I chose to go to the University of British Columbia in the second year of my Bachelor of Science (Biomedical) degree. The equivalent load in Canada is 5 subjects which is a heavier work load than usual at UQ so try to save your electives for your time abroad in order to be able to see in and around Vancouver. The lectures were really interesting as the lecturers took more of any interactive approach.

Fairview Crescent was my choice of student residence as you got to share a small apartment with 3 other UBC students. There was a communal kitchen and lounge room in each apartment, which was great to have as opposed to eating out. Fairview also had its own gym in the commons block that was free to use. Many of the students in Fairview are on exchange so everyone is friendly and welcoming.

The UBC REC centre has a number of social sporting leagues to join at very reasonable prices. I joined a flag football team that played once a week and it was a great way to meet new people and have a lot of fun. If you don’t know of a team to join, there is a free agents meeting before the season starts where you can meet other people looking to form a team.

The must have item for UBC is a bike to get around the huge UBC campus. There are plenty of second hand bike stores on and near campus. If you volunteer at the UBC bike shop one night a week they will lend you a bike for free. They are a great way to save time for more important things like sleep for those who are unfortunate enough to get 8am classes.

5 Top Tips

  • Midterms are very popular at UBC so be prepared to start studying early (I had 9 midterms)
  • Get involved in campus life – join a club, go support the UBC thunderbirds and play in the REC league
  • The donut bites from the bakery in the village just near Fairview are amazing
  • Get out and enjoy Vancouver before the rain comes in winter
  • Learn to love your raincoat

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