Cost of living In Surrey

What Is The Cost Of Living As A Student In Surrey?

Living in Surrey is fun specially if you are a student. The ease of travelling to different location without any hassle and all the shopping distance at a walking distance is something that a student always look for.

When I first came to Canada, surrey was the first place I choose to live as my college is in downtown Vancouver but I can’t deny the fact that I met some of the best people, food and visited religious places, park and shopping malls.

To simply put, the cost of living in Surrey can be anywhere between $1300 to $2500 per month depending on many factors that I will be discussing further in this article. So, without any further a do, let’s dive in and clean all your doubts and myths about living in Surrey, Canada as an International Student.

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Surrey: An Overview

Surrey is a vibrant city located in the province of British Columbia, Canada. As one of the largest cities in the province, Surrey boasts a diverse population and a thriving community. It is situated in the Greater Vancouver area, just south of the city of Vancouver. With its close proximity to Vancouver and its own unique offerings, Surrey has become an attractive destination for international students.

Why Surrey Is A Popular Destination For International Student?

Surrey has gained recognition as a preferred choice for international students seeking educational opportunities in Canada. The city is home to several reputable educational institutions, including Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus, and the Douglas College Surrey Training Centre. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs, creating a favourable environment for international students to pursue their education.

Furthermore, Surrey’s multicultural atmosphere and diverse community contribute to a welcoming environment for students from around the world. Students have the opportunity to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds, promoting a rich and inclusive learning experience. The city also provides a range of support services for international students, including assistance with visas, accommodations, and cultural integration.

Considering the significance of Surrey as an educational hub and its cultural diversity, it is important for international students to understand the cost of living in this city. By being aware of the expenses associated with studying and residing in Surrey, students can effectively plan their finances and ensure a comfortable living experience while pursuing their academic goals.

1. Accommodation Expenses In Surrey

Accommodation Expenses In Surrey

A. On-campus housing options

1. Cost of dormitories and shared apartments

Before moving to any house, basement or apartment, start looking for on-campus housing options such as dormitories and shared apartments. The cost of dormitories can vary depending on many factors such as room size and the location of the campus.

On the other hand, shared apartments (where you will be sharing with bedroom with another person) are more affordable if compared with dormitories. The price of on-campus housing can cost anywhere between $1,200 to $1,500 per month and can go higher depending on the amenities you have chosen.

2. Availability of meal plans

College and Universities do offer a meal plans for their students residing on campus but this meal plan comes with a particular number of meals per semester. For example, if you are studying in SFU, the university offers different meal plan that can cost you anywhere between $3,000 to $3,600 (or $750 to $800 per month) for the semester.

B. Off-campus housing options

1. Cost of Apartment And Basements

Surrey offers a variety of price for basement and apartments that can start from $600 to $2500 per month which depends on your needs, location and requirement. A one bedroom in a two bedroom shared apartment can cost you anywhere between $1,000 to $1,200 but if you choose to live in one bedroom apartment then it will cost you $1,900 to $2,200 per month including amenities.

Additionally, I highly recommend you to consult with different people about the location and the price of the place if you are looking for a place for the very first time. They may charge you higher compared to other people living in the same house or apartment.

2. Additional Utilities

In addition to the rent, you must consider additional costs such as utilities and internet services. Utilities include electricity, heating, water, and sometimes garbage disposal. These costs can vary depending on the size of the accommodation and the season.

On average, utility costs for a one-bedroom apartment in Surrey can range from $50 to $150 per month. Talking about my utilities and internet services expenses, I pay around $90 per month for these expenses. I also written an articles on 7+ ways to get Unlimited Internet to solve your Internet issues.

Here is my exact Utilities & Internet Service Expenses.

Expense TypeCost
Electricity$25 – $30
Total$85 – $90
Utilities And Internet Service In 2023

2. Transportation Cost In Surrey

Transportation In Surrey

A. Public transportation

Surrey has a well-developed public transport system also known as TransLink, starting from King George Station to Waterfront (Downtown Vancouver) which includes buses and skytrains. The cost of bus passes and ticket in Surrey depends on the distance you are travelling and the type of fare.

