BP101: Studying in Canada

Best Places to Study in Vancouver for International Students

This article highlights the benefits of studying in Vancouver for international students, detailing the city's top educational institutions, living costs, and study environments. It serves as a comprehensive guide for prospective students considering Vancouver for their higher education.
Written by: BorderPass Corp.
Last updated:  
April 2024

Have you decided to study in Vancouver? That's a fantastic choice! 

Vancouver is considered one of the prime locations for international students pursuing higher education.

This is no coincidence because Vancouver is blessed with natural beauty and provides excellent opportunities for international students.

However, you're probably wondering which are the best universities and colleges in Vancouver. Have you considered the cost of living and studying in Vancouver?

In this article, we'll answer all your questions about studying in Vancouver and help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

Why Study In Vancouver?

You will always find Vancouver in a high position on all the lists of the best cities for students in Canada.

Vancouver has a robust education system featuring world-renowned universities and colleges offering diverse academic programs.

The city's inclusivity attracts students worldwide, creating a cultural melting pot for enriched learning.

Students can work part-time in Vancouver to gain practical experience alongside their studies. International students in Canada can work on campus without any hourly limits or off-campus for up to 20 hours per week.


Vancouver provides a tranquil setting for studying and introspection, surrounded by mountains and ocean, making it perfect for academic pursuits and well-being. Safety and diversity are also major draws for students.

Key reasons to study in Vancouver:

  • An inclusive and diverse cultural environment
  • Strong focus on environmental science and sustainability
  • Flexible part-time work options for students
  • Beautiful natural surroundings and quality of life
  • Safe, rights-respecting community with numerous postgraduate opportunities

International students can learn why they chose Canada for their higher education through various resources and platforms, such as BorderPass.

What is the Best Place to Study in Vancouver?

For international students in Vancouver, finding the ideal study spot is key to academic success. 

Koerner Library is known for its tranquil environment. It's a prime spot for students who must concentrate on complex projects or prepare for finals.

Waves Café at 1198 West Pender Street is an excellent spot for students. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and good coffee for studying.

Vancouver offers the following options for off-campus studying:

  • Public Libraries: Multiple branches across the city with quiet zones.
  • Community Centers: Some offer study rooms.
  • Parks: Perfect for studying on a sunny day in non-rainy seasons.

Top Universities In Vancouver For International Students

Vancouver is a popular destination for international students, with many highly regarded universities recognized worldwide.

University of British Columbia

It is no coincidence that the University of British Columbia is probably the first university you will encounter when looking for a university in Canada.

University of British Columbia (UBC) stands out as a top-tier institution for its high global ranking at #34 globally and campus facilities. Students can study in libraries and outdoor areas with scenic views.

UBC Fees for Top Courses

UBC fee structures for international students vary by program. For instance, international tuition fees for undergraduate programs typically range from CAD 39,000 to CAD 52,000 per year.

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University (SFU), distinguished for its vital academic programs and scenic campuses, is another top choice for international students in Vancouver.

SFU Tuition Fees

SFU's tuition fees for international students reflect the quality of its education, starting at around CAD 25,000 per year for most undergraduate programs.

University Canada West

University Canada West is noted for its business and management courses, providing a focused environment for international students to excel in their chosen fields.

Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University offers a personalized learning environment committed to student success and cultural understanding, making it conducive to international education.

Capilano University

Capilano University is known for its smaller class sizes and attentive faculty, which are ideal for students who thrive in a more intimate learning setting.

Columbia College

Columbia College offers a pathway for international students to transition smoothly into the Canadian education system, with various programs that prepare them for university study.

Emily Carr University of Art & Design

For creative international students, Emily Carr University of Art & Design stands out with its reputation for excellence in arts, design, and media education.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Kwantlen Polytechnic University provides a practical learning approach with numerous programs, including cooperative education and internships.

Langara College

Known for its robust university transfer programs, Langara College allows international students to start their educational journey and seamlessly move to a university later.

British Columbia Institute of Technology

British Columbia Institute of Technology offers specialized technical and business programs, focusing on skills that will lead to employment after graduation.

