Vancouver , the largest coastal city in British Columbia, is Canada’s third most populous city and offers a laid-back West Coast urban entertainment arena filled with glass towers framed by oceans and mountains. It is, above all, recognized for its natural beauty and its cultural diversity.
Vancouver has been named the third most livable city in the world by The Economist and that livability becomes evident as you stroll through the bustling and picturesque city.
Whether you are walking through its green parks, surrounded by nature, or immersed in modern architectural works, or practicing an outdoor activity such as kayaking, skiing or hiking, Vancouver will offer you the best experience that you will never forget.
- Living in Vancouver
If you decide to study and work in Vancouver, you will live in the place that blends the city with exquisite and modern architecture with the beautiful nature offered by the unique landscapes of Canada. It is a neat, clean, safe and livable city that will offer you the best contrasts you can imagine.
Vancouver has been named the third most livable city in the world by The Economist
Warmed by the currents of the Pacific Ocean and protected by a range of mountains, Vancouver’s climate is mild throughout the year. From 20ºC in summer to temperate degrees between 0º and 5ºC in winter, the climate is always hospitable.
In spring temperatures can range between 10 ° and 18 ° C. You should not forget to take an umbrella with you as unexpected precipitation can fall.
In summer you can enjoy a warm but not suffocating climate, which will allow you to practice sports outdoors and enjoy nature or summer afternoons with friends. The average temperature is 18 ° C, and can reach maximums of up to 26 ° C.
In autumn the weather can vary depending on the day. The average temperature ranges between 11 ° C and 14 ° C. The trick is to always carry a light coat and an umbrella with you.
In winter the temperatures are lower, but not as low as you imagined. The average temperature is about 6 ° C, and can sometimes drop to cause light snowfalls. But this will allow for fun activities and winter sports such as skiing, ice skating, etc.
- Cost of living
Vancouver is not the cheapest city in Canada, in fact, it is the most expensive city. But this is not surprising considering the very high level and quality of life that this city offers.
But this does not mean that you cannot have the possibility of living in Vancouver, since while studying you will be able to work and thus obtain the necessary income to pay for your stay.
You will learn to manage your economy, you will improve your level of English, you will study in prestigious international institutions and you will obtain work experience that will enrich your CV.
Here are some examples of the cost of living in Vancouver.
You should bear in mind that the expenses may depend on what type of accommodation you prefer and in which area it is located. To give you a rough idea, prices can range from:
- Rent of a furnished apartment: CAD $ 2,200
- Rent a furnished studio: CAD $ 1,600
- Room in a shared apartment: CAD $ 600 – 1,000
One of the great advantages of Vancouver is its effective public transportation system. If you need to get anywhere fast, you have several options: buses, trolleybuses, metro, train and ferry.
The city is divided into three zones and prices vary depending on the area you need to get to.
- Zone 1: CAD $ 2.85. The monthly pass is at CAD $ 93
- Zone 2: CAD $ 4.10. The monthly pass is at CAD $ 126
- Zone 3: CAD $ 5.60. The monthly pass is at CAD $ 172
Another option that the city offers are the exclusive lanes for bicycles. It is a cheaper option, and more ecological, that you can take daily to go to the educational institution or to your workplace.
You must take into account the service costs for your accommodation, as long as they are not included in the rental price. These are approximate prices.
- Light, water and electricity costs for 1 person: CAD $ 70
- Internet: CAD $ 61 per month
Food expenses will depend on whether you prefer to eat at the institution or on your own. You should bear in mind that, if you want to make purchases in a supermarket, the amount can increase up to CAD $ 300 per person. It will always depend on what type of food and where you buy it. For example, the cheapest supermarkets are Costco, Nofrills.
Some examples can be found in the following list:
- Chicken breast (500 gr): CAD $ 7
- Whole milk (1 lt): CAD $ 2.16
- Large eggs (12 units): CAD $ 4.78
- Tomatoes (1 kg): CAD $ 4.49
- Potatoes (1 kg): CAD $ 3.17
- Six pack of cheap beer: CAD $ 10
- 2 liters of Coca Cola: CAD $ 2.38
- 2-in-1 shampoo (400 ml): CAD $ 7
- Deodorant (50ml): CAD $ 5.55
2.5. Leisure expenses
Finally, no matter how much you try to minimize costs, you know that you will not be able to resist meeting your friends to drink and eat something and do all kinds of activities. Therefore, you must bear in mind that there is a sum of your budget that will go to leisure expenses. An example of the expenses you may have can be found in the following list:
- Normal dinner for two in a normal restaurant: CAD $ 30
- Full menu in fast food restaurant: CAD $ 11
- 2 movie tickets: CAD $ 31
- 1 cocktail or drink in a club or disco in the expensive area: CAD $ 13
- 1 pint beer in a bar: CAD $ 7
- Monthly subscription to a gym: CAD $ 50
- Study and work in Vancouver
Vancouver is not only an ideal city to live in, it is also a financial city and it is also the most important business center on the West Coast of Canada. It therefore has a large labor market and an infinity of jobs in different sectors.
Do not miss the opportunity to live and work in one of the best cities in the world, expand your international work experience, and earn money to pay for your expenses.
