Most universities offer the option to live on-campus either in residences designated for international students or in residences generally available to all students on campus. However, acceptance at a Canadian school does not ensure accommodation in a residence. School Provided Accommodation Homestays Many Canadian families welcome international students. This may be an effective way for you to improve your English or French, learn about daily life in Canada, and meet new, friendly people. Homestays also offer a more stable and secure environment for younger people coming to study in Canada. Typically, a homestay consists of a Canadian family hosting a student in their home while the student attends classes in Canada. Meals aNd a private, furnished room are provided in the home, and the host family welcomes and encourages participation in family and community activities. Homestays are arranged by the school and students are matched with families who share similar interests. Amenities and location vary from home to home, but preferences can and should be indicated to the school so that a suitable match may be found. Many schools can arrange for a school representative or homestay family to meet you at the airport when you arrive. Prices will vary according to location, and some homestay services will charge an initial placement fee of up to $200 CDN. For more information, contact the school you will be attending. Average cost of homestay accommodation: $400 - $800 CDN per month. Residence/Dormitory Many schools have accommodation conveniently located on or near their campus. Rooms can vary in size and in quality, and many dormitories have shared kitchens, toilets, showers and laundry facilities. There is usually an option of having either a shared or private room, and dormitories are usually separated by gender. In some cases, there are cafeterias and meal plans that can be included in the cost of the room. Most dormitories come furnished, and are an ideal way to become involved in campus activities and meet other students. Average cost of residence/dormitory rooms: $3,000 - $7,500 CDN per school year. For more information, contact the school you will be attending. Off-Campus Housing Renting Renting is an option open to students, but price, quality and availability vary greatly. Rents are often quite high in the major cities, and places are not always available. Many students share accommodation to keep costs down and usually find places to meet their needs and preferences. Many schools offer an off-campus housing service, which can provide affordable listings that are near the campus. At this service centre, those seeking shared accommodations can also find roommates. Once on campus, you will often find a variety of postings throughout the campus advertising nearby housing, but it is always best to make arrangements before coming to Canada. There are different types of places you can rent as an international student. A house is usually too expensive for one student to rent, but many students share or rent suites (a self-contained unit with a kitchen, toilet, bath and bedroom) within a larger home. Apartments are another option, where one has a kitchen, toilet, bath, and one or two bedrooms. Most rental apartments do not include furniture or meals. Some, however, include the cost of heat and/or electricity in the rent. Listings of available apartments or homes are published in local newspapers. It is the responsibility of the student to determine suitability as schools do not inspect these places nor can they make any other arrangements. Most landlords require a damage deposit and rent is paid on a monthly basis in cash or by cheque. Agreements with landlords should be made with care. Carefully examine and know the terms of any lease before you sign it. Carefully examine the apartment or suite before signing a lease to determine whether anything needs to be repaired by the landlord before you move in. If you experience problems with your rental accommodation, you should contact a provincial residential tenancy office. Average cost of shared accommodations in Canada: $250 - $700 CDN monthly. Average cost of a suite or apartment: $400 - $1,500 CDN monthly. Things to remember when choosing accommodation in Canada: Try to make arrangements ahead of time but be especially sure to do so if you require accommodation during the summer months, and during holidays and festivals. If you are staying in a hotel or hostel, always inspect the room on arrival before making a payment. If you are unsure about the location, ask the local tourism association. Prices can vary greatly according to location and time of year, so try to investigate before you leave. Canada is a friendly and wonderful place, and having made the proper arrangements, you will undoubtedly enjoy your stay regardless of where you choose to live in Canada. Youth Hostels/YWCA/YMCA Hostelling is a temporary and inexpensive way to stay in major cities. Accommodation is basic but economical, and primary facilities (toilets, baths and kitchens) are shared. Rates are calculated daily, and costs are less than other accommodation choices. A Canadian hostel must be inspected and approved by the Canadian Hostelling Association. Average cost of a room in a hostel: $10 - $20 CDN per night.