province and some provinces provide health coverage plans to international students.