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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Best Canadian Cities To Live In As An International Student


It is exciting to start a new chapter in your academic career in Canada. Many students from all over the world choose Canada’s universities because they are among the best in the world. Choosing a university might have a lot to do with the career path you intend to pursue, but it also has a lot to do with the city that it's located, and how well it matches your interests. In today’s blog, you’ll learn about the top cities for international students based on their quality of life, and cost of living.

What to consider when choosing a city to live in:

Even though you should focus on choosing the best university for what you want to study, you should also consider what jobs there are nearby, whether the city has a lifestyle that suits you, and whether you'll be surrounded by like-minded individuals.

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when choosing a city:

  1. Security: The most important factor to consider when moving from abroad to live and study in a new country is safety. You want to explore and get to know your surroundings with the peace of mind that you’ll be able to safely do so.

  2. Quality of life: Whether you enjoy going outdoors and participating in outdoor activities or if you want a more urban lifestyle with nightlife and festivals, you need to look for a city that fits your lifestyle.

  3. Student Employment: If you’re hoping to find part-time work that attributes to your chosen career path, you need to do research and find out if the city you choose has employment opportunities for students in your chosen industry.

  4. Cost of Living: A foreign student might have to bare a lot of expenses and will have to choose a city that isn’t too expensive. The cost of living can greatly affect your quality of life and no student wants to forgo new experiences because of financial struggles.

The Top 3 Cities In Canada For International Students:

Based on the criteria above, we have listed and outlined the top cities that international students gravitate towards to get the most out of their Canadian education.

As per the QS Best Cities Ranking 2023, the following are the top cities in Canada, based on students’ perspectives.


Students from all over the world choose Montreal for its excellent education opportunities. The city hosts some of the finest Canadian universities and it has been ranked 6th on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Top Student Cities List 2019, right after Berlin and before Paris.

Safety: Every student wants to know that the city they live in is safe to move around freely. If you live in Greater Montréal, you can use public transit late at night without worrying about safety. Montréal was ranked one of the safest cities in the world by The Economist (14th in the world and 4th in North America).

Quality of Life: Montreal is every student’s dream. In addition to being a cultural hub, it hosts a variety of events and festivals year-round. A variety of parks are available for residents to enjoy some fresh air, offering a healthy balance of urban and outdoor life.

Student Employment: With Canada having such a favourable job market, Montreal allows international students to gain experience in industries like aerospace, visual effects, video games, big data, virtual reality, health sciences, and even financial services.

Cost of living: An international student can expect to get by on anything between $2000 - $2500 per month. Compared to many other Canadian cities, property prices and rent are significantly lower.


Unlike many other cities, students in Toronto can find courses that match their interests in science, business, art, and many other disciplines. Toronto has become a favourite among international students without a doubt.

Safety: In 2021, Toronto was ranked number two in the world on the Safe City Index. There is no doubt that students can make the most of their time in Toronto. It’s recommended that you get to know the neighbourhoods and become familiar with them before exploring them on your own.

Quality of Life: The diverse food scene, arts, culture, and outdoor activities make Toronto a popular city for international students. Toronto is surrounded by numerous national parks perfect for hiking and exploring if you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Niagra Falls or Algonquin Provincial Park are great places to go for a day trip.

Student Employment: The city is brimming with opportunities and many international students go on to apply for their PGWP to further their careers after graduation. The economy is booming, particularly in the finance, marketing and tech industries.

Cost of living: It’s no secret that Toronto can be a costly city to live in. You can expect to pay around $2500 - $3000 per month depending on where you live.


International students have a number of desirable options for studying abroad in Canada, but Vancouver is among the best. A healthy balance between city life and outdoor activities has also made it one of the world's most livable cities.

Safety: Tourists and residents consider Vancouver to be a safe city where you can explore and experience everything it has to offer without worrying about crime. Property crime can be expected in the busier areas of the city, so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings when you’re out and about.

Quality of Life: Located on the West Coast of Canada, Vancouver is a city located next to idyllic beaches and mountains, offering residents easy access to outdoor activities all year round. It is one of the most ethnically diverse cities and also home to the biggest gay communities in Canada. It is fair to say that people are welcoming and accepting of anyone who is looking to make Vancouver their home.

Student Employment: There are plenty of work opportunities in Vancouver for students. There are numerous growing industries and large international companies that might be able to offer work to international students.

Cost of living: You can expect to pay around $3000 - $3500 per month depending on where you live. Although that is higher than in some other Canadian cities, the living wage in the Vancouver Metro area is at a competitive $20.91 per hour.

How We Can Help

No matter your choice of city, we will be able to assist you with the Study Permit application process. We can also advise you on the best practices when it comes to writing a study plan and making sure your application is successful.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

Moving To Canada - 2022's Guide to Life in Canada.

I’ve written this guide to help you with the big picture planning, detailing everything you need to know and do before, during and after this amazing process. This is more information than any other consultant is willing to share upfront at such a low rate!

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