9 Best Cities in Canada for International Students in 2024

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Best Cities in Canada for International Students in 2024 – Canada is a one-of-a-kind destination for international students from around the globe. From bustling metropolises to picturesque small towns, this country offers an abundance of opportunities for those looking to further their education abroad. To help prospective students in making the right decision on where exactly they should embark upon their studies, we’ve compiled 10 of Canada’s best cities tailor made with student life and exploration needs in mind!

Whether it be low cost living or unique cultural experiences that draw you closer – these places have it all: top universities brimming with academic excellence; transportation options allowing easy navigation through each city; and breathtaking scenery waiting just outside your window. Join us as explore all that Canadian hospitality has to offer!

Best Cities in Canada for International Students

Moving to a different country can be daunting, but Canada offers fantastic quality of life in its top cities! With organized living spaces that typically come fully furnished and accessible public transportation options available, students will never struggle to get where they need to go. Plus, there are plenty of part time job opportunities on offer along with an array of friendly new faces eager for connection. Discover your second home today by exploring all the best that Canadian culture has to offer international visitors!

Further, let’s discuss what is the best city in Canada for studies.


Toronto is a vibrant city and an international hub for education. Not only does it boast some of the best universities in Canada, but numerous institutions have also secured recognition from QS World University Rankings.

QS Rankings:

Most notably The University of Toronto which ranks amongst top 30 educational establishments worldwide! Moreover, leading Canadian Universities like York University, Ryerson University & the UOIT can all be found in this buzzing metropolis that serves as a cultural & financial capital to its home country – making it no surprise why so many students flock here yearly.

Best universities in Toronto:

The University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson stand out as the top universities in Canada’s largest city. UofT is a research powerhouse offering an extensive array of undergraduate and graduate courses spanning engineering, computer science and business while also providing access to multiple campuses.

Meanwhile, at YU students find diverse fields from social sciences to law that prepare them for their desired career paths with flexible programming. Last but not least there’s RU which provides specialized instruction in areas such as engineering, communication studies & business management – giving motivated minds outstanding resources for success!

Cost of living:

Toronto is an attractive destination for international students, but this bustling Canadian city comes with a hefty price tag. The average monthly cost of housing alone – from shared apartments to student residences – falls between CAD 800-1200; add food, transportation and entertainment expenses into the mix, it’s no wonder that living in Toronto can be costly! However there are ways for intrepid students to save money: on-campus university housing offers more affordable rates than off-campus abodes while discounted TTC subway passes provide additional savings opportunities.

2.    Vancouver

Vancouver is a thriving and diverse coastal city in western Canada, boasting an enviable climate combined with impressive natural beauty. It’s no wonder that it has become increasingly popular among students from around the world – not only for its educational opportunities but also for all of the other elements it offers them during their stay.

QS Rankings:

From engineering to business courses, two universities have made their mark as some of the best schools worldwide according to QS World University Rankings; The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser are top contenders when considering postsecondary education abroad.

Best universities in Vancouver:

Located in dynamic and picturesque Vancouver, the University of British Columbia (UBC) stands out as a premier institution recognized for its excellence both nationally and internationally. UBC boasts over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs across 12 faculties with particular emphasis on forestry, engineering, business studies.

Simon Fraser University is highly regarded for its innovative research standards along with specialized offerings in communication arts, social sciences alongside their celebrated business program. With two campuses to choose from – Vancouver’s metropolitan energy or Kelowna’s peaceful tranquility – it’s easy to see why these Canadian universities are among some of the world’s best!

Cost of living:

With its beautiful scenery and wonderful city life, Vancouver can be a tempting place to live. However, those unaccustomed to the area may find themselves shocked at prices — rent for shared apartments or rooms usually average around CAD 800-1200 per month! Fortunately though, there are ways students can save money in this expensive metropolis: many universities offer affordable on-campus housing options and public transportation like Sky Train offers discounted rates as well. So while living in Canada’s third largest metropolitan area may initially seem intimidatingly pricey upon arrival – with some research it is still possible to make ends meet comfortably during your stay!

Vancouver provides an extraordinary experience for international students; a stunning, diverse metropolis with world-renowned universities. Despite the sometimes steep cost of living, there are effective means to make life in this exhilarating city more affordable – allowing scholars from across the globe to explore and thrive!


Montreal is the perfect place to experience a culture rich in history and knowledge – its striking architecture, renowned universities, bustling student population make it an idyllic destination for anyone seeking out diverse cultural experiences. From cozy cafes to lively nightlife spots, this Canadian city has something exciting waiting around every corner ̵– making sure you never have a dull moment!

