USA vs Canada: which is the cheapest country to study in?

Canada and the USA are two popular English-speaking countries that international students choose to attend university.
But which country is the cheapest to study in? We break down some of the most common costs and compare each country.
(Please note, all figures are in USD and have been converted for convenience and for ease of comparison)
Tuition fees

Canada has some of the cheapest tuition fees for international students compared to other English speaking countries. Canada works out cheaper than studying in the USA and even cheaper than the UK and Australia.
For undergraduate courses in Canada, tuition fees range from around $5,000 – $20,000 per year.
For undergraduate courses in the USA, tuition fees start from about $23,000 per year and it is widely accepted to be one of the most expensive countries to study in for international students. However, there is a lot of financial help available in the USA.
Verdict: Canada is cheaper
Accommodation

Accommodation costs vary depending on where you choose to study in each country. For example, smaller towns will be cheaper than in big cities.
In the USA, rent can vary from $500 – $3,500 per month. If you choose to live on campus, the cost will be around $9,800 per year for public colleges and around $11,100 per year for private colleges.
Rent for an apartment in Canada can range from about $500 to $1,500 per month whilst living on campus works out between $2,300 – $6,000 per year.
Verdict: Canada is cheaper
Food
Doing your monthly food shop in the USA should cost you around $300-$500 per month and there is a range of cheap supermarket chains such as Wal-Mart and Target to help you keep costs down.
If you’re looking to save even further, a lot of university campuses in the USA have meal plans for students which cost around $170-$250 per month.
In Canada, your monthly food shop should cost you around $150-$190. At some universities, on-campus meal plans are compulsory for resident students and can cost around $4,000 a year.
Verdict: Canada is cheaper if you want to live off-campus
Conclusion
Canada is a cheaper option for international students compared to the USA. However, some may argue you get more for your money in terms of degree quality and university reputation in the USA. We understand choosing where to study can be an extremely difficult decision so why not talk to one of our study abroad specialists to help you talk through your options and help you make a decision? Whether you choose to study in Canada or the USA, you’ll get the best advice from IEC Abroad.