How much does it cost to live in Vancouver Canada as a student

The cost of living in Vancouver, Canada, can vary depending on various factors such as lifestyle, accommodation choices, and personal spending habits. Here’s a breakdown of some typical expenses:

  1. Accommodation: Rent is a significant expense in Vancouver. On average, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost between CAD 1,800 to CAD 2,500 per month. Outside the city center, it might range from CAD 1,400 to CAD 2,000 per month. Shared accommodations or renting a room can be cheaper.
  2. Food: Monthly food expenses can range from CAD 300 to CAD 600 depending on whether you cook at home or eat out frequently.
  3. Transportation: Vancouver has an extensive public transportation system (TransLink) including buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus. A monthly transit pass costs approximately CAD 100. If you own a car, you’ll need to budget for gas, insurance, and maintenance.
  4. Utilities: This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. It can amount to around CAD 100 to CAD 200 per month depending on the size of your accommodation and usage.
  5. Internet and Mobile: Internet costs around CAD 50 to CAD 100 per month, and a mobile phone plan might range from CAD 50 to CAD 100 per month.
  6. Health Insurance: International students typically need health insurance. The cost varies, but budget around CAD 50 to CAD 100 per month depending on the coverage.
  7. Miscellaneous: This includes entertainment, clothing, personal care items, and other miscellaneous expenses. Budget around CAD 200 to CAD 400 per month depending on your lifestyle.

Total Estimated Monthly Expenses:

  • Rent (1-bedroom apartment outside city center): CAD 1,400 – CAD 2,000
  • Food: CAD 300 – CAD 600
  • Transportation: CAD 100
  • Utilities: CAD 100 – CAD 200
  • Internet and Mobile: CAD 100
  • Health Insurance: CAD 50 – CAD 100
  • Miscellaneous: CAD 200 – CAD 400

Total Range: CAD 2,250 – CAD 3,600 per month

Please note, these are approximate figures and actual expenses can vary widely based on personal choices and circumstances. It’s advisable to research specific costs and budget accordingly based on your lifestyle and needs as a student in Vancouver.

How much can a student earn in Vancouver

Students in Vancouver can earn varying amounts depending on the type of work they do and their qualifications. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Part-time Jobs: Many students work part-time during their studies. Hourly wages for part-time jobs typically range from CAD 14 to CAD 20 per hour, depending on the industry and job type.
  2. Co-op and Internships: Some students participate in co-op programs or internships related to their field of study. These positions may offer higher hourly wages or even salaries depending on the industry and level of experience.
  3. Summer Jobs: During summer breaks, students often seek full-time employment. Wages for summer jobs can vary widely, but entry-level positions may offer around CAD 15 to CAD 25 per hour.
  4. Skill-Based Jobs: Students with specialized skills (such as in IT, tutoring, or trades) may earn higher wages. Rates can range significantly based on demand and expertise.
  5. Work-Study Programs: Canadian universities may offer work-study programs where students work on campus or in affiliated organizations. These positions often pay competitive wages and provide valuable work experience.

Income Range:

  • Part-time jobs: CAD 14 to CAD 20 per hour
  • Co-op and internships: Varies, but could be higher depending on the field
  • Summer jobs: CAD 15 to CAD 25 per hour (full-time)
  • Skill-based jobs: Rates vary widely, potentially higher than general part-time wages

Students in Vancouver typically work part-time during the school year and may increase their working hours during breaks. It’s important to consider the number of hours you can realistically work alongside your studies to manage workload and finances effectively.

