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Re: UBC vs. UCSB
UCSB definitely has a high cost of living. I would argue that it's more costly to live in Santa Barbara than Vancouver, all else equal. In my opinion, UBC is stronger in economic structural methods which, to me, has a higher pedagogical value. However, UCSB is considered a top 5 environmental economics program by many. It is also part of the UC system which means that you'll be exposed to a lot of students from the other UC schools like UCSD, UCLA, and Berkeley. Think human capital spillovers! Either way though, I don't think that you can go wrong.