Student Hostels in Canada for International Students: Your Guide to Affordable and Comfortable Accommodation

Looking for affordable and comfortable accommodation as an international student in Canada? Look no further than student hostels! In this comprehensive guide, we explore the factors to consider when choosing a hostel and highlight some of the top student hostels in Canada, providing valuable insights and tips to help you make an informed decision.

Student Hostels in Canada for International Students: Your Guide to Affordable and Comfortable Accommodation
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Jun 13, 2023 09:03 AM
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Studying abroad is an exciting and transformative experience, and Canada has emerged as a popular destination for international students seeking higher education. As you embark on this journey, finding suitable accommodation becomes a crucial aspect of your planning. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of student hostels in Canada, providing valuable insights into affordable and comfortable accommodation options specifically tailored for international students like you.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Student Hostels

When selecting a student hostel in Canada, several factors should be taken into account to ensure a comfortable and convenient living experience. Consider the following key aspects:

Location and Proximity to Universities

Choosing a hostel that is within walking distance or offers easy access to your university campus is essential for a seamless academic experience. Look for hostels that are strategically located near universities, as this will save you commuting time and expenses. Additionally, consider nearby amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and public transportation options to ensure convenience in your day-to-day life.

Pricing and Affordability

As a student, managing your finances is crucial. Compare the rental rates of different hostels and evaluate their value for money. Keep in mind that affordable doesn't necessarily mean compromising on quality. Look for hostels that offer competitive pricing while providing comfortable living conditions and essential amenities. Be sure to inquire about any additional fees or charges that may apply to avoid unexpected financial burdens.

Facilities and Amenities Offered

Living in a student hostel should offer more than just a place to sleep. Assess the facilities and amenities available within the hostel to ensure a comfortable and enriching experience. Look for study rooms or designated spaces where you can focus on your academic pursuits. Common areas such as lounges, game rooms, or outdoor spaces provide opportunities for socializing, relaxing, and engaging with fellow students. Other amenities to consider include laundry facilities, Wi-Fi access, and access to fitness centers or recreational activities.

Safety and Security Measures

Your safety and security should be a top priority when selecting a student hostel. Look for hostels that have robust security systems in place, including secure entrances, surveillance cameras, and on-site staff available 24/7. Research the hostel's reputation and read reviews to gather insights into their safety measures. Additionally, inquire about any emergency protocols and support services that are available to residents.

1. Maple Residence

Located within a 10-minute walk from the University of Toronto, Maple Residence is a popular choice among international students. This hostel offers a range of accommodation options, from private rooms to shared dormitories, catering to different preferences and budgets. The rooms are well-furnished and provide a comfortable living space for students. Maple Residence boasts a vibrant and inclusive community, providing ample opportunities to interact and connect with fellow students.

Features and Amenities at Maple Residence:

  • Spacious study rooms equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, creating an ideal environment for academic pursuits.
  • Cozy common areas, including a lounge and game room, where students can unwind and socialize.
  • On-site laundry facilities, eliminating the need to search for external services.
  • Supportive staff available to assist with any concerns or inquiries.

2. Oakview Dormitory

Situated near McGill University in Montreal, Oakview Dormitory offers a convenient and enriching living experience for international students. The hostel's prime location provides easy access to the university campus as well as the vibrant city life that Montreal has to offer. Oakview Dormitory aims to create a home away from home, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its residents.

Features and Amenities at Oakview Dormitory:

  • Modern communal kitchen and dining areas where students can prepare and enjoy meals together.
  • Fitness center equipped with exercise machines and free weights, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Regular social events and activities organized by the hostel, encouraging community engagement and cultural exchange.
  • Dedicated staff members available to provide guidance and support throughout your stay.

3. Cedar Hall

Nestled near the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Cedar Hall stands out for its serene and picturesque surroundings. This hostel offers a tranquil environment that enhances the overall student experience. The proximity to nature allows students to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the natural beauty of the region. Cedar Hall emphasizes both comfort and sustainability, creating an eco-friendly living space for its residents.

