Be it for a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, be it for a semester abroad or a summer session: Anyone planning to study in Canada naturally needs accommodation during this time. There are many different types of accommodation for international students in Canada, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is some information and tips on accommodation for studying in Canada:
Living in a student residence
There is no question that living in a university dormitory is the most convenient option for many, if only because you save yourself the hassle of looking for an apartment and have a safe place to stay when you arrive in Canada, a major country in North America listed on handbagpicks. Many, if by no means all, universities in Canada have their own dormitories and / or apartment complexes on-campus and / or off-campus. In addition, there are often private dormitories that are not managed by the university, most of which are located near the campus.
The campus of a Canadian university often resembles a small town, with food courts, hairdressers, supermarkets and bookstores. Due to the Canadian winters, the buildings on campus are often connected by tunnels or skywalks, which of course makes the way from the dormitory to the university more pleasant.
On-campus living is less common in Canada than in the United States. It is easy to find out whether the university or college in Canada offers Housing Options by visiting the university’s website. It is not uncommon for universities to provide information on private off-campus accommodation on these pages and offer support in finding accommodation through the Student Service or the International Office. The places in the student dormitories are usually in great demand and an early application is therefore advisable.
General information about student dormitories in Canada
Living in a student dormitory in Canada differs in some ways from typical dormitory life in Germany. The biggest difference is undoubtedly with regard to the extensive support in the Canadian Halls of Residences. One of the reasons for this is that Canadian students are often not of legal age when they begin their studies. Especially in their first year of study, students in Canada prefer to live ” in residence “.
On the one hand, the dormitory offers them a high level of security, because there is usually a reception that is manned day and night as well as security guards and / or resident advisors / assistants. On the other hand, various events are often organized for the residents during the semester, at which they can get to know each other and strengthen cohesion. This is a great opportunity, especially for international students, to make contacts quickly. The so-called common areas of the Canadian dormitories offer additional opportunities to get to know each other and are also often equipped with game consoles, billiard tables, board games and other things.
In these dormitories there are both single rooms and double rooms with washbasins and one or more shared showers per floor. There is often no kitchen, which is why the students are obliged to book a so-called meal plan in this case. This includes two to three meals a day in the university’s dining halls, cafeterias and food courts. In some cases, Canadian student residences also have their own dining halls where residents take their meals. Some of the dormitories are separated by gender. As a rule, you can’t choose your roommate, but if you don’t get along with your roommate, you can usually swap rooms for a fee.
Some universities in Canada also offer accommodation in an apartment complex. These apartments are often reserved for older students (senior apartments), such as the so-called “Gateway Suites” at Brock University. Living here is more like living together in a small flat share with mostly three to four flatmates, each with their own room and the kitchen and bathroom being shared.
Other universities, such as the University of Winnipeg with its “Balmoral Houses” or Lakehead University with its “Townhouses”, have their own houses: Here several students live in a single-family house together with a resident assistant, a senior student. Although these houses belong to the university, they are usually not on campus, but in the vicinity or downtown.
Many universities also have apartments specially designed for students with children or for students with disabilities.
Cost of a place in a Canadian dormitory
Accommodation for studying in Canada makes up the bulk of the cost, in addition to tuition fees. Living in the Hall of Residence, especially on-campus, is not exactly the cheapest option. Of course, it depends on which type of student residence you choose, whether you have to book a meal plan and whether you rent a single room or not share a room with a fellow student. Depending on the equipment and comfort, accommodation in a dormitory in Canada costs CAD 400 to CAD 1100 per month. The Meal Plan costs between CAD 400 to CAD 600 per month.
Canadian universities often state the cost of accommodation and the meal plan for one semester or for the entire academic year. It is customary for the full amount for one semester to be paid in advance. The rent usually includes utilities such as electricity, water and heating, as well as internet costs. In this way, there are no additional, hidden costs. Since the university is within walking distance of the dormitory, there are also no transport costs.
Dormitory Accommodation in Canada: Pros and Cons
|Everything is within walking distance||Little privacy, especially if you share a room|
|No stressful search for an apartment||Danger of only being on campus|
|You live with many other, also international, students in the same house and quickly make friends||Relatively expensive, especially when a meal plan is mandatory|
|You may not necessarily have to worry about the food||“Boarding school feeling”, also because of the controls and the many regulations – rooms can be controlled|
|Good equipment: washing machines and dryers are in the house, some in-house fitness studios, TV lounges or study rooms||Possibly a lack of cleanliness and order and under certain circumstances loud and restless|