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Old 06-05-2010, 06:00 AM
7,808 posts, read 13,208,336 times
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Seattle or Vancouver for 4 year college?

Hey, everyone!

I recently moved from New York City to Seattle in February 2010. I am going to attend Seattle Central community college for Fall semester 2010 or Spring semester 2011. I plan to go to a 4 year college to study architecture, and would like to go the University of Washington in Seattle or the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I am going to look into other 4 year colleges as well, but those are the two I am most interested in.

Personally, I love Seattle, a lot, and love it as much as Vancouver and New York City and will definitely enjoy my time my first year in college at Seattle Central CC, but I am intrigued by the idea of going to a 4 year college in a different country 3 hours north. I would be as happy going to the University of Washington as UBC but am wondering if I should still have UBC as a possible option.

Do you think it is a good idea to also apply at University of British Columbia? Would I be able to live in a safe, decent neighborhood in Vancouver for $500-700 a month for a 1 bedroom without roomates and not in a dorm, like in Seattle? How much more expensive is it in Vancouver vs. Seattle? If I get accepted into UBC, how difficult do you think it would be for me to be able to live in a different country? What is the bureaucratic process like? What is the healthcare like over there? Would I be able to get a scholarship for the University of British Columbia as a college transfer applicant, or reduced costs in tuition?

If I go to University of Washington, I would have residency status here in Washington by then and it seems like the tuition would be lower than going to UBC, but I am wondering if I would have any way of getting reduced tuition costs for UBC if I did well in school for my first year in college or something like that.

Sorry this is long, or if I seem silly for writing this thread. I just want to see if going to UBC in Vancouver is a possibility.

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 06-05-2010 at 06:13 AM..
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:58 AM
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4 years in both cities would be fun. However, besides financial reasons, you also need to think about whether a UBC diploma will put you in a disadvantageous position when you look for a job back in the US (assuming you will since job market in Vancouver is tiny).

Financially, Vancouver should be considerably more expensive than Seattle. 500-700 for a one bedroom doesn't seem realistic assuming you don't want to live too far from UBC campus, which is the most expensive area. Also keep in mind that driving cost is much higher in Vancouver as well.

Personally I don't see much advantage in choosing UBC vs UW, or Vancouver over Seattle, unless you think better Asian food is a big deal for you. However, if you are curious about Vancouver, it might be a good idea to complete one year of your degree at UBC if there is such an option. As a foreign undergrad student, it is unlikely you can get any sort of financial assistance.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:08 AM
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I agree that 4 years in either citiy would be fun. I dont think getting a degree at UBC will put me in a disadvantageous position for a job in America because UBC is a highly rated school. I know someone who went to Mcgill college in Montreal, Canada and easily got a high paying job in New York City, USA. In some ways, it might even put me in a more advantageous position.

Is there any decent, safe neighborhood I could live in Vancouver that isnt more than an hour away from the UBC campus? I dont mind if I dont live near UBC, and wont mind having a commute as long as one hour by car. What do you think are the closest safe, decent places from UBC, even if it may be an hour-an hour and a half away? How much more expensive is driving cost in Vancouver compared to Seattle? I assume there must be some areas in the Vancouver area where someone can live in a 1 bedroom place for 500-700 dollars a month in a safe, decent neighborhood, even if it may be relatively far away from UBC.

There are some advantages I see in going to UBC compared to UW, such as getting to experience living in a different country(even if it may be 3 hours away) , a different culture, and being in a city that is very similar but very different at the same time from Seattle, and being only 3 hours away from there while getting to experience all of this. UBC also has a very good architecture program like Seattle.

You are right, though, I could always "study abroad" there for a semester or a year or something like that.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:28 AM
Location: all over the world
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haha...it's funny that students on both sides of the border are tempted by the idea of going to school on the other side, cuz I've considered going to UW too. I still ended up going to UBC. Like you said, I think both are good schools. I actually have a friend who ended up going to UW...yea having experience in a "different country" I think does help.

$500-700 is tough, I'm not gonna lie.
But if you don't mind driving for an hour to get to school then it's not impossible. I doubt you can find a place for $500 now.

The first place I would try is Downtown around Davie.
There are two old buildings (sorry I forgot what they're called) across from the Blockbuster Video Store on Davie street where a lot of students or young artists live. I have a few friends who live in those two buildings. It's cheap because it's really old. My friends paid between $700-900 (depends on the room) and one actually got a flat for $550 a month! Too bad about a year or 2 ago they raised the price so it's no longer as affordable, but it is definitely still worth looking into.

Around that general area are a lot of older apartments that are nice and very very close to the beach/sea wall. Come to think of it I actually have many friends who live around that area...they enjoy it. Some places are more expensive especially if they have a good view of the Pacific Ocean (amazing sublime view), but there are cheaper ones around $7-800.

A couple of my friends moved to Main/the Drive after those 2 old buildings raised the price... you can find cheaper apartments around Main or the Drive too.

After a year or so to UBC maybe you'll find a few good friends you don't mind sharing a house with.
I had friends who rented a house around 10th Ave with I think 3 friends and they each paid some ridiculous price like $400 each. It was an old old house but it was fine, they enjoyed it. We had backyard BBQ parties there a couple of times It was about 10 minutes away from UBC by car and maybe 20 by bus. That is very rare though, they were very lucky.

