Living in British Columbia as an International student

In the year 2021 22% of all international students moving to Canada, chose to move to British Columbia. That's a big chunk, but not even half as much as the 47% that chose Ontario. Lets look at some facts of British Columbia, to see if it is a good place for immigrants and International Students. Canada has a population of 38 million and about 12% of that in is in BC.


Jobs and Unemployment

  • Unemployment rate BC Dec 2022 - 4.2%
  • Unemployment rate NS Dec 2022 - 6.3%
  • Unemployment rate Canada Dec 2022 - 5%

The largest employment sectors are:

  • Forestry Industry
  • Technology Industry
  • Community Services
  • Health Care 

What schools and Universities can I find in British Columbia?

  • University of British Columbia 
  • Langara College
  • Comosun College
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • North Island College
  • Vancouver Island University


It's a beautiful place

When you enter the province by car, the sign on the Highway says: Beautiful BC

And  its true. The province has the Rocky Mountains in the east, Beautiful Lakes and Valleys in the Okanogan known for its vineyards, deep old growth forests (only very few remaining in the world) and of course the Pacific Ocean, therefore endless beaches and Islands to visit and explore. 

The amount of Wildlife is just mind blowing with Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Cougars, Humpback Wales, Orcas only to name a few.

The biggest Island, Vancouver Island is almost as big as Nova Scotia, so you don't even feel like you are on an Island. But there are Hundreds of islands with many of them inhabited. 

Even though it is a huge province with Ocean, mountains islands etc. it is still very well connected by ferries and airports in all major places.

When we lived in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, all we had to do to get to Vancouver, was to hop onto a 15 min bus ride and then take the ferry (1hr 40min but there is power internet, a restaurant etc.) and you were in Vancouver. 


Downsides of British Columbia

The BC slogan is not only "Beautiful BC" but also "Bring Cash"

It starts with things like health insurance (governmental), which cost $75/month for international students (In many other provinces its free) 

Next is Car insurance, which is also substantially more, as BC has governmental car insurance (ICBC) and there is no competition.

And last of course rent and real estate. 

  • Average home in Vancouver $1.2 mio                    required annual salary to buy one: $231,000
  • Average home in Vancouver $900,000                    required annual salary to buy one: $187,000

Rent for one bedroom around $2,400 in Vancouver and $2,100 in Victoria



The weather can be seen good and bad and is very diverse in the province. Some people like living on the coast because of the mild temperatures (not colder than negative 10). Others hate it because it rains soo much (but therefore rarely snows on the coast) However if you live more inland or in the mountains, you get almost the same temperatures and snow as the rest of Canada. If you are in the Okanogan Valley you get long warm summers. 

Watch out for Flooding and Wildfires though, BC is known for that. 


So is it a good place to move to or not?

Overall it is definitely a great place to move to. While it is fairly expensive there the economy is booming and there are lots of well paying jobs out there to make up for it. If you love nature, outdoor activities, hiking etc. you will love it here because there is just soo much to see. Many Canadians tend to move here as well, because of the weather (they are tired of ice and snow) and the beauty and diversity. 

We never regretted moving to BC. 


Do you plan on studying in Canada?

Make sure you start the process early so that you have plenty of time to gather all the required documents. And if you have any questions about program options and locations, don't hesitate to reach out to us for guidance. 

Here are some of the mentors that will help you make the perfect choice for you, click here to fill out an application and speak to a real human (ex-international student - Mc, and Dex) - and see if we're a fit to work together inside the SLE Premium Coaching Program. 

>>>Click Here To Apply

Each student has a unique story and something valuable to share - hearing these testimonials will give you insights into studying at a university in another country, suggest potential challenges and rewards, and show you that no matter where you are from or what your background is, there are others just like you who have succeeded in doing so. Read on for some amazing stories!