3.1. Requirements to work in Canada
- You must be of legal age (over 18 years old)
- Have a visa with permission to work. Generally, if you go to Canada with the intention of studying a higher study program, you will be able to work part-time (20 hours a week) at the same time. For this you will need a Study Permit (or Student Visa), which includes the work permit. This type of visa must be requested at the Canadian embassy by means of a valid passport, letter of acceptance from an accredited institution, complete documentation (proof of financial solvency, medical examinations, biometric tests, etc.).
- Other aspects to consider: before starting your work in Canada, it is advisable to open a bank account and have a Canadian telephone line.
Although Vancouver is home to large multinational companies, the main demand is in the service sector. It is clear that, if you arrive in Canada and you do not have a perfect level of English, in addition to not having much work experience, this is the perfect option that allows you to earn money while working part-time and at the same time studying to train professionally. For students, the main job opportunities are in:
- Hospitality and tourism
- Kitchen helper
- Barista / Barman
- Store clerk
- Construction Apprentice
- Cleaning service
To find work in Vancouver, it is important that you adapt quickly to the job market and its demands. For example, when writing your CV, you should keep in mind that a photo is always required and, in general, they are usually short and with the exact information that each employer asks for. Go prepared for the interview! Write down all the data of interest of the company in question and be proactive and dynamic.
One of the main keys to finding a job is having an open mind to all the opportunities that come up. Any beginning is important to creating your working life in Canada and, of course, all work experiences are worth it.
To find a job, you can start by visiting the areas near your accommodation or university, ask and offer your CV. You can also sign up for offers in networking or social networks or on websites such as: Indeed, Job Bank, Work BC, BC Jobs or Wow Jobs.
- Places of interest
Let’s be clear, if you decide to go to another country, you will not only go to study and work, you will also want to know the place and live the experience intensively. What are the main things you can do and visit in Vancouver?
Being a conscientious city due to the environment, the norm in Vancouver is to do activities and excursions in nature, for example, camping or hiking. During the summer you can have picnics with your friends in the nearby parks, enjoy the beaches, go biking, kayak or simply meet up with your friends to enjoy the nightlife in good company in the Gastown or Granville districts.
In winter, you have the possibility of skiing, ice skating, or simply enjoying the white landscapes that will leave you open-mouthed.
Vancouver offers alternatives for all tastes, it is a city that invites you to get to know it and enjoy it to the fullest.
Some places that you cannot miss:
The lively Gastown neighborhood is characterized by its whistling steam clock, and offers a wide gastronomic offer, with international food outlets, cocktail bars and bars of all kinds. Surrounded by Victorian-style buildings, it offers a multitude of souvenir shops and galleries. Taking a walk or eating out in Gastown will be quite an experience!
4.2 Stanley Park
With its more than 400 hectares, Stanley Park is the largest urban park in all of Canada. Within the perimeter of the park are Lake Beaver and the Lost Lagoon . At the southeastern tip of the peninsula we find the totem poles, replicas of the originals carved by the natives of the region centuries ago.
The Vancouver Aquarium and the promenade (Vancouver Seawall) are other places that we can visit in the vicinity of Stanley Park. It will definitely be worth taking a long walk through this natural space within the city.
4.3 Granville Island
Grandville Island is an island located in False Creek and can be reached by bus or ferry. It is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city . It has a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere, it also offers a fresh food market and an area with many options to eat, buy handicrafts or have a beer or coffee. It is a perfect place to go to spend the day.
4.5 Kitsilano Beach
It is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver and you cannot miss it. During the warmer months you can enjoy this place with your friends, take a refreshing dip and even practice some volleyball-type sport.
4.6 Chinese Garden
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden was the first Chinese garden built outside of China, and is located in the city’s Chinatown that is definitely worth visiting. The garden has guided tours, as well as temporary exhibitions and various celebrations such as the Chinese New Year.
It is a neighborhood in the middle of the city of Vancouver that offers a great gastronomic offer, due to its large number of Asian bakeries, restaurants or supermarkets. In addition, you can stroll through the Chinese Garden of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen after delighting in this exquisite neighborhood.
4.8 Museum of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology is within the grounds of the University of British Columbia. It is considered one of the best museums in Vancouver, it is worth visiting despite being on the outskirts of the city. There are many ethnographic and archaeological exhibits from many cultures around the world
4.9 Grouse Mountain
It is the highest mountain that surrounds Vancouver. You can go up by cable car both day and night and, once in the mountains, you can go hiking in summer, or winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding. In addition, from the top of the mountain you will have spectacular views of the city of Vancouver that you cannot miss.
The cost for the cable car is $ 72 per day, and $ 52 per night.
It is the central area of the city. This is where nightlife intensifies, restaurants, shops and boutiques, shopping centers such as CF Pacific and large companies carry out their main activities in this place. Cruises depart from the Canada Place terminal, which is reminiscent of a ship.
4.11 Vancouver Lookout
The Vancouver Lookout should be your first stop on the trip. You cannot miss the spectacular 360 ° view of the city of Vancouver, the majestic mountains that surround it, and even Vancouver Island off the Pacific coast. At 167 m above sea level, you will be able to contemplate one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
4.12 The Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena
Are you a sports lover? Then you can’t miss a visit to the Rogers Arena to see a game by the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver’s ice hockey team.
4.12 Hanging bridge Capilano suede
The 140-meter-long Capilano Suspension Bridge spans the Capilano River in the North Vancouver District. It is the most popular attraction in Vancouver and you should visit it if you are a lover of adrenaline and heights.