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5 reasons why Vancouver is a great university destination

Kenneth Utama
Kenneth Utama

Music lover, interested in political science, history and pop culture

Jakarta  /  Tue, August 8, 2017  /  09:41 am
5 reasons why Vancouver is a great university destination

Vancouver is a lush city that provides many great outdoor activities. (Shutterstock/File)

Ever since I was a kid I knew I had the option of going to university out of the country. As an international school student, the possibility of going to another country intrigued me even more.

In my senior year in high school, I finally decided that I would attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

I realize that Indonesia and Canada do not have that many relations, but I believe that there is a lot we can learn from each other.

Canada might not be on top of your list when it comes to studying abroad, but here are some reasons why Vancouver might be the ideal university destination.

1. Very international city

The first thing to understand about most places in Canada is that they are very international. Most people can fit in the bigger cities in Canada quite well.

Toronto and Vancouver are the biggest cities in Canada in terms of universities, and these cities are incredibly international, since they host people from all over the world. These cities also have cuisines from various countries, more than any place I have ever seen.

In Vancouver alone I have seen Chinese, Mongolian, Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Jamaican, American and other traditional cuisines. The types of restaurants you will see in Canada are similar to those in Jakarta, but you won’t find them in malls but on street corners and in smaller venues. Over the last few months, Mongolian barbecue has become a favorite of mine.

Read also: Startup 101: Where and what you should study

2. Universal health care

The other advantage that all international students get in Vancouver, although maybe not throughout Canada, is free health care. Every single international student in the province of British Columbia, where Vancouver is located, receive what is known as MSP.

In simple terms, you are able to get universal health coverage by paying around C$75 (US$59.3) a month. As an international student, this is a huge plus as you won’t have to worry about paying expensive medical bills on top of education expenses. If your child has an allergy or a disability, the medical expenses should be covered by the coverage that you receive from the government.

If you are lucky, your university might have its own additional student coverage. This allows your costs to be reduced even more.

3. Cheaper than the US

While Canada is by no stretch of the imagination a cheap place to study, it is definitely not as expensive as the United States, and in my opinion, has the same quality of education.

In Canada, you would probably pay $25,000 to $30,000, cheaper than costs in the US, which would be anywhere between $35,000 and $60,000.

Read also: Dispelling 10 myths about studying in the US

An option that international students have is to attend college for two years, which is considerably cheaper and you get the same classes. While colleges are smaller, they provide almost the same level of education. You can transfer to a larger university in the last two years and still graduate with an undergraduate degree from the university you transferred to. This option is becoming more and more popular day by day.

4. Natural beauty

Vancouver, unlike the concrete jungle of Toronto, is lush with natural beauty. While there is a thriving downtown business district, the rest of it is quite suburban and green. You will find many opportunities to explore these areas in your free time and are relatively cheap options for outdoor fun.

Whether it be hiking the trails in Squamish, skiing down Whistler in the winter or walking across the Capilano suspension bridge, there is no lack of outdoor amazement when you go to Vancouver.

5. Free public transportation

For all international students, public transportation fees are included in their tuition, so you get to ride the bus and train for free to most places in Vancouver. All you have to do is get your compass card registered, and simply tap it on the bus to ride it anywhere you want. This allows students to go to school and back easier, and drastically reduces cost and effort compared to other places. (dev/kes)


Music lover, interested in political science, history and pop culture, video game player (mostly Dota 2). Kenneth is currently studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.