Additionally, TransLink offers a various fare options, including single-use Compass Ticket, Compass Card and the monthly pass. If you using TransLink services on a regular basis, I will high recommend you using a bus pass that can cost you around $194 max per month for 3 zones.

But, if you are below 19 years then you can avail the same pass for $60 per month for 3 zones which is pretty decent. Further more there are many universities in British Columbia that are registered in U-Pass Bc program, which provide unlimited transit access at a significantly discounted rates.

You can check you college name in the list of U-Pass BC Programs list here.

Here is the list of College eligible for offering U-Pass.

  • University of British Columbia
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Capilano University
  • Langara College
  • Emily Carr University of Art & Design
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Douglas College
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

B. Other transportation options

1. owning a car or using ride-sharing services

Owning a car in Surrey involves additional costs such as purchasing or leasing the vehicle, insurance, maintenance, fuel, and parking fees. And as an International student, the cost of managing personal expenses and paying for a car monthly instalment, insurance can be challenging.

Here, you can use ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft for occasional transportation needs. The cost of these services may vary depending on the time, distance travelled and the location. For example, the cost of using Uber at peak hours (office hours) is much higher than using at any other time.

In case you are planning to own a car then you must understand the ways to save money on car expenses as well as saving money as an International student is for emergency situations.

2. Parking expenses on or off-campus

If students choose to own a car with a part-time job, they should consider parking expenses on or off-campus.

On-campus parking facilities may have designated parking areas for students, and the cost can range from $200 to $450 per semester. You can also check the On-campus parking offered by SFU Burnaby campus here to have a brief understand about the prices.

Off-campus parking rates in Surrey vary depending on the location and the parking provider. It is advisable to research and compare prices for long-term parking options. I live near Surrey Central Station and here the estimated cost of parking in apartments is $120 to $150 per month depending on the car you own.

3. Groceries Cost In Surrey

A. Average cost of groceries

The average cost of groceries in Surrey can vary depending on factors such as the type of store, brand preferences, and personal dietary choices. However, to provide a general estimate, let’s consider the prices of common grocery items.

Basic food staples like rice, pasta, and bread are typically affordable, with prices ranging from $1 to $3 per package. Fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, can vary in price depending on the season and availability, but on average, you can expect to spend around $1 to $3 per pound. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt usually range from $2 to $5 per item.

Meat and poultry prices can vary depending on the cut and quality. For example, boneless, skinless chicken breasts can range from $4 to $8 per pound, while ground beef may cost around $4 to $6 per pound. Canned goods, snacks, and beverages generally range from $1 to $5 per item.

It’s important to note that these are approximate prices and can vary depending on the specific grocery store and any ongoing promotions or discounts. Comparison shopping and utilizing loyalty programs or discount cards can help reduce grocery expenses.

B. Price range of dining out options

Surrey offers a diverse range of dining out options, including fast food, casual restaurants, and higher-end establishments. The prices can vary depending on the type of cuisine, location, and overall dining experience. Here is a general price range for dining out options in Surrey:

Fast Food: Fast food chains like McDonald’s, Subway, or Wendy’s offer affordable options, with combo meals ranging from $5 to $10.

Casual Restaurants: Mid-range restaurants and cafes in Surrey typically offer a variety of dishes at moderate prices. Main course prices can range from $10 to $20 per meal.

Higher-end Restaurants: Fine dining establishments or upscale restaurants may have higher prices, with main course prices ranging from $20 to $50 or more.

C. Comparison of prices with other cities

When comparing food and grocery expenses with other cities, it’s essential to consider factors such as regional cost of living and availability of local produce. While Surrey’s prices may differ slightly from other cities, it’s generally comparable to the average cost of living in Canada.

Major cities like Vancouver or Toronto may have slightly higher food and grocery expenses due to higher living costs. On the other hand, smaller towns or rural areas may have lower prices, especially for fresh produce sourced locally.

Final Words

Surrey is a vibrant place to live and the environment as well people are pretty nice. But as an International student, it is very crucial to take care of your cost of living from day one. This will help in building a good financial habit and help you in saving money and creating an efficient budget.

Finally, I hope you have gained an overall understanding about cost of living in Surrey and what you can expect as a resident of Surrey.

Will see you next time!!

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