I went on exchange to the University of British Columbia for Semester 2, 2011. Although I study a dual degree in Commerce and Engineering at UQ, it was extremely hard to do engineering courses at UBC, so I completed all Commerce subjects. Although the UBC business school is quite prestigious, unless you’re going for a University Medal at UQ, it’s easy enough to pass, plus having “Sauder School of Business” on your resume looks mint. Sauder is also quite group focused, so it’s easy to meet people and work together to do well. However, the normal study load is 5 subjects, so I recommend choosing easier or lower year courses to make the most of your exchange.

As for experiences, Vancouver is such an amazing city. Although the Australian and Canadian cultures are very similar, there is a bunch of differences that are exciting to discover. From the different coffee and fast food stores to the weird way Canadians say eh after every sentence. There’s so much to do in Vancouver as well. At Lynn Canyon, we jumped off cliffs into icy cold water, explored the wilderness and stumbled over the free suspension bridge. Vancouver Island has heaps of history and some great nightlife. Whistler and the amazing Rocky Mountains are so close, and are great in winter and summer. Vancouver also has a bunch of amazing bands that come there to perform, we saw Pendulum, The Wombats and Blink 182 for 25 bucks each. If you go in Semester 2, make sure you make the most of the last hot days, they run out way too quickly and the cold is great, for a while….

For expenses, make sure you save a bunch of money. I tried working on campus with a student visa, and found I was just missing out on too much stuff. Accommodation + food + airfares is about 6 grand already, and while you’re in that part of the world you may as well have some solid months of travel before/after studying.

5 Top Tips for Vancouver:
1- Make sure to check out the “pre-approved course list” for UBC. It can save a lot of time getting course profiles together. But double check the courses on there are run in the semester you go, most are not run all year round.
2- Go check out a Fraternity Party, there’s nothing like them at UQ, and beer pong and other related games are a bunch of fun.
3- Buy the Whistler season pass, it may seem like a lot of money, but when day tickets are 100 bucks each, it’s worth it.
4- Join the UBC Ski and Board Club. They have amazing parties and deals in Vancouver and Whistler, and are extremely chilled and fun to hang out with.
5- Read “the book.” We found some outside the Totem Park Cafeteria. It’s a hilarious guide book for UBC, with some awesome tips and articles. The 99 things you must do at UBC gave us heaps of ideas.

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