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The Cost of Living in Calgary as an International Student

The Cost of Living in Calgary as an International Student 

Thinking of studying in Calgary? The costs are worth considering first. Good news is we’re here to help you break these down so you can better prepare for the financial challenges you might encounter. 

Below, we take a look at what international students usually spend when they come to our city, including the fees for rent, tuition, textbooks, and more. 

How much does it cost to live in Calgary as an international student? 

The average monthly cost of living for an international student in Calgary is CA$2,489.15 to CA$2,976.34 if only counting rent, utilities, groceries, leisure, and transportation. With yearly expenses such as tuition fees, textbook costs, and health insurance, it becomes CA$3,249 to CA$3,761 per month. 

See below for the complete breakdown. 


As an international student, you can choose between living on campus or not. If you choose the former, it costs around CA$1,200. The cost of the latter would depend on what type of unit you want to rent out. 

A 1-bedroom apartment in the city center of Calgary costs about CA$1,781.14 according to the data from Numbeo. The same apartment outside the city center would be around CA$1,509.55. 

Tuition Fee

If we were to presume that you’re moving to Calgary in hopes of pursuing undergraduate studies, the average undergraduate tuition fee in Calgary is CA$7,746 annually. This is according to Statistics Canada


Textbooks can be considered one of the top expenses of international students in Calgary – or anywhere for that matter. Of course, the costs vary depending on your field of study, university, and so on. 

To paint you a picture, an average student in the University of Calgary would spend CA$773.46 yearly, according to Macleans

It’s certainly expensive considering you’ll typically use a textbook for just one semester. If you want to cut costs, check out Campus Books. There, you can buy new & used books or even rent or sell them. 

Health Insurance

How much private health insurance costs in Calgary usually depends on the insurance company, but it usually costs around CA$600 to CA$900.

That said, there are universities in the city that cover health insurance for their students throughout the duration of one’s study. We suggest looking them up in case you want to save on insurance


According to Numbeo, basic utilities in Calgary usually cost about CA$347.20 per month. This includes gas, water, and the like. 

Meanwhile, an average mobile Internet plan with calls and 10GB+ worth of data would be around CA$62.12. Lastly, having proper cable or fiber Internet installed in your place would cost about CA$96.25 per month. 

Overall, that’s about CA$505.37 per month on utilities. 

Food & Groceries

According to Career Beacon, a person living in Calgary will typically spend $474 on groceries. But that only counts the food you consume at home, of course.

It’s only natural that you would want to eat in a restaurant from time to time with your friends. If you dine in an expensive restaurant in Calgary, one meal will cost about CA$24.


For leisure, we added the basic things students usually spend on – cinemas and gym memberships. A ticket to a cinema in Calgary costs CA$17.00 whereas a monthly gym membership would cost an average of CA$76.78. 

Overall, that’s CA$93.78 for leisure. Obviously, this figure will vary from yours if you have other leisure activities.


Students living outside the campus would need to take public transportation everyday. The one way ticket for public transportation costs CA$3.60. 

Overall, if you take the public transit twice a day for a month, that would be CA$216.  

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