How much money does an international student need to live in Canada

Living expenses for international students in Canada can vary widely depending on the city, lifestyle, and personal choices. Here’s a breakdown of typical expenses to consider:

  1. Tuition Fees: International students usually pay higher tuition fees compared to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Costs vary by program and institution but can range from CAD 15,000 to CAD 35,000 per year or more.
  2. Accommodation: This is typically the largest expense. Costs vary significantly depending on whether you live on-campus, off-campus, or with a host family. In major cities like Vancouver or Toronto, monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range from CAD 1,200 to CAD 2,500 or more.
  3. Food: Monthly grocery expenses can range from CAD 300 to CAD 600, depending on eating habits and dietary choices. Eating out at restaurants will increase this cost.
  4. Transportation: Public transportation costs vary by city. A monthly transit pass can range from CAD 100 to CAD 150. If you plan to use taxis or own a car, budget more for transportation expenses.
  5. Health Insurance: International students must have health insurance while studying in Canada. Costs vary but typically range from CAD 600 to CAD 1,000 per year, depending on the coverage.
  6. Personal Expenses: This includes clothing, entertainment, phone bills, and other personal items. Budget around CAD 200 to CAD 400 per month.
  7. Miscellaneous: Unexpected expenses can arise, such as school supplies, travel, or emergencies. It’s wise to have some savings set aside for these situations.
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Total Estimated Annual Expenses:

  • Tuition fees: CAD 15,000 to CAD 35,000+
  • Accommodation: CAD 14,400 to CAD 30,000 (assuming rent of CAD 1,200 to CAD 2,500 per month)
  • Food: CAD 3,600 to CAD 7,200
  • Transportation: CAD 1,200 to CAD 1,800
  • Health Insurance: CAD 600 to CAD 1,000
  • Personal expenses: CAD 2,400 to CAD 4,800
  • Miscellaneous: CAD 1,000 to CAD 2,000

Total Estimated Annual Cost: CAD 38,200 to CAD 81,800

These figures are estimates and actual costs can vary based on personal lifestyle choices and circumstances. It’s essential for international students to budget carefully and consider all expenses when planning to study in Canada.

Is Vancouver is best for international students

Vancouver can be a great choice for international students, but whether it’s the “best” depends on individual preferences and priorities. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating Vancouver as a destination for international study:

  1. Quality of Education: Vancouver is home to several prestigious universities and colleges, including the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), known for their strong academic programs and research opportunities.
  2. Diverse and Inclusive Environment: Vancouver is known for its multiculturalism and diversity, which can provide a welcoming environment for international students.
  3. Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities: Vancouver is surrounded by mountains, forests, and ocean, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and water sports.
  4. Cost of Living: Vancouver has a high cost of living compared to other Canadian cities, especially when it comes to housing. Rent and other expenses can be significant factors to consider for students on a budget.
  5. Job Opportunities: Vancouver’s economy offers opportunities in various sectors, which can be beneficial for students seeking part-time work or internships related to their studies.
  6. Climate: Vancouver has a mild coastal climate with wet winters and dry summers. Some international students may prefer or dislike this climate depending on their preferences.

Ultimately, whether Vancouver is the “best” choice for international students depends on individual priorities such as academic interests, budget, lifestyle preferences, and career goals. It’s important for prospective students to research and consider these factors to determine if Vancouver aligns with their personal and educational objectives.

Can students work full-time in Vancouver

International students in Canada, including those in Vancouver, are generally allowed to work part-time during their studies and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as summer or winter holidays. Here are the key regulations regarding work opportunities for international students in Vancouver:

  1. Part-Time Work: During the regular academic session (fall and winter semesters), international students can work part-time, up to 20 hours per week off-campus without a work permit. They can work on-campus without a permit as well. This allows students to earn extra income to support themselves while studying.
  2. Full-Time Work: International students can work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar, such as during summer holidays or winter breaks. These breaks are considered as scheduled breaks in their study programs.
  3. Co-op Programs and Internships: Some study programs include mandatory co-op placements or internships as part of the curriculum. International students participating in these programs may be eligible to work full-time during these placements, provided they have the necessary work permits.
  4. Work Permits: In some cases, international students may need to apply for a work permit to work off-campus during their studies. This permit allows them to work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks. The eligibility criteria and application process can vary, so students should check with their designated learning institution and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for specific requirements.
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It’s important for international students to comply with the regulations set by IRCC to ensure they maintain their status in Canada. Working part-time during studies and full-time during breaks can provide valuable work experience and help offset living expenses in Vancouver.

