British Columbia not only offers a world class education, it’s also a great place to live. There are many safe housing options both on and off-campus.
The cost of living in BC may be higher than what you are used to at home. It’s important you understand the costs of living in BC ahead of time so you can prepare to support yourself.
Your housing costs will be different depending on whether you live on- or off-campus. Living in Metro Vancouver is expensive, and it could be difficult to find affordable accommodation.
Talk to your school, college, or university about the resources they have to help you find suitable accommodation for your stay. Visit EduCanada’s website to prepare your budget to study in Canada.
Homestay offers you the opportunity to learn about life in BC by living with a host family.
This type of accommodation involves staying with a Canadian host or host family, who offer a furnished room and meals for a set fee. Homestay accommodation is inspected, and family members are screened either by your school or the agency.
Contact your institution’s international education office for more information on homestay opportunities. If your institution does not co-ordinate a homestay program, it may be able to provide contact information for an agency that does.
Living on-campus is a great way for you to meet new friends and learn about the culture of your campus. To find out the availability of on campus housing, contact your institution’s international education office.
On-campus housing varies depending on your institution and whether you have a single room, double room, or a room in an apartment-style suite. Costs range from roughly $6,500 to $20,000 per academic year (September to April).
Living off-campus is another way to learn more about the area and explore BC. If you live off-campus, your rent may or may not include heat, electricity, water, telephone, or internet service. This is an important thing to ask your landlord, as these costs can add up. Typically, landlords expect rent to be paid monthly. Rental costs depend on the city, ranging from roughly $600 to as much as $2,600 per month.
Where to search:
Before you rent make sure to visit tenants.bc.ca to become familiar with some of the rights that you have as a tenant, designed to protect you.
Before you sign a lease or pay a deposit make sure that you thoroughly inspect the place you are reviewing.
Here are some things to check:
Here are some things you should ask before you rent:
You should consider purchasing renters insurance to cover your belongings against fire, theft, and damage. To purchase renters insurance, visit any insurance broker or credit union in your area. Rates may vary depending on where you go.
If you are renting it is possible to find places that are fully furnished. Most places are not furnished so you may need to buy some items to furnish your place.
BC has many shopping malls and big outlet stores. A more economical route is to look in your local newspaper under the classifieds, go to garage sales, look online, or visit the Salvation Army or Value Village for good deals on used furniture. Check your campus bulletin boards for people selling their furniture and household accessories.