Accommodation, like every other thing, in Saskatchewan is as easy to secure as it can be, even as a student. Do you remember we mentioned cost of living as one of the factors that will determine an applicant’s interest in a city? While there are provisions for residence on various school campuses, should you decide to live off-campus, you would see why it is beneficial to have considered the cost of living. When making an accommodation decision, you will have to consider how much you can afford to pay as rental pricing can be between $700 and $1200 per month. From an average of $650-800 per month for a single room, you can secure accommodation in Saskatchewan as an international student without company (family or dependants). And depending on the size of your family, and your budget, you can access larger accommodation. A student has the option of on-campus, off-campus and homestay and they all have their pros and cons. Let’s analyze them below.
Most post-secondary schools in Saskatchewan have student residences for students. On-campus residence often has paid meal plan, furnished rooms, laundry plan, and utilities (electricity, water and heating) included in the rental fee. Rental prices for on-campus residence may vary depending on if it is a single or double unit (basically if there will be shared spaces or not), the extra amenities available, and walkable distance to classes, For instance, Single Unit residence at the University of Saskatchewan costs $10,579 per term (8-month term) while Double Unit cost $9,549 (please not that there may be monthly or per term increment). You may be required to pay residence security deposit to hold an offer, an application fee when you apply or both. To know which option of on-campus residence to go for, you can view your institution’s housing website to determine which will be available and how to apply.
International students looking for more housing options or to explore their city beyond campus life may want to consider living outside the institution premises. There are one-bedroom apartments, shared apartments and houses to choose from. You might want to budget around $1,2500 per month for rent and look for houses close to your institution. You should be clear on the inclusion of utilities fee in the rent amount before signing the papers or making payments. Also a good tip is to note damages already on the property to avoid forfeiting security or caution deposits at the end of the rent duration. You can get rental offers on Craiglist, Kijiji, rentals.ca and many similar sites. Because online listings have the potential to be scams, you might want to be extra careful with sending money and personal information.
Though an off-campus accommodation, It is different in that a student live with a host family in their home. Ideally students who live in home stay are younger in years. Some of the networks that provide this service are: Canada Homestay Network and Homestay.com
The host family typically take care of meals and cleaning but they generally cost more.
In summary, out of all three options, on-campus residence has more benefits due to the following:
- Residence fee is fixed per term
- Little or no transportation fare
- Easy access to the library, study areas and other campus amenities
- No weather limitation.
If you choose to live in school-provided residences, you must pay attention to applicable terms and conditions of use, like when to apply, cancellation, fees, etc. For example in the University of Saskatchewan;
- You are advised to submit your application for residence as soon as is convenient once the application process is declared open, as allocation will be done in the order of application.
- A non-refundable $75 CDN application fee is required
- Applications are completed online via the Residence Housing Portal. Applicants are to register or login using an “NSID” obtained through USASK Admissions.
- Room Offers are often emailed to successful applicants. Always check your email for updates on your application.
- Successful applicants are required to make an advanced “Room Offer Acceptance Fee (ROAF)” payment before the payment deadline, to secure their room booking.
- If you have any reason to cancel your application, please do as soon as possible.
These, and more (depending on the DLI), are terms you must be mindful of.
Whether you plan to live on- or off- campus, each has its own unique experience and of course there are online platforms ranging from institutions’ student support units to rental websites that can help you make it happen.