Life in Vancouver - Canada

Canadian Culture

Living in Canada

Canada is a great place to live, work and study. If you have not visited Canada before, you may become aware of a few cultural differences.

During your time at UBC you’ll learn more about the Canadian culture and understanding Canadians. For a few helpful tips to ease the cultural transition, see the UBC International Student website.

For international students we recommend the publication "Surviving and Thriving in Canadian Academia" which you can access for free once you have a UBC email address.

Living in British Columbia

There are also a few differences between BC and the rest of Canada besides the weather!

Purchase Taxes
The sale price of an item or service usually does not include the taxes, which are added on when you make your purchase.

On July 1 2010 BC combined the GST and PST into a single Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 12%.

For more information on tax please see the BC Government website .

Alcohol
You must be 19 years of age or older to purchase alcohol and go into some establishments that serve alcohol. In BC, you’ll need two forms of photo ID to get served. Appropriate ID includes:

  • passport
  • driver's license
  • student ID
  • British Columbia Identity card

Supermarkets do not sell alcohol. You can buy it from licensed liquor stores.