Academic experiences: Looking back I’m so glad that I had the experience of learning to work at a university where expectations are so different to what you have become accustomed to. The standard of writing, student-teacher relationships and exam conditions were a shock - but will be an asset in future studies. I found that UQ has more content in a semester and the rules and regulations attached to exams are much more strict; which was a benefit when getting to UBC. I took five courses, a first year course in psychology, a second year course in vertebrate zoology, two third year courses (Forest Biology and Ecology, Animals and Society) and a fourth year course (Fisheries Science).

Personal experiences/What you got out of it: To be completely honest I found the first few months of living in Vancouver hard. I didn’t live on campus and because of this didn’t really meet many people studying at UBC. I’m not sure if it was just the classes I was in or if I can make this generalization about Canadians (or at least those living in Vancouver) but I found that people are more reserved and friendships take much more effort than at UQ. Once you’ve made a friend though, they are the most friendly people I’ve met. I’m so glad of these friendships and am sure that we’ll be visiting back and forth for years to come. I can wholeheartedly say that I loved living in Vancouver and would go back any day!

Accommodation: I lived on Commercial & Broadway in an apartment (it was about an hour commute to UBC). I found it on craigslist when I got to Vancouver. If I was coming back I would try to live on campus because it means no commute and friends at your fingertips :)

5 TOP TIPS:

  • Buy a bike - Vancouver is very bike friendly with designated bike paths and bike racks on the buses and it makes getting around UBC so much easier. If you have classes on opposite ends of campus a bike is the solution! Every class has a bike rack outside and there are some great second-hand bike shops in Vancouver (on Broadway).
  • Invest in a good raincoat and boots - it really does rain in Vancouver. MEC sells great outdoor clothing (and isn’t too expensive). A good raincoat is all you’ll need for winter because you can layer underneath.
  • Try a cinnamon bun from “Grounds for Coffee” on Alma St & West 10th Ave. They are amazing (and close to uni)!
  • Live on Campus - this is a great way to make new friends!
  • Be a tourist - there are so many wonderful things to do all around Vancouver! The mountains are close, Granville Island has excellent food markets, the Aquarium is wonderful and Stanley Park is gorgeous (especially when it is sunny!!). ENJOY!

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