Bachelor of Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering

During my exchange to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, I got to experience what life is like on the western side of Canada. I got to meet a range of locals; from ‘rig pigs’ to Canadian cowboys/girls, and the students at U of A.

Being located in Edmonton allowed me access to several fantastic ski fields during the colder months, as well as teaching me exactly how hard it is to walk to class in -30 degree temperatures. Definitely invest in some warmer clothes. I got to travel through the Rockies four times, which was impressive every time. Don’t go to Canada without seeing them at least once!

Within Canada I found the greyhound bus system to be affordable and comfortable. I took a trip to nearby Vancouver (I would describe it as a Canadian Melbourne) and the summer holiday town of Kelowna, near Lake Okanogan. Be warned that contrary to popular belief it does get hot in Canada during the summer. There were a few days with highs of 30 and over while I was in Kelowna.

On the academic front, the system is not too different to back at UQ. If anything, the courses were significantly easier. I had passed several courses before entering the final exams. One thing to be aware of is that the pass fail system is always scaled depending on the grades of the cohort. A 60% mark may be a fail if the average grade for the course is 80% for example. As I said before, the courses are considerably easier (Two other friends from UQ who studied at the U of A will also testify to this) so the scaling shouldn’t be a problem, in fact, it can work in your favour.

I opted to live on Campus while studying in Edmonton, living in HUB mall. I wouldn’t recommend living there unless you can speak Mandarin or Cantonese. Myself and the two other English speakers I met during my stay at HUB mall all felt alienated and left out due to the lack of communication between us and the other residents. I met several people staying at Lister house, and it sounds like a much better (albeit more expensive) option.
Overall my experience abroad at the University of Alberta was overwhelmingly positive, and I would recommend it to anyone!

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