There are several financial matters that you should consider in preparation for living in Toronto. The information on this page will help you to start thinking about how to manage your money.

ATTENTION: Child Care Subsidy Update

The Family Care Office is aware that eligibility requirements for international students are currently under review by Toronto Children’s Services.  If you are an international student who has been informed that you will be losing your child care subsidy, then we strongly recommend that you appeal this decision, and please notify the Family Care Office of your situation.

Posted 29 September 2017.

Contents

Budget and expenses Consider these costs when planning your studies at U of T
Taxes and tipping Extra costs to purchases
Income tax Filing your taxes
Student fees Paying your student fees
Money in Canada Consider different bank options when thinking about accessing money in Canada
Scholarships and loans Apply for awards and scholarships

Budget and expenses

One of the most common questions international students ask is "How much money do I need?" There are three costs which you will need to consider when planning your studies at U of T:

  • Tuition fees
  • Incidental fees
  • Living and studying costs (including books) 

The University offers a financial planning calculator that may help you with your personal finances.

Tuition fees

Please see the tuition fee schedule posted by the Office of the Vice-President and Provost. These fees are for a full academic year (two terms) and full course load.

Tuition fees vary by program of study, year of entry and registration status. Please make sure to look at the fees for international students and for your specific program and year of entry.

Some international students in very specific situations may be eligible to apply for an exemption from international student fees. The rules and conditions governing these exemptions are outlined on the Student Accounts website.

 

Incidental fees

Incidental fees are compulsory non-academic fees which pay for the many facilities, activities and services which are open to you at the University. Since many of these things are provided at the faculty, college or school level, these fees vary depending on where you are enrolled. International students pay the same incidental fees as domestic students.
 

Living and studying costs

You can find useful information and tools that will help you determine your living and studying costs on the U of T Admissions website and the Housing Services website.

Taxes and tipping

Taxes and tipping add extra costs to many purchases in Canada.

Most goods and services are taxed in Canada. In Ontario, the tax is called Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and is a combination of a federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Ontario Sales Tax (OST). This tax is added to the cost of an item. The original price is often what is advertised on the item or service, but you should expect an additional tax — 13% in Ontario — added to your final bill.  

In addition, most Canadians tip for certain kinds of services. Generally speaking, people tip 10-15% for service like taxi cabs, hair dressing and tour guides. People generally tip a little higher (15-20% on the total before taxes) for table service at restaurant. For service at a restaurant counter or coffee shop, it's common to see a "tip jar" for small tips.
 

Income tax

If you are planning to work while you are in Canada, you will have to pay income tax on your earnings. Any money you earn in Canada is subject to Canadian income tax – this includes income from University employment such as Graduate Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships. You will have to file an income-tax return before April 30th each year, which may entitle you to a tax return or to be eligible for some benefits.

To find out more about income taxes in Canada, please consult the Canada Revenue Agency where you can find information specifically for international students.

The Centre for International Experience also offers income tax information sessions and can help you find addditional supports and resources to assist you in filing your income tax return.

Paying your student fees

Most of your student fees will appear on ROSI, your student account. It's important that you meet all fees deadlines in order to avoid late penalties and to maintain your registration status at the University. 

Many students open a Canadian bank account to pay their fees. If you need to make your payment from a bank account outside of Canada, you can find information about how to do so on the Student Accounts website.
 

Accessing money in Canada

When researching your banking options, you should consider the following:

  • Talk to your bank in your home country before you leave, and find out whether they have a branch in Canada

  • Find out what kind of banking fees are applicable to using ATMs overseas, transferring funds to international accounts and any other useful services

  • Alert your credit card company that you will be living abroad for a period of time

Banks in Canada offer many services to account holders, including online, teller, and in-person tuition and residence fee payment options, and direct deposit of refund payments. The following are some major Canadian Banks you may wish to research: 

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Scotiabank (offers the option of setting up a Canadian bank account before arriving in Canada)

TD Canada Trust

 

The Canadian Bankers Association provides information on financial information and services for newcomers to Canada.

To set up a new bank account after you arrive in Canada, the bank will require you to show 2 pieces of identification (e.g. passport, study permit, driver's licence), one of which must be photo identification.

Scholarships, loans and bursaries

As a student attending the University of Toronto you may be eligible for awards and scholarships. We encourage you to research the possibilities available to you.

Enrolment Services has web pages dedicated to financial assistance, as well as specific information for international students.

There are also external awards that support students to study in Canada, including International Scholarships, a site maintained by the Canadian Government.