Accommodation in a shared flat or your own apartment in Canada

It is not always advisable to live in a hall of residence while studying in Canada. For one, dormitory living is not for everyone because of the disadvantages mentioned above. On the other hand, it may also be that the university of your choice in Canada does not have its own dormitories or that it does not rent any rooms for less than a year (short term).

If you are looking for private accommodation for your studies in Canada, be it a room in a shared house (shared house / shared apartment) or your own single apartment, you face a greater challenge. In most cities in Canada, a major country in North America listed on printerhall, especially in metropolises such as Vancouver or Toronto as well as in the student cities, the housing market is highly competitive.

If you are only going to study in Canada for one or two semesters, you should look for a room in a shared apartment. Apart from the fact that apartments in Canada are usually not only very expensive, it will be difficult to find a landlord who is willing to rent the apartment for just a few months. One-year leases are the norm in Canada. An alternative would be to sublet an apartment.

Tips for finding a flat share in Canada

  1. Get an idea of the situation of your university in Canada and the housing market in your future university city early on ! A low rent is of little use if the distance to the university is long and transport costs may be high.
  2. You will find what you are looking for
    1. Facebook groups: In addition to the housing offers there, there is also the possibility of teaming up and renting an apartment or house together.
    2. Portals like, or
    3. Advertisements on the online portals of the local press
    4. Housing Office / International Office at the Canadian university
  3. If possible, get in touch with potential landlords from Germany and arrange viewing appointments. Sometimes it is possible to show the room / apartment via Skype and to have it confirmed.
  4. Under no circumstances should you transfer the rent for accommodation in Canada until you have met the landlord personally and viewed the rental property ! Many fraudsters are up to mischief on the apartment portals on the Internet, offering bogus apartments.
  5. Pay attention to hidden ancillary costs and read the rental agreement carefully before signing it. In many cases, you can have the rental agreement checked by the Housing Office or the International Office of the Canadian university.
  6. For a short-term stay until you have found your private accommodation for studying in Canada, hostels, Airbnb or Couchsurfing are ideal. Initial contacts can already be made here, especially with Canadians.
  7. For unfurnished rooms / apartments:
    1. You can find inexpensive used furniture at private garage sales, at flea markets or on Facebook or portals such as

Costs for a room in a shared apartment / a single apartment in Canada

The cost of an apartment depends very much on where it is located. Apartments in Vancouver, for example, are more expensive than in Winnipeg, for example, and an apartment in downtown will cost a lot more than one on the outskirts or in a suburb. Generally you have to expect at least CAD 500 plus additional costs and internet. On the other hand, a room in a shared apartment is much cheaper. Depending on the size and location, you pay between CAD 250 and CAD 700 here. You share additional costs and costs for Internet with your roommates.

Advantages and disadvantages of accommodation in a shared apartment

Advantages Disadvantage
Independence and no control by the dormitory administration Rentals often not for less than a year
More privacy and peace Possible dependence on public transport and thus high transport costs
You can choose your roommates yourself The shared rooms are often unfurnished
Usually cheaper than a room in a dormitory Risk of hidden additional costs
You get more of everyday life in Canada outside of campus You get less of the typical North American campus life

Accommodation with a host family in Canada (homestay)

Another option for housing while studying in Canada is with a host family. This variant is mostly suitable for younger students who plan to study in Canada for just one or two semesters. Some universities in Canada even place international students with host families; most of them refer to appropriate recruitment agencies. Otherwise you will also find what you are looking for on the Internet portal

Depending on the type of accommodation, the location and the “service” offered, such as meals, accommodation with a host family during your studies in Canada costs between CAD 400 and CAD 1000, including ancillary costs such as electricity and heating and usually also internet.

Advantages and disadvantages of staying with a Canadian host family

Advantages Disadvantage
Accommodation is fixed before arriving in Canada and is often picked up from the airport Possibly long distances to the university or downtown
English is spoken all day and you can immerse yourself in Canadian culture Danger of not getting along well with family
Mostly “complete package”: food, utilities and internet included Especially when the host family lives a bit outside and the transport connections are not good, you can quickly feel isolated from the other students
Cheaper than a place in a dormitory

Accommodation for Studying in Canada Part 2

Accommodation for Studying in Canada Part 2
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