QS Rankings:

Montreal is a hub of knowledge and academic excellence, home to three prestigious universities that are highly ranked in the QS World University Rankings. McGill University holds an esteemed position as one of Canada’s leading research-intensive institutions with notable strengths in medicine, law and engineering while Université de Montréal continues its long legacy at the forefront of health sciences, social sciences, humanities thought leadership. Rounding out this trifecta is Concordia University whose success has been bolstered by powerful programs across business management; computer science & IT; art & design – all making for an educational experience unlike any other.

Best universities in Montreal:

McGill University and Université de Montréal provide a world-class education in the bilingual city of Montreal. Inviting students from diverse backgrounds, both universities are renowned for their innovative research excellence across multiple fields, such as medicine, law and engineering at McGill; while UdeM is particularly acclaimed in health sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Université de Montréal is another highly regarded university in Montreal, offering a range of programs in health sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It is a bilingual university that is known for its research strengths and commitment to community engagement.

Concordia stands out with its esteemed programs in business, engineering and arts. It’s a vibrant university where students engage deeply in their studies as well as experience ‘learning by doing’ while exploring the community around them. With numerous undergraduate and graduate options available, it makes every effort to ensure an enriching educational journey for all those who attend!

Cost of living:

Montreal is a great destination for students looking to save money while experiencing big-city life. With rents rarely exceeding CAD 800 per month, you’ll be able to stretch your dollar further than in other major Canadian cities! Plus, the city’s extensive public transportation system keeps commuting costs low and on-campus housing gives another avenue of savings – giving even more opportunity for adventure in this vibrant metropolis.

With its vibrant cultural heritage, lively nightlife and esteemed universities ranking amongst the best in North America, Montreal is an ideal destination for international students seeking to experience both a wonderful quality of life with low living costs. This amazing city offers much more than just academics; it provides its visitors the chance to immerse themselves within stimulating culture and explore all that this dynamic metropolis has to offer!


From picturesque views to an exciting culture, Ottawa has it all! This vibrant Canadian capital is filled with diverse people from around the world and offers countless opportunities for learning in its top-ranked universities. Whether you’re looking for a place to settle or just visit, Canada’s national capital won’t disappoint – explore this unique gem of urban sophistication surrounded by nature today!

QS Rankings:

Ottawa offers a unique educational landscape with two renowned institutions to choose from in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Ottawa is an internationally recognized bilingual university, offering students programs in both English and French alongside its impressive array of law, health sciences, social science courses — each attracting top talent from around the world! Carleton University also shines for engineering-minded individuals wishing to study business or art through their robust academics.

Best universities in Ottawa:

The University of Ottawa is an internationally renowned bilingual university, ranked highest amongst other universities in the capital. With research institutes at its heart and strong offerings across law, health sciences, and social sciences programs it attracts a diverse student body from around the world to contribute knowledge on global issues.

Carleton University immerses students in fields such as engineering, business or arts equipping them with hands-on learning experience rooted within their community’s activities for truly holistic higher education opportunities.

Cost of living:

Ottawa is a vibrant, budget-friendly city with plenty of opportunities for students to explore! Free and low-cost cultural attractions plus an affordable public transportation system make it easy to experience all the capital has to offer without spending too much. Additionally, many universities provide on-campus housing that can help keep costs down while immersing yourself in the local culture.

Ottawa is an incredibly vibrant destination for international students looking to explore a unique city with unbeatable academic opportunities and plenty of cultural entertainment. It’s no wonder that this historic Canadian metropolis, situated among gorgeous natural environments, has become one of the most sought-after places in the world to live and study!

Quebec City

Quebec City is more than just a capital city. It’s an iconic destination brimming with history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes waiting to be explored by adventurous students from around the world! Not only can you find yourself in awe of its charming old town streets or spectacular panoramas – but also benefit from attending some of Canada’s best universities that reside there.

QS Rankings:

Quebec City is a remarkable Canadian destination that hosts two globally-recognized universities. Université Laval, the top ranked university in the city, stands out for its excellence in natural sciences and engineering on an international scale as well as being bilingual with students from all over coming to study there. Meanwhile, Université du Québec à Rimouski offers unique learning opportunities geared towards sustainability and social innovation – placing it among of the world’s 500 best universities!

Best universities in Quebec City:

Québec City is home to two renowned universities – Université Laval and the University of Québec at Rimouski. Université Laval has a comprehensive range of 400 programs across undergraduate, graduate, doctoral levels in natural sciences, engineering as well as medicine, law & education while UQRimouski focuses on sustainability and social innovation with their environmental science courses along with sustainable development & social work studies. With research centers helmed by world-renowned scientists present within both institutions students also have an invaluable opportunity to collaborate firsthand!

