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Vancouver is not a cheap city to live in. Living standards are high, so you can expect an average cover fee of about C$5 to C$25 just to enter the club, C$5 for coat check (it's cold—you will need a coat), and the cost of drinks is approximately C$5 a shot. It is not unusual to come out of a club C$50 to C$70 poorer than when you entered. Clubs do sometimes offer discounted or waived cover fees through their Facebook pages, but these often require you to be at the club by 10:30 p.m. and who even goes to a club that early? The good news is cover is often waived for girls before 11 p.m. Bars are a much cheaper alternative if you are simply looking for a night of drinks, but they do not pack the vibe of a club, so they won't be an alternative if you are interested in a club-like environment. Parties around campus are not uncommon, but a lot of them do get shut down early or are dry events. While they can still be fun, expect to be somewhat sober from your pre-game by the time you actually get to the party venue.
Students living in dorms are allowed to drink as long as they are over the age of 19, but they are not allowed to play drinking games in their units. Thus, "house parties" are very limited. The closest it gets to a house party is a frat party, but they often get shut down early and are in no way close to frat parties you see on TV or in movies. If you have friends that live in off-campus residences, they can have parties, but depending on the neighborhood, it can still be shut down from noise complaints. Due to various restrictions set by on-campus authorities, most students take most of their nightlife downtown to clubs or bars. The best thing about being in Canada in terms of the party scene is that you no longer need to be shady with your fakes since drinking age is 19 and above in BC.