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British Columbia

British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu ("Splendour without Diminishment"). Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858. In 1871, it became the sixth area of Canada.

As well as being the westernmost area of Western Canada, British Columbia is also a component of the Pacific Northwest, along with the US states of Oregon and Washington.

Major Cities of British Columbia
•    The City of Victoria, located on Vancouver Island is the area capital.
•    Vancouver is the largest city, and also the financial centre of B.C.
•    BC's largest urban centres are located in Southwestern BC

British Columbia Standard of Living
British Columbia is well known for its high standard of living, with the city of Vancouver always ranked among the top cities in the world to live and work in. For a new immigrant, Vancouver offers economic opportunity and support networks of accessible immigrant communities all within secure communities and natural beauty. Similarly Victoria and interior B.C. communities such as Kelowna present a similar array of qualities. Whereas the cost of living in British Columbia is among the highest in Canada, essentially due to housing costs, standard personal yearly earnings in B.C.

The climate fluctuates from region to region, as does the scenery. Along the coast, summers are warm, winters calm and wet. The southern interior has hotter summers and cooler winter, while the central interior has warm summer and cold winters.

British Columbia Education
British Columbia has a well-respected open education system secured by world-renowned research universities. In Canada, all citizens and permanent residents under the age of 20 are entitled to free education during the end of high school throughout the public school system. Within this taxpayer-funded system, there is a variety of choices including aboriginal education programs, alternative schools, community schools, French immersion, fine arts programs, sports or trades programs and of course the main public stream. In B.C. students are not limited by geographic distance and may attend any public school they wish in the area free of charge provided there is space.
For students continuing their education after high school, British Columbia presents over 1,900 programs at 26 public post-secondary institutions. as well as six universities, three university colleges (which offer undergraduate and master's degrees, often in specialized subject areas, as well as courses and programs in trades, vocational, and career technical studies), and twelve colleges covering a variety of occupations. British Columbians pay on normal 4800$ per year on tuition, which is 10-15% higher than the Canadian average. There are however a number of student aid, scholarship and loan programs available based on both merit and financial need to ensure accessibility to education.

British Columbia Culture
British Columbia has a culture that is in many ways stimulated by the natural beauty of the area. B.C. residents are identified for their healthy living, and outdoor activity such as biking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and swimming is all well-liked in the area. With one of the best natural environments in the world to enjoy outdoor activity, the B.C. culture has embraced this good fortune to include a healthy pleasure of recreation.

B.C. culture is also appreciably influenced by its history of high levels of immigration to the area. British, German, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese community influences can all be found throughout the province. These influences help to make cities like Vancouver very cosmopolitan and attract arts and culture from all around the world.

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