Studying Abroad in Canada vs Australia: Where is Best?

Aug 06 20

Australia and Canada are both hugely popular destinations for foreign students. But which country should you choose? At, we are always ready to advise you, facilitate your application process, and help you enrol in the best universities of Australia, Canada and other countries! To help you decide whether to study abroad in Canada or Australia, we will discuss the most important differences (and similarities) between the two countries!

** Note: All prices are given in USD.

  • Tuition fees

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Tuition fees are the foremost criteria to consider when planning the destination of your future education. If we compare the cost of studying abroad in Australia with that of Canada, we can see that education in Canada is relatively cheaper.

In Australia, undergraduate tuition fees for international students generally cost between $14,500 and $32,500 per year, and master’s degrees between $16,000 and $36,000. In Canada, annual undergraduate fees for foreign students are around $15,000, and master’s degrees around $5,300. Of course, in both countries, tuition fees differ in accordance with your chosen programme and university. You can check the prices of different programmes on programme search!

However, when studying abroad in Canada or Australia, you won’t necessarily have to pay full fees for your dream education! Winning a scholarship is the best way to lighten the burden of costs, provided that you meet the scholarship eligibility requirements (which can include academic abilities, native country, or specialization). For example:

  • University scholarships: These are granted upon your acceptance to the university of your choice. Check on the university website to find out scholarship requirements. At, we offer scholarships at universities around the world! Our dedicated scholarship advisors can help you search for scholarships and craft a great application.
  • External scholarships: These are offered by governments and large corporations. Corporations generally grant scholarships to promising students who are studying specific programs or in a particular industry, and will sometimes sponsor students’ education if they work with the company following graduation.
  • Australian scholarships

What are some scholarships that will help you with studying abroad in Australia?

  • The Australia Awards are scholarships awarded by the Australian government to foreign students from developing countries, especially from the Indo-Pacific region, who wish to take undergraduate or graduate programs. This scholarship covers tuition fees, health insurance, basic living expenses and a return air ticket.
  • Research Training Program scholarships are for those who want to get a postgraduate qualification in Australia. The period covered by this scholarship is two years for master’s degree students and three to four years for PhD students, who are assessed on academic merit and potential. As well as coverage of tuition fees and basic living costs, students will have the chance to gain experience with leading Australian researchers.
  • Some of the Australian scholarships offered on include International Undergraduate Scholarships at the University of Melbourne, Vice-Chancellor International Scholarships at the University of Sydney, and the Global Diversity Scholarship at the Australian National University.
  • Canadian scholarships:

Here are some of the scholarships that make studying abroad in Canada more accessible:

  • For graduate students, government scholarships on offer include the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships awarded to students studying PhD courses at participating universities, and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships for students studying Humanities or Social Sciences.
  • Canadian undergraduate scholarships offered on include the Scholarships for Academic Excellence at University Canada West, the President’s Scholars of Excellence Program at the University of Toronto, and the Major Scholarships at McGill University.
  • Living costs

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To look at the cost of living in Canada and Australia, we will compare average prices in Vancouver and Melbourne, two of the most expensive cities in each country. This is very important to consider before studying abroad in Australia or Canada!

  • Grocery prices in Vancouver are 1.3% higher than in Melbourne.
  • Rental price for a 1 bedroom city centre apartment is over 15% cheaper in Melbourne than in Vancouver (that’s big deal!) – but bills are significantly more expensive in Melbourne.
  • A monthly transport ticket is 56% more expensive in Melbourne than in Vancouver.
  • Clothes, sports, and leisure activities are much more expensive in Melbourne.
  • The average salary in Melbourne is 10% higher than in Vancouver!

In general, you should allocate at least $14,000 annually for your living costs in Australia, whereas the Universities of Montreal and British Columbia recommend between $10,000-$11,000 for living in expensive cities in Canada. Don’t forget that this is just an approximation, which will change according to your lifestyle!

  • Quality of higher education

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The main reason why young people choose to study abroad in Canada and Australia is the quality of higher education. Both Australia and Canada boast higher education excellence, their higher education systems provide you with opportunities to develop your career, and Australian and Canadian universities are ranked among the world’s top institutions.

According to the latest QS World University Rankings, seven Australian and three Canadian universities are represented in the top 100! These include: the University of Toronto, McGill University, and University of British Columbia; and the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, and the University of Melbourne. Best of all, can give you access to these universities!! So check out our website to embark on your dream education.

  • Work, work, work…

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For students, the importance of part-time work whilst studying abroad cannot be overestimated. While supporting yourself financially, you will meet new people, have the chance to experience the working atmosphere of the most developed countries, and gain useful experience to enhance your CV.

In Canada, full-time students are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the semester, and 40 hours per week during holidays. The minimum wage is $8.32 per hour. The situation is similar in Australia: students with a valid student visa can work for 20 hours per week during term time, however there is no limit on the number of hours you are allowed to work during holidays. The minimum hourly wage is $14.35. This might sound like a lot – however, as we’ve seen, living costs vary in each country!

Another extremely important factor to consider is post-study work laws. In Australia, you can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa which lasts between 18 months and 4 years to work in a full-time or part-time position, and can bring your family with you. In Canada, you can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit programme which lasts for between eight months and 3 years. You can work full-time or part-time, and your family can join you. To find out more details, check out our blog article about post-study work opportunities.


Of course, there are many other aspects to consider before studying abroad in Canada or Australia. These are two truly amazing countries that are so similar in some ways (language, high quality of life, democracy index, safety, multiculturalism) and completely different in others (culture, climate, location). So, have you decided where to go? Canada or Australia? Visit and make your choice!

**Featured image taken from 

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