International Students

2. Planning your Budget

Being prepared starts with a detailed budget!

Before starting your program, you must ensure that you have adequate funds to pay for your expenses throughout the duration of your program, before leaving your country of origin. If you are not exempt from differential tuition fees, you must be prepared to pay all expenses incurred throughout your program. You cannot rely on the possibility of becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada to pay lower tuition fees, given that this status is generally acquired once education has been completed.

If you are admitted to a research-based program (Master's or PhD) and are receiving funding from your supervisor, the financial assistance might not cover all of your expenses. For example, it might be sufficient to cover tuition fees, but not living expenses and insurance.  Also, be sure to discuss with your supervisor the conditions associated with renewing this financial assistance beyond your first year of study.

Keep in mind that Polytechnique Montréal offers a limited number of scholarships and financial aids. Though it is possible to find part-time work on campus and off-campus, wages will be insufficient to cover all of your expenses. 


Here is some information that will help you evaluate your yearly expenses:

Students in degree-granting programs
Bachelor's in Engineering (including "année préparatoire")

Approximate Yearly Budget (in French)
Detailed Tuition fees (in French)

Graduate studies (DESS, Non-Thesis Master's, Research-Based Master's, Doctorate)

Approximate Yearly Budget
Detailed Tuition fees 

Exchange students 

If you receive an invoice during the term, you can ignore it, because you do not need to pay tuition fees (some exceptions exist).

Double degree students (leading to a Master's): Refer to your admission letter for information about your tuition fees, and other miscellaneous fees applicable to your program. Please consult this page for examples of yearly budgets, determined as per various situations.

Proof of financial capacity

When you arrive in Canada, the Border Officer may ask to see your financial capacity documents, even if you have already provided them during your immigration process. Therefore, make sure you arrive in Canada with updated financial documents demonstrating that you have the funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada.

Travel funds

Plan to arrive in Canada with enough money so you won’t be caught short if a funds transfer takes longer than expected. Ideally, come equipped with a variety of means of payment — cash, credit cards, travellers' cheques and so on.

Remember that you can expect to encounter substantial moving-related expenses during your first two months in Canada.

If you don’t already have one, you are also strongly advised to get a MasterCard or Visa credit card before leaving, since you may experience difficulties with other types of credit cards.  American Express is accepted in some places, but its use is more limited.

Transferring funds to Canada

Transferring money from your home bank to your bank in Montréal is a quick and efficient way to have access to funds, and on average takes three working days. To facilitate the process, choose a Canadian bank that has affiliations with your home bank, and open an account as soon as you arrive. Some banks also offer the option of opening an account online from abroad, which would allow you to transfer money into your Canadian account prior to your arrival. 

Bank drafts

You may also choose to have a bank draft made out to you and payable to a Canadian bank. While this is a safe way to transfer funds, be warned that it can take up to 30 working days to access your funds after you’ve opened an account and deposited the money.

Converting foreign currency into Canadian dollars

Converting your country’s currency into Canadian dollars can be done in your home country before you leave, or in Montréal, at either a bank or foreign exchange bureau. Find out in advance which method is to your advantage, because exchange rate varies from day to day.

The Montréal Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport has foreign exchange offices on the premises. However, if your flight arrives late in the day, they may be closed, leaving you without Canadian currency. We recommend you bring Canadian currency with you. Note: if you bring cash, be sure to have smaller denominations on hand, since $100 bills are not widely accepted.