Living costs in Canada can be expensive for international students but it doesn’t say you should not study in Canada at all. The cost of living in Canada is also dependent on the student and how diligent they are to not overspend on their finances.
Here are 10 good ways to reduce the cost of living in Canada while studying:
- Try to get shared accommodations – If you decide that you do not want a roommate, whether you live on campus in residence or off-campus in an apartment, your cost of living will be high. It is much cheaper to live with some roommates and share expenses, especially rent and food costs. Often apartments that are close to universities and colleges are furnished so you don’t even have to worry about buying furniture.
- Consider home stay – Home stay is a cost saving way to live while studying in Canada. The International Centre at your institution will place you in a family where you will have a room and study area and you will have your meals with the family. This is a package deal that can be cheaper than renting an apartment or living in residence and it gives you a home away from home.
- Eat In not out – If you do rent an apartment, don’t eat too much fast food or eat out at restaurants. You will reduce your expenses considerably by eating as many meals as possible that you have cooked in your apartment. If you live in residence, eat according to your meal package and avoid expensive fast foods and restaurants.
- Buy second hand – For textbooks, pots, pans, dishes and furniture, consider buying second-hand. University bookstores carry used books and there are second hand and thrift shops where you can get used furniture, dishes and etc. The cost will be much less than buying new items.
- Work part-time – The Canadian government has programs that allow international students to work on or off campus while they are studying. Certain conditions apply as to hours, etc and some universities have their own limitations. Check with the International Centre on your campus for full details.
- Find a host family – Most International Centres have a host family program where international students are paired with a Canadian family. They will invite you for holiday celebrations, birthdays or take you to the zoo, or park, etc. This is one way to have some fun without costing you lots of money. You will also get to know about Canadian culture through your host family.
- Write home don’t phone – Phoning overseas from Canada can be expensive so be careful about your phone plan. If possible, write emails home or set up a Skype account which is free for video calls. Many computers today have built in webcams so you don’t even have to buy a webcam.
- Watch where you shop – Try to buy from big department stores like Walmart and Superstore and stay away from high-end shops and corner grocery stores.
- Use public transportation – Most major cities in Canada have excellent public transport systems and most universities include in their fees, a bus-pass charge at a reduced student rate. So make good use of this pass, it will save you lots.
- Delay gratification – Work hard and save your money for necessary expenses. It means that you will have to wait to enjoy life. You can always spend money on entertainment once you graduate.
These are some of the best ways to save money while studying. But don’t think that you can’t have any fun while studying, you can. Just be careful as to how much it is going to cost you and try to find cheaper ways to have some good times.