Here are some examples of what you can expect:

1 bedroom suite (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rds/apa/1777619676.html - broken link)
$675 1 bedroom: Cloverdale/Surrey/Langley (about 1 hr drive away)

Furnished Suite (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/apa/1777589705.html - broken link)
$690 1 bedroom furnished suite:
3 blocks west of Canada Line-Marine Drive Station
3 blocks away from bus 480 that goes to UBC

Spacious 500 sqft 1 Br + 1 Ba for rent available June (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/apa/1777577643.html - broken link)
$700 1 BR + 1 BA
Around Fraser & 28th (rough guess...maybe around half an hour or so from UBC...check googlemap)

For more examples:
Craigslist Vancouver: $500-$700 rental:
vancouver, BC apts/housing for rent classifieds - craigslist

Gas isn't super cheap. You can probably google and find out what the current difference is between Van & Seattle.

I really enjoyed my time at UBC (god it seems so long ago hahaha....) One cool thing about UBC? Nude beach! haha

Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:24 AM
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It is funny that students on both sides of the border are tempted by the idea of going to school on the other side, but it makes sense.

Im glad to see that it wont be impossible renting a place for 700 dollars or less. Im starting to feel again that going to UBC for 4 year college would be a possibility for me. In the past few weeks/months I thought it was a lost cause. Im surprised that areas are that affordable in a neighborhood as nice as the West End, and in nice buildings!

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:19 PM
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I'm a dual citizen, I grew up in Vancouver, and I currently go to UW. The first thing you need to take into account is tuition. As an in state student at UW you will be paying close to 8k, where as a foreign student at UBC will pay over 20k.

Next, take into account living expenses. Everything (rent, gas, food, car insurance) will be more expensive in Vancouver than it is in Seattle. Plus, (assuming your family lives in the US) it will be cheaper to visit them from Seattle.

Both cities are awesome, but as a college student you should really consider where you will get the best bang for your buck, the best education, the best career opportunities, and where you will have a higher standard of living.

The choice is ultimately yours, but remember that the cities are only two hours away from each hour so a weekend road trip is very plausible.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:32 AM
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To amark:You do make some good points. It is starting to seem again like I shouldnt consider UBC as a possibility for 4 year college as much as University of Washington, but if the family Im in still doesnt have money issues until a year later, and if they agree that it could be good to go to Vancouver for 4 year college, I might still consider it.

I like the idea of of going to a different country without having to go further away from family(My family is in NYC so its equally far away from there to Seattle or Vancouver with a direct flight), and experiencing another city very similar but very different to Seattle, but it would be ok if I dont get to go to UBC. I will see in the year ahead if its still possible.

How is your experience with Seattle compared to growing up in Vancouver, Canada. How do you feel about University of Washington? It seems like you had the option to go to school cheap in Vancouver but you decided to try out a different city/country. For you, was it worth the extra tuition?

Do you think there are "study abroad" programs between both cities for architecture?(thats what I want to study). If I go to University of Washington, I would still like to be in Vancouver for a semester or a year for school if I could do that. You are right, that I could easily experience Vancouver on day-weekend trips, but I could thoroughly experience Vancouver more if Im actually living in it. Do you think I would be able to live temporarily in Vancouver, Canada somewhere for a few months- a year?

Thanks for the feedback in your post before!
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:40 AM
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Actually, I had it kind of lucky. Since my parents own real estate and pay taxes in Washington I qualified for in-state tuition.

The thing I love about UW is that it is such an integral part of the city. I love the overall feeling, school spirit, and pride that resounds around the university. As for academics, UW is excellent, but as at all schools, to succeed you will need to put in dedication and hard work.

As for the study abroad programs, the answer is yes! The UW has a direct exchange program with UBC where you can go and study there for up to a year and one of the field of studies is architecture. You can find more information here: Error Occurred While Processing Request

If you have any more questions feel free to ask. I have to get back to studying! (its finals week =p)
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:41 PM
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,567 posts, read 5,051,732 times
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UW has a tremendous Architecture reputation, I understand. My son just started UBC this year in the Sciences, and UBC rep varies considerably between departments.
Canada overall is brutally more expensive than the U.S., especially here. I doubt you'll find your room expenses fall below a grand ($1,000) a month by the time you pay hydro, reasonable phone, and possibly an extra like cable (for internet).
Prepare yourself for taxes on taxes, and not being able to deduct it even if you have income.
There's also a landlord movement (like, right now) in the west end to evict long-time tenants, repaint, and rent out at higher rates. Rates don't fall as you get out into the other areas, the way they did a decade ago. We do subsidize student transportation.
The game up here has ALWAYS put Canadian's in a barrel because we have such a small population, so the cell phone companies and government have to get it out of your hide! Usually be beating it out of your wallet (or your dad's wallet).
Dining out here is also becoming brutal, and if you're a student you'll be challenged to find cheap places. We don't have university "communities" like in the states except perhaps back east.
Food here tastes different; it follows more of the European idea of fresh and less quantity but you pay. Other than that, it's a real party up here!
If you're Commonwealth, refugee, or Japanese you can work here whether you are a student or not. Americans? Correct me if I'm wrong but the British still have a hard on about losing that war! No part time student job for you!

Last edited by thedwightguy; 06-13-2010 at 09:48 PM.. Reason: syntax
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:55 PM
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Amark, Its great to see that you like being in Seattle while also liking Vancouver! I agree with what you say about UW, but I feel like UBC is also very connected to the city it is in too. They are both great schools! I will love going to either one.

Im so glad to see that there is a study abroad program! I will try to study there for a year. The link you gave me didnt work though and said "Error occurred while processing request"=(. Can you send me the link again? Good luck studying!

Thewidguy: UBC also has a great architecture reputation like UW.

I did find cheap eating places in Vancouver that still had high quality food and ambiance.

I think I might sill apply to UBC, or try to study abroad there for a year. It seems like it still may be possible to live there comfortably coming from a middle class income family. (50,00-70,000 a year)
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