Cost of living:

Quebec City offers a plethora of opportunities for international students looking to explore Canada without breaking the bank! With inexpensive rent typically ranging from CAD 400-700 per month, this vibrant city provides affordable living costs compared to other major Canadian cities. It’s also easy on your wallet when it comes to day-to-day essentials like food, transportation and entertainment too – making Quebec City an attractive option for budget conscious travellers.


Quebec City beckons international students with its rich culture, vibrant festivals and stellar universities. From indulging in arts to exploring the great outdoors – this city has something for everyone! With affordable living costs, a strong sense of community and plenty of natural attractions waiting to be discovered – it’s no wonder why so many choose Quebec City as their destination.


Calgary is an oasis of opportunity nestled in the stunning Canadian province of Alberta. This vibrant city offers a breathtaking natural landscape, dynamic urban core, and stimulating cultural atmosphere – not to mention top-tier universities that attract students from around the world looking for exceptional educational experiences!

QS Rankings:

With two exceptional universities in its midst, Calgary has plenty to offer ambitious students. The University of Calgary is renowned within Canada and globally, leading the city’s rankings as one of the top 10 institutions across the nation. Here, undergraduates can choose from a variety of specializations ranging from engineering and geology to medicine – all while studying alongside peers hailing from countries around the globe! Additionally, Mount Royal University brings further educational opportunities catering specifically towards undergraduate studies on an intimate scale.

Best universities in Calgary:

The University of Calgary is a leader in research, innovation, and educational opportunities. With over 250 programs available at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels – including top-notch engineering, geology and medical degrees – it focuses on creating meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations through its various research centers and institutes.

Meanwhile Mount Royal University provides an intimate experience for students with special attention given to business arts health studies among other majors – all within a warm personal environment. Mount Royal University provides a unique experience for every student, offering an intimate learning atmosphere unmatched by larger institutions.

From business to the arts and health sciences, MRU has established itself as a leader when it comes to undergraduate study. Furthermore, students will find abundant opportunities for experiential learning—from internships and co-ops that allow them to gain real life skills outside of the classroom environment, through research projects in their chosen fields.

Cost of living:

Calgary offers a great quality of life, but is still significantly more affordable than expensive Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. A key cost to consider when calling the city home is rent – shared apartments or rooms in Calgary can be found for roughly CAD 500-800 a month, with other expenses such as food, transportation and entertainment following soon after.

Calgary is a city that offers something for everyone – from stunning mountain views, to vibrant cultural and nightlife scenes. International students can take advantage of the abundant outdoor activities in nearby Rocky Mountains while also exploring its diverse festivals and restaurants. With such high quality of life available coupled with an excellent education system, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to call this dynamic Canadian destination home!


Edmonton, the vibrant capital of Alberta in Canada, is full of awe-inspiring landscapes and a lively culture. Known for its premier quality of life, it attracts students from all over the globe seeking top-notch education at world leading universities.

QS Rankings:

Edmonton is a cosmopolitan city, where students from around the world come to experience cutting-edge higher education. There are two universities in this vibrant hub of learning – University of Alberta and MacEwan University – both ranked among Canada’s best by QS World University Rankings. The former stands out for its excellence in engineering, medicine and sciences studies, complemented nicely by a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs available at the latter institution.

Best universities in Edmonton:

With its global reputation and stellar research, the University of Alberta stands as one of Canada’s premier institutions. Boasting an array of over 200 undergraduate and 500 graduate offerings in prominent fields like engineering, medicine, sciences – plus students from 150 countries around the world – UAlberta is a bastion for higher learning! On a smaller scale but no less committed to education excellence sits MacEwan University. Specializing in personalized studies with engaging hands-on experiences through internships alongside business, arts & health programs; this small university offers an intimate setting perfect for focused study towards meaningful degrees!

Cost of living:

Edmonton offers a great cost-benefit ratio for living in Canada. With an average shared apartment or room costing CAD 500-800 per month and other expenses like food, transportation, and entertainment remaining relatively low compared to Toronto or Vancouver, it’s no wonder so many people choose the Alberta capital as their home!

Edmonton is an exciting destination for international students seeking a top-notch education, with plenty of outdoor recreational activities steps away from the city and festivals to explore. From indulging in delicious cuisines at local eateries or embracing the nightlife scene – there’s something new awaiting you every day! With its natural landscapes, diverse culture, and vibrant community atmosphere – it’s no wonder why this Canadian gem has earned itself high praise for quality living.


Halifax is an exciting destination for those looking to be surrounded by culture, natural beauty, and history. Not only that, but the city offers a world-class education with its renowned universities attracting students from all over the globe! Whether you’re visiting or making it your new home – you’ll find something inspiring in this vibrant coastal capital.

