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I'll most probably join UBC for my M.Sc next fall. I'm an Indian national, and finding room mates over the web is slightly scary :D .

Now I'm getting around $15K as TA/RA for the two terms. Plus an additional $4800 over the summer ( if things go well). My tuition fees is the same as domestic students ( nearly $4K).

Does it mean I have to be really frugal to survive Vancouver ? :?

Please pour in your thoughts

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You'll be fine on 20K as long as you keep your rent down. That's what... $1600 a month? So if you have a room mate and pay $600 in rent and utilities, you have $1000 to live on. Even paying tuition out of that, you'll still be able to go out for beers and live fairly well.

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thewesternsky - there are places near UBC within your budget if you want to live on your own.

For example, at the end of August I will be vacating my one bedroom basement suite in the Dunbar neighbourhood and it is currenly costing us $800/month including everything but phone and internet, with private w/d & dishwasher, small pets allowed, a few blocks from busses, but across the street from Pacific Spirit Park bike/walking trails that lead straight to UBC. Of course there's no guarantee the landlords won't raise the rent when we leave, but that gives you an idea of what a decent place might cost and include.

If you haven't found it yet, a good place to look for housing close to UBC is the AMS rentsline website http://www.amsrentsline.com/.

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Are there neighborhoods where a large concentration of graduate students live? I've heard Burnaby but that's about it.

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I need some advice on how to find a place in Vancouver. I've been looking at apartments on Craigslist, but almost everything seems to be a basement apartment. Is that because of my price range (I've been looking at the $700-800 range), or are there just very few apartments which are above-ground? I've been looking at apartments within a 10 minute walk of the Skytrain (specifically, near Rupert, Renfrew, and Lougheed stations). Are there better places to find apartments online? Unfortunately, I live overseas, so finding an apartment in person in the next few months isn't possible--are there any apartment finder services? Are there usually vacancies, so if I arrived up there in the 3rd or 4th week of August, I could find something to move into in a couple of days? Basically, either that, or renting a place, sight unseen, or living on campus (if they offer me a slot), seem to be my only options.

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It probably is partly due to price range, and partly due to the particular areas you are looking in, since lots of areas in Vancouver are not very densely populated. If you look at the satellite view on google maps you will notice that the areas you mentioned are largely single family houses (which often have basement suites) and not apartment complexes. Plus basement suites are usually cheaper. If you want apartment buildings and you are going to UBC try closer to downtown (expensive), some parts of kitsilano (also expensive), marpole, or if you are going to SFU, try Burnaby near metrotown. Also, if you are willing to share with roommates, there are lot more above-ground options.

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Thanks for the advice! That was really helpful--I've expanded my search, and found a lot more. SFU is the school, FYI, and the AMS website seems to be targeted toward UBC students (I've gone through SFU's own website, and it has some stuff, but again, mostly basements). I'm not opposed to an attached apartment per se, but I'd rather not be underground.

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I'd keep looking. I live on Renfrew, and most of the new houses around here don't have basements, so the suites are main floor. They're also all the same bloody floor plan, but that's another story. I pay $1050 for a two bedroom, but there's a smaller suite next to me that probably rents for $800-900.

I wouldn't risk showing up the last week of August, but if you can swing arriving in the first or second week and living in a hostel until you can find a place, I'd say you have decent odds of turning up SOMEthing.

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Unfortunately, we won't be able to come to Vancouver any earlier than the 3rd week in August (we are living overseas at the moment, but all of our stuff is in storage in San Diego, so we have to head down to SoCal first). Anyway, assuming we don't get on-campus housing, it might be worth it to pay an apartment finder company to find something. The other option I was seriously considering was in Atlanta, and there's lots of apartments available there that are owned by management companies, with floorplans, pictures, etc online, so there's a lot more information available through things like apartments.com. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a corollary for Canada, although I have run into a number of paid search places where you pay something like $20-40 to use their database. Has anyone used anything like that? The main ones I've found are:

- www.rentbc.com

- www.renthome.ca

- www.canadianresidentialrentals.com

- www.247apartments.com

Has anyone used any of these and can comment on the best ones? Or know of any others? What about companies that actually can find apartments for you in person? Has anyone used any of them, or would recommend a company? Any idea on cost?

