Delurking to answer: I grew up in Vancouver, where UBC is, though I don't live there anymore. I'm not an expert about UBC, even though my siblings and a few cousins went to college there. Their science department has a great reputation and I think it's fairly competitive to get into it. It is a beautiful campus right by the ocean, surrounded by a lot of parkland. There are a lot of locals that go to UBC so you do get a lot of commuters from all over the Lower Mainland (Vancouver and surrounding cities/burbs). Vancouver is a nice place to live, especially if you love the outdoors. The ocean and the mountains are all a short drive or bus trip away. It's somewhat gloomy for much of the fall, winter and spring, but summers are beautiful. The city fairly laid-back and it is ethnically very diverse (especially Chinese). If you do not live on-campus, Vancouver can be a pretty expensive place to live in.