Features and Amenities at Cedar Hall:

  • Well-designed rooms with ample space and comfortable furnishings, providing a cozy living environment.
  • Outdoor recreational areas, such as gardens and green spaces, where students can relax and enjoy nature.
  • Proximity to hiking trails and parks, allowing students to engage in outdoor adventures.
  • Dedicated recycling and waste management systems, promoting environmental consciousness among residents.
Remember, these are just a few examples of the student hostels available in Canada. Each hostel has its own unique features, facilities, and community. It is essential to conduct thorough research, visit their websites, and read reviews to determine which hostel aligns best with your preferences and requirements.

4. Willow Residences

Located near the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Willow Residences offers a comfortable and convenient living environment for international students. The hostel provides a range of room options, including single and shared accommodations, allowing students to choose according to their preferences and budget. With its proximity to the university campus and nearby amenities, Willow Residences ensures that students have easy access to academic resources and daily necessities.

Features and Amenities at Willow Residences:

  • Study lounges equipped with Wi-Fi and ample seating, providing a conducive environment for academic focus.
  • On-site dining options, including a cafeteria or shared kitchen facilities, catering to various dietary preferences.
  • Recreational spaces, such as a common room or outdoor courtyard, where students can relax and socialize.
  • Supportive staff available to assist with housing-related queries and provide a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

5. Rosewood Dormitory

Situated near the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Rosewood Dormitory offers a vibrant and engaging living experience for international students. The hostel aims to create a supportive community that fosters personal and academic growth. Rosewood Dormitory provides a range of amenities and services to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling stay for its residents.

Features and Amenities at Rosewood Dormitory:

  • Well-appointed common areas, including a communal kitchen and lounge, encouraging interaction and collaboration among students.
  • Fitness facilities, such as a gym or outdoor sports areas, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle.
  • Regular social events and workshops organized by the hostel, fostering a sense of belonging and cultural exchange.
  • Dedicated staff members who offer guidance and support, ensuring a smooth transition and addressing any concerns that may arise.

6. Birchwood Hall

Situated near Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Birchwood Hall offers a welcoming and inclusive living environment for international students. The hostel combines affordability with comfort, providing students with a range of accommodation options and convenient amenities. Birchwood Hall's location offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and easy access to academic facilities.

Features and Amenities at Birchwood Hall:

  • Spacious and well-furnished rooms, offering a cozy and relaxing living space.
  • Study areas and quiet spaces for focused academic work and research.
  • Communal areas for socializing and building connections with fellow students.
  • On-site laundry facilities and other essential amenities for convenience and ease of living.
As you explore your options for student hostels in Canada, make sure to consider factors such as location, pricing, facilities, and the overall atmosphere that aligns with your preferences and needs. Conduct thorough research, visit their websites, and reach out to current or former residents for insights to make an informed decision.

Applying for Student Hostels in Canada

Once you have identified the student hostels that align with your preferences and requirements, it's time to initiate the application process. Follow these general steps to secure your accommodation:
  1. Research and Shortlist: Compile a list of hostels that you are interested in based on factors like location, amenities, and affordability. Consider reaching out to the hostel management or visiting their websites to gather detailed information.
  1. Check Application Deadlines: Pay attention to application deadlines, as popular hostels tend to fill up quickly. Mark important dates on your calendar and ensure you submit your application well in advance to increase your chances of securing a spot.
  1. Gather Required Documents: Hostels typically require certain documents during the application process. These may include identification documents, proof of enrollment or acceptance from your university, financial statements, and any other specific requirements mentioned by the hostel.
  1. Submit Application: Complete the application form provided by the hostel, ensuring that all required information is accurate and up to date. Attach the necessary documents as per the hostel's instructions.
  1. Pay Application Fee and Deposit: Some hostels may require an application fee and a security deposit. Be prepared to make these payments as instructed by the hostel. Keep records of your transactions for future reference.
  1. Follow Up: After submitting your application, it's a good idea to follow up with the hostel to confirm receipt and inquire about the processing timeline. This will also give you an opportunity to address any additional queries you may have.
  1. Await Confirmation: The hostel will review your application and notify you about the status of your accommodation request. If your application is successful, you will receive a confirmation along with details about payment procedures and move-in dates.
  1. Plan Ahead: Once you have secured your accommodation, start planning for your arrival in Canada. Make necessary travel arrangements and communicate with the hostel management regarding any specific requirements or procedures to ensure a smooth check-in process.
Remember, each hostel may have its own unique application process and requirements. It is essential to carefully review their instructions and guidelines to ensure that you submit a complete and accurate application.


