10 Tips to Know About Life in Vancouver


Hello and welcome to Columbia College! At Student Services we’re so excited to meet all new students who will be arriving at the College in January 2019, which is very soon! Be sure to check out the Orientation page so you know what to expect on your first day on campus. Below are 10 tips from current students on what you should know about life in Vancouver before you arrive. 

  1. Scam calls are common. If the call is from an unknown number don’t pick it up!
  2. Like any major city in the world, Vancouver does have crime. Be aware of your surroundings when you are on the streets and trust your intuition.
  3. The weather in Vancouver is very unpredictable. An umbrella is a must no matter where you go. P.s. The weather forecast is not to be trusted!
  4. Tap water is safe to drink in Vancouver. You can always use the water fountains placed around the campus to get free water!
  5. The sun sets early during the fall and winter months. On some days during December, the sun sets as early as 4:30 pm! Keep this in mind when planning your timetable.
  6. Public transportation: Compass cards need to be purchased separately but are still cheaper than using cash or credit. But if you’re under 19, you get it for a cheaper rate! Find out more here.
  7. Many shops and restaurants in Vancouver are participating vendors of SPC, which stands for Student Price Card. With this card, students can receive discounts. You can go to the Bookstore at Columbia College to get yours.
  8. Be aware of scam rental ads online. Do not pay for anything until you check the accommodation in person.
  9. Using the public transit can sometimes be confusing. Make sure to plan ahead of time and leave earlier than you think you need to.
  10. Check out Daily Hive Vancouver before arriving into the city for more up-to-date blog posts about Vancouver.

We hope these tips are helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to say hi or ask us questions when you’re at the college! Student Services is located on the second floor of the Main Campus in Room 211. We serve both Main Campus and North Campus students and assist you with college life – whether you want to join a club, participate in an event, find a job, or just chat with an academic advisor, we’re here to make sure you find what you need to make your time at the college the best ever.

See you soon!
Jerica, Student Life Coordinator
(with thanks to Columbia College students of fall 2018)