Living & Studying in Vancouver

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching. The University is consistently ranked among the best 40 universities in the world and is home to more than 40,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students. In addition to offering an excellent education combined with competitive tuition rates, UBC’s Vancouver campus is located 30 minutes from the heart of downtown Vancouver, one of the most livable cities in the world.


Cost of Living

The actual cost of living varies considerably between individuals, but is typically around $20,000 per year. Tuition fees need to be added to this total. The largest cost is housing, which varies according to the type of accommodation and where in the city you choose to live. Our students live all over the city – from the convenience of on-campus apartments to neighborhoods such as Kitsilano, Main Street and Commercial Drive. Vancouver has a large public transit system and your student fees cover monthly subsidized transit passes. A Cost of Living calculator on the G+PS website allows you to input details specific to your own situation although the calculator can only provide a broad approximation of what it might cost you to live in Vancouver.


Vancouver and the surrounding regions

Vancouver is located in the southwest corner of British Columbia, nestled between the Coast Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. The city, which is just 40 km north of the U.S. border, is considered the most livable city in North America. Vancouver is also one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. Check out more photographs of Vancouver here as well as this short video.

The city has a mild climate with warm, breezy summers and mild, wet winters. Snow is rare in the city but is plentiful on the surrounding mountains (perfect for snowboarding and skiing). Three ski resorts – Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour – are less than 1 hour from campus. The largest ski resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb, is only about a 2 hour drive north of Vancouver. Other outdoor activities – hiking, camping, mountain biking, or simply lying on the beach – are on your doorstep. Surrounded by the ocean, Vancouver is also a centre for water activities including sailing, kayaking and scuba diving. This website lists just some of the activities available.

But it’s not just about the great outdoors! Vancouver has a vibrant music, arts and culture scene and is one of the largest film production centres in North America.

To get an idea of current news, events and things to do in Vancouver, take a look at the Inside Vancouver and Daily Hive blogs.

UBC Student Services has lots of additional information for domestic and international students about living and studying in Vancouver as well as “quality of life” topics.