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Are there neighborhoods where a large concentration of graduate students live? I've heard Burnaby but that's about it.

commercial drive area (on commercial drive, anywhere between 1st ave and 12th ave). mount pleasant neighbourhood (near east broadway, between main street and clark). point grey (the neighbourhood west of kitsilano, closest to ubc without technically being on the endowment lands) also has a lot of grad students and young families. kitsilano is yuppie central, many young professionals with young families and the occasional student living here or there. you'll also find a lot of people who are grad student-age, but not usually grad students, in the west end (downtown, west of burrard).

the west end's a great neighbourhood. the neighbourhood is surrounded by 3 great streets (davie, denman, and robson) that feature some of the best restaurants, coffee houses, and boutiques in the city. they're all in walking distance. you're also walking distance to the downtown core. downtown is to the east, and stanley park (a rather large park full of lovely big trees) is on the west. to the north is coal harbor, and a nice beach with a view of north and west vancouver. south is english bay, another nice beach, and a view back onto vancouver quadra. you can see kitsilano and ubc from there. really lovely. mountains, beaches, forest. hard to beat.

the rents used to be higher here than in other neighbourhoods, but in recent years the rest of the city caught up to pricing in the west end. i've got a 1 bedroom, pets allowed, d/w, w/d, for $900 month. i steal wifi from neighbours and for some reason a free cable signal comes into the apartment, so i have no utilities whatsoever. there are studio apartments in my building that go for as little as $550/month, though they're considerably smaller than my unit. if you look hard, you can find deals all around this neighbourhood. just takes some patience.

a bit of a walk to the major bus lines, though. that's probably the only downside. it can take 40 minutes to get to ubc from here, but it takes that long, longer, to get to ubc from the commercial drive area too.

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I've noticed a couple of people asking about apartments near SFU- Burnaby is definitely closest, but Coquitlam has some relatively cheap housing prices. Port Moody has some housing options as well, but they're on par with downtown Vancouver prices (in my experience). Commuting from either of these places is easy as well, since buses run straight up Burnaby Mountain to campus.

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Hi Everyone,

I'm just wondering if anyone reading this is starting or is currently enrolled in a program in the Faculty of Education at UBC. I start there in the Fall and know only about as much as I can gather from online sources. It would be great to run some questions by a real person for once! Anyhow, hit me back if you care to share any insights. Thanks!

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Hi westcoasteducation, I'm starting the PhD program in the Language & Literacy Education Department in the Fall. I've talked to some of the professors in my dept but don't have a ton of insider knowledge. Sounds like we might be in the same boat?

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Hi again everyone,

This may seem like something of a random question - but does anyone know of an association offering courses in American Sign Language in the Vancouver area? I can't find a great deal of info online and it is something I would like to keep up when I move to the city. Thanks!

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so im accepted for grad school at ubc and moving there in august. Ive been looking online everyday on craigslist amsrentsline and kijiji but am having a hard time finding something not tooo far form ubc, not super super expensive, and allows pents. If anyone has any tips or leads knows of any places/landlords that might work id really really appreciate if you could let me know either here or pm me .

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so im accepted for grad school at ubc and moving there in august. Ive been looking online everyday on craigslist amsrentsline and kijiji but am having a hard time finding something not tooo far form ubc, not super super expensive, and allows pents. If anyone has any tips or leads knows of any places/landlords that might work id really really appreciate if you could let me know either here or pm me .

SO did you ever find anything? I am in your situation now. Thinking about accepted a PhD position at UBC in the theatre dept.

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Hi Everyone,

I'm just wondering if anyone reading this is starting or is currently enrolled in a program in the Faculty of Education at UBC. I start there in the Fall and know only about as much as I can gather from online sources. It would be great to run some questions by a real person for once! Anyhow, hit me back if you care to share any insights. Thanks!

Hi jthh,

Sounds like we are in the same boat. I'll keep you posted if I come across anything of value! I'm in Educational and Couselling Psychology, Special Education (EPSE), starting this fall.

