by Northen Road, January 7th, 2022

What Are My Housing Options When Studying in Canada?

When choosing to study in Canada, there are three main options that international students can choose from for their living arrangements. The choice between the three options is entirely based on the lifestyle you envision, budget, and how immersed you wish to get into Canadian culture.

Privately Renting

The first option available for international students is to rent an apartment, complex, or home privately. This option, however, can be pretty expensive, especially if you plan to study in Canada in one of the major cities. As a result, many international students on their study abroad program often share privately rented accommodations with other students to minimize the costs. Renting a whole home or apartment to yourself can quickly be your most significant expense; therefore, it’s pretty standard for three or four students to share a rental price, which makes it much more affordable. The average home in Canada is anywhere between 165-200 square meters, including two or three bathrooms, a full kitchen, private bedrooms, and a fenced-in backyard.

If you wish to go this route, it is worth asking your college or university if they have off-campus privately owned options, providing a much more affordable option than private landlords. Off-campus locations are generally anywhere between a ten to fifteen-minute walk away from school. In addition, they have all the amenities international students will need during their study abroad program in Canada, such as gyms, supermarkets, and parks. However, be mindful that your institution’s off-campus options will be highly competitive and require long-term planning before arrival.

School Dormitories

One of the most common accommodation options for first-year international students, school dormitories are a great way to settle into your new life in Canada while studying abroad. School dormitories are managed and owned by your college or university and come with basic furnishings such as a small kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Any school dormitories where bedrooms are shared are always separated by gender.

Choosing to reside in school dormitories is an excellent option for students to make friends with other international students that have recently arrived to study in Canada. As well, if you plan to be involved in school activities around campus, such as sports teams and recreational activities, school dorms are an ideal option that international students should consider.


Choosing to stay in a Canadian homestay is a fantastic choice for international students during their study abroad program in Canada. In Canada, homestays are an opportunity for international students to integrate and live with a Canadian family throughout the school year. Often contracted from the educational institution, homestays support international students in welcoming and transitioning into Canadian life. Canadian host families must undergo a series of checks and verifications to ensure a safe and secure environment and that none of the family members have a criminal record.

If you are not yet confident with your language abilities, homestays are a great option to advance your fluency in no time. Additionally, international students who wish to stay with a Canadian host family are always happy to support any questions or concerns during their study abroad program in Canada.

If choosing to stay in homestay interests you, your educational institution usually matches international students with families that have similar interests as yours. This also includes a selection of preferences, such as location or amenities, that can be discussed before your departure to study in Canada. International students who decide to stay in homestays will receive their own fully furnished bedroom, home-cooked Canadian meals, and have the option to join family activities and outings.