Things You Need to Know About Studying in British Columbia



Updated On 07 July 2023


Read Time 12 minutes


Every year around 20% to 25% of you choosing to study in Canada move to British Columbia. It is considered one of the best provinces for students planning to study in Canada. The province, located in the westernmost part of the country, with its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse cultural scene, offers an enriching educational experience to you.


So if you are also looking to study in British Columbia, read further and get a better understanding of factors to be considered before packing up your bags and leaving for higher education.


Let’s explore all the essential things that you need to know about studying in British Columbia. Shall we start?


Best Colleges and Universities to Study in British Columbia

British Columbia is home to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world that attract students from around the world. These universities are renowned for their amazing quality of education and research opportunities. No matter what career you choose to enter, the universities in British Columbia will offer a diverse range of course options to support your dream career and follow your passion. Let’s explore some of the top universities to study in British Columbia, Canada.


University of British Columbia (UBC): UBC consistently ranks among the top universities in British Columbia and Canada. It offers a wide range of programs across various disciplines, including arts, sciences, business, engineering, and health sciences. The university boasts world-class research facilities, renowned faculty members, and a vibrant campus life.


Simon Fraser University (SFU): SFU is known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education. It offers a comprehensive range of programs, including social sciences, business, communication, computing sciences, and environmental studies. The university is recognized for its strong commitment to research and its close ties to industry.


University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC): UNBC’s main campus is located in Prince George, with additional campuses located in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St. John. It is internationally recognised for its excellence in teaching and as well as global impact. Some of the best courses available at the university include Nursing, Engineering, Health Science, and Business Administration.


University of Victoria: Situated on Vancouver Island, UVic is renowned for its exceptional programs in environmental studies, social sciences, business, and engineering. The university prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and offers unique opportunities for experiential learning through fieldwork and co-op programs.


Thompson Rivers University: It is a research-intensive university with its main campus based in Kamloops, British Columbia. The university is known for its high graduate employability rate and industry connections. Generally, students choose the university for graduate school or professional programs such as medicine, veterinary medicine, education or law.


British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT): BCIT is a polytechnic institution that focuses on applied and practical education. It offers engineering, business, health sciences, computing, and trades programs. BCIT is well-known for its industry-aligned curriculum and strong connections with employers, providing students with valuable hands-on experience.  


Attractive Places to Explore in British Columbia

British Columbia is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant cities. It is considered one of the most beautiful places in Canada, which attracts a large number of tourists every year. While studying in British Columbia you’ll have the opportunity to explore a wide range of attractive places that showcase the province's beauty, culture, and outdoor adventures. As a student, you can find various activities to get engaged and fill your boring weekend. The province is divided into various aesthetic and highly developed cities. Here are some of the top places to explore in British Columbia for international students:


Vancouver: The cosmopolitan city of Vancouver offers a perfect blend of urban living and natural beauty. Students can explore Stanley Park, a vast urban green space with picturesque views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean. They can also visit Granville Island, known for its vibrant public market, galleries, and waterfront scenery.


Vancouver Island: You can embark on a memorable road trip around Vancouver Island, experiencing its diverse landscapes and wildlife. They can explore Tofino, a charming coastal town known for its surfing, beaches, and stunning sunsets. They can also visit the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and witness the region's rich biodiversity.


Abbotsford: It is the second largest city in British Columbia, located in the east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley. The city is known for its farm country, the Abbotsford Airshow and cheap gas. Mill Lake, Clayburn Villag, and Castle Fun Park are some of the best places to explore in the city.


Victoria: The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria, is located on Vancouver Island. It offers a charming blend of British colonial heritage and natural beauty. Students can explore the iconic Inner Harbour, visit the historic British Columbia Legislature, and enjoy the stunning Butchart Gardens.


Okanagan Valley: The Okanagan Valley is famous for its picturesque vineyards, lakes, and outdoor recreational activities. You can explore the wine country, enjoy water sports on Okanagan Lake, and hike in the scenic Myra Canyon Park.


Rocky Mountains: British Columbia is home to a portion of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. You can visit the Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, and Mount Revelstoke National Park, where they can hike, camp, and explore stunning alpine scenery.


Whistler: Known as one of the world's top ski destinations, Whistler attracts adventure enthusiasts from around the globe. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking in the majestic Whistler-Blackcomb resort. The village also offers a lively atmosphere with a range of restaurants, shops, and cultural events.


Haida Gwaii: Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago located off the northern coast of British Columbia. It offers a unique cultural and natural experience, including ancient Haida villages, totem poles, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches.


These are just a few of the many attractive places international students can explore in British Columbia. Whether they seek outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or vibrant city life, British Columbia offers a diverse range of attractions that make studying in British Columbia an unforgettable experience.  


Local Economy and Job Market in British Columbia

British Columbia’s strong job market, coupled with its welcoming immigration policies, makes it an attractive destination for those seeking employment while pursuing their studies in Canada. The province boasts a robust and diverse economy, providing ample job opportunities in British Columbia for you.


