7 Best Student Cities in Canada: An International Student Guide

 experience of studying abroad opens students’ eyes to a unique culture, introduces them to different people, and encourages them to embrace diversity. Canada has become an increasingly popular destination for international students in terms of education, lifestyle, recreational facilities, and more. Most cities are very cosmopolitan and welcoming to international students. 

Students should understand how much it costs to live in Canada and which cities are suitable. Knowledge and information can make things much easier. Our list will help!

Here are the best student cities in Canada:


As one of the leading cities in Canada, Toronto is one of the finest cities internationally and is a popular destination for students. With about 50% of its residents belonging to a minority group, Toronto is an extremely diverse city, welcoming people from around the world, whether from Asia, Africa, or Europe. 

As per QS World Rankings 2020, Toronto ranks 11th among student cities worldwide, with 160 languages spoken. The tuition fees at Toronto university range from 11,000 to 60,000 CAD. Rental rates can range from 1,500 CAD – 2,200 CAD. 

Some of the best universities in Toronto include:

  • University of Toronto
  • York University
  • Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Humber College
  • Centennial College
  • Trent University


With many esteemed universities, Montreal is another popular choice for students pursuing higher studies in Canada; QS World Rankings 2019 ranked Montreal 6th among the world’s top student cities. It was also ranked 2nd in the “student view rank” list by the QS world rankings, showing that students are inclined towards Montreal over any other city for studying. 

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Montreal may not be the most affordable city, but it has an excellent standard of living. Montreal is a beautiful blend of various cultures, renowned for its warm hospitality and kind people. The Mont-Royal, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Jardin Botanique are just some incredible places students can visit. Montreal tuition fees range from 11,000 CAD – 60,000 CAD. Rent prices range from 850.00 CAD – 1,350 CAD. 

Some of the best universities in Montreal include:

  • McGill University
  • University of Montreal
  • Concordia University
  • Polytechnique Montreal
  • Rosemont College


Vancouver is known for its quality education and peaceful lifestyle. Set in idyllic natural surroundings, Vancouver is the largest city on the West Coast of Canada. It fully uses British Columbia’s coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. QS World University Rankings has ranked Vancouver in the top 6 in terms of students in their Best Student Cities for 2017, and The Economist placed Vancouver second overall in their 2016 report on global livability. 

Vancouver is a major city for international students who want to learn English, making it one of the top reasons to study here. 

Some of the best universities in Vancouver include: 

  • University of British Columbia
  • Columbia College
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Vancouver Island University

Guide: Study in British Columbia, Canada.


The University of Ottawa is a world-class educational institution with top-notch faculty. In 2019, Ottawa was ranked 45th in the QS World Rankings of the best student cities. Ottawa is a diverse city with people from many cultures. This welcoming city welcomes immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Europe and is a popular destination for international students. 

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With myriad job opportunities, affordable transportation, and an affordable cost of living, Ottawa is truly an ideal student destination. Tuition fees in Ottawa range from 11,000 CAD – 50,000 CAD. Rental rates can range from 1,100 CAD- 2,000 CAD. 

Some of the best universities in Ottawa include:

  • University of Ottawa
  • Carleton University
  • Algonquin College
  • Augustine College

Quebec City

Quebec is a French-speaking province home to some of the largest cities in Canada. It is known for its endless celebrations and festivals and is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country with a significant minority population. Studying in Quebec is smart for international students because it is friendly, safe, and offers excellent health benefits. 

Quebec’s remarkable mix of architecture, heritage, art, and culture is the cradle of French civilization in North America. Tuition fees in Quebec City range from 10,000 CAD – 40,000 CAD. Rental rates can range from 600.00 CAD – 1,200 CAD. 

Some of the best universities in Quebec include: 

  • Laval University
  • Bart College
  • Morrin College


The capital of Alberta is famous for its western flavor and, in particular, for the Calgary Stampede, billed as the world’s greatest outdoor show. Banff and Jasper National Parks, two of the country’s most famous parks, are often visited from Alberta’s largest city as a starting point for trips to the Rocky Mountains. 

Despite the cold winters, Calgary’s residents always smile — perhaps because Calgary receives the most sunshine. Tuition fees in Calgary range from 4,000 CAD – 30,000 CAD. Rental rates can range from 1,000 CAD – 1,800 CAD. 

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Some of the best universities in Calgary include:

  • University of Calgary
  • Bow Valley College
  • The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Mount Royal University

Guide: Study in Alberta, Canada.


Waterloo is a charming city in Ontario, Canada. It has a wonderful community atmosphere, outstanding universities, and stunning natural beauty. This city has a lot to offer students. It’s one of Canada’s safest cities and is home to over 120,000 people. The locals are friendly and eager to help international students. 

Waterloo is surrounded by other scenic Canadian cities, which makes it a convenient location for keen explorers. It is filled with gorgeous parks, lively social venues, amazing cultural districts, fabulous restaurants, and amazing shopping outlets. 

Tuition fees in Waterloo range from 10,000 CAD to $43,000 CAD. Rental rates can range from 1,300 CAD – 2,000 CAD. 

Some of the best universities in Waterloo include:

  • University of Waterloo
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Waterloo Bible College
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