I went on exchange in semester 2, 2012, and I would say it was probably the best half-year I have experienced. You get to travel, meet the most amazing people and experience different culture. I chose the University of Alberta because of snow snow snow and snow. It is one of the first areas to snow in Canada (in October!). What’s better than studying and going on weekend ski trips all at the same time?

In terms of studying, I am doing a dual program of engineering/commerce and I went in my third year. Unfortunately you can only apply to one faculty of the U of A whilst on exchange. This policy caused me a lot of trouble in terms of course enrolment over in Canada because my dual program study plan is not all that flexible. I ended up only doing three subjects instead of the usual four. I would recommend getting more courses approved if you can, especially if you are doing engineering because they take course limit very seriously and not every course is offered every year. After finally enrolling into courses I didn’t have much trouble with my studies. The workload is pretty similar to the University of Queensland and the assignments and exams also structure similarly to those of UQ. I tried to get my work done during the week so I could go travelling around during the weekends.

There are a lot of choices in terms of accommodation around the U of A. There are 7 on-campus accommodations and many off-campus student residential buildings within walking distance to campus. I chose Lister Centre after chatting with someone who went to the U of A a year before me through the UQ Abroad Facebook page. I definitely recommend using that Facebook page because nothing is like seeking some first hand recommendations from someone like you who went through the same application process.

Living in Lister Centre was probably the best decision I have ever made. There are four towers with hundreds of students residing there. I lived in Schaeffer Hall, which is for second year or above. The Schaeffer Hall Council has a lot to offer, such as dodgeball games, social events and family nights. You get to meet a lot of people from all around the globe and I made some best friends there.

The only regret I would say from this exchange was only planning to go on a half-year exchange program. I would definitely recommend going on a full year exchange because semester flies by without you noticing. It would be nice to check out Edmonton summer and travel more around Canada and America.


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