Accommodation options for international students in Canada

Accommodation options for international students in Canada

If you’re coming to Canada to study there are a few different options to consider when it comes to accommodation. One of the main things that will influence where you live is the budget you have reserved for your stay.

Prices can vary according to the type of accommodation you choose and the location you’re based in. You might also want to consider what kind of lifestyle you’re after and any other preferences that could influence your decision.


Homestays are family homes that welcome an international student to stay for the school year. They continue to be popular choices for international students coming to study in Canada. Often, several Canadian families are contracted by a school or university to host and welcome international students.

There are a lot of advantages to residing in a homestay. If you aren’t confident about your language skills then staying with a friendly Canadian family will make it easier for you to get by. You will be entitled to a furnished room, family meals, and will find it easy to participate in family activities and get involved with the community.

Usually, your school will match you with families that share similar interests and offer your preference of amenities and location. Prices can vary widely depending on location, but the average cost of homestay accommodation is between $400 – $800 CDN per month.


Schools and colleges in Canada will offer students the chance to stay in accommodation of their own near to the campus. The dormitory rooms are usually furnished, but quite often the kitchen and bathrooms are shared with other students. The rooms may also be shared, but will be separated by gender.

In some cases, there are meal plans included in the cost of the room. Staying in a dormitory is an ideal way to become involved in campus activities and meet other students.

The average cost of a dormitory room is around $3,000 – $7,500 CDN per school year.


Private renting is an option open to students, but depending on the location the rents can be quite high. This is especially true in the major cities. You can choose to share accommodation with other students in order to keep prices down. Your school or college might offer an off-campus housing service which will be able to provide you with affordable accommodation options that are nearby. They can also help you to find roommates.

There are different types of places to consider when renting. A house is usually too expensive for one person, but many students choose to share or rent suites. These are a self-contained unit with a kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. When looking to rent privately, you should also factor in the cost of heat, electricity, and other bills when it comes to planning your budget.

The average cost of shared accommodation in Canada is $250 – $700 CDN monthly. The average cost of a suite is $400 – $1500 CDN monthly.

Why not check out the accommodation options that Toronto School of Management can offer you?

How to find accommodation in Canada as an international student

One of the most important factors to consider as an international student in Canada is finding the accommodation that would fit into your new lifestyle. Thankfully, there are lots of options you can choose! It is important for international students to think about location, price, and security when looking for housing in Canada. Before settling on a neighbourhood and a rental, it’s wise to do some background research.

On-Campus Housing: A lot of Canadian institutions offer on-campus housing for their students. Most of these accommodations are close to campus, which makes it easy for students to get to classes.

Off-Campus Housing: There are also schools that offer off-campus options such as apartments, houses, and shared housing. There are a number of websites, like Kijiji, Craigslist, Roomster, and other online platforms that show rental properties in cities all over Canada. International students who are searching for accommodations can also look in local newspapers and on community bulletin boards.

Homestay Programs: In Canada, overseas students can stay with a local family through homestay programs. This might be a fantastic opportunity for foreign students to learn about Canadian culture and practice their English. Organizations and schools often work together to set up homestay programs for students.

What Is the Student Accommodation Checklist?

One of the most crucial choices you will have to make as an international student is where you will live. Finding a proper student accommodation in Canada can be a tedious task, so it is crucial to have a checklist of what to look for to make the process more manageable.

Here is an example of a student accommodation checklist which you can use as a guide:

  • Location: When looking for student housing, location is the most important factor to take into account. You need to make sure that the location makes it easy for you to get to classes and other important facilities like supermarkets, hospitals, and public transit.
  • Basic amenities: Your student housing should have basic amenities like a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Other features like laundry services, a gym, and a study place are also essential factors to consider.
  • Rent: As a student, your financial resources could be limited, and that’s why finding an affordable accommodation is important. Rent should be within your budget and any additional costs such as energy bills, internet, and parking fees should be considered.
  • Security: Safety and security are crucial when searching for student housing. Ensure that the property has a security system, surveillance cameras, and secure locks. It’s also advisable to look into the local crime rate and inquire about any previous security incidents with the proprietor.
  • Lease agreement: Before signing a lease, ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed all of the terms and conditions. Ensure that the lease includes the rent, security deposit, and maintenance obligations.
  • Roommates: Finding good roommates is crucial if you want to live in a dorm or apartment with other students. Check to see if any prospective roommates share your interests, study habits, and other factors.


  • What is on-campus housing?
    On-campus housing refers to accommodations that are offered by the educational institution, such as dorms, apartments, or other residential buildings that are located within the educational institution’s campus or near to it.
  • What is off-campus housing?
    Off-campus housing refers to housing options that are situated in areas that are not directly next to the campus of the educational institution. This can refer to houses, apartments, or other types of residential buildings that are rented out to other people.
  • What is a shared accommodation?
    Shared accommodation is a type of housing in which numerous people use shared living spaces such as a kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Shared housing is a popular option for students because it is less expensive than living alone and allows them to meet new people.
  • What should I consider before choosing an accommodation?
    There are numerous factors that you must consider when looking for the right accommodation, including the property’s location, rental costs, safety and security, maintenance and repairs, options for roommates, and more.

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