As being an international student, I can say that I love living in Vancouver. Of course there are several reasons for that but I found living here is very expensive. Tuition fee and cost of living are the main challenges that I and other international students are facing during our stay.
Tuition fee. It is killing me! Seriously. Before I came here I knew I had to pay 3 times more than domestic students. I am sure, all of us as being international students, accepted the reality but we don’t understand the dramatic increase in the tuition fee. My experience at Kwantlen is a good example to that. It is one of the good universities in the lower mainland, and tuition fee and class sizes were two of the main reasons why I chose to go to Kwantlen. However, in the last 3 years I have seen 16% increase in the tuition fee. On the other hand we are not allowed to apply scholarships offered during our studies because we have to be a Canadian citizen or PR. Long story shorty, we have no financial support with our studies, have to pay our tuition fee upfront and each year we are requested to pay more and more. In order to make it more clear for you guys, I did a little bit a research on average annual cost for undergrad education for an international student in Vancouver. As a result I found that the cost of the annually tuition fee is approximately $9,500-$18,000 depending on a university/college (EduinCanada.ca). According to Mercer Cost of Living Index and The Economist magazine’s Big Mac Index, in Montreal average international student tuition is $13,400. In Vancouver this number sometimes goes up to $21,000(Dehaas).
As everyone knows (I am sure most of the Vancouverites complain about it too), the other cons about Vancouver is cost of living. Especially having the same quality of housing like back home is a big issue for international students. Most of the time being asked for extremely high rents for small rooms/houses in bad conditions by unscrupulous landlords is a very common thing. Sean Antrim, the Executive the editor at the Mainlander points out that rents in Vancouver have increased on average an astonishing 15 per cent since 2010(Stewart). As a result of this unrealistic increase, international students suffer more and more each year.
For international students like me, dealing with problems like these is energy draining and results with lack of focus while we study. So, the bottom question that we need to answer is “Does it worth living here?”.
Next week I will be writing about the things I like about Vancouver and why the city is still a big attraction for international students.
Thank you for your comments in advance!