What is the minimum wage for international students in Vancouver

The minimum wage in Vancouver, and throughout the province of British Columbia, applies equally to all workers, including international students. As of my last update in January 2022, the minimum wage in British Columbia is CAD 15.20 per hour. This rate is periodically adjusted by the provincial government, so it’s essential to check for any updates to ensure you have the most current information.

Employers in Vancouver and across British Columbia are required to pay at least the minimum wage to all employees, including international students working part-time during their studies or full-time during scheduled breaks. It’s important for students to be aware of their rights regarding wages and to ensure they receive fair compensation for their work.

Which is better, Toronto or Vancouver for students

Deciding whether Toronto or Vancouver is better for students depends on various factors, including personal preferences, academic interests, career goals, lifestyle, and budget. Here are some considerations for each city:


  1. Academic Institutions: Toronto is home to several prestigious universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University. These institutions offer a wide range of programs and research opportunities.
  2. Diversity and Culture: Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, offering a rich tapestry of cultures, cuisines, and events. This diversity can provide a welcoming environment for international students.
  3. Job Opportunities: Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a major economic hub. It offers abundant opportunities for internships, part-time work, and networking across various industries, potentially benefiting students seeking career advancement or experience.
  4. Cost of Living: While Toronto has a high cost of living, especially in terms of housing, there are also more options for affordable housing compared to Vancouver. Other expenses, such as food and transportation, may vary but generally align with urban centers.
  5. Transportation: Toronto has an extensive public transportation system (TTC) that serves the city and its suburbs, making it relatively convenient for students to travel around.


  1. Quality of Life: Vancouver is renowned for its natural beauty, surrounded by mountains, forests, and the Pacific Ocean. Outdoor enthusiasts may appreciate the city’s proximity to recreational activities like skiing, hiking, and water sports.
  2. Academic Institutions: Vancouver is home to the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), and other reputable institutions. These universities offer strong academic programs and research opportunities.
  3. Climate: Vancouver has a milder climate compared to Toronto, with wet winters and comfortable summers. Some students may prefer this climate for outdoor activities and lifestyle.
  4. Cost of Living: Vancouver has a higher cost of living, particularly in terms of housing. Rent can be expensive, although there are options for shared accommodations or living farther from the city center to reduce costs.
  5. Job Opportunities: Vancouver’s economy offers opportunities in industries such as technology, film and television production, tourism, and natural resources. However, job competition can be significant in certain sectors.


  • Toronto may be preferable for students seeking a bustling urban environment with diverse cultural offerings, abundant job opportunities, and a wide range of academic programs.
  • Vancouver may appeal to students who prioritize outdoor activities, natural beauty, a milder climate, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, despite the higher cost of living.

Ultimately, the “better” choice between Toronto and Vancouver depends on what aspects of student life are most important to the individual student. Both cities have their unique strengths and attractions, making them appealing destinations for international students in Canada.

Where is the best place to live in Vancouver as a student

Choosing the best place to live in Vancouver as a student depends on various factors such as proximity to your university, budget, lifestyle preferences, and access to amenities and public transportation. Here are some popular neighborhoods and areas that are often recommended for students:

