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New student residence is close, but costly


Reported by Duncan Anderson

Students play in the snow on the CIBT’s Granville Suites’ roof in downtown Vancouver. Photo by Duncan Anderson.

International student housing is big business for some investment companies in B.C.

As part of its rapid expansion plan, an education and student-housing investment company called CIBT Education Group Inc. will open a student residence on the corner of Cambie Street and 60th Avenue in May.

Toby Chu, president and CEO of CIBT, said that the cost per month for a private bedroom in a suite is about $1,000 depending on the location. That is a bit lower than similar private rooms in downtown Vancouver, which cost around $1,100 per month on Craigslist.

“Supply and demand is our biggest disparity,” Chu said. “Right now we are looking at 20 to 30 inquiries to one available suite. It is becoming very competitive.”

Students consider price and location

Jarod Kaplan, a film arts student at Langara, thinks $1,000 is “a bit steep” for one of the new accommodations on Cambie Street.

“But it’s a nice area and so close to school, so I could see why somebody would be interested,” he said.

CIBT currently houses over 7,000 students every year and advertises to more than 20,000 international students through its partnerships with schools such as Emily Carr University of Art + Design and through Sprott Shaw College, which they own.

Langara to make housing information available

Valerie Peters, international education manager at Langara College, said her office was recently approached by CIBT, and that the college is in the process of determining how to make the housing information available to students.

“We don’t want to be seen as endorsing any one particular place for students to stay, and that is a challenge,” Peters said.  She said the only accommodation offered at Langara is through their homestay program, which costs $800 a month including meals.

The Cambie and 60th location is four blocks away from Marine Drive Station on the Canada Line. A new station could be built in the future at 57th Avenue.

CIBT’s common kitchen for residents of Granville Suites. Photo by Duncan Anderson.

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