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Best Canadian Cities for International Students

ACAlpina ChariFeb 8, 2023

Best Cities in Canada for International Students

While many of us are aware that Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world for studying abroad, many of us are unaware that it also offers some of the best student cities for international students. Canada is the fourth best country in the world for education, according to a report from 2022 US News, and has consistently ranked in the top 5 nations since 2016! International students have many benefits in Canada, including the friendly and open nature of the government, flexible laws, the availability of a wide range of educational programs, affordable tuition costs, and low living costs. The best option for international students who want to land a high-paying job with a reputable company, launch a promising career, and live the life of their dreams is to study in Canada and some of the best Canadian cities for international students.

The accessibility and diversity of the Canadian educational system are also attributes that it takes great pride in. Comparing Canadian degree programs to those offered by other higher education systems, they might seem more adaptable. Regardless of the degree they are pursuing, students have some control over the classes they enroll in. Canadian students, therefore, have more flexibility over their workload and the courses they will take, depending on the field. More than 200 schools and institutions are available for students to choose from in order to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.

According to QS World University Rankings, three Canadian cities—Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver—made the top 50 student cities list. The ranking was determined by a number of factors, such as affordability, the diversity of the student body, and how well-received graduates are by employers.

Keep reading to know about the best Canadian cities for international students, their popular universities, and their cost of living.

Best Canadian Cities for International Students: QS Rating for 2023

In Canada, you can choose a city and be sure that you won’t be disappointed. However, certain places rank highly among the top student destinations. The following list of the top cities in Canada for international students is based on variables including safety, transportation, employment prospects, access to scholarships for foreign students, and more. Living in these places will provide students with sufficient exposure to a variety of cultures and allow them to engage in experiential learning, which will aid in their personal development.

City  QS Ranking
Montreal 14
Toronto 15
Vancouver 20
Ottava 55
Quebec City 106



There is a lot to see and do in the wonderful city of Montreal. It is commonly regarded as Canada’s cultural center due to its multiracial festivals, exhibits, museums, and concerts. It is also famous for being one of the top student destinations in the world thanks to its many highly regarded universities. 

Canada’s top city for academic pursuits is Montreal. The city establishes itself as a leader in science and technology. especially in information technology and aeronautics. In addition to providing world-class education, Montreal, one of the top student towns in the world, is well known for its innovative culture and thriving entertainment sector.

Top colleges and universities, gastronomy, sports, the arts, and culture… Montreal has everything you need to have a memorable trip. In addition to being economical, safe, and multicultural, it also offers a promising work market.

The 20 largest urban areas in Canada and the US with the fastest job growth in 2017 were all located in Montreal. When it comes to the shortest wait times for graduates to get employment, the city comes in at number 20.

Best Universities in Montreal

  • McGill University
  • University of Montréal
  • HEC Montréal
  • Concordia University
  • Polytechnic School of Montreal
  • Université du Québec à Montréal

Cost of Living in Montreal

When it comes to the cost of a university education and housing, Montreal is one of the cheapest cities in Canada. The cost of attending Montreal’s universities varies generally depending on the school you attend and the course you choose.

Without rent, the cost of living in Montreal is approximately CAD 1,095 per month.

The cost of housing and rent, which ranges from CAD 700 to CAD 1,000 per month, will be the biggest expense one will have to make while residing in Montreal.

Type of Expense Monthly Cost in CAD
Accommodation 700-1,000
Transportation  90 
Utilities (power, water, etc.) 100 
Food  350
Health insurance  50-75
Phone and internet  75
Miscellaneous  200

The annual cost of living in Montreal for an international student is CAD 21,000. 



Toronto is a diverse city with lots of life, young people, historical monuments, and vitality. You’ll experience a globalized center that will make you feel as though you’re traveling.

With bars open until three in the morning, nonstop festivals to visit all summer long, and a community unlike any other, Toronto is wonderful on an entirely different level. Additionally, the city has so many welcoming residents that it quickly feels like home.

