Everything You Need to Know About Accommodation in Canada For International Students

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Securing accommodation in Canada is generally one of the most important factors for international students. You’d want a budget-friendly place that’s close to school and has the basic amenities in place. 

We agree that finding accommodation in Canada for international students can be daunting. But if you know where and what to look for, it becomes so much easier. 

This article covers almost every kind of accommodation in Canada for Indian students. Hope you manage to find the right place with all the information we share below.  

Here’s a quick overview of the living costs in Canada for international students.

Component Approximate Cost Per Month (in INR)
Accommodation 25000-35000
Food 12000-15000
Transport 8000-10000
Miscellaneous 15000-20000

Accommodation In Canada for International Students – Types

There are multiple kinds of accommodations in Canada for international students you can pick from. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. So, learn more and pick your option wisely. 

  1. On-Campus Accommodations

In the contemporary world, educational institutions offering students on-campus accommodations in Canada for international students are quite common. It’s the case with institutions in Canada too. The accommodations are known as residencies or dormitories.

Most students choose to live on campus because of its many advantages. You will get to live among your peers, providing plenty of opportunities to network and build new relationships. 


On-Campus Accommodations

Source: Pixabay.com

On-campus accommodation in Canada for international students will also include an option for students to purchase meal plans. This will allow you to have meals at on-campus cafes, reducing your time spent cooking. On-campus housing also comes with added benefits like fitness facilities operated by the institution. It is also more economical to live on campus. 

The average cost can be anywhere from 1.79 Lakhs to 4.5 Lakhs per year, depending on your chosen region. 

  • Dormitories

Dormitories in Canadian institutions can cost from INR 32,000 to INR 35,000 per month. Dorm rooms are               usually spacious enough to house multiple students. You can visit your college or university’s official website to         learn more about the dormitories offered for international students.

DormitoriesSource: Freepik.com

  • Residences

These are accommodations close to the campus provided by the institution. These are one of the best choices for accommodation in Canada for international students. Living in residence is a better choice than living in a house off-campus if you’re planning to study in Canada for a short period. You can use the extra space and the facilities that come with living on campus. 

ResidencesSource: Pixabay.com

  1. Off-Campus Accommodations

Off-campus accommodation in Canada for Indian students can vary based on the city. For instance, major cities like Vancouver and Toronto will have a wide range of apartments or condominiums for students to rent. Most off-campus rentals are available for single or multiple occupants, and most international students choose to live or share the accommodation with a roommate to cut costs. 

Note that any rental agreement or lease you sign with the landlord is legally binding, and you will have certain responsibilities. Some responsibilities include on-time rent payments, preventing intentional property damage, etc. As an international student, it is prudent to carefully review any agreement terms and check with the international students’ office before signing the agreement. 

Off-campus living allows you to explore the city better and gives you the freedom to travel. But off-campus accommodations will not provide you with meal plans like on-campus accommodations. Off-campus accommodation in Canada for Indian students can cost between INR 23,000 and INR 53,000 per month. It can be as high as INR 1.79 Lakhs in cities like Vancouver. 

  • Private Rental

Apartment hunting is exciting, and with the technology available currently, it is easier than ever. It also allows you to explore new neighbourhoods and meet new people. You can also make the apartment feel like it’s home.


Private RentalSource: Pixabay.com

All major Canadian cities have a good rental market, with listings popping up regularly. Off-campus accommodations in Canada for international students are easy to find, especially around educational institutions. Most institutions provide students with support and advice on how they can find the best place to live. Some institutions even provide internal listings for students to pick from. 

  • Homestays

Homestays can be a great option if you’re not okay with living alone. It is an excellent off-campus accommodation in Canada for international students. Here, the institutions pair students with families residing near the campus. You can also use services like the Canada Homestay Network to find your perfect homestay. 


HomestaysSource: Pixabay.com

Homestays are unique and they provide you with a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s culture. In addition, your meals will be taken care of too. 

Most Popular Canadian Cities

Most Popular Canadian CitiesSource: Pixabay.com


The city is the most densely populated in Canada, with more than 5,700 people living in every square kilometre. It is also the most diverse city in Canada, both linguistically and ethnically. As an international student, you will not feel out of place in Vancouver. 

