Students of English are aware of how important it is to their future careers. It is not difficult to argue that those who master English become desirable candidates for global companies. They are more adaptable and can contribute more to society back home. Selecting the right study destination for learning English is a very important decision. While there are cities where English is the main language on nearly every continent, this article will highlight the reasons why Vancouver has been the top choice for thousands of international students to study English abroad over the past decade.
1. Vancouver Is One Of The World’s Best Cities To Study English Abroad
According to QS, a large global rankings index on the top universities for student living standards, Vancouver is a major city for students in international education wanting to learn English. In their “Best Student Cities for 2016” profile, they rate Vancouver as being in the top six in terms of students and overall desirability. If that weren’t enough to win your vote, The Economist placed Vancouver as 3rd overall in their 2015 Report on Global Liveability.
2. Choosing A City Committed To A Green And Sustainable Future
Want to be at the forefront of a revolution dedicated to sustainability and greener conditions for Vancouverites and the global environment post COP21? Vancouver’s 2020 Green City Initiative, sponsored by the Vancouver Municipal Government, is driven to reducing the amount of waste and emissions throughout the Lower Mainland while granting easier access to clean water, expansive greenspaces, and limiting overall carbon output in the city. The program aims to promote sustainable living throughout the city.
3. One Of The Safest And Most Secure City Destinations
When it comes to choosing where to study English abroad, safety should be high on the list of considerations before selecting a destination. According to the website Numbero, an online “global liveability directory”, Vancouver scores high in security and general well-being. The city has a diverse population and a zero tolerance policy on discrimination of any kind regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. With its low rate of violent crimes, citizens of Vancouver are at ease when walking through virtually any area of the city regardless of time of day.
4. YVR, Our Beautiful Global Gateway
The moment you step off your plane at the Vancouver International Airport, you will realize that this airport is unlike any other in the world. Rated as the best airport in North America for the 7th year running by Skytrax World Airport Awards, YVR sits comfortably in 14th position overall in the world. You will be greeted by naturally lit surroundings, numerous water features, and stunning First Nations artwork. With direct routes to multiple destinations throughout Asia and Europe, and sharing a minimal time difference between here and Latin America, international students of English are discovering the convenient location Vancouver has to offer.
5. The Value of the Canadian Dollar
Owing to a collapse in the prices of global oil, an event that caused a significant crash in Canada’s Albertan oil industry in 2014/15, our dollar has been losing value since that time. The result of this has been to give foreigners coming to Canada a major break in terms of converting their own currency to the Canadian dollar. This has become a huge consideration for international students looking at Vancouver for schools and universities alike. Students coming from abroad to study in Vancouver may at one time have thought it too expensive to enrol in programs. Today, however, those same individuals are finding the currency to be much more accessible as they can now get a lot more bang for their buck.
6. A Growing Hub Of Innovation In The Tech Industry
Interested in getting your foot in the door with the 2nd fastest growing sector in BC according to the Vancouver Economic Commission? Hungry to get a job or start a company in the same industry as 75% of Canada’s “Tech Unicorns” (A unicorn, also known as a narwhal in Canada, is a company valued at $1 billion or higher)? If that is the case, you might want to set your sights on Vancouver, developing both your English as well as entrepreneurial tech skills. The city is a hub for programmers as well as those with a passion for a career in IT. The province, and Vancouver in particular, is faced with an ever expanding gap in expertise and so are trying to attract talent from all over the world. By starting early at schools and universities, you will certainly have an advantage when it comes to jobs in the Vancouver tech industry.
7. A Golden Academic Opportunity
Our city has a rich history of education with facilities that have won recognition from around the globe. The University of British Columbia along with Simon Fraser University have expertise in a rich variety of fields and have been attracting international students for decades. UBC’s forestry program in conjunction with its tech labs and school of dentistry have made it a world leader in the training of experts within these fields. Additionally, SFU has an outstanding faculty dedicated to the sciences and one of the world’s leading criminology and forensics training programs. UBC, on the other hand, consistently ranks in the top universities in the world based on rankings provided by Times Higher Education (=36th in 2016/2017 rankings), QS (45th in 2016/2017 rankings), and Shanghai (34th in 2016/2017 rankings).
8. An Entire World In Just One City
Residents of Vancouver are proud of their cultural heritage and the fact that we have a rainbow of nations at our fingertips. Vibrant festivals such as the Sikh Vaisakhi Parade, the Persian celebration of Nowruz, Italian Day on The Drive, The German Christmas Market located in the Heart of Downtown Vancouver, and the annual Chinese New Year festivities bless the city with food, music, people and performances from around the globe. We are fortunate in this city to live amongst so many different cultures. The only requirement we demand of those coming to the city is an open heart towards fellow residents regardless of race, colour, ethnicity, religion, political leaning, sex, or gender. Festivals take place year-round and are full of activity and life. If you wish to call the Pacific North West your new home, you had better be prepared for events such as the Celebration of Light, The world famous Pride Parade, the Santa Clause Parade at Christmas, the Pemberton Music Festival, and the Vancouver Folk Fest. One thing we can guarantee is that you will never be bored while you are on the west coast.
9. Sports You Say?
The Vancouver Canucks have been exciting (and disappointing) hockey fans for nearly 50 years. Get into the action near centre ice and see what Canadian passion is all about! More of one for football? Then go across the street from the rink to watch the BC Lions take on the Saskatchewan Rough Riders or another of their rivals at the newly revamped BC Place Stadium. Be sure to get a good look while you are inside and remember your seat as you will definitely be returning to watch our soccer team the Vancouver Whitecaps during an action packed MLS home game. Finally, if you prefer a slower pace, then be sure to take in a summer afternoon game at Nat Bailey to watch our local baseball team, The Canadians.
10. British Columbia Is Supernatural
Living in the Pacific North West, we are very lucky in terms of our natural environment. Vancouver is one of the few places left in the world that can say we drink our water right from the tap and that our air is clean. The city is also fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most amazing wilderness you could hope to find anywhere in the world. Destinations such as the west coast of Vancouver Island will have you spying whales, carving waves, and getting up close and personal with some of the world’s largest trees in Cathedral Grove. Travel to our interior for Champagne powder skiing in the winter or links style golf in the summer. Whether you’re a hiker, kayaker, diver, mountain biker, into fishing, photography, nature, or diversity, Vancouver is the best.
Don’t Miss Out
There are certainly a lot of options when you are considering a good education for yourself or someone close to you. Research is recommended for anyone looking for a program to suit their needs. It is certainly possible to find a variety of great places all over the world to study English abroad. What is important to keep in mind when making your final decision, however, is the overall quality of life at your eventual destination. There is no point in moving if the costs are too much or if your final destination is not inspiring.
Vancouver is a city of beauty, hospitality, and globally recognized facilities. On your downtime, you will be able to explore the endless corners of the city and its surroundings without ever worrying about getting bored with the options at hand. In terms of liveability, lifestyle, costs, and inclusiveness, Vancouver offers everything a person could possibly want when studying or living abroad. If you haven’t already done so, and are considering a full-time academic or language program abroad to learn English then take a closer look at what Vancouver has to offer.