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Cost Of Living In Vancouver For Students

cost of living in Vancouver

Vancouver is a city that’s known for its quality education, career opportunities and lifestyle. Vancouver is a great city for students, with a variety of educational institutions to choose from, including the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), and Vancouver Community College (VCC). This city is also home to a booming job market.

If you are planning to move and study in Vancouver, understanding and managing the costs is crucial. The average overall cost of living in Vancouver, Canada for a single student is around CA$ 37,000 CA$ (INR 2,234,260) per year. This includes tuition, rent, food, transportation, utilities, and other expenses. Let us explore more about the monthly expenses in Vancouver, Canada and their practicalities. 

Average Cost Of Living In Vancouver

Despite the high cost of living, Vancouver is a great place to invest in your education and career. The average monthly cost of living in Vancouver for students ranges from CA$ 1,673 to CA$ 2,673 per month, including accommodation, food, utilities, transportation, and entertainment.

ItemCost (Per Month)
Off-Campus AccommodationCA$ 952
On-Campus AccommodationCA$ 1,067
TransportationCA$ 127
FoodCA$ 720
UtilityCA$ 121
EntertainmentCA$ 69
GroceriesCA$ 80
ClothesCA$ 154
Total Cost of Living in Vancouver with Off-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)CA$ 2,289
Total Cost of Living in Vancouver with On-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)CA$ 2,413
Annual Cost of LivingCA$ 28956

Accommodation Costs in Vancouver For Students 

Accommodation is one of the most important considerations for students living in Vancouver. Below listed are the types of accommodation in Vancouver for students:

On-campus Accommodation

On-campus residence is a good option for students who want to be close to their classes and other campus amenities. However, it can also be the most expensive option. The average monthly cost of on-campus residence in Vancouver is around CA$ 1,200.

Off-campus Apartment (shared)

Sharing an apartment with other students is a good way to save money on accommodation costs. The average monthly cost of a shared apartment in Vancouver is around CA$ 1,500.

Off-campus Apartment (private)

In Vancouver, students can choose to rent private apartments as an alternative accommodation option. On average, the monthly cost for a private apartment in the city is approximately CA$ 2,000. 

For students seeking comfortable and affordable housing solutions, UniAcco serves as an affordable and global provider of student accommodation.

Table of average accommodation costs in Vancouver for students

Here is the breakdown of the type of accommodation and average monthly costs:

Accommodation TypeAverage Monthly Cost (CA$ )
On-campus residence1200
Off-campus apartment (shared)1500
Off-campus apartment (private)2000

Transportation Costs In Vancouver For Students

The average monthly transportation cost for students in Vancouver is around CA$ 100-CA$ 150 (6,063 – 9094 INR). This includes the cost of public transportation, such as the SkyTrain, bus, and SeaBus, as well as the occasional taxi or ride-sharing service.

Students can save money on transportation costs by taking advantage of the following:

  • U-Pass: The U-Pass is a monthly transit pass that is available to all students at participating post-secondary institutions in the Vancouver area. The cost of the U-Pass is typically around CA$ 45 per month.
  • Compass Card: The Compass Card is a reloadable fare card that can be used on all TransLink public transportation services.
  • Discounted fares: To receive the discounted fare, students must show their student ID card to the bus driver or SkyTrain attendant.

Table of average transportation costs in Vancouver for students:

Here is the breakdown of the average transportation costs of different modes:

Transportation TypeAverage Monthly Cost (CA$ )
Compass Card (full fare)104.9
Compass Card (student fare)87.9
Ride-sharing service25-50

Education Costs In Vancouver For Students

Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer students. International students in Vancouver can expect to pay an average of CA$ 36,100 per year (2,188,613 INR) for undergraduate tuition and fees, and CA$ 21,100 per year (1,273,154 INR) for graduate tuition and fees.

While the cost of education in Vancouver is high, there are a number of things that students can do to save money. For example, students can apply for scholarships and bursaries, take advantage of student discounts, and work part-time while studying.

CategoryAverage Annual Cost (CA$ )
Tuition fees (international undergraduate)25,000
Tuition fees (international graduate)15,000
Student fees1,000-2,000
Other expenses (books and supplies)1,000
Total36,100-40,100 (international undergraduate)
Total21,100-23,100 (international graduate)

Healthcare Costs In Vancouver For Students

The average healthcare cost for students in Vancouver is relatively low, as most students are covered by the provincial health insurance plan, the Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP covers medically necessary services, such as doctor’s visits, hospitalisations, and prescription drugs.