Although one of the most livable cities in the country, Vancouver student accommodation is a bit on the expensive side. But Vancouver is home to 5 major universities that enrol tens of thousands of students yearly. So, finding the cheapest accommodation in Canada for international students shouldn’t be an issue in Vancouver. 


Toronto is a cosmopolitan city that is considered a multicultural centre internationally. It is home to people of 200 ethnic origins. Also, the city is an international leader in industries like banking, culture, commerce, entertainment, and technology. 

Toronto is Canada’s most populous city, with a population of 2,794,356 (2021). And most people speak English in Toronto. You will have no issue communicating in Toronto as an international student. Student accommodation in Toronto is not that hard to find, making it easy to find accommodation in Canada for Indian students. 


It is Canada’s second most populous city. The city is the centre of the Island of Montreal, with the western side being majorly English-speaking. Montreal is Canada’s most bilingual city, with more than 58% of the people being able to speak both English and French. 

If you are someone that can speak English, French, or both, Montreal will be a piece of cake for you to live in. It is a centre of aerospace, commerce, finance, transport, pharma, design, technology, etc.

Also, accommodation in Canada for international students is quite easy to find in Montreal. 

Average Cost of Living in Canada

Canada is a fairly well-developed nation with a higher cost of living than India. Most accommodations in Canada for international students take care of your meals, including on-campus and homestays. Here’s the list of everyday expenses that you will have to keep tabs on, 

Expenses Cost in INR
Food & Drinks ₹12,000 to 35,000/month
Transportation ₹ 5,000 to 7,000/month
Books and Study Material ₹12,000 to 21,000/Semester
Miscellaneous Rs. 30,000 to 60,000/year

The average cost of living in Canada’s five major cities for a single person

City Cost of Living (in INR)
Toronto 59,700-161190/month
Vancouver 71640-170145/month
Montreal 73,132/month
Ottawa 22686-105072/month
Calgary 47760-107460/month

Find Accommodation in Canada for International Students

The following steps apply regardless of the type of accommodation you are opting to stay in. The things to keep in mind are, 

Look For a Place to Stay

Analyse the city, and find the neighbourhood you want to live in. Your decision should be based on the cost of living, your tastes, etc. Some cities like Vancouver and Toronto have a higher cost of living compared to other cities in Canada. You will have to consider such factors. 

Consider The Neighbourhood

You will need a nurturing environment to study without anything affecting you. Choosing a suitable environment is subjective and no one but you can research this subject. You can either live solo or live with someone else, preferably a roommate or a family that is willing to host you. Note that living with a family can be extremely handy in unforeseen situations. 

Consider Your Budget

On-campus and off-campus accommodations in Canada for Indian students can significantly differ in cost regardless of the city. You should analyse the costs, see if you can afford them, and decide accordingly. 

Consider Meal Arrangements

When you choose to stay on-campus, or in a homestay, your meals will be taken care of. With on-campus accommodations, you can pay for a meal plan and concentrate on your studies instead of cooking. If you stay off-campus, you will have to take care of your meals, which can take a hit on your finances if you’re not careful. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Are International Students Obligated to Stay Live on Campus?

No, educational institutions do not make it a requirement that international students live on campus. You can choose the accommodation of your choice and live as you please. 

Question 2:  How Can I Find Homestays in Canada Online?

You can use networks like Canada Homestay Network, HomeStay in, and YES Canada Homestay to find your perfect homestay. These platforms provide options based on various parameters like safety, comfort, etc. 

Question 3:  Do International Students Have to Sign a Rental Agreement When Renting an Apartment?

Yes, you will be required to sign a rental agreement or lease with the landlord. You will also be asked to provide references and the first and last month’s rent in advance. Consult with your institution’s international students’ office if you have any doubts regarding legal procedures. 

Question 4:  Where Can I Look for Apartments in Canada?

Here’s a list of online resources and platforms for you to start apartment hunting: 

Is It Mandatory That I Get Renter’s Insurance When Living in Canada as An International Student?

Although it is not legally mandatory to get personal contents insurance in Canada, you should get a renter’s insurance covering accidental property damage.

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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