Cost of living in Canada for Singapore Students

13 minutes reading time (2550 words)


If you are here, you are probably yearning to pursue your educational dreams in Canada. As you envision exploring the lively campuses, connecting with a diverse group of people, and immersing yourself in a rich multicultural environment, it’s essential to acknowledge and prepare for the various aspects of living in Canada and the cost that await you.

Canada, a land of limitless opportunities, is known for its welcoming atmosphere and exemplary educational institutions. Understanding the financial commitments that come with studying here is paramount to your success in the country – as the cost of living varies from province to province and city to city. From bustling metropolitan areas like Toronto and Vancouver to tranquil academic hubs like Ottawa and Halifax, each destination offers a unique blend of experiences and expenses. Navigating this intricate web of costs might seem daunting at first, but rest assured. We are here to unravel it for you.

Understanding these expenses is not a mere necessity; it is a golden opportunity. Don't let the intricacies of managing your finances dampen your spirits. By gaining insight into the financial aspects of studying in Canada, you empower yourself to make informed decisions, ensuring a smooth and enriching journey. With a comprehensive understanding of the cost of living in Canada for Singapore students, you can confidently lay the foundation for your success and focus on what truly matters—your education, personal growth, and seizing every opportunity that comes knocking on your door.

Contact us today and let the magic of your dreams become a reality!


hen it comes to finding accommodation in Canada, Singapore students have a range of options to suit their preferences and budget. Whether you prefer living on-campus or off-campus, there are choices available to ensure you have a comfortable and convenient place to call home during your studies.

On-campus housing provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant campus community. You can choose from dormitories or student residences, which offer a supportive and inclusive environment. These options often come with amenities such as study lounges, recreational facilities, and meal plans, allowing you to focus on your studies and connect with fellow students.

Off-campus housing is another popular choice for students seeking more independence and flexibility. Apartments, shared houses, or even renting a room in a house are common options. This allows you to experience life outside of the campus and be part of the local community. Keep in mind that off-campus housing often requires you to manage your own utilities, groceries, and other expenses.

To help you make an informed decision about accommodation, let's take a look at the average rental costs and some important considerations:

Accommodation Type

Accommodation Costs in Canada

On-campus Dormitory

$500 - $1,000

Off-campus Apartment

$800 - $1,500 

Shared House

$400 - $800         

Room in a House

$300 - $600  


Considerations for choosing accommodation include proximity to your university, transportation options, the safety of the neighbourhood, and amenities provided. It's important to factor in these aspects while making your decision to ensure your accommodation meets your needs and enhances your overall experience in Canada.

We are here to guide you through this process and help you find the perfect place to call home during your studies in Canada. Contact us today, and let's start exploring your accommodation options together through our student accommodation portal!


Navigating the transportation expenses in Canada is crucial for Singapore students to make the most of their time and explore the country conveniently. Here are the transportation options available:

  • Public Transit: Cities in Canada have well-developed public transit networks, including buses, subways, and light rail systems. Public transit is a cost-effective and efficient way to travel within the city and its surrounding areas. You can easily access key locations such as your university, shopping centres, and entertainment districts.
  • Biking: Canada promotes cycling as an eco-friendly and healthy mode of transportation. Many cities have dedicated bike lanes and trails, making it a popular option for shorter trips or leisurely rides.
  • Car Sharing: Car-sharing services provide flexibility for occasional trips or when public transit might not be the most convenient option. Companies like Zipcar and Car2Go offer easy access to vehicles on an hourly basis, allowing you to explore destinations outside of the city or run errands conveniently.

Now, let's take a look at the public transportation costs:

Public Transportation Mode

Average Fare


$2 - $4


$2 - $5 

Light Rail 

$2 - $4 


Public transportation offers affordable fares, and many cities also provide discounted monthly passes for students. This enables you to navigate the city with ease while managing your budget efficiently.

With a variety of transportation options at your disposal, exploring Canada's scenic landscapes, vibrant cities, and cultural attractions becomes an exhilarating adventure. 

