UQ Program: Bachelors of Arts/ Laws

I completed my final semester abroad at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. I lived on campus at Walter Gage residence, which is three towers of self-catered apartments that accommodate approximately 1,500 students in total. Gage is fantastic because all the residents are second years or above (meaning they are above the drinking age, which is 19 in BC) and it’s centrally located between the gym/pool, classrooms and bus stops.With friends in downtown Vancouver on a typically rainy night

While at UBC, I took four political science and history courses. In general, it was easy to keep up with the work required by each subject and still manage to go out during the week. I rarely, if ever, did any university work on the weekend. UBC and UQ are just so different and I don’t think that one is more difficult than the other. As far as history and poli sci courses are concerned, at UBC classes are much more interactive and there are constant small-percentage pieces of assessment to be submitted. The marking on assignments and exams, on the other hand, is usually a little easier than at UQ. Most Canadian lecturers are also very personable and engage with their students, which makes asking for extensions and special treatment fairly easy (particularly if you play the ‘exchange student card’).

Dressed up for Day of the Long BoatCanada (outside Quebec) and Canadians are very similar to Australia and Australians in some ways, and very different in others. Get to know Canadians! One trap that many exchange students fall into is that they end up spending the vast majority of their time with other exchange students. The solution at UBC is simple: join a club! There is a club to suit any (and I mean any) interest. I joined the water polo club and the team turned out to be my best friends. They were constantly organising social events downtown in addition to post-practice parties and sushi trips. We also went on tour to Victoria and played against other university and club teams.

Top five experiences Vancouver and BC have to offer:

1. Go mountain biking in Whistler. Everyone goes skiing, but not everyone goes biking - it’s really easy to learn and a tonne of fun!
2. Go surfing in Tofino. An eight hour bus/ferry/bus ride from Vancouver, Tofino is the surfing capital of Canada. There’s something awesome about surfing in an 8mm wetsuit with numb hands and feet.
3. Eat Blue Chip cookies. Voted the best cookies on campus, Blue Chip is a bakery that makes mouthwatering cookies, muffins and pastries. I was an addict from day one.
4. Do the Grouse Grind. Every Vancouverite knows the time it takes them to hike up Grouse Mt. The view from the top of the mountain stretches from north BC, to Vancouver Island and into the USA.
5. Lola’s Bar in Kitsilano. A student bar with fantastic DJs and music selection, Lola’s is generally packed on weekends, but one of the best nights out in Vancouver.


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