In order of subjective importance.
10. The beer is better than in the US (I know, there are microbreweries …)
Granville Island makes an almost bavarian Hefeweizen. So you are not doomed to drink American light beer.
9. The seafood is awesome
They basically invented Salmon and Tuna here. And they definitely learned how to make great stuff with it.
8. Hawaii is as close as it gets
Chances are, you are not getting much closer to Hawaii anytime soon. (That doesn’t meen the flight from Seattle is actually getting you there quickly but fair enough …)
7. You are not strange if you are actually interested in the stuff you study
More students than in Vienna actually want to study what they study. In addition, the professors I had take pride in teaching the stuff they do. They are disappointed if people fail their exams and they talk to you if you don’t perform to their expectations.
6. Vancouver is a city, but it’s not really big
There is a downtown with skyscrapers, but you can bet there are some wooden houses right across the street.
5. You get a chance to see bears and all kinds of wildlife
A 10 hours drive gets you to the Canadian Rockies, four national parks that are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (If you are more into whales and dolphines you can also go to the Vancouver Aquarium or whale watching.)
4. There are mountains, island, beaches, parks and forrests right around the corner
Mount Seymore, Cypress and Grouse. Bowen Island, Vancouver Island. English Bay, Kitsilano Beach. Stanley Park and the Pacific Spirit Park.
3. The people are really nice
They even say “Thank you” to the bus drivers – something you’d be laughed at in Vienna. In return, the bus drivers tell you where to go and even drop you off between stations at night.
2. Vancouver is a very progressive city
There’s the West End, Vancouver’s gay community. There’s Wreck Beach, the famous, hippiesque nude beach. There’s 4-20, the marijuana holiday. So whatever is your thing, there’s probably a place for you in Vancouver.
1. Most people arrived “just recently” (in historical dimensions)
Most people here are first or second generation Vancouverites. Multiculturality is a core part of Vancouver’s identity and I haven’t even heard debate or negative sentence about that while I was here. This is so different to Vienna, where you have to face racism in political campaigns and even newspapers.