What I have encountered thus far and things to consider when applying.
- So first I should probably make you aware that Vancouver is quite an expensive place to live.
- Food shopping is probably roughly 10-20% more expensive (but as a student you probably know that it’s possible to cook cheap).
- Alcohol is slightly more expensive.
- Tax is not included in most prices that you see on the shelf, so generally add 10% more to the price you see.
- Buses around Vancouver are free when you are a student at UBC (this is included in your fee’s)
- Skiing and the ski resorts areas expensive as you make it.
- Season lift pass to Whistler is roughly $550 (daily $100-$150).
For international students living on campus there is really only two options to stay: Walter Gage (where I am staying) and Fairview Crescent.
3 tower blocks where a lot of international and full time first year students stay, it has a great social scene and is easy to meet people at the beginning of term. 6 people share a flat (single gender only) and unfortunately there is only 1 toilet and 2 showers between everyone. You will need to provide bedding and all the usual kitchen supplies (pots, pans, knives, cutlery etc). They also don’t provide an iron, kettle or toaster strangely (another bit off your budget)
Fairview Crescent has a suburban housing feel. Also great to meet people and closer to the supermarket
Check out the pricing of each on the UBC website. I also think Gage has the best location near the bus loop (connecting you to Downtown Vancouver), the student union and the gym/swimming pool.
UBC students with a Canadian Study Permit are enrolled onto iMed, MSP and AMS insurance plans which cover basic health insurance (check into what these cover as they might not cover specific sports injuries or dental) You need to pay monthly instalments of these, but it’s much cheaper than buying annual year long travel insurance.
You will still need travel insurance to fly out to Vancouver and if you want to travel into the states.
I flew with WestJet from Glasgow, they are the cheapest (see previous blog)
Documents to study here:
Canadian Study Permit: you get this through the ‘CIC’ website, information is available on UBC ‘Go Global’ page.
Temporary Residence Visa – If you are a UK citizen you DON’T need this.
The campus is about 40mins bus journey from Downtown Vancouver.
It’s on a peninsula entirely cut off from most of the city. This can be good at times, but you can feel like things are always a bit of a distance to get to. However, UBC has pretty much everything you need (which is all overpriced).
The campus has beautiful views of the mountains and Vancouver Island, scenic gardens and regional parks to wander round and even has it’s own nudist beach.
The student body is 60 000, with a huge Asian population and other international students. Hence the campus is more like a separate town.
Entertainment and Weekend Trips:
- Vancouver island – Victoria, Tofino (surf town), whale watching, nature tours.
- Popular hikes – Black Tusk, Garibaldi National Park, Elfin Lakes, Squamish Chief, Garibaldi Lake, Joffre Lake.
- Skiing – Whistler (3hours) and many other ski resorts nearby.
- Seattle is 3 hours away as well as national parks in Washington state.
- The Rockies and Banff is 10 hour drive away (long weekend trip)
- The annual salmon runs
- Canucks Ice Hockey
See previous blog post.
International students take 3/4 3 credit courses per semester at UBC.
I would recommend if you come here to get involved in the Varsity Outdoor Club (hiking, climbing, mountaineering, kayaking etc…), Ski and Board Club, Surf Club or Park Club. These are all outdoors clubs and if you are in BC you really want to take advantage of the outdoors. As well as this there are hundreds of other clubs you will be able to find online.
I am involved in Varsity Outdoors Club – they offer great trips away every weekend (usually multiple in the one weekend). These as well can be very cheap as you only need to pay for fuel and possibly $10 camping.
Feel free to contact me for any other questions you need answered.
Facebook seems to be the easiest place to get me (check UofG facebook page).