Canada is one of the world’s most desirable places to live and study due to its quality of life, diverse and inclusive culture, and excellent educational institutions. 

If you’re planning to study or work in Canada, achieving a good IELTS score from the British Council is your first step toward unlocking these opportunities. You’ll also need to understand and budget for the cost of living, which varies greatly depending on the location. 

For students

Tuition fees

International students pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. Compare the fees of different universities. The cost varies significantly depending on the chosen institution and programme.


On-campus residences may offer a more convenient and sometimes cheaper alternative to living off-campus, where rent can vary widely by location. Consider proximity to campus, utilities, and the potential need for commuting. 

Living expenses

Living expenses for groceries, transport, personal care, and other miscellaneous costs will differ based on the city and your lifestyle choices. Budgeting for these in advance will help manage your finances better. Cities with efficient public transport help reduce commuting costs.

Health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for international students. Costs vary, but ensure you have comprehensive coverage, as healthcare without insurance can be very expensive. Some institutions offer health plans, but it's important to check what is covered and whether additional private insurance might be necessary.

For professionals


The cost of housing can vary significantly between cities and even neighbourhoods within the same city. When choosing where to live, consider the balance between rent costs and proximity to your workplace, as well as the quality of life in different areas.


Assess the efficiency and coverage of public transport in your city of choice. Car ownership entails additional expenses like insurance, fuel, and maintenance, which need to be factored into your budget. 

Groceries and dining

The cost of groceries and dining out can also vary widely. Your expenses in this category will depend on personal habits and the cost of living in your specific locale. 


While Canada offers a public healthcare system, additional health insurance might be necessary depending on your health needs and the coverage provided by your employer. 


Income taxes vary by province and your income level. Understanding the tax system is crucial as it will significantly impact your net income. 

Larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver are significantly pricier than smaller cities or towns across Canada. Choose a place to study or work that aligns with your budget and lifestyle.

Make your move with IELTS and open your imagination to a whole new life. The British Council’s IELTS test is trusted by employers, professional bodies, and immigration authorities worldwide.