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Lack of family support, high costs makes life in Vancouver difficult for international students


Reported by Bala Yogesh

The high cost of living in Vancouver combined with a lack of family support in the country can be a struggle for some international students.

The international consulting company, Mercer, has published its 22nd annual cost-of-living survey, and it ranked Vancouver as the most expensive city in Canada.

Vancouver is home to almost one-third of all international students in Canada. Many students at Langara say the cost of living is at times unaffordable.

Some students are anxious about their new environment

“Some living expenses are higher, and some are good,” said Karanvir Singh, a computer science student at Langara. “I have some anxiety because my parents are living in India, and I remember them a lot. I feel alone.”

Among the high costs affecting the international students are fees and accommodations.

Many students are working as well as going to school in order to afford their living expenses.

“The Canadian government allows 20 hours of work per week. So if we get paid at minimum wage, we can earn $700 to $800, which is enough for living. Just barely enough,” said Karan Veer Singh, a marketing student at Langara.

Expensive Vancouver affecting students’ studies

Some students at Langara said that the high cost of living in Vancouver makes it hard to do well in school.

“If we work, then we do [pay] part of our fees by our self, but we have to ask our parents every time for the fees,” said Harish Kumar, a kinesiology student at Langara.

Langara science student, Ashirwad Bishnai. Photo: Bala Yogesh
Langara science student, Ashirwad Bishnai. Photo: Bala Yogesh

“It’s one of the difficulties that we face in this country. We have accommodation problems as well, but fees are our biggest problem. It affects us in our studies,” said Kumar.

Despite the high costs, these students are happy with Vancouver and their college.

“The [high costs] affect me a little bit. I’m living in Vancouver, and that’s a good place for living.

“I’m studying in Langara, and that’s a good college,” said Ashirwad Bishnai, an associate of science student at Langara.

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