For international students, finding a place to live that is convenient and close to amenities is an absolute priority. Below, we’ve outlined the top 5 rental areas around the Lower Mainland that are international student friendly. Each international student housing area below highlights key features, average rental rates and sample listings of what you can expect.
5 Top Rental Areas for International Students:
Vancouver is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With spectacular mountains to the North, numerous city parks and beaches, an extensive bicycle network, world class restaurants and amenities, and excellent transit options, living in the city is definitely recommended if you have the budget. When it comes to international student housing, apartments in the downtown area are expensive while living a little further away from the downtown core, near the Joyce or Patterson Skytrain Stations, is considerably cheaper.
Rental Rates: $800(shared) – $2200/month
- Landmark attractions like Stanley Park, Granville Island and Kitsilano beach as well as the city’s financial centre are all located near Vancouver’s downtown.
- Transportation – Translink’s network of Skytrain, Canada Line and buses serve the downtown core exceptionally well
- UBC, SFU, and BCIT all have campuses downtown.
Hottest Vancouver Rental Areas: Burrard, Granville, Science World, Joyce, Patterson stations
Sample Listing: $1000, 1 bedroom, shared accommodation, centrally located near Granville and Broadway. Located 13 minutes away from the #99 bus to UBC, this is a great location for those international students studying at UBC! For full listing details, click here.
Vancouver’s closest suburb to the south, Richmond is a multi-cultural mecca offering residents an impressive taste of Asia and is home to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) as well as the International Buddhist Temple. It boasts one of North America’s most vibrant, Chinese communities which may appeal to many international students. In fact, Chinese signs are everywhere and WeChat pay options are commonly accepted. In addition, Richmond has some of the best Chinese food options in the world and a lively Night Market that runs throughout the summer on weekends. This is a great area for international student housing with lively and exciting things to do and eat around every corner.
Rental Rates: $800(shared) – $1700/month
- Transportation: The Canada Line can transport you downtown in 20 minutes and to Vancouver International Airport in 10 minutes.
- Excellent shopping at Richmond Centre, Lansdowne Centre, and Aberdeen Centre.
Hottest Richmond Rental Areas: Richmond centre, Lansdowne, Aberdeen Skytrain stations
Sample Listing: $1300, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, self-contained suite in home. For full listing details, click here.
Burnaby is the suburb located immediately to the east of Vancouver. Just 15 minutes away from downtown Vancouver and well serviced by transit, Burnaby offers residents world class shopping at North America’s largest mall, Metropolis at Metrotown, a wide selection of international cuisine, numerous parks, lakes and trails as well as a calendar of multicultural arts events at the Michael J. Fox Theatre. Burnaby’s neighbourhoods are ethnically and culturally diverse and boast a variety of housing options from apartment towers to single family homes.
Rental Rate: $800(share) – $1700/month
- Food – Burnaby offers a wide array of international cuisine – Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek and Korean etc.
- Burnaby is recommended for SFU and BCIT students as the main campuses are located in Burnaby.
Hottest Burnaby Rental Areas: Metrotown, Royal Oak, Gilmore, Brentwood, Production way\University skytrain stations
Sample Listing: $1700, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, contemporary, luxury apartment at Metrotown. For full listing details, click here.
The second largest city in BC, Surrey is a diverse community well-serviced by transit and boasts a number of vibrant business centres, shopping malls, recreational areas and green spaces. It is also home to a large South Asian community and so some of the best Indian restaurants are here. Fantastic international student housing options for SFU students studying at the Surrey campuses.
Rental Rate: $700(share) – $1700/month
- Tech City on Innovation Boulevard is home to a growing tech community.
- An SFU campus is located in Surrey
- Surrey has the most affordable rents in the Lower Mainland.
Hottest Surrey Rental Areas: New Westminster, King George, Surrey Central Station areas
Sample Listing: $1,400, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in luxury high rise, 15 mins walk from King George Station. For complete listing details, click here.
Located on the Point Grey Peninsula, on Vancouver’s westernmost boundary, UBC is home to Canada’s top university as well as the expansive Pacific Spirit Park, beautiful beaches and a wide selection of housing options. It is close to the best Vancouver has to offer – world class restaurants, vibrant arts scene, financial and tech hubs etc. Nothing speaks convenience than living at the heart of the university, UBC definitely takes it home with the top international student housing options.
- Top university in Canada.
- Securing dorm spots is highly competitive so off campus housing might be only option.
- Excellent university facilities i.e. gym, swimming pool, tennis centre, libraries etc.
Rental Rate: $800(share)-$2200/month
Hottest UBC Rental Areas: UBC Endowment Lands, Point Grey, Dunbar-Southlands, Kitsilano. Check out our UBC Guide to Off Campus Housing for more details on these neighbourhoods.
Sample Listing: $3,200, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom on campus and near all the amenities of Wesbrook Village. For complete listing details, click here.