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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 18, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Money Matters

Canadian Dollar

The currency used in Canada is the Canadian Dollar. Our dollar is divided into 100 cents (˘). Paper bills are issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $1000. Many stores will not accept large bills, $50 or $100, for small purchases. Coins are issued for smaller amounts and each coin has name as well as a value: 

  • A nickel - five cents
  • A dime - 10 cents
  • A quarter - 25 cents
  • A loonie - our one-dollar coin
  • A toonie - our two-dollar coin

Change your currency at the airport when you arrive, or at the currency exchange offices located at most Ontario Travel Information Centres.

Accessing Money

If you plan to transfer money to Canada, consider using cable transfer. Have your bank wire money to one of the Canadian chartered banks listed in the banking section. The bank will hold your funds until you arrive.

You may have to wait for the funds to be cleared by your bank at home. You should find out from your local bank how long it takes to transfer funds to Canada, and arrange the transfer well before your departure.

Financial Assistance

You must have sufficient funds to cover your expenses and tuition while studying at Laurier. Students holding a Student Authorization are obligated by law to have sufficient resources to cover all living and academic expenses while in Canada. Some academic expenses include the purchase of books, paper, pens, calculators, drawing equipment, binders, and project materials. Requirements vary depending on the program.

Book lists are available during the first week of classes. Do not make any purchases before seeing each professor or academic advisor, unless otherwise specifically directed.

Budgeting and Expenses

Before coming to study in Canada, you should prepare a budget for the total cost of all your expenses including tuition. You can expect to spend roughly $30,000 in Canadian currency for the period of one complete year, including tuition and living expenses. If you are bringing a spouse or dependent children, you will need $5,000 more per individual. You should approximate the funds you will need to ensure that you will be able to meet your needs, taking your spending habits into account. Below is an example of a very modest budget for one person.

Please be aware that this example does not include the tuition costs. For tuition costs please refer to the graduate or undergraduate WLU calendar.

Expense Monthly Yearly
Housing-single room; may or may not include utilities; if you pay for utilities add extra $50-$100 $350.00 - $650.00 $4800.00 - $7800.00
Food - if you cook at home only $300.00 $3600.00
Medical Insurance (UHIP, AMS/SGPS supplementary insurance plans) $1000.00
Textbooks and Supplies (cost vary according to subjects and academic level) $800.00 - $2500.00
Telephone (including connection fee, but not long distance costs) $30.00 $360.00
Clothing (costs vary) $700.00
Miscellaneous - entertainment, new study permits etc.
*does NOT include traveling costs, cigarettes, alcohol
Total $12,560.00 - $16,660.00

This budget does not include transportation, TV cable, and travelling and tuition costs.