A wide range of industries, including technology, tourism, film and television production, natural resources, healthcare, education, and finance, characterises British Columbia's economy. This diversity offers you with varying skill sets and interests a plethora of employment options in British Columbia.


Apart from this, the state is known for its thriving technology industry, particularly in Vancouver. The city is home to numerous tech companies, startups, and innovation hubs, creating a high demand for skilled professionals in areas such as software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and digital marketing.


Moreover, for students who are interested in the hospitality and tourism industry, British Columbia is a perfect place for them to grow their careers as the province’s breathtaking landscapes, national parks, and vibrant cities attract millions of tourists each year.


You can easily find part-time jobs or seasonal job options, allowing them to gain valuable work experience while studying in British Columbia. The average part-time job salary in British Columbia is around 15.65 CAD per hour.  


Top Industries Offering Employment in British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada, is home to numerous top companies that offer employment opportunities across various industries. The province's strong economy, diverse business sectors, and vibrant job market make it an attractive destination for professionals seeking career growth.


To access the local job market, you can utilise resources provided by their educational institutions, such as career services, job fairs, and networking events. Additionally, online job boards, professional networking platforms, and industry-specific websites are valuable resources for finding employment opportunities.


The province's thriving business landscape extends beyond these companies, with a multitude of opportunities in sectors such as technology, healthcare, finance, tourism, and more. International students and professionals looking for career advancement can easily explore job opportunities.


Weather in British Columbia

British Columbia, located in the westernmost part of Canada, experiences a diverse range of weather patterns due to its vast geography and proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. The province's weather varies significantly depending on the region, resulting in diverse climates across different areas.


The coastal areas of British Columbia, including Vancouver, Victoria, and the Lower Mainland, have a mild and temperate climate. Winters are typically mild, with temperatures averaging around 0°C to 8°C, while summers are pleasantly warm, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. These regions experience significant rainfall throughout the year, particularly during the fall and winter months.


The other parts of British Columbia, such as Kelowna and Kamloops, have a semi-arid climate with greater temperature extremes compared to the coastal areas. Summers in this region can be hot, with temperatures often around 30°C. Winters are colder, with temperatures in minus, and snowfall is common. The interior regions experience less precipitation compared to the coast.


The northern parts of British Columbia, including Prince George and Fort St. John, have a subarctic and continental climate. Winters are long and cold, with temperatures frequently dropping below 0°C, and snowfall is abundant. Summers are short and cool, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 23°C. The northern regions also experience lower annual precipitation compared to the coast.


Moreover, if we talk about British Columbia's mountainous regions, such as Whistler and the Rockies, have a highland climate with cool summers and cold winters. The elevation plays a significant role in temperature variations, with higher elevations experiencing colder temperatures. These areas receive substantial snowfall during the winter months, making them popular destinations for winter sports and activities.


Accommodation and Transportation Facilities in British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada, offers a range of accommodation and transportation options that cater to your needs. From comfortable housing choices to efficient transportation networks, the province ensures that you can navigate your way around and explore all that British Columbia has to offer.


Accommodation Facilities


If we talk about accommodation in British Columbia, you have two options to choose from:


On-Campus Accommodation: Many universities and colleges in British Columbia provide on-campus housing options for you. These accommodations are conveniently located close to campus facilities, fostering a sense of community and providing easy access to academic resources.


Off-Campus Accommodation: You have the option to rent apartments, houses, or shared accommodations off-campus. Cities such as Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna offer a range of budget-friendly rental options, allowing you to find housing that suits your preferences. Apart from this, you can also opt for homestays to live with a local host family. This arrangement provides a supportive and safe experience, helping you adjust to Canadian culture and practice English language skills. Homestays often include meals and a furnished room.


Transportation Facilities


British Columbia offers a variety of transportation facilities for you and can easily find affordable transportation facilities in the province.


When we talk about the short distance, the best option would be cycling. British Columbia is known for its cycling-friendly infrastructure, with dedicated bike lanes and paths in many cities. You can explore the province on bicycles by utilising bike-sharing programs or purchasing your own bikes. It is not only a cost-effective mode but also a great way to stay active and enjoy beautiful surroundings.


Now, when we talk about the long routes, public transportation would be the best and safest option for international students in British Columbia. The province's major cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna, have well-developed public transit systems. You can rely on buses, trains, and light rail services to navigate the cities conveniently. Many educational institutions offer discounted transit passes for you, making public transit an affordable and sustainable option. Apart from this, you have various other options as well, such as Car Rental, Intercity Buses, or their own vehicle. 



Undoubtedly, British Columbia is an amazing place for international students planning to study in Canada. The city offers a very pleasant environment for you to study or enjoy your life. When we talk about the living standard, you can easily enjoy a high standard of living that too on an affordable cost. So, without any further delay, start your study abroad journey to British Columbia, Canada.


If you are still unsure or would like to get deeper insight, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in Canada. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.


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