Living in Vancouver


IRES is located on the UBC Vancouver (UBC-V) campus. The UBC-V campus is situated on the unceded ancestral traditional territory of the Musqueam people. Vancouver is a modern vibrant city consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. As a world-class city, sourcing accommodation can be competitive and cost of living is generally high. Before your arrival, please ensure that you have made the adequate financial and accommodation arrangements.


Introducing Vancouver

Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, with a population of 2.6 million. With a mild oceanic climate, Vancouver is typically sunny and dry in the summer. During this time, it a popular tourist destination, where activities range from hiking in the mountains to swimming in the ocean. During the rest of the year, it is typically mild and rainy where the temperature rarely goes below freezing. While it rarely snows in the city, Vancouver is conveniently located adjacent to neighbouring mountain ranges to accommodate traditional winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding


Getting to Canada

For all international students, before you arrive to Canada please ensure that you have acquired all of the necessary immigration documents. Please apply for a study permit as soon as possible after your acceptance into UBC. The process can typically take up to four to six months. In addition, you must have the following documents upon your first arrival:

  • Passport
  • Letter of Introduction (issued by Canadian visa officers as approval of study permit application)
  • Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on country of citizenship.
  • UBC Letter of Acceptance
  • Proof of funds

If you do not have the required documents, you will not be allowed to enter or study in Canada.

For more information on immigration requirements, please click here.


Cost of Living and Housing

Living costs in Vancouver are high and finding housing can be competitive. Rent typically costs between $700-$1,000 per month. Please ensure that you have arranged for accommodation prior to your arrival to Vancouver. For details on costs and expenses, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Cost of Living Estimate.

The UBC-V campus offers various on-campus accommodation options, including two residences specifically for graduate students, Green College and St. John’s College. Additional housing options are available on the UBC Housing website.


Other Useful Resources

UBC International Student Guide

UBC Guide for Incoming Graduate Students