I'll be (90% sure) starting an MA in the Faculty of Education as well (School Psychology). Mind if I join you guys in your boat? :lol:

I'll be sure to keep you posted if I find out anything useful, so please feel free to do the same for me :)

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Hi folks,

I have been accepted at SFU for MS/PhD program starting this summer. But i will be getting there only in July and starting my courses in Spetember. I will be getting an RA of 24k per year and possibly some kind of scholarship. I am from India and am looking for possible roommates and apartments. I had a few places in mind - Deer Lake, UniverCity, North Burnaby. Can people throw some light on these places or suggest any alternate locations? I wouldn't want to commute to school everyday for more than 15-20 mins by bus/train. I know that SFU is on a mountain and not possible to cycle to school. Is this option completely ruled out then? I also want to have good access to Vancouver city to travel on weekends. Any useful information is greatly appreciated. Meanwhile I'll look at some of the links posted in earlier posts to hunt for apartments. Thanks :)

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Hi folks,

I have been accepted at SFU for MS/PhD program starting this summer. But i will be getting there only in July and starting my courses in Spetember. I will be getting an RA of 24k per year and possibly some kind of scholarship. I am from India and am looking for possible roommates and apartments. I had a few places in mind - Deer Lake, UniverCity, North Burnaby. Can people throw some light on these places or suggest any alternate locations? I wouldn't want to commute to school everyday for more than 15-20 mins by bus/train. I know that SFU is on a mountain and not possible to cycle to school. Is this option completely ruled out then? I also want to have good access to Vancouver city to travel on weekends. Any useful information is greatly appreciated. Meanwhile I'll look at some of the links posted in earlier posts to hunt for apartments. Thanks :)

congrats!

I've also applied to SFU in History, but haven't officially heard anything.

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http://homes.point2....ns/Burnaby.aspx

There is a little map of neighbourhoods near the campus. You can also check out Translink for bus routes. If you are interested in going downtown, the best option would be to live near the skytrain (Millenium Line) but I think the bus to SFU would still be running you more like 40 minutes from the nearest skytrain stop. Unfortunately, no skytrain goes out to the SFU campus. Generally, public transit in Vancouver is awesome compared to other cities. If it snows, classes at the SFU campus often get cancelled and the campus shuts down because the buses cannot make it up the hill! So make sure you have your snowboots ready ;)

The folks at SFU are wanting to build a gondola to get from the base to the top of the hill, just to give you a sense of what it takes to get up the hill. It is actually burnaby mountain....using the term 'hill' is very misleading hahah

Also, the cost of living is very expensive here in Vancity so if you are looking to save money definately find a roomate. I've heard there are many basement suites to rent around SFU geared towards students. Unfortunately, I didn't attend SFU (I was at UBC), so I don't have rock solid details about the school itself/housing in the area. Hope this helps you out a bit!

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Thanks for the response Vacuum!

I had a look at bus schedules at translink. No. 145 goes from production station to SFU in roughly 15 minutes. So staying somewhere around the Burnaby Lake or Deer Lake, taking the skytrain to production station and then taking 145 from there to SFU would take around 30 minutes overall and seems like a good bet to me. From what little I could find out, rooms near Burnaby Lake are being rented out for ~$500. Does this seem reasonable? Sharing this with a roommate would further bring down the cost. Moreover this area seems to be really scenic from what I've seen in the pictures. Looking forward to getting there :)

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Thanks for the response Vacuum!

I had a look at bus schedules at translink. No. 145 goes from production station to SFU in roughly 15 minutes. So staying somewhere around the Burnaby Lake or Deer Lake, taking the skytrain to production station and then taking 145 from there to SFU would take around 30 minutes overall and seems like a good bet to me. From what little I could find out, rooms near Burnaby Lake are being rented out for ~$500. Does this seem reasonable? Sharing this with a roommate would further bring down the cost. Moreover this area seems to be really scenic from what I've seen in the pictures. Looking forward to getting there :)

By rooms do you mean suites? Like a basement suite? 500 is beyond reasonable if it was a suite. Apartments usually rent for 800+ and the closer you go to downtown the more expensive they start getting (1200+ per month) for a shoebox. Definately check out where you will be living before making firm arrangments because I know that some older buildings (if it is apartments) have mold issues and things of that nature. Better safe than sorry!

There is also a huge mall in Burnaby called 'Metrotown'. On top of tons of shops for clothes and anything you could ever want, there is also a Superstore which is basically a huge grocery store that sells other items like housewares and things as well. That will probably come in handy if you stick to living in the Burnaby area. Metrotown is also where the skytrain is based out of for access to downtown Vancouver.

Edited by Vacuum

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