Going on exchange to the University of British Columbia was incredible, I made wonderful friends, learnt a lot about Canada that I would never have known without studying there and had the opportunity to travel all over the place, it was defiantly the best decision I made. Whilst at UBC I completed 5 subjects within the Geography Department which gave me the opportunity to learn about Canadian environmental issues and go on field trips – another excuse to travel. I found the academic load to be more than what I would have done at UQ however I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and the load was manageable. I have one more semester left of my Bachelor of Applied Science degree after going on exchange and feel like this experience has really added to my academic experience at University.

Enrolling in courses is very similar to UQ and I could do it myself or get a Go Global advisor to do it for me, my advice if you can enrol yourself do it early as one of the courses I wanted filled up so quickly. From personal experience I felt they graded very hard so just be prepared for harsh marks. Overall the courses I took challenged my thinking which made for a very interesting and well spent semester and on top of this the lectures were leading the in their field of expertise. Academically and Socially UBC was a great choice.

The best part I found was that I made many Canadian friends as I lived in Totem Park where not as many exchange students lived. I got the opportunity to play American style flag football for the first time which was was very fun especially in the sloppy mud and snow of Winter. I went skiing at Grouse Mountain in the middle of a blizzard and at Whistler which was the highlight of my trip as I had been there as a child and it was so great to see how beautiful the village has become. I went on a four day trip to the Rockies where I skied and ice skated at Lake Louise, visited Banff and snow tubed at Golden. This is a must do activity when travelling in Winter. Going out in Downtown Vancouver was a hike from campus but well worth the time, the night life is fun and you are more than likely going to bump into another Aussie as we are everywhere, there was never a bad scene. If your not that into partying, Downtown during the day is still super fun, Stanley Park and the Aquarium is fun, Robson Street shops are awesome and the Water Front is so beautiful. Overall I had a great trip, learnt a lot, travelled heaps and made friends that I will have for a lifetime.

My top 5 tips for people going to Vancouver:

  • Take every opportunity to travel because Vancouver Island, Whistler and Seattle are so close and great places to spend you weekend.
  • UBC has great uni life so get involved in as much as you can, play sport and storm the wall if you get a chance.
  • If sport is not your thing there is a great Uni Bar called the Pit which is great on Wednesdays, lots of coffee shops on campus including Tim Horton's and Starbucks but I found the best coffee to be at Blenz which is in the Village.
  • As for accommodation I would recommend going to Fairview as a lot more exchange students live there however if you do not feel like cooking for yourself then Totem Park is also a great choice.
  • Last but not least make sure you bring warm jumpers, lots of pants and boots and buy a good water proof jacket and wellies because it never stops raining.

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