Toronto is renowned for its employment opportunities. The city serves as the economic heart of Canada, offering work in the banking sector as well as in manufacturing, information and technology, and financial services. The likelihood of landing an internship at a significant corporation is increased by studying in Toronto. The job growth market in Toronto has been steady in recent years, making it much simpler for overseas students to settle down after their study is complete.

Best Universities in Toronto

    • University of Toronto
    • York University
    • Ryerson University
    • Centennial college
    • Humber college

Cost of Living in Toronto

Toronto is one of the most costly cities in Canada in terms of housing and the cost of a university degree. Generally speaking, the cost of attending a university in Toronto varies based on the institution and the program you select.

Toronto has a high cost of living because it is the largest city in Canada. Apart from tuition, living expenses are the biggest expense for students. Students might try to keep expenditures in check by sharing housing, cooking their own meals, and spending less on entertainment. 

In Toronto, the annual average cost of living is around CAD 31,000. The cost of accommodation and rent, which averages about CAD 2,070 per month, will be the biggest expense one will face when residing in Toronto.

Type of Expense Monthly Cost in CAD
Accommodation 1000-2,000
Transportation  128
Utilities (power, water, etc.) 200
Food  200-400
Health insurance  50-75
Phone and internet  100-200
Clothing and miscellaneous  250



Vancouver is a vibrant, tomorrow-oriented city with breathtaking scenery, winding roads, and a laid-back vibe. The city is buzzing with vitality, and everyone is quite active. Vancouver is a peaceful place to study and live because of its temperate climate, swimming spots, and surrounding natural beauty. All of this adds to the richness and diversity of student life in Vancouver.

Due to its exceptional quality of life and milder winters than other major Canadian cities like Montreal and Toronto, Vancouver is a popular choice for prospective international students.

Vancouver may not be the coldest city, but the ski resorts are fantastic! The city is surrounded by rocky terrain, and great mountains for winter sports are nearby.

One of the most well-known mountains, The Cypress, is where you can find a 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games exhibit.

Like other major Canadian cities, Vancouver has a diverse range of ethnic and linguistic communities. The number of immigrants has increased during the past ten years.

For graduates wishing to begin a career in the tech industry, Vancouver is the land of opportunity. In this wonderful metropolis, a few areas that are expanding include software development, biotechnology, aerospace, and video game production. Since Vancouver is home to numerous large corporations, there are many excellent opportunities in the film, television, and animation sectors.

Best Universities In Vancouver

    • University of British Columbia
    • Simon Fraser University
    • University of Canada West
    • Vancouver Island University
    • Columbia College
    • Langara college

Cost of Living in Vancouver

Vancouver has a plethora of amenities for students living in this rapidly growing city, therefore the typical living cost for students will be slightly higher than most other cities in Canada. The cost of attending Vancouver’s universities varies generally depending on the school you attend and the course you choose.

The typical cost of housing in Vancouver for students is CAD 1,500. The food costs and other regular utilities are slightly higher than in locations like Montreal or Toronto. Rental costs in Vancouver vary greatly depending on where you choose to live. Students can always reduce their living expenditures by choosing student housing on campus or outside the city.

The cost of housing and rent, which ranges from CAD 1,200 to CAD 1,800 per month, would be the biggest expense one will have to make while residing in Vancouver. The average annual cost of living in Vancouver is CAD 31,500. 

Type of Expense Monthly Cost in CAD
Accommodation 1,200-1,800
Transportation  110
Utilities (power, water, etc.) 200
Food  450
Health insurance  50-75
Phone and internet  150
Miscellaneous  100-200



The province of Ontario’s eastern area contains the wonderful city of Ottawa. It may be the seat of the Prime Minister and the Parliament of Canada, but that doesn’t make it dull or formal.

The city is rich in history, has numerous annual events, has a vibrant nightlife, and serves some of the best poutine (French fries with sauce and meat) you’ll ever eat.

With its abundance of neighborhood parks, serene green areas, canals that flow through the city, and architectural and historical treasures, Ottawa is one of the most picturesque capitals in the entire world.

The ancient Rideau Canal, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, passes through the city. Residents enjoy the canal throughout the year-long by running, walking, cycling, cruising, paddling, and skating.

