Academic experiences:
In some ways UBC is very similar to UQ and in other ways very different. It is much bigger and my classes were very spread out so I ended up buying a second hand bike just to get around campus. In a lot of ways UQ is more updated (in its buildings, labs and facilities) but I loved the five courses I chose at UBC and my favourite class ‘Animals and Society’ ended up making me change my mind about my future career path. I feel so privileged to have taken such a fantastic course with such respectable and knowledgeable instructors. I am now looking to follow more of an animal welfare direction then ecology. My least favourite was probably German, which had more to do with my instructor then the actual course and I am aware that this can happen anywhere. Most people were incredibly helpful (especially my instructors) and I never felt unwelcome.

Personal experiences:
I absolutely loved the different wildlife and landscape Canada has to offer and enjoyed many hiking trips during the summer and skiing in winter. UBC also has an outdoor club, which takes you on various different camping trips from trail building and rock climbing in summer to back country skiing in winter. We visited the very famous Whistler area and were surprised to find so many Aussies even during the summer time, but we saw our first black bear and so were pretty happy. I found the city of Vancouver somewhat similar to Brisbane with the added hotdog stand and usual protesters. The North shore has at least three mountains, which are accessible by public transport and definitely a must to check out.

Expenses:
I took the advice of UQ Abroad and saved up roughly $10, 000 for one semester in Canada and I found that more than enough to live and eat comfortably (sharing with 3 people), while still having enough left over for small weekend trips and other activities.

Accommodation:
My two Australian friends and I arrived roughly one month before uni started in order to settle in and find a place to rent. It took us about 2 ½ weeks to find a place to rent, with multiple applications. We found our flat and furniture on www.craigslist.ca, which is a great site for everything you need to buy/sell. We found a flat with 2 bedrooms about 15mins (by bus) from uni and very close to grocery stores, Vancouver etc. for $1250/month. We had a bit of a problem trying to find a place that would let us stay for less than 6 months.

5 top tips:

  • Arrive at least one month before uni starts
  • Check out www.craigslist.ca
  • Bring or be prepared to buy warm winter boots
  • Join www.groupon.com
  • Go skiing at Cypress Mountain, Vancouver

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