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Student Accommodation in Canada

Getting accommodation as an international student is one of the difficulties students encounter once admitted to study in Canada.

Students’ choice of accommodation differs from one student to the other, some choose to stay on-campus which is closer to classes and libraries giving them easy access around the school premises, while others decide to stay off-campus, relying on public transit or using a vehicle to travel to and from school.

It is great to note that Canadian educational institutions offer high-quality services to assist prospective students with finding accommodations.

On-Campus Accommodations

On-campus accommodation comes in two forms:

Residence or Dormitory

A lot of schools provide dormitories on-campus or nearby the campus for students. Dormitories are usually larger buildings housing many students, while townhouses are detached, housing usually three to 6 students.

Dormitories have different sections such as areas for entertainment, cooking, and exercise, also as shared bathrooms and shower facilities.

These dormitories house one or more people per room, and are managed directly by the university management.

Dormitories are often a suggested housing choice for first-year college and university students.

The choice of living on campus allows students to live close to their classes. the majority of students prefer on-campus housing because it allows them to live among their peers, providing networking opportunities and facilitating new friendships and interaction among peers.

On-campus accommodation can be a great choice for international students, as the paperwork involved in arranging your lease from abroad can be managed smoothly.

Renting an apartment would not be the best for an international student because on-campus student accommodation generally comes furnished, you’ll have somewhere to call home as soon as you arrive. 

Living On-campus sometimes includes the purchase of a meal plan, which allows students to eat meals at on-campus cafeterias, enabling them to spend less time cooking and more time focused on their studies.

Sometimes on-campus housing comes with other benefits as well, like granting students access to fitness or aquatic facilities operated by the school.

The cost of living on campus depends on the school and may be more or less expensive than off-campus options.


Some Canadian colleges and universities contact local families to welcome and host international students in their homes.

Most home-stays have a child in the same year as that of the international student.

International students staying in a homestay get a cozy room with family meals and are also allowed to participate in the family and the community.

Since care is taken to allot a homestay that meets the international student’s interest, they are the best way to get adjusted to a new country and to know about the local culture and traditions.

Shared accommodation in a homestay can also mean room-only options (without meals), which may be possible.

Students living in homestay accommodation should expect to travel 30 – 50 minutes by bus or train in order to reach the school. This is a normal commute time in Canada.

Home-stay does not mean that the international student is staying for free, the student will have to pay between $400 and $800 CDN per month. Students have to additionally pay $200 CDN advance.

Off-campus Accommodation

Haven spent a year in Canada as an international student and you want to explore the vast city of Canada.

To get accommodation out of the campus premises, you must put into consideration the location of the school, because schools are located in metropolitan cities with fast development and the prices of renting accommodation will be expensive.

Institutions located in smaller cities or towns may have fewer options, though it is quite common for the cost of housing to be cheaper in less populated areas.

The prices for rent vary from city to city. Cities with larger areas like Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver are quite expensive.

It’s suggested you budget around CAD 700-2,500 per month for housing that is off-campus but of course, this depends on your expectations and budget.

Students should note that all rented houses or apartments have common areas like kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and garden. Students can have a single room or share their room with a friend.

As a student, it is vital to notice that finding accommodation off-campus is often tricky and there are particularly busy times when many other students are going to be looking too.

So, confirm you propose beforehand to avoid disappointment and unnecessary stress. 

Finding Accommodation in Canada

There are many ways of finding accommodation in Canada, which include checking social media, school notice boards, or asking people. 

checking the campus notice board may have a list of Off-Campus renting options in the neighborhood. All you have to do is get in touch with them first.

Before signing a rental agreement, carefully review the terms and check with the international students’ office if they have any concerns. 

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