Here is a table of the average healthcare costs in Vancouver for students:

CategoryAverage Monthly Cost (CA$ )
Private health insurance (international students)75
Prescription drugs20-50
Co-payments and deductibles10-25

Average Food Costs In Vancouver For Students

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, the average food cost for students in Vancouver is between CA$ 350 and CA$ 800 per month (21,222- 48,507 INR). This includes the cost of groceries as well as eating out. The actual amount you spend depends on your dietary needs, cooking habits, and how often you eat out.

Here are some examples of average food costs in Vancouver:

  • Meal at a budget-friendly restaurant: CA$ 20- CA$ 30 
  • Meal at a mid-range restaurant: CA$ 40-CA$
  • Meal at a high-end restaurant: CA$ 70-CA$ 100 
  • A gallon of milk: CA$ 5
  • Dozen eggs: CA$ 3
  • Loaf of bread: CA$ 2 
  • Pound of chicken: CA$ 10 
  • Pound of ground beef: CA$ 7 

Popular University Fees In Vancouver

The following table shows the average tuition fees for popular undergraduate programmes at public universities in Vancouver:

UniversityProgrammeAverage tuition fee (CA$ )
University of British ColumbiaBachelor of Arts45,000
Simon Fraser UniversityBachelor of Arts38,900
Emily Carr University of Art and DesignBachelor of Fine Arts40,000
Vancouver Island UniversityBachelor of Arts15,240
Langara CollegeAssociate of Arts11,289

Finance Tips For Students To Save Money In Vancouver

Here are some unique and interesting finance tips to manage the average cost of living in Vancouver for students:

  • Rent out your textbooks: If you’re not going to be using your textbooks for the next semester, rent them out to other students. This is a great way to make some extra money and help out your fellow students.
  • Start a side hustle: There are many ways to make extra money on the side, such as tutoring, pet sitting, or freelancing. If you have a skill or talent that you can monetise, this is a great way to boost your income.
  • Take advantage of free events and activities: There are many free events and activities happening in Vancouver all the time. Check out your local community centre, library, or park for a list of upcoming events.
  • Join a food co-op: A food co-op is a member-owned cooperative grocery store that offers fresh, affordable food. Many food co-ops also offer discounts to students.
  • Ride: Consider riding a bike or taking public transportation to save money on transportation costs.

Key Takeaways

  • Vancouver offers quality education, career opportunities, and a vibrant lifestyle for students.
  • The average cost of living for a single student in Vancouver is around CA$ 37,000 CA$  per year, including various expenses such as tuition, rent, food, transportation, and utilities.
  • Accommodation costs range from CA$ 500 for off-campus housing to CA$ 1,500 for on-campus accommodation and up to CA$ 2,000 for a private apartment.
  • Transportation costs average around CA$ 100-CA$ 150 per month, with options such as the U-Pass and Compass Card available to students.
  • Education costs for international students can be significant, ranging from CA$ 15,000 to CA$ 25,000 annually for tuition fees, with additional expenses for student fees and supplies.
  • Healthcare costs are relatively low for students in Vancouver, covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and averaging around CA$ 75 for private health insurance and varying amounts for prescription drugs and co-payments.
  • Monthly food expenses range from CA$ 350 to CA$ 800, depending on dietary habits and eating out frequency, with various affordable cooking options and meal plans available for students.
  • Financial management tips for students include renting out textbooks, starting a side hustle, attending free local events, and utilising student discounts.


1. What is the cost of living in Vancouver for Indians?

The cost of living in Vancouver for Indians is significantly higher than in India. The average monthly cost of living for a single person in Vancouver is around CA$  3,771, which is equivalent to around INR 2,32,505.

2. Is it expensive to live in Vancouver as a student?

Yes, Vancouver is an expensive city to live in, especially for students. The average monthly cost of living for a student in Vancouver is around CA$ 1,900, which includes the cost of rent, food, transportation, and other expenses.

3. How much does student housing cost in Vancouver?

The cost of student housing in Vancouver varies depending on the type of housing and the location. On-campus housing is typically the most affordable option, costing around CA$ 600-CA$ 1,000 per month. Off-campus housing is typically more expensive, costing around CA$  1,200-CA$ 2,000 per month.

4. What is the average monthly expenses in Vancouver for students?

The average living expenses in Vancouver, Canada for students are as follows Rent: CA$ 1,200-CA$ 2,000, Food: CA$ 350-CA$ 800, Transportation: CA$ 100-CA$ 200, Books and supplies: CA$ 100-CA$ 200 and other expenses (entertainment, personal care, etc.): CA$ 200-CA$ 400

5. What are the typical expenses students should consider in Vancouver?

The typical price of living in Vancouver includes accommodation, food, transportation, books and supplies, tuition fees, student fees, medical insurance, personal care expenses and others.

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Cost Of Living In Vancouver For Students