Costs for activities / leisure time in Canada
Canada is primarily a paradise for outdoor fans. But the country also has a lot to offer in cultural and culinary terms and there are almost endless possibilities for leisure activities. How much the various activities will cost you in the end depends on what you are doing and, of course, where. Here, too, it can be worthwhile to look out for various promotions. Almost everywhere there is discounted entry for students and many museums do not accept entry at all on certain days. In addition, it is recommended that you have an international student ID card, as this will also give you many discounts in Canada, a major country in North America listed on healthinclude.
Here are a few prices for typical things to do in Canada:
|Company||Average price in CAD|
|Eat in an inexpensive restaurant||15.00|
|Canadian beer (0.5 liters)||5.50|
|Card for an ice hockey game||25.00|
|Museum visit||8 a.m. to 3 p.m.|
|Ice scating||Mostly free of charge (skate rental: 5.00)|
Tips in Canada
If you don’t want to be stingy (stingy), you should give the waitress a 15 to 20 percent tip (tip, gratuity) when paying the bill. This is because the waitresses in a restaurant receive a lower minimum wage. In fast food restaurants where you are not served at the table and you get your own food, you don’t have to pay a tip. Taxi drivers, tour guides and other service providers also usually receive tips.
Transportation costs in Canada
The infrastructure in Canada is particularly well developed in metropolitan areas and it is not difficult to get from A to B. In addition to the bus, tram, subway and train, the ferry is also a popular form of transport, such as the SeaBus in Vancouver. A one-way ticket in local public transport costs an average of CAD 3.00, a monthly ticket CAD 90.00. At some universities, the costs for local transport are completely or partially included in the tuition fees.
Buying your own car is only worthwhile if you are staying in Canada for a long time and will be driving it a lot during this time. Although the gasoline is cheaper than in Germany at an average of CAD 1.12, you should not underestimate the cost of maintenance. Because even in Canada there is an obligation to take out a motor vehicle liability insurance and this is much more expensive than in Germany or the USA. In addition, it is very difficult at all for drivers under the age of 25 to get insurance.
Travel in Canada
If you want to travel through Canada or the USA alongside, before or after your studies, it is best to do so by plane, because the distances are sometimes huge. The leading airline is Air Canada. There are also a number of airlines that offer cheap flights, such as WestJet. A return flight from Winnipeg to Toronto costs around CAD 350, and from Vancouver to Toronto around CAD 450. The prices vary greatly depending on the booking period and the airline. It is usually cheaper if you already book all flights from Germany together with your transatlantic flight.
For shorter journeys within Canada, it is usually cheaper to take the train. The cheapest, if not the most comfortable, is to travel by long-distance buses, such as the Greyhound. For a trip from Regina to Winnipeg, for example, you would pay just under CAD 70.
Telecommunication costs in Canada
Of course, the cost of living in Canada also includes telecommunications expenses. In order to avoid high roaming charges, it is generally advisable to get a prepaid SIM card from a Canadian telephone provider for your studies in Canada. It should be noted that there are no nationwide mobile network providers and the selection depends on the province in which you are studying. The largest provider in British Columbia and Alberta is Telus Mobility, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Aliant. The providers usually have a selection of different prepaid cards and a comparison is worthwhile.
You should pay attention to the following special features with regard to telephoning in Canada:
- There are two standards for cellular networks that are not compatible with each other: CDMA and GSM. While GSM is mainly used in Europe, including Germany, CDMA is used in Canada. So far there are very few cellular operators in Canada that offer GSM. The frequency of your cell phone must also match the standard in Canada (tri-band or quad-band cell phone). If this is not the case, you may need another cell phone.
- Mobile networks in Canada do not have their own area code, but normal landline numbers. Anyone who calls a cell phone from a landline in Canada therefore also pays the landline price. However, since the data is forwarded to the cellular network, additional costs arise that are borne by the called party.
Tip: If you have WiFi available, use the option of Voice over IP telephony, such as Skype and WhatsApp. You can save a lot of money this way.
Health care costs in Canada
Health care expenses should also be included when calculating the cost of living in Canada. If you have a cold or a mild flu, you have a huge selection of over-the-counter drugs in a drugstore or in the supermarket in the pharmacy department. The drug prices vary widely and depend on whether it is the original product or generic. For example, a pack of original Aspirin (Beyer) costs CAD 5.99 (50 pieces).
Health insurance is compulsory in Canada, which also applies to international students. Most Canadian universities have a health insurance plan that may also be mandatory for visit students. It is not always possible to replace it with a German international health insurance. The University Health Insurance Plan costs an average of CAD 684 annually. However, this is only a basic supply. In any case, you should either use the Canadian University’s Extended Health Insurance Plan or take out additional insurance here in Germany.