QS Rankings:

Halifax is a global hub for higher education, boasting the world-renowned Dalhousie University. This esteemed institution has earned its place among Canada’s top universities due to renowned programs in medicine, law and engineering that draw students from around the globe. Its reputation as an outstanding research institute precedes it!

Best universities in Halifax:

Dalhousie University is an institution of higher learning that stands out in Halifax for its commitment to research, innovation, and social responsibility. With over 4,000 courses spanning 13 faculties and students from 115 countries around the world – not to mention plenty of ways for learners to get involved with global initiatives – there’s something here for everyone. Meanwhile at Saint Mary’s University your educational experience takes a more personal approach; small classes allow you develop practical skills while exploring business, arts & sciences through experiential education programs designed just-for-you!

Cost of living:

Residents of Halifax enjoy a great quality of life thanks to the city’s affordability! With an average rent for shared apartments and rooms around CAD 500-800 each month, it is much cheaper than other major Canadian cities such as Toronto or Vancouver. Plus all sorts of amenities from food to entertainment are available at pocket friendly prices, giving Haligonians more money in their pockets to explore everything this vibrant city has on offer.

Halifax is a colorful hub of culture and nature, perfect for international students seeking an unforgettable education experience. Throughout the year, this vibrant city hosts festivals, concerts, and other events to fill your days with excitement! Nature-lovers are in luck too – stunning natural attractions such as Peggy’s Cove and the Cabot Trail await just outside town limits. Come explore all that Halifax has to offer!


Nestled between the ocean and majestic mountains, Victoria is a vibrant city renowned for its stunning natural beauty, mild climate, and historic architecture. Home to world-class universities and an ever-growing arts & culture scene it’s no surprise that this Canadian gem has become a top choice of international students seeking higher education in beautiful surroundings.

QS Rankings:

Victoria is a hub for world-renowned education, with the University of Victoria ranking among Canada’s top 20 universities in the QS World University Rankings. This research-intensive institution boasts an impressive reputation for its programs in engineering, environmental studies and social sciences – offering students from all around the globe an opportunity to immerse themselves amidst cutting edge academics.

Best universities in Victoria:

The University of Victoria stands proud as the premier educational institution in Canada’s beautiful Pacific province. An oasis for research and innovation, UVic hosts a kaleidoscope of undergraduate and graduate programs across 10 faculties – catering to an international student populace hailing from over 100 countries! They also foster sustainability with initiatives that strive towards minimizing their carbon footprint while advocating practices conducive to eco-friendliness.

Cost of living:

For those looking for adventure in Canada, Victoria is a great city with plenty of activities to enjoy. But be prepared: its cost of living could dent your wallet! Renting an apartment or room will set you back about $700 – 1,200 per month. And that’s just the beginning; don’t forget costs such as food and transport when planning out your budget.

Victoria is the perfect place for international students seeking a high-quality education surrounded by beauty and culture. With its mild climate, outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking and whale watching are always enjoyable – while bustling cultural attractions such as the Royal BC Museum or catching a show with trendsetting musicians of Victoria Symphony will keep everyone entertained!

With its famous hospitality and renowned quality of education, Canada is a top destination for international students. From the vibrant bustle of Toronto to Quebec City’s charming mix of history and nature, you’re sure to find a city perfect for your studies – no matter what interests or priorities drive you! Immerse yourself in this incredible country with an unforgettable experience that will shape your future: study in Canada today.

FAQs Best Cities in Canada for International Students

Which city has most international students in Canada?

According to the latest data, Toronto has the highest number of international students in Canada, with over 100,000 international students enrolled in its universities and colleges.

Which city is cheapest for international students in Canada?

In general, smaller cities and towns in Canada tend to have lower living costs compared to larger cities. Some of the cities that are known for being relatively affordable for international students include Halifax, London, and Regina.

Which city in Canada is best for Indians to live?

Many cities in Canada have large Indian communities and offer a welcoming environment for Indian expats. Some of the most popular cities for Indian immigrants include Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Which city is best in Canada for PR?

Canada has many cities that offer great opportunities for immigrants, including those seeking permanent residency (PR). Some of the cities that are known for having strong job markets and high quality of life include Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.

Where is the highest cost of living in Canada?

In general, larger cities in Canada tend to have higher living costs compared to smaller cities and towns. Vancouver and Toronto are both known for having high living costs, particularly when it comes to housing. However, the cost of living can vary widely depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

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Vipin Rana

Vipin Rana

My role involves supporting student recruitment for USA globally, establishing solid relationships with channel partners, and Student counselling. The most exciting part of my role is, having the opportunity to assist the students in fulfilling their educational and career goals. Working with SMS makes me proud as I work with a fantastic set of people across the globe.

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