Vancouver is frequently ranked as one of the world's “best cities to live in” -- making it an exceptional place to study abroad! Best known for its scenic beauty, Vancouver’s natural environment offers endless outdoor activities. It’s one of those rare places where one can go skiing in the mountains, windsurf in the ocean, and play a round of golf all in the same day. It’s because of this geographic diversity so close to an urban metropolis that Vancouver is often used to shoot big-budget Hollywood films, like I, Robot of Night at the Museum. Surrounded by water on three sides, and bordered by mountains on the north, Vancouver is a great study abroad destination and a wonderful starting point for exploring all of Canada.
Photo Credit: domo k..
Planning Your Trip
Choosing a Program
There are a few factors to consider when studying abroad in Vancouver. Here's some info to get you started:
- Academic Life:Undoubtedly one world’s most gorgeous cities, resting between the Coast Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver has something to offer everyone. It is a multicultural place with a large immigrant population adding flavor to this urban melting pot . The universities in Vancouver offer courses at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. The campuses are very close to downtown Vancouver, and are easily accessible by bus, car, or bicycle.
- Language:Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. In fact, 52% of its residents do not speak English as their first language. English and French are the main languages spoken in Vancouver. The top three “immigrant” languages are Punjabi, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
- Housing:Most universities in Vancouver offer students the chance to stay on campus in hostels, which is a very safe way to meet and interact with other students from all over the world, and get involved in the many programs and activities that are offered. There are private and shared dormitory rooms and cooking or dining facilities. If you prefer to live off campus, your school can guide you to look for places with cheaper rent in different locations.
Culture and Immersion
Students will flock to the city’s many landmarks and historical buildings that can be found downtown. The architecture at the Vancouver Public Library is sure to impress. The Vancouver Art Gallery often show cases western Canda’s prolific artists. The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is filled with historical and cultural artifacts from the region’s first nations.
Vancouver also has many parks and gardens scattered throughout the city. The popular Seawall trail runs around the perimeter of the famous Stanley Park and joins with the seawalls in Coal Harbour and Kitsilano. This path connects the beaches of the westside to False Creek, Downtown and Yaletown. You can also follow the trail to Granville island, or take a 5 minute Aquabus (mini ferry) ride on False Creek. Here, you will find a re-vamped former industrial district that is now home to the city's largest farmer's market, as well as year-round festivals, theaters, art studios, galleries and an art school.
Make sure to do the Izakaya Crawl in the West End (a neighborhood located in the downtown core) An Izakayas is a Japanese-style drinking establishments that resembles a tapas bar.They pepper this neighborhood, and now it’s common for groups to go to 6 or so Izakayas in a single night, drinking at each one and eating small plates of food along the way.
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AIFS Diversity Achievement Scholarship
AIFS offers a number of scholarships, including one for high achieving students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in education abroad.