Guide To Find Student Accommodation in Canada For International Students

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Finding accommodation is one of the most stressful aspects of studying in Canada for many international students. Some students prefer to live on campus, close to their classes and libraries, while others prefer to live off-campus and go to and from school via public transportation, walking, or driving.

Many Canadian universities offer student housing recommendations and suggestions for accommodation in the city of study. But the purpose is to find a budget-friendly place that matches the student’s requirements.

As a student, you might face a few challenges while scouting for accommodation. Some of the primary factors are a lack of knowledge about the area and vulnerability to rental scams, along with an unwelcoming cultural environment. This guide will provide information to help you find the perfect Student Accommodation In Canada.

student accommodation in canada

Different Housing Options in Canada

There are many options available for students looking to study in Canada, and the section below highlights them all. All the housing options are categorised as on-campus and off-campus accommodations.

On-Campus

Several educational institutions provide on-campus Student Accommodation In Canada with the opportunity to rent on-campus housing owned by the school. Usually, these on-campus housing options are called dormitories, residences, and townhouses. The campus residence and dorms have several benefits:

  • Be closer to classes
  • Save transportation costs that will otherwise be spent on travelling to and from the college
  • Thrive within the student community and access the network
  • On-campus living costs are relatively less, but not with every type of accommodation
  • All-in-all access to amenities and support services provided by the institution

On-campus accommodation may involve purchasing a meal plan, which allows students to consume meals at on-campus cafeterias. This enables them to spend less time cooking and more time studying.

Also Read: Best Place to live in Canada for Indian Immigrants

Off-Campus

Depending on the location of your university or college, you will find several options for renting a place in the city. While colleges and universities located in metropolis cities will have several options, the cost will also be higher relative to tier II or tier III cities. There are usually both short- and long-term off-campus housing alternatives accessible wherever the school is located.

Some benefits of off-campus housing are:

  • A variety of options are available in the city.
  • The students have the option to choose accommodation according to their wishes and pay less than with an on-campus arrangement.
  • Off-campus Student Accommodation In Canada also means they will have more freedom in terms of living and cooking.
  • You can choose your flatmates.

Because off-campus living has more legal precedents than on-campus living, you need to carefully review the rental agreement’s conditions before signing it. Always check with the international students’ office of your college or university if there are any issues living off-campus.

Besides an apartment rental with flatmates, you can also check for the homestay program, which has become a popular accommodation option in Canada for international students.

Homestay Program for Students

Under the homestay program, students are placed with families in the area they are studying. Each homestay is unique and welcomes international students. The student typically has a room and shares meals and responsibilities with the family.

Although homestays are more expensive in Canada, you will have more time to focus on your studies because most of the cooking and cleaning will be taken care of by host families.

To find a suitable homestay for yourself and fix your Student Accommodation In Canada, you can use one of the following networks:

  • Canada Homestay Network
  • YES Canada Homestay

On average, the cost of living in a homestay type of Student Accommodation In Canada is between 600 and 1100 CAD per month.

Other off-campus accommodation options an international student can consider in Canada include:

Subletting

Subletting is another form of arrangement where an existing tenant whose name is on the lease rents the apartment to another individual (primarily students). The leasee will live there for the school year and then pass on the apartment to another student.

Rental Apartments

This is simple; you will rent out an apartment and probably look for other roommates to split the bills and rent. You will share the living room with your flatmates and have different rooms. However, rental apartments are costlier, and you will also have to put down a security deposit.

Staying in Canada for your studies can turn out to be an expensive process, or it can be cheap depending on the living space. While you are searching for options, there are a few things to consider.

Tips To Find Student Accommodation & Rent in Canada

Know your Rights as a Tenant

Canadian provinces have different rules and regulations for tenants. As these rules change from border to border, make sure to check the official website of the State or province to know exactly what your rights, duties, and responsibilities are.

Ask What’s Included in the Accommodation

Before you sign any papers, make sure to ask about your house-bound responsibilities and inclusions. Is food included in the rent? Do you have to do some chores? Ask about repairs and who will get those done.

Services Included

Some households provide internet, hot water, and electricity within the rent, and others may not. So, it would be good to ask about this.

You also need to spend on transportation, not to mention the time required to go and come from the college. Look at saving time and spending some money as this will give you more time to study and easy access to the college’s resources.

Cost of Living in Canada as a Student

The cost of living in Canada can vary across the provinces. The cost of living in Edmonton will be different from Ottawa, Ontario, Alberta, and so on. To give you an example, living in Toronto means spending 900 to 1900 CAD per month on rent. The same cost in Montreal ranges from 850 to 1500 CAD.

Top Cities To Live In Canada   

Below are the tentative costs of living in different Canadian cities:

Vancouver

The most popular locations here are Main Street, Commercial Drive, East Van, and Chinatown. Hosting universities like Simon Fraser Vallery and the University of British Columbia, this location will require you to spend between 900 and 1300 CAD per month on rent.

Calgary

The best areas to live in Calgary are Downtown, Beltine, Brentwood, and Kensington. The rental costs here can lie between 600 CAD and 1400 CAD. If you are getting into the University of Calgary or Mount Royal University, the above-mentioned areas are great choices.

Montreal

Being in Montreal means you can get into McGill University, the University of Montreal, and Concordia University. The areas to scout for student accommodation include Downtown, Old Montreal, and Griffintown.

Toronto

Living in Toronto is expensive, but you will have the opportunity to study in prestigious institutes like York University and the University of Toronto. For a rental place here, visit Kingsview Village, Clairville, The Annex, and Dufferin Grove.

student accommodation in canada

Conclusion

Getting access to student accommodation in Canada inside the university or college you are attending is the best option and a cost-effective one. Besides the on-campus dormitories and residences, you can take up a rental apartment in the city or even opt for a homestay.

Make sure to consider every type of expense besides the accommodation charges to know the exact cost of living in Canada. Choose an area where you feel safe and can get easy transportation to and from the institution. Focus on saving time rather than money because that will enable you to focus on your studies.

For more resources and guidance on studying abroad, visit our blog or get in touch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best online sources to find student accommodation in Canada?

Ans. You can visit popular aggregator websites like Sublet.com or Vrbo to find a house. They have a listing of available options in different areas across cities. Other sources like Airbnb, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Kijiji are also popular options.

How do I ensure that I am not being scammed?

Ans. First, always approach the landlord directly; if not, make sure you are going through a trusted mediator. Also, it is a good idea to not deposit the rental money before checking out the apartment. Check the paperwork and all the conditions therein. Do not share personal information (no more than what is required) with the landlord.

When should I move to Canada to find suitable accommodation?

Ans. You should look at moving to Canada at least two weeks before the beginning of the university session. This will give you enough time to complete the formalities for getting on-campus accommodation. If not, you will still have enough time to scout for a place off-campus.

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An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.