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Old 02-03-2013, 06:23 PM
12 posts, read 40,445 times
Reputation: 19


I'm a college student, planning on heading into computer science, or at least something STEM. I'm pretty liberal, mainly based off of my sexuality (I'm gay, though not in the stereotypical sense). I've decided the two best cities for my future would be San Francisco or Vancouver. Of course, Vancouver is in Canada, and from what I've heard, immigration is very hard and takes a lot of time and money. I was wondering if I could get people's advice on the following:

Politics-To me, American politics are way, way, too influenced by corporations and religion. There's also way too much polarization. And with what's been going on with Roe v. Wade, even if DOMA gets repealed and we get same sex marriage, it seems like it will never be accepted, and always at risk of going away. Vancouver doesn't have these issues being in Canada, but I wonder if San Francisco would be even a more welcoming and progressive environment dealing with these issues. Is it worth the hassle of moving to a whole new country to avoid these issues? (This is my primary worry)

Jobs-Of course San Francisco is home of the famed Silicon Valley, but I've heard Vancouver has a pretty strong startup regime.

Nature-Vancouver of course is world renowned for its nature, and is very green, but how does SF stack up? Scenes from Cabrillo Highway overlooking the Pacific look incredible, and I'm a sucker for palm trees. I'm a big nature person, and this matters a lot to me.

Uniqueness-What unique quirks make each city special?

And regarding climate-yes, I actually enjoy rain.

Natural disasters-earthquakes terrify me, but I can get over it if need be. Vancouver doesn't seem as high risk as sf for the next big one.

Last edited by pc2412; 02-03-2013 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:44 PM
Location: Both coasts
1,580 posts, read 4,125,661 times
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i like both cities but SF is in a completely different league- there is so much more to offer on every dimension. SF wins in every regard imo except "safety" and perhaps "fresh air?"

That said, for its size, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan vibrant city. It is a blend of new-world Pacific NW & Asia with some British influence here and there.

They are both quirky liberal cities, but I think you see anything and everything in SF, and it has less of a glass ceiling in an institutional/ career sense.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:52 PM
Location: Canada
4,672 posts, read 8,093,743 times
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I think San Francisco is probably the better option for you, and I live in Vancouver. It's a much larger city. Immigration's not that big of a hassle if you're just coming from school, but it is a bit of a pain and you'd be running away from problems in your own country, but I'm willing to bet you don't really understand Canada and what makes it tick, so I don't know if just coming here blind without really understanding this culture is the best move as you might feel more comfortable in your homeland afterall, it's what you were raised in and we all internaize little aspects of the culture we grew up in. That said, Western Canada's culture isn't a radically foreign one for an American, but it's not exactly the same either. Maybe read up on our political history and the local provincial political parties to see if you prefer our politics aside from our positions on sexuality and the lack of a role religion plays in civic life.

For jobs, Vancouver is okay, but wages are nothing compared to the very high cost of living. San Francisco is a more affordable place to live since wages are high.

Nature: both have lots of natural beauty, and I'm giving Vancouver the edge on this one for how truly accessible it is. SF is no slouch though, some great parks and cool redwood forests outside the city.

Uniqueness: don't know enough about SF to compare, sorry.

Climate: you said you like rain, so I guess you'd prefer it. I find the summers are warmer here than they are in SF from the few visits I've made. SF has some chilly summers when you're right on the water, but it's warmer further inland.

Natural Disasters: MUCH lower earthquake risks in Vancouver. There's a risk of a big earthquake, but the city actually hasn't been hit with any since they founded it. Can't say the same for SF...
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:31 PM
Location: Vancouver
11,351 posts, read 7,825,285 times
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"Natural Disasters: MUCH lower earthquake risks in Vancouver. There's a risk of a big earthquake, but the city actually hasn't been hit with any since they founded it. Can't say the same for SF..."

That's the concern, we are overdue. We get little tremors now and then, but the last big earthquake in the Vancouver area was in the 1700's. We are close to a major fault line which could go today or in the next 30 to 50 years. Scientists say it will be a big one, 9.0 or so.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:11 PM
Location: State of Transition
72,633 posts, read 64,111,757 times
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Originally Posted by pc2412 View Post
Natural disasters-earthquakes terrify me, but I can get over it if need be. Vancouver doesn't seem as high risk as sf for the next big one.
Vancouver, like Seattle, is on the edge of the Pacific Plate. They're expecting a huge one in that area, anytime.

People think of the Bay Area as one huge urban area, but there's actually a lot of natural areas there, especially in Marin County. And there are major parks in the Berkeley/Oakland hills. You're into palm trees, but for me, the redwoods blow me away. And the ocean is much more dramatic than in the NW: there's actual surf. There's a lot more going on in the Bay Area, too. BIMBAM is right though; objectively speaking the Bay Area can't compete re: sheer volume and proximity of nature, forests, Vancouver Island, rugged, wild coasts, etc.

People have always bailed on the US in favor of Canada, due to the insanity of US politics. But everyone I've talked to who opted for Canada ended up saying it's too sedate, too tea-and-crumpets God-Bless-The-Queen British, there's not as much creative energy there.... idk. This is what people say. For you, though, it might be the right choice. I think student visas, if you can be accepted to a university there (Simon Frasier? UBC? Have you looked at the schools and their programs?), is easier to come by than a work/immigrant visa. Do your research in that regard.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:30 PM
Location: San Francisco
9,033 posts, read 8,371,897 times
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Try Seattle. It's close enough to Vancouver that you could visit there often and maybe meet a nice Canadian to marry, which would enable you to move there permanently.

The job market in Seattle might not be quite what it is in SF or Van, but on the other hand it's not nearly as pricey. SF in particular is shockingly expensive. A studio apartment in a nice neighborhood will set you back $2000/month or even more, and there's still a good chance that you'd have to commute to the Peninsula or elsewhere for work.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM
Location: Leeds, UK
22,198 posts, read 22,368,348 times
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Vancouver comes across as a very boring city (surrounding natural beauty excluded), with a crappy job market, and living costs that do not reflect the city or the ability to find a well-paying job.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:41 PM
Location: Chicago(Northside)
3,719 posts, read 5,858,152 times
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Sorry Canadians but when i lived in Vancouver it was extremely boring and expensive so i vote for SF which is expensive and fun.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:01 PM
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,708,485 times
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Vancouver by far.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:39 PM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Originally Posted by valentro View Post
Vancouver by far.
Why by far?
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