Top Colleges In Vancouver For International Students

Vancouver is home to several esteemed colleges that offer a diverse range of programs catering to the educational aspirations of international students. 

The affordable tuition and access to metropolitan experiences make these institutions highly desirable among international students.

Vancouver Community College

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is a public institution recognized for its comprehensive programs and inclusive environment. 

The college offers career-focused courses, ranging from hospitality to business, ensuring a practical approach to education. 

Columbia College

Columbia College provides international students with various programs and is known for its transfer courses, allowing students to progress to universities.


With an average tuition fee of approximately CAD 17,550, it is an affordable option for international learners seeking quality education in Vancouver.

Ashton College

Ashton College specializes in programs for adult learners, focusing on continuing education and professional development.


Ashton offers specialized education in Human Resources and Immigration Consulting via diplomas and certificates, catering to those seeking to enhance specific skill sets.

Langara College

Langara College offers a range of academic and vocational programs, and it is known for its expansive arts and science courses.


The college provides a welcoming environment for international students with affordable tuition fees.

Eton College

At Eton College, the emphasis is on hospitality, business, and travel and tourism programs. 

The college's curriculum is tailored to equip students with the latest industry knowledge and skills, making it ideal for those interested in dynamic fields.

Cost of Studying and Living in Vancouver, Canada

In addition to Vancouver's excellent education system, it's essential to understand the financial aspects of studying and living in this Canadian city.

International students in Vancouver can expect to pay between CAD 20,000 and CAD 30,000 per year for undergraduate programs and between CAD 15,000 and CAD 35,000 for postgraduate programs.

Students have various housing options, including university residences and private rentals. University accommodations range from CAD 11,521.99 to CAD 14,191.96 per year per bed. For private rentals, the costs can vary significantly based on location and amenities.

Living Expenses:

  • Food: Approximately CAD 300 to CAD 600 per month
  • Transportation: A monthly transit pass in Vancouver costs about CAD 100
  • Utilities: Around CAD 100 to CAD 150 per month for essential utilities
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Can average CAD 200 to CAD 300 per month

Given these expenses, the total average cost of living for a student in Vancouver can reach up to CAD 37,000 per year, excluding tuition. This includes rent, food, transport, and other living expenses.

Admission Requirements For The Best Universities In Vancouver

When considering universities in Vancouver, international students should critically examine various admission standards. 

Leading institutions like the University of British Columbia (UBC) set high expectations for prospective students.

University of British Columbia (UBC):

  • GPA: Minimum 2.5/4.0 (equivalent to 80%)
  • Language Proficiency: IELTS score of at least 7.0 or equivalent TOEFL score
  • Additional requirements may include strong letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and extracurricular involvement.

Different universities may have unique requirements. However, the baseline for graduate studies generally involves:

  • A good academic standing with a solid GPA.
  • Proficiency in the English language.
  • Other relevant documentation to support the application.

Key Takeaways

  1. International students in Vancouver find a welcoming, inclusive environment, part-time job opportunities, beautiful natural surroundings, and a safe community that respects individual rights.
  2. The top universities in Vancouver include the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), the University of Canada West, and Vancouver Island University.
  3. Vancouver Community College, Columbia College, Ashton College, Langara College, and Eton College are among the top colleges in Vancouver.
  4. Prospective students can make informed choices by evaluating academic interests, finances, and admission criteria in this Canadian city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Chart for Trading?

For international students studying finance or economics in Vancouver, the best chart for trading depends on the trader's strategy and preferred analysis. Common charts include lines, bars, and candlesticks.

Where is the Cheapest Place to Study in Canada?

While Vancouver offers various educational institutions, students seeking more cost-effective options throughout Canada could explore cities such as Sherbrooke, Quebec, or Brandon, Manitoba, which are known for their lower tuition fees and living expenses.

What is the Nicest City in Canada?

"Nicest" can be subjective, but many international students find Vancouver one of Canada's most appealing cities due to its diverse culture, scenic beauty, and quality education system.

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