I am so happy to have studied at UBC! Vancouver is such a liveable city, full of friendly Canadians (and Australians?!). As an Arts student (major in Psychology and minor in Sociology) I took three electives and two psychology subjects for the second semester of my second year at the University of British Columbia.

The full-time load at UBC is five subjects, and my first thoughts were daunting! Although it kept me busy, I’m happy I took electives that weren’t too full-on, as I still had plenty of time to experience and explore the Canadian culture. If you can select electives, I highly encourage that.

I lived on-campus at Fairview Crescent and loved our little four-person town house-like accommodation. Having a shared kitchen was very convenient and social. I got on very well with my housemates – two were Canadian who gave me lots of advice about living in Canada. My third housemate was also on exchange so it was nice to be experiencing studying abroad with someone who was on the same page as me!
I found expenses in Vancouver were very similar to Australia. It really depends on how much you would like do/travel/see. I budgeted a bit extra for travelling – there is so much to see and do while you have the opportunity! I even made my way down to Seattle and Portland.

Top tips:

  • Boots – It rains. Don’t be like me walking around with wet feet hoping it would stop.
  • Whistler- I managed to go at the end of summer and winter. There is much to do during both seasons. Summer: biking, canoeing, zip-lining. Winter: skiing, snowboarding, and obviously epic snow-ball fights.
  • Vancouver Island – I visited British columbia’s small capital- Victoria. There is many lovely chocolate shops and cafes. Tofino is the most beautiful place- I tried paddle-boarding when it wasn’t too cold yet.
  • Stanley Park – rent a bike, rollerblades or just run along this beautiful path along Vancouver’s harbour. You will see many squirrels, and if you’re lucky – racoons! In winter they show a great display of Christmas lights that you can’t miss.
  • UBC Thunderbird games – I bought a season pass to all of the games ($15 which also included a team shirt) which was very worth it. Watch basketball, soccer, football, and of course : ice-hockey. Make sure you get your hands on tickets for the Vancouver Cannucks!

Most importantly: say ‘yes’ to invitations and grab the crazy opportunities you’ll get. Buckle in to have a blast studying abroad at UBC!

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