Food and Groceries

One of the most exciting aspects of studying in Canada is the diverse culinary scene and the opportunity to savour a wide array of flavours. Understanding the cost of food and groceries will help you plan your budget accordingly and make the most of your dining experiences. Let's delve into the food and grocery costs in Canada:

Food Item

Average Cost

Meal at a Restaurant (Inexpensive)

$10 - $15

Meal at a Restaurant (Mid-range)

$15 - $25

Meal at a Restaurant (Fine Dining)

$30 - $60

Groceries (Monthly)

$200 - $300


$2 - $4


These average costs give you an idea of what to expect when dining out or purchasing groceries in Canada. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location and the type of establishment you choose.

Exploring the local cuisine and cooking your own meals can be a delightful experience during your time in Canada. Balancing dining out with grocery shopping allows you to experience the flavours of the country while managing your budget effectively.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is an essential aspect for Singapore students studying in Canada. It ensures that you have access to quality healthcare and provides financial protection in case of medical emergencies. Here's why health insurance for Singapore students in Canada is important:

Studying in a foreign country can bring unexpected health challenges, and having comprehensive health insurance gives you peace of mind. It covers medical expenses, hospitalisation, doctor visits, prescription medication, and other necessary healthcare services. With health insurance, you can focus on your studies and personal growth, knowing that your well-being is protected.

Now, let's take a look at the costs and coverage options for health insurance:

Health Insurance Plan

Average Monthly Cost

Basic Coverage

$50 - $100

Comprehensive Coverage

$100 - $200

The cost of health insurance depends on the coverage level and the insurance provider. It's crucial to select a plan that suits your needs and provides adequate coverage for medical expenses.

We understand the importance of safeguarding your health while you pursue your dreams in Canada. Our team is here to guide you through the process of selecting the right health insurance plan that aligns with your requirements and budget. Contact us today to ensure you have the peace of mind and protection you deserve throughout your academic journey in Canada.

Education Expenses

When planning to study in Canada, it's important to consider the various expenses related to education. Here are the key aspects to keep in mind:

  • Tuition Fees: The cost of tuition varies depending on the university and program you choose. On average, undergraduate tuition fees for international students range from $15,000 to $35,000 per year, while graduate programs can range from $20,000 to $50,000 per year.
  • Student Fees: Apart from tuition, there are additional student fees that cover services and resources provided by the university, such as access to libraries, sports facilities, student associations, and academic support. These fees typically range from $500 to $2,000 per year.
  • Textbooks and Supplies: The cost of textbooks and course materials can add up over the course of your studies. On average, students spend around $1,000 to $1,500 per year on textbooks and supplies. However, there are options to save money, such as buying used books or accessing digital resources.
  • Other Academic Expenses: Additional academic expenses may include laboratory fees, field trips, software licences, and specialised equipment required for certain programs. The costs can vary depending on your field of study and program requirements.

Here's a table highlighting the average costs of textbooks, supplies, and other education expenses in Canada:


Average Cost


$1,000 - $1,500

Course Supplies  

$200 - $400

Laboratory Fees

$100 - $300

Field Trips  

$200 - $500

Software Licences

$100 - $200

Managing these education-related expenses effectively is crucial for your financial well-being in Canada. By budgeting and exploring cost-saving options, you can ensure that your education remains affordable and accessible.

Other Living Expenses

In addition to tuition and academic expenses, there are various living expenses in Canada to consider before studying there. Here's an overview of additional costs:

  • Utilities: Monthly utility costs for an apartment or shared housing typically include electricity, heating, water, and garbage services. On average, these expenses range from $100 to $200 per month.
  • Internet: Access to the internet is essential for academic purposes and staying connected. The monthly cost of internet service varies depending on the provider and package you choose. It generally ranges from $50 to $100 per month.
  • Entertainment: Budgeting for leisure activities and entertainment is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Expenses for dining out, movies, concerts, and recreational activities can vary depending on your preferences and location. It generally ranges from $100 to $300 per month.

When managing these living expenses, it's important to consider your lifestyle choices and prioritise your spending. By setting a realistic budget and exploring affordable entertainment options, you can strike a balance between enjoying your time in Canada and staying within your financial means.

