Bachelor of Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering

I am studying chemical engineering and I went on exchange to the University of Waterloo (Canada) in the first semester of my third year. I took 2 UQ equivalent compulsory third year courses: chemical engineeringthermodynamics (ChE330) and heat and mass transfer (ChE312) and a compulsory second year course: process principles (ChE101). I also took 2 electives: engineering economics (MSci261) and bioprocess engineering (ChE360). I had some difficulties with timetable clashes as the timetables are all based on students doing set courses and there was generally only one time for lectures and tutes, but my professors were great in working around it. Although the courses matched up fairly well and they offer each course 2 out of 3 terms so it is not too hard to find suitable courses, I found we covered less content than at UQ so if you take compulsory courses overseas just keep that in mind.

The smaller class size at UW meant the students in each year level were very close knit and friendly and it was great to become a part of that. I would recommend trying to do as many courses in the same class group as possible and if possible, consider doing the lab course as it complements the compulsory subjects in the term. I had two professors who used blackboards, there was no lectopia and I quite often had lectures in classrooms so it felt a bit like being back at school.

I stayed in residence (at Village 1) which was a great experience. I was able to organise this from Australia well before I left and although it was perhaps a more expensive option, it was close to campus, had its own cafeteria and had lots of opportunities to meet people. The residences are generally aimed at lower year students but there turned out to be quite a lot of exchange students and upper year students in my building. 

The most memorable experiences I had whilst I was at UW were probably staying up late with my floor mates, going skiing with the snowboarding club and going out with friends at night in below freezing temperatures and getting so cold that not only did we lose feeling in our fingers and toes but our faces became so numb that we could no longer talk properly.

Whilst travelling I met so many amazing people from all over the world. I enjoyed staying in hostels as they generally had a great atmosphere and were great places to meet other travellers.

Tips:

  • If you’re going in winter, make sure you have something that’s decently warm to get you through the first few days.
  • Watch a live ice hockey match.
  • Have pancakes with real maple syrup (at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival if you’re lucky!)
  • If possible, it may be useful to have a small amount of Canadian cash when you first arrive (in case you need to tip someone before you have a chance to take cash out etc).
  • Time will fly by so make sure you are organised and have a list of everything you want to do and see while you’re on exchange.

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