The University of British Columbia is a magnificent campus. All within a short walking distance you have access to the beach and the beautiful Pacific Spirit Park, which offers great trails for running. Some parts of the campus offer magnificent views of the nearby mountains, which are easily accessible by public transport to those who are keen to do the Grouse Grind or once it starts snowing go skiing.

I lived on campus, at Fairview Crescent. It is apartment style living, so that means you have a kitchen and you get to cook your own meals (which I prefer). The only down side of this is if your flatmates don’t have any kitchen goodies, you will have to purchase it yourself. I would recommend making good use of the nearby Thrift stores to purchase everything you need for the kitchen. There are many places to buy food from, if you live on campus make good use of the $1 fruit and veg bags that they sell at the Village fruit market. No Frills is the cheapest store to buy groceries from and is a short bus ride away from campus. Food is expensive in Vancouver so make sure you budget for this.

I enjoyed my lectures, my biggest complaint would be that I did not like how my lectures were split into one hour lectures three times a week. It also meant that I had class every day not leaving much time to explore greater Vancouver. I would recommend that when you enrol in your classes try to schedule in some free days but at the same time try to enrol in some interesting classes that you don’t have access to back home. For instance I studied Middle Egyptian, which is a language course in hieroglyphs.

I recommend you arrive in Canada as early as possible to make good use of whatever sunny and warm days they have. I went on a Moose tour of the Rockies before the start of semester and had an awesome time. There are some great places to go swimming around Capilano river and Lynn Canyon.

Make sure you plan to do something outside of campus every weekend. Explore the towns outside of Vancouver too. Bowen Island is a bus and ferry ride away and Mt Gardner offers a great hike with wonderful views. Stawamus Chief is a much nicer hike than Grouse (I think) and if you do it on a clear day you will be rewarded with magnificent views. Victoria on Vancouver Island is about a four hour trip by public transport so I would recommend staying for two nights at the very least.

Overall I enjoyed my time at UBC and made some wonderful friends from as far as Iceland and as close as Brisbane. Do and see as much as possible because before you know it, you’ll be home.

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