Bachelor of Science, 3rd year
Bachelor of Science, 3rd year

Academic experiences

While on exchange I took as many elective subjects as possible to allow for lots of free time.
This turned out to be a great idea because I did quite well in all of my courses yet still had time to go away for weekend trips during semester.
I found the contact hours of 5 courses to be similar than the contact hours for 4 courses at UQ and the assessment was also fairly easy to manage.
One thing that I found a struggle was the lack of lecture recordings and that a lot of the classes have “clicker questions” where you participate in class for marks.
This makes things difficult if you have clashes but the academics are usually very understanding and will provide lecture slides and invite you to office hours to discuss the content further.

Mt Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rocky Mountains with the other UQ exchange students.

Personal experiences

I grew so much a person on exchange!
I had never lived out of home prior to exchange or even been away from my family for more than a week so I learnt a lot about independence while I was away.
Everyone on exchange is in the same boat in that they have left the comfort of their family, friends and country so are very willing to get out there and create an exchange family of their own.
For me this was really important in adjusting to being away from home and I found it really easy to create a social circle, especially with the UBC incoming exchange Facebook group where parties and activities are posted daily by other exchange students.

One of the main reasons I chose UBC is because of its close proximity to some of the best national parks and hiking spots in the world.
During semester I had the opportunity to visit Victoria and Tofino on Vancouver Island, Whistler, Lynn Canyon, Lake Sasamat and my favourite, the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Canadian Rocky Mountains

Accommodation

I lived on campus and I think that it was the thing that made my exchange as great as it was!
UBC is a beautiful campus and has everything you could ever want in the one place so you never have to travel outside of the campus if you don’t want to.
The accommodation I stayed in at UBC was really great, it has decent sized rooms, a kitchen/bathroom shared by 4-6 people and I even had views of Vancouver Harbour from my kitchen.
Almost everyone on exchange gets on-campus accommodation if they want for the winter semester however for the summer, lots of people get left out so try look into other options early on if this is when you plan to go.

Tofino

Budget

I found that Vancouver was similarly priced to Brisbane after you took into account the exchange rate, with the exception of eating out.
There are numerous restaurants and bars around UBC and Downtown where you can get solid feeds for between $5-10.
Just remember that tipping is compulsory and tax isn’t included so it’s always a bit more than what the menu says!
I’d say that $10,000 for the semester alone would be ample however I did a lot of traveling around America afterwards which was extremely expensive and added approximately $6,500 to the cost for 6 weeks travel.
Despite the major over-spend it was by far the best thing I did so try allow a little extra cash to see at least some of the West Coast which is easily accessible from Vancouver (San Francisco is incredible)

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Academic development and employability

UBC is a very highly regarded university so having studied there instantly makes a person more employable.
Going on exchange also shows adaptability to new situations and you create connections all throughout the word that may be valuable to have in the future.

Highlight

My highlight was easily the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
If you decide to go to UBC, you MUST go see it.

New York City, New York

Top tips

• Attend as many of the parties and gatherings in the first week and get a group of friends going early, it will really help you to adjust to the crazy new lifestyle.

• Apply to Walter Gage or Fairview on-campus residences.
This is where most of the exchange students live and they both have fun events on in the common rooms regularly.

• Go to a hockey game.
The UBC Thunderbirds play on campus and are really cheap to see but the professional league games are well worth the money.

• Get involved with the UBC Exchange Student Society.
They do great weekend trips to some of the most beautiful locations around British Columbia.

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