Before going on exchange, I remember reading through the testimonials on the UQ Abroad website just like you are now. In the back of my mind, I thought that there might have been a little bit of cherry picking going on as practically all of the testimonials were overwhelming positive.

I can assure you that this is not the case. The reviews of going on exchange and attending the University of British Columbia are so glowing because people genuinely want to share what a wonderful time they had and encourage others to give it a go.

On an academic note, I found the lectures, tutorials and exams at UBC to be very similar to UQ. However, as a Physics major at UQ, I was accustomed to most of my classes having a practical and/or lab component which is not the case for a number of science courses at UBC. Really, once you have managed to navigate through the process of course approvals, you are more than adequately prepared for anything that UBC can throw at you.

Now that we have got the academics out of the way, we can start to talk about the fun stuff. Your U-Pass gives you unlimited access to public transport so you can travel around Vancouver even on a limited budget. And as an added bonus your newfound freedom as a tourist is a wonderful excuse to put off studying for that midterm for just a few more days.

A couple of my favorite places in Vancouver were:

  • Granville Island – It’s the place for food, food and if you can manage it some more food.
  • Stanley Park – Whether you just want to go for a bit of a stroll or an early morning run to work up an appetite before you hit Granville Island this is the place.
  • Blue Chip Cookies – Imagine Mrs. Fields gone wild.
  • Ice Hockey – Just quintessentially Canadian.
  • UBC’s Wreck Beach – Warning: All will be revealed!

I would also recommend living on campus as you are close to your classes and it makes it very easy to get to know other students, both local and on exchange.

But don’t worry if it takes you a little while to make new friends, if you get stuck you can always make your own!

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