Choosing the right student hostel is an important aspect of your study abroad journey in Canada. It not only provides you with a place to live but also contributes to your overall experience as an international student. By considering factors such as location, amenities, community, and affordability, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.


Q1: Are student hostels in Canada only for international students?
A1: No, student hostels in Canada are open to both domestic and international students. While they are popular among international students due to their convenience and supportive environment, domestic students can also choose to stay in student hostels if they prefer the communal living experience and proximity to their educational institutions.
Q2: Can I choose my roommates in a student hostel?
A2: Many student hostels in Canada offer the option to choose your roommates, especially if you have friends or acquaintances who are also looking for accommodation. However, if you don't have specific preferences, the hostel management will assign roommates based on factors such as gender, course of study, and cultural background to promote a diverse and inclusive living environment.
Q3: Are student hostels in Canada safe?
A3: Yes, student hostels in Canada prioritize the safety and well-being of their residents. They typically have security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, access control systems, and on-site staff available 24/7 to address any security concerns. It's always advisable to choose reputable hostels and follow basic safety practices to ensure a secure living environment.
Q4: Can I cook my own meals in a student hostel?
A4: Many student hostels in Canada provide shared kitchen facilities where residents can prepare their own meals. These kitchens are equipped with cooking appliances, utensils, and storage space. However, some hostels also offer on-site dining options, such as cafeterias or meal plans, providing convenience for students who prefer not to cook.
Q5: How do I pay for student hostel accommodation in Canada?
A5: The payment process for student hostels may vary. Typically, you will need to pay a deposit upon acceptance of your application, which serves as a security deposit. The remaining fees can be paid monthly or in installments, depending on the hostel's policy. It's essential to review the payment terms and options provided by the hostel and ensure timely payment to maintain your accommodation.
Q6: Can I stay in a student hostel during semester breaks or holidays?
A6: Most student hostels in Canada offer the option to stay during semester breaks and holidays, although additional fees may apply. This allows students to have a consistent living arrangement throughout their academic year. However, it's advisable to communicate with the hostel management in advance to make the necessary arrangements and understand any specific policies regarding extended stays.
Q7: Can I terminate my hostel contract before the agreed duration?
A7: The termination policy may vary among student hostels. Some hostels may have a minimum stay requirement, while others may allow early termination under certain circumstances. It's important to review the hostel's contract and termination policies before signing up. If you anticipate the possibility of needing to terminate your contract early, communicate with the hostel management to understand the options available to you.
Q8: How can I get involved in the hostel community and make friends?
A8: Student hostels in Canada often organize social events, workshops, and activities to foster a sense of community among residents. Participating in these events is a great way to meet fellow students and make friends. Additionally, utilizing common areas such as lounges, study rooms, and communal kitchens provides opportunities for interaction and socializing with other hostel residents.
Q9: Can I have visitors in my hostel room?
A9: Each hostel has its own visitor policy, which may vary. While some hostels allow visitors during specific hours, others may have restrictions or require prior approval. It's important to familiarize yourself with the visitor policy of your chosen hostel and ensure that any guests adhere to the guidelines to maintain a harmonious living environment for all residents.
Q10: Can I transfer to a different hostel if I'm not satisfied with my initial choice?
A10: Transferring to a different hostel within the same organization may be possible, subject to availability and the hostel's transfer policies. It's recommended to discuss your concerns with the hostel management, and they will provide guidance on the options available to you.