A 2024 Guide to Cost of Living in Kitchener Canada for International Students

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Part of the twin cities Kitchener and Waterloo, Kitchener is a known hub of secondary and higher education in Canada. This city in Ontario houses one of the world’s top universities and several polytechnic institutes that attracts students from around the globe. But what will it cost to live there? This blog will update you on the latest cost of living in Kitchener Canada, covering vital expenses like rent, food, entertainment etc. We will also explore the average tuition fees that international students can expect from the universities. Read on to know more!


Why Study in Kitchener Canada?

The cost of living in Kitchener Canada for international students is around CAD 2,832/month, which’s relatively affordable than Toronto and Vancouver. However, other reasons make the city worth considering to study abroad. Institutes like the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College offer world-class education to students through their renowned programs and cutting edge research. Moreover, the latter also emphasises hands-on learning through cooperative education (co-op) programs, allowing you to gain valuable work experience while studying. 

Kitchener is also one of the safest cities in Canada, offering a peaceful and supportive environment for students. And since Canada welcomes skilled immigrants, studying in Kitchener can help you gain valuable experience and qualifications to facilitate immigration after graduation.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Canada: A Guide

Cost of Living in Kitchener Canada

The cost of living in Kitchener Canada is around CAD 1,832 – 2,832/month for a single student, depending on their lifestyle and spending habits. Let’s look at some of the essential expenses that make up this overall cost one by one:

Living Accommodation

There are several types of living accommodation available for international students in Kitchener Canada. Here’s a list of different types of living quarters with their monthly rent:

AccommodationMonthly Rent
Shared apartmentCAD 400-600
Private apartment (one-bedroom)CAD 800-1,200 
Homestay (including meals)CAD 600-800 
ResidenceCAD 700-1,000


If you plan to cook your own meals in Kitchener Canada, it’ll cost around CAD 300-400 per month for groceries. Here’s a list of grocery items that the city’s supermarkets have to offer, along with their prices:

Grocery ItemPrice
Milk (regular), (1 litre)CAD 2.57
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500 g)CAD 3.26 
Rice (white), (1 kg)CAD 5.20 
Eggs (regular) (12)CAD 4.13 
Local Cheese (1 kg)CAD 13.37 
Chicken Fillets (1 kg)CAD 16.10 
Apples (1 kg)CAD 5.07 
Banana (1 kg)CAD 1.69 
Oranges (1 kg)CAD 4.75 
Tomato (1 kg)CAD 6.80 
Potato (1 kg)CAD 3.43 
Onion (1 kg)CAD 4.86 
Lettuce (1 head)CAD 3.49 
Water (1.5 litre bottle)CAD 1.76 
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)CAD 15
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)CAD 4.22 
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)CAD 3.71 

Eating out costs CAD 10-20 per meal if you feel like a change from all the home made food.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Thunder Bay for International Students 2024


If you’re looking for entertainment in Kitchener Canada, here’s a list of activities you can pursue:

A basic dinner out for 2 in a neighborhood pubCAD 47
2 tickets to the moviesCAD 28
1 cocktail drink in the downtown clubCAD 89
Cappuccino in the expat area of the cityCAD 11
1 beer in a neighbourhood pub (500ml)CAD 4.79
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml)CAD 7


Utilities in Kitchener Canada are roughly around CAD 150-200/month for students, depending on if they are living alone or in pairs. Given below are the monthly costs of some basic utilities:

UtilityMonthly Cost
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 ApartmentCAD 259.84
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flatCAD 204
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studioCAD 155
PhoneCAD 50-80


As a student, public transportation in Kitchener Canada costs around CAD 80-100/month. Here are some modes of transport available with their monthly costs:

Taxi Start (Normal tariff)Monthly Cost
One-way ticket (Local transport)CAD 3.75
Monthly pass (Regular price)CAD 92
Taxi start (Normal tariff)CAD 3.5
Taxi 1 km (Normal tariff)CAD 2.5
Taxi 1 hour waiting (Normal tariff)CAD 35
Gasoline (1 litre)CAD 1.5

Average Tuition Fees in Kitchener

Apart from the general living expenses in Kitchener Canada, students also need to be familiar with the academic expenses in the city. Here’s how much institutes in Kitchener charge international students for various program levels:

Program LevelTuition Fees (approx)
UndergraduateCAD 12,000-30,000 per year 
PostgraduateCAD 15,000-65,000 per year

In addition, the universities in Kitchener also offer many scholarships and financial aid to help students manage their tuition and living expenses. They can also work part-time for 20 hours per week for extra income and add more skills to their resume.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Abbotsford BC: A 2024 Guide

Things to Consider Before Moving to Kitchener Canada

Moving to a new city can be exciting, but it’s also important to do your research and be prepared for the change. Here are some things to consider before moving to Kitchener Canada:

  1. Kitchener has four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. The average winter temperature is -5°C (23°F), and the average summer temperature is 25°C (77°F). Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for all seasons.
  2. While relatively affordable city than other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the cost of living in Kitchener has been rising in recent years. So it’s important to factor that in when budgeting.
  3. Kitchener has a public transit system, but it is not as extensive as in some other cities. You may want to consider getting a car, especially if you live outside of the downtown core.
  4. Kitchener is a growing city with a strong economy, particularly in the tech sector. There are a variety of job opportunities available, but it’s always a good idea to have a job lined up before you move.
  5. If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to obtain a visa to live in Canada.
  6. Canada has a public healthcare system, but it is not free. You will need to purchase private health insurance if you want to have access to certain services.

Relevant Reads:

Study Permit Canada Requirements (Latest Update 2024)International Students in Canada Are Balancing Opportunity with Housing Solutions
Minimum PTE Score for Canada Student VisaA Complete Guide on Post-Study Work Visa: UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany 
Canada Visa Requirements for Indian StudentsIn 2023, Over 60000 International Students became Permanent Residents in Canada


Q1. How much does rent typically cost in Kitchener for international students?

Ans: Here’s how much the rent for different types of accommodation is in Kitchner for students:
1. A single room in a shared apartment with shared facilities – CAD 600-800/month
2. 1-bedroom apartment – CAD 1,200-1,500/month
3. Homestay – CAD 800-1,050/month (including meals). 

Q2. What can I expect to spend on groceries and eating out in Kitchener?

Ans: Budget CAD 400-500/month for groceries, adjusting based on your dietary needs and cooking habits. Occasional meals out could set you back CAD 10-25 per person. Remember, ethnic restaurants and fast food will vary in price.

Q3. Are there any ways to save money on living expenses in Kitchener?

Ans: Absolutely! Cooking at home saves significantly compared to eating out. Consider biking or walking for shorter distances, or utilizing the public transit student pass for longer trips. Sharing housing with classmates is another popular way to reduce costs. Also, you can explore student discounts at grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

We hope that this blog gave you a detailed insight into the cost of living in Kitchener Canada for international students. For more updates on student life abroad, keep following Leverage Edu. Thank you for reading!

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