Cost of Living

Cost of Living

Here are some typical costs (in Canadian dollars) for items and services in Canada to help you budget for your new life as an international student. These amounts are estimates only and may vary significantly.

Item
Monthly CostDescription
Housing
$450-1200+

Private room with shared bathroom and kitchen: $450+ monthly

1-bedroom apartment with private bathroom and kitchen: $1000+ monthly

Utilities
varies

Payments for heating, air-conditioning, water and electricity) as well as Wi-Fi may be additional to the rent you pay, so please ask your landlord before you sign papers.

Food
$150-300

Food costs vary depending on where you buy your groceries, and how often you eat out.

  • Restaurant meal for 1 person: $15
  • Fast-food meal (McDonald’s McChicken, fries and drink): $9
  • Cup of coffee: $2
  • 5 kg bag of rice at grocery store: $10
Transit
$80+

Doon/Cambridge/Waterloo Students: The Conestoga College Transit Pass allows unlimited travel on Grand River Transit for 4 consecutive calendar months.

  • $300 for 4-month term, plus $5 photo ID charge. (prices may be slightly higher)
  • If you do not buy the reduced-fare transit pass, an adult cash fare is approximately $3.25 per ride.

Check Google Maps and the GRT’s “Plan your Trip” system to find out how you can travel to campus, and how long it will take you.

$80+

Guelph Students: Check Google Maps and Guelph Transit’s “Plan your Trip” system to find out how you can travel to campus, and how long it will take you.

  • Monthly unlimited travel passes are $80 per month.
  • An adult cash fare is $3 per ride.
$0

Brantford Students: The fares for transit from September-April are included in your student tuition. Check Google Maps and Brantford Transit’s “Plan your Trip” system to find out how you can travel to campus, and how long it will take you.

  • An adult cash fare is $3 per ride.
Phone/Internet

$50-100

Costs depend on your phone, how much data you add on, and what speed your Internet is.

Personal Items
$100-200
  • Cold weather clothing is necessary – budget for winter jackets, boots, scarves and hats.
  • $5 for a bottle of soap or shampoo
Academic Materials

$500+ per semester

Check your booklist here for pricing.