Future Students

Living in Vancouver

Study in Canada’s most culturally diverse and greenest city

Welcome to Vancouver! Vancouver is frequently voted one of the most desirable places to live. Located between the ocean and the mountains, with parks and beaches surrounding its harbour, the picturesque city offers countless opportunities for year-round activities.

The multicultural city is also known for its quality of education. With modern conveniences that include trendy restaurants, convenient public transportation, and multiple shopping & entertainment districts, Vancouver has a lifestyle that you will easily adapt to and enjoy.

With our mild climate, it is possible to ski, sail, and golf all in one day! Discover our natural scenery, enjoy Native Indian art, or participate in some of our many outdoor activities, events, and festivals. We are also close to other famous cities, such as Whistler, Victoria, and Seattle.

Cost of living

Projected expenses while living in Vancouver:
Expenses in CAD $ Cost/month
Accommodation (shared)  750 - 800
Phone   45-60
Food  350-450
Public Transportation  91-120
Medical Insurance  65

Homestay Services

International students or other students interested in living with a Canadian family may contact Student Affairs for homestay referral. Living with a Canadian family provides a great opportunity to further experience Canadian culture. Where practicable, LaSalle College Vancouver may work with homestay providers in the Greater Vancouver area for placement. Students will work directly with the homestay provider on securing an accommodation. Students complete an application and pay a fee to be matched with a family that has been carefully interviewed by the homestay provider. Students are responsible for coordinating all payments and fees for services with the homestay provider. LaSalle College Vancouver does not endorse or screen any family or placement secured through a homestay provider


Vancouver has the mildest climate of any major city in Canada. Vancouver’s weather is a little be unpredictable. It could rain a lot sometimes, especially during the winters, but during the summer months Vancouver gets less rain than most other Canadian cities.

Jan. to May :  7  to 17 °C
May to Aug : 17 to 22 °C

Public Transportation

Translink is Vancouver’s public transportation company. For information on its schedules, please visit www.translink.ca. Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, buses are less frequent.


The bus service covers the widest area and travels along most major streets in the city. Passengers must either buy a single travel ticket (valid for 90 minutes toward all Translink run vehicles including bus, Skytrain and Seabus) or use a Compass Card with pre-loaded fund upon entering a bus. Buses accept coins only and will not give change. Single travel tickets and Compass Cards can also be purchased from vending machines in SkyTrain stations that accept coins, bills, debit and credit cards.

While at any bus stop in Metro Vancouver you can text the 5-digit bus stop number (the yellow number at the top of every bus stop sign) to 33333 and you'll get a text that tells you when the next 6 scheduled buses will arrive. Standard text messaging rates apply.


The Seabus is a boat which travels between Waterfront Station, downtown and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

Compass Card

A Compass Card is required for all Skytrain and Seabus ride. You will need to tap the card when entering and leaving Skytrain stations.

  • All Compass customers are reminded to tap in and tap out on rail and SeaBus to ensure they are charged the correct fare.
  • Not tapping out on SkyTrain, West Coast Express, and SeaBus could result in additional charges or an “insufficient fare” message on the next trip.
  • On buses, you only need to tap once when you get on the bus.

Where to get a Compass card?

The most convenient way to get a Compass card is at one of the ticketing machines locating in a Skytrain station. At YVR airport, you can find a ticketing machine right by the Skytrain platform. You can pay by cash or credit card. If you don’t know how to use the machine, there is always SkyTrain staff in GREEN vest there to help. Don’t be shy, Canadians are very friendly!  More info 

Getting Around


The city of Vancouver is a very bicycle-friendly city. In addition to the extremely popular seawall bicycle routes along Stanley Park, False Creek and Kitsilano, there are a whole network of bicycle routes that connect the whole city. Vancouver has also recently introduced a bike share program with Mobi Bike.  It allows you to commute with bike without owning a bicycle.

Car Sharing service in Vancouver

Vancouver has two of major car sharing service: Car2go and Evo Car Share. If you only need a car occasionally, their service can definitely come in handy. Their car sharing programs allow you pick up one of the cars on the street, and travel from point A to point B, then end your rental right there without having to drive back to point A or going into a rental agency. However, you will need to obtain a British Columbia driver’s license (issued by ICBC) to be able to take advantage of this convenient service. It is also very important that you learn about Vancouver’s driving regulations.

British Columbia driver’s license and regulations http://www.icbc.com/


Thanks to Vancouver’s multiculturalism and the new and old comers, you can find all sorts of ethnic restaurants around Vancouver. From North American, Italian, European, Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, you name it!  

There are also many specialty supermarkets and grocery stores where you can find major ingredients from your home country. 

Other things you may not know


In Canada, sales taxes are not included in the price tags you see in the store. A 5% GST and 7% PST will added to your total amount at check out. So don’t be surprised when you see the bill. For instance, if you purchase a $10 CDN T-shirt, your totally bill will be $12 including taxes. Taxes are also applied to services such as dinning at a restaurant, admission to a facility or entertainment, etc.


Tipping is a common practice in North America, including Canada.

  • In restaurants - It is customary to tip approximately 12% - 15% on the total bill before tax. Many restaurants may charge an automatic 15%-18% gratuity for large groups.
  • For other services - Tipping is also customary for other service providers such as hairdressers, manicurists, aestheticians and taxi drivers. In these cases, a 10% tip is common.

Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library has twenty-two branches around the city. The main one is located on 350 West Georgia Street Downtown Vancouver. In additional to books and publications, it has computer labs and many other digital resources for its user.

Library Card: To get a Library Card, you need to be staying in Vancouver for at least 6 months. (You need to pay $25 if you stay less than 6 months).
Go to any Library and bring: (1) your passport, (2) your LaSalle College Vancouver student card and (3) a piece of mail or a bill which has your name and your Vancouver address on it.