August 13, 2013 8:09 am
Updated: August 13, 2013 8:21 am

Canada one of the most affordable places for foreign students, survey finds

new survey says international students studying in Canada pay some of the lowest fees amongst Western developed nations.


TORONTO – A new survey says international students studying in Canada pay some of the lowest fees amongst Western developed nations.

According to research from HSBC, Australia is one of the most expensive countries for oversea students, following by the United States, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Accommodation shortage as SIAST international student numbers rise

Out of 13 countries studied, Canada falls fifth on the list with an estimated annual cost of living and student fees totaling around $26,000 for international students.

READ MORE: Montreal rated as world’s best in international education study

The lowest fees are in Germany, where international students can expect to pay an average of $635 USD a year.

Table: International student tees


Annual student fees (US$ per year)



United States


United Arab Emirates


United Kingdom






Hong Kong














Story continues below

“Families with these aspirations need to plan ahead,” said Betty Miao, executive vice president, retail banking and wealth management of HSBC Bank Canada, in a press release. “The good thing about education planning is that it is predictable. Children’s education needs are tightly constrained to a defined number of years. It is the annual cost that is the main variable depending on the country chosen for your child’s higher education.”

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics, Canada welcomed a record 100,000 international students in 2013—an increase of 60 per cent from 2004.

Miao says those who wish to educate their children overseas also need to consider other factors besides tuition fees, such as living costs, exchange rates and inflation in their estimates of total costs.

“On average, living expenses can comprise at least a third of total costs and parents need to budget for travel home during school holidays,” she said. “As such, there is a need for parents to ensure their children’s education forms an important part of their financial planning.”

About the survey
The research was conducted in 13 countries around the world. Fees represent the average tuition cost for international students based on the top 10 largest institutions in each relevant country.

© 2013 Shaw Media

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.