Finding Accommodation in Canada for International Students

Studying abroad is every student’s dream and after successful college admission, the next thing students research is finding a suitable accommodation for themselves. If you are also in the same zone, then you have landed at just the right place. Ideal accommodation for every student is furnished, comfortable, and has all the amenities that are near their institution.

There are various types of accommodation available and the one that students finally choose depends on the location and budget. Accommodation can either be on-campus or off-campus. Both have their benefits, but it all comes down to students’ personal preferences.

On-Campus Student Accommodation

Campus stays are usually furnished and are often known as dorms. This type of accommodation is usually the first preference of every international student. Staying on the campus itself has many benefits, such as students arriving to class on time. The paperwork involved in arranging your lease from your native country can be managed more smoothly and can be done in advance. 

Students can stay in single or shared rooms. Most of the time, there are meal plans included in the cost of the room. Staying in a dormitory is an ideal way to become involved in campus activities and meet other students.

Campus stays also have lounges, games rooms, and kitchens. Many on-campus residences have restaurants as well. 

The average cost of a dormitory room is around $3,000 – $7,500CAD annually.

Off-Campus Student Accommodation  

Some students prefer off-campus accommodations so they feel like they are staying inside of a home. That way, this will make them feel comfortable and will avoid the common feeling of being homesick. Finding such accommodation might be a daunting task for some since each student is different with their own specific living needs and requests. Staying off-campus helps students in getting familiar with the city and neighbourhood. Off-campus options include homestays, apartments, or condos.


These are family homes that welcome international students to stay until they finish their studies. One major advantage of participating in a homestay is that students are given a furnished room and home-cooked food. They also find it easy to participate in social activities and get involved with the community. Most importantly, students feel that they are staying in a home and this makes their stay more comfortable. Schools usually help in matching the students with families that share similar interests. 

The average cost of homestay accommodation is between $500 – $800CAD per month.


Another option for the students to stay off campus is renting. Students can share an apartment rent to keep their costs low. It is best to check with the school in advance if they have any off-campus housing services of their own so that it becomes more convenient to find roommates. 

Rental units typically contain a kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. Make sure to check the price of heat, electricity, water, and wi-fi as these are not usually included with the price of rent. Double-check to see if laundry is provided. In many cases, students have to share the apartment’s common laundry room.


A lease is a contract between a tenant and landlord that gives a tenant the right to live in a property for a fixed period. One must sign a lease when renting a shared apartment which normally lasts from six months to one year in length. It is also likely you will be asked to pay a month’s rent in advance.

Rental agreements are like lease agreements. The difference between them is the length of the contract.

The average cost of shared accommodation in Canada is $300 – $700CAD monthly. 

Useful Tools for Searching 

There are various online platforms where students can hunt for apartments that fit their budget. There are many examples such as the following:

  • Craigslist is a classified advertisement website where students can find various listings and rental accommodation based on their preferred location.
  • Facebook Marketplace is a very convenient platform where students can find listings, contact the owner of the listing, and go for viewing. 
  • Kijiji is also similar to Craigslist as it provides online classified advertising services, where you can find houses and condos for rent.
  • PadMapper is a quick, concise apartment finder. Students can filter by their requirements and can view the end number of listings.
  • is Canada’s premier website for apartment rental searches. You can find apartments, basements, townhouses, or condos for rent here.

Documents Required

  • Student ID 
  • Proof of identity such as a passport or any other government-issued ID 
  • Bank statements 
  • Acceptance letter
  • Credit history 
  • References (friends, family, or previous landlords in Canada)

Beware of Scams

While hunting for an apartment, students must always read the reviews of rental hosts to see if they are legitimate. One must be vigilant in the following cases:

  • If you find that the price of the listing is just too low for the amenities provided 
  • If the landlord asks for the money in advance and says he will mail you the keys later
  • If you find the same house for rent or sale on another website for classified advertisement
  • If someone asks about your personal information 
  • If you are not asked to sign a lease term

In all these cases, make sure to check further. 


In this case, a tenant takes over temporarily from another tenant whose name is already on the lease for an apartment. This is common among students, especially when a student graduates while their lease is still active. Subletting leases exist although these arrangements are often casual.

Finding accommodation is a daunting task, however, it is fun to see different types of houses during the search for the perfect one.

Click here, for all the other information regarding the rights of being a tenant. 

Happy house hunting!

Sources: Student Accommodation in Canada

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