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Step 7. Budget

Approximate expenses for one exchange term

Accommodation $3,000*
Food / Meals (5 months) $2,000
Local transportation $225
Personal expenses $1,000
Health insurance (compulsory) $371 (for a one-term exchange)
$536 (for a two-term exchange)
$0 (If your home country is Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden)
Immigration procedures (if required) CAQ: $107
Study permit: $125
Temporary resident visa (one entry): $75
Temporary resident visa (multiple entries): $150
TOTAL (per term) $6,000 to $8,000
 *Sharing an apartment with roommates (or renting an all-inclusive room at $600 for 5 months)

How Can I Transfer Funds to Canada?

In order to cover your costs and expenses, you will need to get your funds to Canada. Fluctuations in the exchange rates between the Canadian dollar and your home currency can affect your budget from month to month. Refer to the Bank of Canada’s online conversion page for current and past exchange rates. 

Canada does not have any system of exchange rate controls. However, your country may have such controls. 

Here are some suggestions for transferring funds from your country to Canada:

  • Have your bank transfer fund to a bank in Montreal, specifically to an account that you open in your name when you arrive here.
  • Send funds to a Canadian bank before you leave and have them deposited into your account once you’ve opened one in Montréal. You can carry out these transactions at most major foreign banks that have Canadian branches. 
  • Bring along with you or have someone mail you a bank draft (certified cheque in your name) which can be cashed at a Canadian bank. However, keep in mind that most banks freeze bank drafts or personal cheques for up to 30 business days.


  • We strongly discourage sending funds using an international postal order because it is a long, complicated, and expensive process.
  • We suggest that you arrive in Montreal with enough cash and traveller's cheques to cover your expenses for the first month.
  • VISA and MasterCard are the two types of credit cards most frequest

For information on how to transfer funds to pay your tuition, consult the following page

Instead, we suggest that you arrive in Montreal with enough cash and traveller’s cheques to cover your expenses for the first month, and that you obtain a VISA or MasterCard credit card. Because acceptance of other credit cards tends not to be as widespread here, some students are known to have run into difficulties when using other ones. And finally, we suggest that you obtain bills of $50 or smaller, as $100 bills tend not to be accepted everywhere.

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