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Tips for Finding Affordable Housing as a Student in Canada

For many international students, finding housing is one of the most difficult parts of studying in Canada. While some students prefer to live off-campus and commute to school by public transportation, walking, or driving, others prefer to live on campus, close to their classrooms and libraries. Numerous Canadian institutions provide advice and recommendations for where to stay in the city where you will be studying. But the goal is to identify a location that is affordable and meets the needs of the student.

Finding a place to live within your budget might be challenging due to growing rental costs and limited availability. Searching for housing as a student may provide some difficulties. A few of the main causes are a lack of local expertise, a propensity for rental scams, an unwelcoming cultural context, and other similar things. As a student remaining and living in Canada, this guide will give you information, a number of suggestions, and tactics to help you find the ideal affordable home.

Start Your Search Early

It is best to begin your search as soon as possible. At least three months before you need to move in, begin your housing search. This will give you lots of time to shop around and compare prices. Don’t put off starting your search until the last minute because you’ll have fewer selections and possibly pay more.

How much you can afford to pay each month is a good location to start your investigation when choosing your accommodations. The biggest cities in Canada, such Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, have higher average rental prices than smaller cities and villages do. Don’t forget to include utilities, transportation, food, and furnishings in your budget as they can all increase this expense.

Study The Area

Do some study about the area before you start looking for a place to live. Start looking for housing as soon as possible, ideally a few months before the start of the school year. Take a look at the availability of transportation, the crime rate, and other features that may be significant to you.

To select the best option for your budget, consider a variety of neighborhoods, rental costs, and amenities. Take into account the area’s cost of living as well as the travel time to job or education. This will enable you to focus your search and guarantee that you’re receiving the greatest offer. 


Look For Student Housing

Student accommodation is available at subsidized rates at many universities and colleges. A number of educational institutions give students the option to rent housing that is located on campus and is owned by the institution. These on-campus living alternatives are commonly known by the names dorms, residences, and townhouses. The campus residence and dorms have a number of advantages, including being closer to the classroom, saving transportation costs that would otherwise be incurred by traveling to and from the college, thriving within the student community, and access to the network. 

On-campus living costs are also generally lower than those of off-campus housing, though this is not always the case. Additionally, residents have full access to the institution’s amenities and support services. Additionally, on-campus housing may entail paying for a food plan that enables students to eat at on-campus cafeterias. As a result, they can spend more time studying and less time cooking. This is a fantastic choice to take into account if you are a student.

Consider A Roommate

A fantastic approach to save money is to split the rent with a roommate. To guarantee a harmonious living arrangement, look for someone who shares your interests and lifestyle. Renting an apartment is an option, and you should hunt for other roommates to split the rent and expenses. Your flatmates and you will each have a different room, but you will share the living area.

As an alternative, you could select a homestay setting. In a homestay, which is a different kind of off-campus renting, a student can reside in the home of a host family. A typical day includes 1-3 meals, and you could find it useful to have your host family show you about the city and help you feel more at home while you’re away at school. Although they might be a little more expensive, homestays give you more time to focus on your academics because much of the cooking and cleaning is done for you.


Planning Your Commute

When looking for cheap housing as a student in Canada, location and accessibility are crucial considerations. You could bike, drive, take public transportation, or walk to the campus. For students who live in larger cities, the typical commuting duration is between ten and one hour. You might want to think about moving closer to campus if your commute appears to be taking more than an hour.

Consider that your commute times can lengthen due to bad weather if your area experiences a lot of rain or snow during the winter. Consider scheduling your classes around this area of your life if you anticipate having a lengthier commute in order to maximize your study time. Instead of going to school every day, many commuting students arrange all of their classes for a few days during the week.

 Consider Other Options

Consider other choices, such as looking for government-supported housing, as the Canadian government provides subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, if you’re having problems finding a place to live. Students who are having a hard time making ends meet may find this to be a fantastic solution.

As an alternative, think about looking for temporary housing choices like Airbnb or hostels if you only need a place to stay for a short while. These can be a fantastic option to get a cozy place to stay while still saving money. Additionally, try haggling over the rent with the landlord if you locate a property you want but can’t afford. In some cases, if you sign a longer lease, the landlord will reduce the rent or give you a discount.



The best and most economical choice is to find housing for students inside the Canadian institution or university you are enrolled in. In addition to the residence halls and dorms on campus, you can also choose a homestay or rent an apartment in the city. To determine the exact cost of living in Canada, make sure to take into account all expenses, excluding lodging costs. Pick a location where you can easily access transportation to and from the institution and where you feel safe. Focus more on conserving time than money because you’ll be able to concentrate on your school work.

It might be difficult to locate affordable housing for students in Canada, but with little searching and persistence, you can discover the ideal location to call home.  Overall, it takes some work, time and effort to locate affordable housing in Canada for students. You’ll have a better chance of finding a location that meets your needs and budget if you pay attention to these suggestions, above.

SEE ALSO: How to find student accommodation in CanadaInternational Students in Canada: Know Your Housing Rights


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