Being the Capital city and seat of many industries Ottawa presents ample employment opportunities in different sectors.

Best Universities In Ottawa

  • University of Ottawa
  • Carleton university
  • Algonquin College
  • Dominican University College
  • Augustine College

Cost of Living in Ottawa

Ottawa is significantly cheaper to live in than expensive places like Toronto. Compared to the national average, Ottawa has an 18% cheaper cost of living. For individuals wishing to relocate, this is fantastic news because it implies that you may live your daily life for a significantly lower average monthly cost.

Without rent, the cost of living in Ottawa is approximately CAD 1,200 per month.

The cost of housing and rent, which ranges from CAD 1,000 to CAD 1,500 per month, will be the biggest expense one will have to make when residing in Ottawa. Thus, the cost of living for an entire year in Ottawa is CAD 27,000.

Type of Expense Monthly Cost in CAD
Accommodation 1,000-1,500
Transportation  116
Utilities (power, water, etc.) 150
Food  350
Health insurance  50-75
Internet  75
Miscellaneous  250

Quebec City

Quebec City

North America’s largest city, Québec, is unlike any other place. It provides visitors and residents with a fantastic glimpse into French-Canadian history and a superb quality of life being the only walled city on the continent. The countless cobblestone streets and several stone structures in this small city’s Old Town that together make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site are perfect for strolling through. Québec City is a Canadian treasure that keeps its historical heritage and combines it with modern, energetic urban living. It has everything from grand plazas to quiet back alley bistros.

Like its architecture and history, Québec City’s dining, drinking, and entertainment options are of the highest caliber. The city’s numerous restaurants and cafes receive a steady supply of high-quality products from the surrounding areas. In the summer, you can enjoy an evening on a café terrace while watching music, theater, and other performances in the streets and public spaces.

The main economic sectors in Quebec include manufacturing, electricity production, mining, pulp and paper, and manufacturing. Because Quebec’s manufacturing sector accounts for 25% of all manufacturing in Canada, students who choose to study in this city will have higher employment prospects after they graduate.

Best Universities in Quebec City

  • Laval University
  • National Institute of Scientific Research
  • National School of Public Administration

Cost of Living in Quebec City

Quebec City is one of the more affordable cities in Canada when it comes to housing and the price of a university degree. Generally speaking, the cost of attending a university in a Quebec city varies based on the institution and the program you select.

Due to the low average rent for a tiny apartment in the city center, Quebec is one of only a few cities in Canada where rent costs less than 20% of the average resident’s monthly income. Without rent, the cost of living in Quebec City is approximately CAD 1,035 per month.

The cost of housing and rent, which ranges from 660 to 1,500 CAD per month, will be the biggest expense incurred while residing in Quebec City. Single student living expenses in Quebec City are CAD 21,000 per year. 

Type of Expense Monthly Cost in CAD
Accommodation 660-1,500
Transportation  90
Utilities (power, water, etc.) 90
Food  300
Health insurance  50-75
Phone and internet  70
Miscellaneous  150


Choosing a city to attend school in if you intend to study in Canada is crucial. Canadian cities offer high-quality education and career possibilities to international students, and their communities are also student-friendly. Even economically, costs of living and schooling are quite low because various cities have first-rate transportation and infrastructure systems. They are essential if you want to continue your education and create a successful future.

You are already aware of the best Canadian cities for international students. Give Gyanberry the responsibility of ensuring the safety of international students. Our knowledge will help you every step of the way, from constructing the ideal professional path for a promising future to offering extensive information on the best cities for students. Even the standards for Canadian student visas are a problem for students. We cannot be disregarded.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The best student cities in Canada include Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec City, to name a few.


The actual query is, “Why not?” There are many benefits for international students to pick Canada, including affordable tuition, high-quality instruction, and lenient visa requirements.

Quebec City and Ottawa with living expenses of CAD 21,000 and 27,000 per year are the most affordable cities to live in Canada. 

Any academic, professional, or vocational course at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada with a duration of six months requires an international student to acquire a study permit. You don’t need a study permit if your course or program lasts for six months or less in Canada.

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