International students in Canada choose to study in the country for many reasons, from its accommodating immigration policies to supportive measures for international students. According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), there was a 135% increase in the number of international students in Canada, from 2010 to 2020.
If you’re planning on studying in Canada, you’re probably aware that tuition fees and the cost of living can cost students a pretty penny.
According to data released by Statistics Canada last year, in 2021-22, the average tuition fees for international undergraduate students in Canada rose 4.9% from a year earlier to CA$33,623.
To put things into perspective, undergraduate international students in Canada enrolled in business, management and public administration paid on average CA$32,460 in tuition fees in 2021-22. Meanwhile, just over 12% of international undergraduate students were enrolled full-time in engineering and paid on average CA$37,377 for tuition fees in 2021-22.
“Very few international students (0.4% annually on average) enrolled in professional degree programmes, for which the average tuition fees for international students were among the highest of all programmes, ranging from CA$38,110 for law to CA$66,503 for veterinary medicine,” said Statistics Canada.
It’s clear tuition fees in Canadian universities alone can be eye-watering, and this doesn’t include the cost of living, including accommodation, transport, and groceries.
While scholarships can offer you some breathing space, they can be highly competitive. Another option is to consider applying to affordable Canadian universities that still provide quality education without the hefty price tag.
Below, we list five relatively affordable universities for international students in Canada, along with the approximate cost of pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degree there:
5 affordable universities for international students in Canada
University of Prince Edward Island
Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,450 per year
Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$4,344 per year
Formed in 1969 as the provincial university, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) honours its proud legacy through academic excellence and research innovation. It offers a wide range of programmes and degrees for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.
With international students from 98 countries comprising almost 30% of the university’s total enrolment of students, they have the opportunity to experience other cultures while they’re studying abroad and earning credits toward their UPEI degree.
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$11,460 per year
Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,654 per year
Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is known to be one of the cheapest Canadian universities around. As one of the biggest institutions in Atlantic Canada, MUN holds seven faculties in the Arts, Education, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Science and offers six schools in the fields of Pharmacy, Music, Human Kinetics, Social Work, Recreation, and Graduate Studies.
MUN has seen a surge of students from all around the globe due to its affordable tuition fees. To date, 20% of its enrollees come from over 100 countries.
University of Manitoba
Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$16,600 per year
Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$6,614 per year
Founded in 1877, The University of Manitoba (U of M) is a public research university with campuses in Fort Garry and Bannatyne. The university offers numerous programmes through the schools of Agriculture, Environment, Rehabilitation Science, Architecture, Art, Education, Engineering, Kinesiology, Science, Social Work, Human Ecology, Business, Music, and Graduate Studies.
U of M currently has a student population of almost 28,800. While most are indigenous students, 18% of the total population of students are international.
University of Saskatchewan
Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$18,394 per year
Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$8,096 per year
University of Saskatchewan (USask) is one of the top research-intensive, medical doctoral Canadian universities. Guided by their University Plan: The University the World Needs, USask aims to work together across disciplines to find creative solutions to Earth’s biggest challenges.
USask students come from around the world and are weaved into the communities throughout Saskatchewan, where they are offered a range of programming, from introductory classes through full degree programmes in some disciplines, notes the university’s website.
Undergraduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$19,812 per year
Graduate Programmes tuition fee: from CA$15,467 per year
Concordia University is a comprehensive public educational institution in the French-speaking region of Montreal, Quebec that primarily uses English as its teaching language. As one of the top-rated universities in Canada, Concordia is well-known for its prestigious John Molson School of Business, but they also offer Fine Arts, Arts & Science, Engineering & Computer Science, and Graduate Studies.
With 31% of Concordia’s more than 31,000 students are of foreign descent, the university’s faculties seek to help and fill the needs of students from different cultures and educational systems.