  1. UBC (University of British Columbia) Endowment Lands: If you’re studying at UBC, living in the University Endowment Lands or nearby neighborhoods like Point Grey or Kitsilano can be convenient. These areas offer a mix of student housing, apartments, and shared accommodations. Kitsilano is particularly popular for its beaches, parks, and vibrant atmosphere.
  2. West End: Located near downtown Vancouver, the West End is a diverse and lively neighborhood with easy access to English Bay, Stanley Park, and downtown amenities. It has a mix of rental apartments, condominiums, and shared housing options.
  3. Kerrisdale: Known for its quieter and more residential feel, Kerrisdale is still relatively close to UBC and offers a suburban atmosphere with local shops, cafes, and parks.
  4. Commercial Drive (Grandview-Woodland): This neighborhood, often simply called “The Drive,” is known for its cultural diversity, community vibe, and affordability compared to downtown areas. It’s a bit farther from UBC but has good transit connections.
  5. Mount Pleasant: Close to downtown but more affordable than the core, Mount Pleasant has a youthful vibe with trendy cafes, breweries, and shops. It’s well-connected by transit routes.
  6. Burnaby: If you’re attending SFU (Simon Fraser University), the nearby areas of Burnaby such as Metrotown, Brentwood, or Lougheed might be convenient. Burnaby offers a range of housing options and amenities, with good transit links to downtown Vancouver.
  7. Richmond: Some students choose to live in Richmond, especially if they attend Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) or have a preference for a quieter suburban lifestyle with a large Asian community.
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  • Budget: Vancouver’s housing market can be expensive, so consider your budget and explore options like shared accommodations or renting a room in a house to reduce costs.
  • Transportation: Choose a neighborhood with good public transportation options (bus, SkyTrain) or within biking distance to your university to minimize commute times and costs.
  • Amenities: Look for neighborhoods with grocery stores, libraries, cafes, and recreational facilities that align with your lifestyle and daily needs.
  • Safety: Research neighborhood safety and consider factors like proximity to campus security services or police stations.

Ultimately, the best place to live in Vancouver as a student will depend on your individual preferences and priorities. It’s helpful to visit different neighborhoods, talk to current students, and consider your daily routine and commute when making your decision.

How can a student make money in Vancouver

There are several ways for students to make money in Vancouver, whether through part-time jobs, internships, freelance work, or other opportunities. Here are some common avenues:

  1. Part-Time Jobs: Many students work part-time in retail, hospitality, food services, customer service, or administrative roles. These jobs often offer flexible hours that can accommodate a student’s schedule.
  2. On-Campus Jobs: Universities and colleges in Vancouver often have job opportunities for students within campus facilities, such as libraries, cafeterias, administrative offices, or research departments. These jobs can be convenient and may offer perks like proximity to classes and study spaces.
  3. Internships and Co-op Programs: Some academic programs include mandatory or optional internships or co-op placements. These opportunities provide valuable work experience related to your field of study and may be paid or unpaid depending on the position and organization.
  4. Freelance Work: Depending on your skills and interests, you could offer freelance services such as tutoring, graphic design, writing, photography, web development, or social media management. Online platforms and local networks can help you find clients.
  5. Retail and Hospitality: Vancouver’s vibrant tourism and hospitality industry offer seasonal and year-round employment opportunities in hotels, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.
  6. Gig Economy: Delivery services, ride-sharing platforms, and other gig economy jobs can provide flexible earning opportunities for students looking to work on their own schedule.
  7. Research Assistantships: Students in academic programs that involve research may find opportunities to work as research assistants for professors or research teams. These positions can provide valuable academic and professional experience.
  8. Volunteer Work: While not paid, volunteering can provide valuable skills, networking opportunities, and experience that may lead to paid positions or enhance your resume.

Tips for Finding Jobs in Vancouver:

  • Network: Utilize your university’s career services, attend job fairs, and connect with alumni and professors for potential job leads.
  • Online Job Boards: Use online job search platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, or local job boards specific to Vancouver.
  • Apply Early: Many employers in Vancouver hire for seasonal positions or internships several months in advance, so start applying early.
  • Work Permits: Ensure you have the necessary permits (such as a Social Insurance Number for Canadian citizens or a work permit for international students) before starting any job.

By exploring these avenues and leveraging your skills and interests, you can find opportunities to earn money while studying in Vancouver. Balancing work with your studies is important, so prioritize roles that align with your academic goals and provide valuable experience for your future career.