The Ultimate Housing Guide For International Students In Canada

The Ultimate Housing Guide For International Students In Canada

Got accepted into a Canadian college or university? Congratulations! Now it’s time to think about where you will live once you reach Canada.

Accommodation is one of the most important aspects to consider while venturing to study in Canada. It is a very big decision that should be taken after considering a number of factors such as your budget, your preferences like on-campus or off-campus accommodations, if you want to be with friends, your safety, comfort, etc.

As finding accommodation in a country is a huge task, most colleges and universities assist international students in finding accommodation on and off-campus. 

Canada offers a wide range of options for accommodation. The price of housing varies according to the type of accommodation and its location.

Let us look at some of the kinds of accommodation available for international students in Canada.

Types of Accommodation

Following are the different kinds of accommodation available to international students in Canada:

On-Campus Accommodation


Most colleges and universities offer on-campus accommodation for their students, especially the ones entering their first year. It is a great option as the paperwork for the lease can be arranged smoothly, and the room is furnished as well. In addition, the rent of on-campus accommodation is mostly cheaper than other forms of accommodation, and its location is also convenient.

On-campus accommodation is chosen by many students as it allows them to stay with their peers, connect with other students, focus more on their studies, etc. Many institutions allow students to choose a meal plan. This allows students to worry less about cooking and spend more time on their studies.

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As on-campus accommodation is in high demand due to its convenient location, you must reach out to your institution’s housing office as soon as you get your acceptance letter.

Off-Campus Shared Apartments

Most institutions require students to find their own accommodation after the first year. Finding accommodation is a challenging task, but it also provides you with the opportunity to explore the neighbourhood and find a place that you like. 

The rental market in Canada’s cities is busy, with listings of rentals popping up regularly. But the options are limited in less populated areas.

Most colleges and universities help their students find shared accommodation. So contact the student housing or welfare office to clear your doubts. 



Another accommodation option available in Canada for international students is the homestay. It involves staying with a host family. You can get a single room, and the host family will provide three meals a day. There might also be the option of getting a shared room without meals. 

Staying with a host family is very secure, and they can introduce you to the Canadian culture and help you explore the city you are in. However, homestays are much more expensive than the other kinds of accommodation available in Canada for international students.

International students living in homestays will have to travel at least 30 minutes by public transport daily to reach their colleges or universities.

Furnished/ Unfurnished Apartments

A few websites, such as Airbnb and Kijiji, provide furnished apartments. You can book a furnished apartment through these websites before coming to Canada. But be sure to check the reviews of the apartments left by the previous renters. 

You can also find unfurnished apartments to rent, but it would be difficult for international students to navigate living in an unfurnished apartment. Moreover, furnishing an apartment on reaching a foreign country might be a humongous as well as a stressful task for international students.

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Housing Guide for International Students

Finding accommodation in another country is not an easy job, so here is a comprehensive housing guide for international students in Canada:

Search Online


Search online on websites such as  Padmapper, Facebook, and Craigslist for an apartment or a room. You might even find Facebook groups that help international students find accommodation. You can also contact your institution’s international student department to get assistance in finding accommodation.

While the internet has made finding accommodation easier, you should be careful too, as it is also a playground for scamsters and frauds. It would be best if you were alert to avoid being scammed. Please avoid deals that are too good to be true. Also, do not send your personal information to landlords.

Location and Commute

public transport

The location of the accommodation and the time needed for commuting to classes are important factors to consider before zeroing in on an accommodation. You can choose any kind of transportation to travel to your campus, be it bike, bus, or train. But if your campus is more than one hour away from your accommodation, then you need to find another accommodation which is closer to your campus.

Know Your Rights

Finally, found the accommodation you like? Hooray! But before you sign any papers, know your rights as a tenant. Every province in Canada has different rules and regulations for tenants. Therefore, you should be aware of your rights as a tenant. Check the official website of the province to understand what your rights and responsibilities are. 

Know What’s Included

Are meals included? Who will do the necessary repairs? Ask questions like these. Some provide hot water, internet, etc. within the rent so asking about them is also a good idea.

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Finding accommodation in another country is a huge task. Be sure to choose accommodation according to your budget, needs and comfort.


Is it possible for an international student to buy an apartment in Canada?

Yes, international students can buy apartments in Canada. You need not be a citizen to buy property in Canada, but you should follow many rules and regulations. Therefore, an international student can buy a house or an apartment in Canada, but it surely is not easy as renting an apartment is. Hence, it is better for international students to rent an apartment, live in a dorm, or stay at homestays. As you are an international student whose main focus should be on studies, you should take into consideration the location of the accommodation, the distance between the accommodation and your college or university, as well as your budget.

How much should international students expect to spend on rent in Canada?

An international student should expect to spend between 675 CAD to 875 CAD per month for rent in Canada. You can cover your rent by doing a part-time job. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind while renting an apartment in Canada as an international student. You need to consider the apartment’s location and the time taken to commute to your university or college. The commutation time should not be more than 1 hour as you might get tired from travelling and be unable to focus much on your studies. And as a student, your main focus should be on your studies. You should also know your rights as a tenant and the rules you need to follow. Make sure to check the website of the province to learn your rights and duties as a tenant.

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