Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts

Hey guys my name is Jamal Nabulsi and I’m a 3rd year BSc/BA - Psychology/Philosophy major. I’ve just got back from my two semester UQ Abroad exchange to the University of Calgary, Canada. Don’t tell my mum, but I miss Calgary a hundred times more than I missed Brisbane when I left. Calgary really became my home and I can’t wait to go back!


During my time at U of C I studied solely Philosophy courses and had the chance to experience a different approach to teaching than I am used to. The classes were more interactive and discussion based, rather than plain-old lecturing. This was I think partly due to the great lecturing staff that I was lucky enough to be taught by. One particularly inspirational and influential lecturer was David Dick; if you have the chance I would strongly recommend his “Philosophy of Money” course.


Despite the educational experience being eye-opening, I think the most valuable things that I gained from my exchange were the unforgettable friendships that I forged. My mates from Calgary are already planning on coming to visit me in the near future, a couple on exchange and a couple of others for a holiday. My roommates showed me the ropes in Calgary from day one and I can’t wait to return the favour when they come to Brisbane. They took me on a ski trip with a big group of their friends the first weekend I was there, which helped me so much to feel welcome and to get over my homesickness. This led to countless more ski trips, NHL hockey games, nights out, nights in and trips to nearby cities such as Edmonton, Kelowna, Banff and Vancouver.

I think I was lucky to have roommates that I got along with so well, but part of why my exchange was so incredible was living on campus. I live at home in Brisbane so this was a whole new world to me. The digs were perfectly set up; I shared a lounge and kitchen with 3 others, a bathroom with one other and had my own bedroom. When I wasn’t studying or out seeing Canada, I was usually on our couch chatting with my mates. It seemed like there was a constant flow of people in and out of our lounge room. Although, when I wasn’t in the mood, I still had my own bedroom to relax in. The convenience of living on campus is also going to be greatly missed once I have to start catching two buses to Uni again.

My one and only tip for future exchange students is to GET INVOLVED! Whether it is in sports teams, volunteer programs, student societies/clubs or anything else, sign up and get out there! I think that this is the best way to both meet new people and positively influence the community that you are living in. During my stay in Calgary I joined a university soccer team, the ski club and the EDM club. I became the first international “student representative” as a part of the Resident Students’ Association. I got a chance to influence where I was living and give exchange students a voice on residence matters. I also met a whole lot of amazing people along the way, which in my opinion is the longest lasting and most valuable asset you will attain while on exchange.

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