Bachelor of Science, 3rd year
Bachelor of Science, 3rd year

Academic experiences

I took two psychology courses: Cultural Psychology and Memory: Historical, Clinical and Cognitive Perspectives.
These were a lot different to courses at UQ because their only contact hours were lectures. In addition, the lectures weren’t recorded so this required you to make friends with people in your class if you weren’t able to attend a lesson.
Lecturers also emphasized contact hours, allowing you to meet with them personally and ask questions about content/assessment.
The flexibility of my degree also allowed me to take two creative writing courses.
They were courses outside my comfort zone but I found them interesting and challenging having come from a science background.

At UBC

Personal experiences

Being on exchange is a completely unique experience.
You’re placed in a brand new environment surrounded by other exchange students from different countries and cultures.
Exchange students are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet.
They’re always up for an adventure so there is never a weekend when you’re not doing something.
It only aided that Vancouver is rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities and that its closeness to cities such as Victoria, Whistler, Seattle or Portland made for great weekend getaways.
If you weren’t travelling there was also plenty to do on campus.

Columbia Ice Fields

Accommodation

If possible, living on campus helps you have a great exchange.
It makes getting to class easier and allows you to have late nights studying in the library.
Moreover a lot of the friends you’ll make will be living on campus so meeting up with them and going to campus events is easy to do.
Downtown Vancouver is also only a bus ride away and the buses arrive and depart frequently.
I’d recommend applying for housing early as I know people miss out on on-campus housing when left to the last minute.
However, I do believe exchange students are given priority.

Cloud Gate in Chicago

Budget

Vancouver is an expensive city but you can find ways to save.
You’ll find that prices for groceries are similar to Australia, except for cheese!
Eating out is similar to Australian prices and public transport is handled by buying the UPass at the start of your exchange.
This was really helpful because you got a card each month, which allowed for unlimited access to buses and the Skytrain.
On-campus housing was around $6500.
I’d say around $9000 would be able to cover you for the semester, add extra money for the travel you intend to do after or before exchange.

Painted Ladies in San Francisco

Academic development and employability

The School of Psychology at UBC has a great reputation, so learning and interacting with lecturers who are leaders in their field and being amongst students who are passionate about their studies was very rewarding.
The exchange experience also teaches you important lessons on being independent.
It shows your ability to adapt to new surroundings and it also broadens your social circles with people from different walks of life.

Highlight

I’d have to say seeing the Canadian Rockies covered in snow was indescribable.
It's definitely something you have to see if you're given the opportunity.
It was humbling and awe-inspiring.
It’s a beautiful part of the world.

Boston Skyline

Top tips

Just do it, you’ll grow as a person.
Either through learning from people from different walks of life or from pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
It’s an experience unique to your tertiary study.

If you’re worried about finances, there are ways to fund for your exchange.
Take a part time job prior to your exchange or make use of the OS-Help loan.
There's really no price you can put on the things you'll learn whilst living abroad.
 

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