Budgeting and Financial Tips

Effectively managing your finances is crucial for a successful and stress-free study experience in Canada. Here are some strategies and budgeting tips for studying in Canada to help you make informed financial decisions:

  • Create a Monthly Budget: Start by listing your income sources and all anticipated expenses. Allocate funds for essentials such as tuition, accommodation, and groceries, and set aside a portion for savings.
  • Track Your Expenses: Keep a record of your spending to identify areas where you can cut costs or adjust your budget. This will help you stay accountable and make necessary adjustments as needed.
  • Take Advantage of Student Discounts: Many businesses offer discounts to students. Make sure to carry your student ID and explore the various discounts available for transportation, entertainment, shopping, and dining.
  • Explore Part-Time Work Opportunities: If your study permit allows, consider taking up part-time employment to supplement your income. Be mindful of balancing your work commitments with your academic responsibilities.
  • Save on Textbooks: Look for used textbooks, borrow from the library, or explore digital resources to save on textbook costs. Additionally, consider selling or exchanging your textbooks at the end of each semester.
  • Plan Your Meals: Cooking at home and meal prepping can significantly reduce your food expenses. Take advantage of weekly grocery sales and plan your meals in advance to avoid unnecessary spending on dining out.
  • Seek Financial Advice: Utilise the resources available to you, such as financial aid offices or student support services. They can provide guidance on managing your finances, accessing scholarships, or exploring loan options.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and financial aid for Singapore Students in Canada significantly alleviate the financial burden of studying. Here are some opportunities and resources available to Singapore students:

  • Government Scholarships: The Canadian government offers various scholarships and awards for international students. Explore programs such as the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Canada-ASEAN Scholarships, or the Global Affairs Canada Scholarships for International Students.
  • University Scholarships: Many Canadian universities offer scholarships specifically for international students. These can be merit-based, need-based, or program-specific. Research the scholarship opportunities offered by your chosen institution.
  • External Scholarships: Numerous organisations, foundations, and corporations offer scholarships for international students studying in Canada. Research and apply to external scholarships that align with your field of study or personal background.
  • Financial Aid Resources: Canadian institutions provide financial aid resources and information to assist students in managing their finances. Reach out to the financial aid office at your university for guidance on available grants, bursaries, or work-study programs.

Here are resources and options to reduce the financial burden of studying in Canada:

  • Government Scholarships: Explore programs like Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Canada-ASEAN Scholarships.
  • University Scholarships: Research merit-based, need-based, and program-specific scholarships offered by Canadianuniversities.
  • External Scholarships: Look for scholarships offered by organisations, foundations, and corporations.
  • Financial Aid Office: Contact your university's financial aid office for information on grants, bursaries, and work-study programs.
  • Part-Time Work: Consider part-time employment to supplement your income.
  • Student Discounts: Take advantage of discounts offered to students for transportation, entertainment, shopping, and dining.
  • Budgeting and Savings: Create a budget, track expenses, and explore cost-saving strategies like buying used textbooks and planning meals at home.

By exploring financial aid opportunities and scholarships for Singapore students in Canada, you can significantly reduce your financial burden and make your educational journey more affordable and accessible. Remember to thoroughly research the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for each opportunity.

Understanding the cost of living in Canada and utilising available resources can make your study experience fulfilling and financially sustainable. We are here to support you throughout your financial planning journey. 

Contact us for personalised guidance and assistance in accessing scholarships and financial aid programs to make your dreams of studying in Canada a reality.


       1. What is the cost of living like for Singapore students studying in Canada?

The cost of living for Singapore students studying in Canada varies depending on the city and lifestyle. On average, expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food, and utilities range from $1,500 to $2,500 per month.

       2. How much does accommodation typically cost for Singapore students in Canada?

Accommodation costs in Canada depend on factors like location and housing type. On average, Singapore students can expect to pay around $800 to $1,500 per month for shared accommodations, while renting a one-bedroom apartment can range from $1,200 to $2,000 per month.

       3. What are the transportation options and costs in Canada?

Canada offers various transportation options, including buses, subways, trains, and taxis. Public transportation costs vary by city and transit system. Monthly transit passes range from $80 to $150, while individual fares can range from $2.50 to $3.50 per ride.

       4. How much should I budget for food and groceries while studying in Canada?

The amount you budget for food and groceries depends on your eating habits and preferences. On average, Singapore students should budget approximately $300 to $500 per month for food and groceries. Cooking at home and exploring affordable dining options can help manage costs.

       5. Is health insurance mandatory for Singapore students in Canada, and how much does it cost?

Yes, health insurance is mandatory for Singapore students in Canada. Most provinces require international students to have adequate health coverage. The cost of health insurance varies depending on the coverage level and the provider. On average, basic coverage can range from $50 to $100 per month, while comprehensive coverage may range from $100 to $200 per month.

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