Housing and transportation

On-campus housing

Once you have applied and received admission from a BC school, the next step is to plan where you are going to live. BC has many options for students.

Most institutions have residences where students live on campus. Convenience, proximity to the school and classroom, as well as overall experience of “rez life” are a few reasons to choose on-campus housing. Living on campus gives students the chance to meet fellow students and participate in activities and events held by residence advisors. There is usually a very high demand for on-campus housing, so apply early!

For more information on types of room and surrounding facility, check with your school’s housing website or International Student Office.

Off-campus housing

To save costs or to gain the "full BC experience," you may choose to live off-campus. When choosing a place to live you should consider the location and whether there are available transit routes nearby. Visit the Tenants BC website for tips on renting.


Some institutions may offer a homestay program. This is especially the case for K-12 schools who accept young students arriving in Canada without their parents. A homestay program allows students to live with Canadian families. Staying with a host family allows you to be exposed to local culture and customs and is a fantastic way to improve your English.

For more information, please contact the public school district or independent school where your child will attend.


Travel within BC is very safe and reliable.

If you are attending a school in the Metro Vancouver area, please check with your Student Services office to see if your tuition or fees includes a transit pass. If not, you can purchase a rechargeable pass – called the Compass Card – at several locations.

     Some places to purchase your Compass Card:

  • Compass Vending Machines (CVMs) at SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express stations and many London Drugs locations
  • Online at compasscard.ca
  • Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station
  • West Coast Express Customer Service Centre, 2nd floor, Waterfront Station
  • By calling 604.398.2042

For more information about the Compass Card and about travel in or around the Metro Vancouver area please visit the Translink website.