At UBC, I chose two subjects that I needed to continue my studies back home, and three subjects that I thought would be interesting but will only count as electives in my degree. One difference here is that UBC requires five subjects for a full-time course load, instead of four at UQ. Make sure you choose some easier courses, or at least some with less contact hours.

One of the best things I found at UBC was the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). If you’re interested in the outdoors (hiking, rockclimbing, mountaineering, kayaking, etc.), then you have to check out this club.

I did not live on campus, but instead found an apartment close to town and shared with two other friends. This cost me $400 per month, and I think was well worth it. UBC is not as close to the city centre as UQ, so if you live on campus it can take a long time to get anywhere. Food was also around $400 per month, and then you just need money for having a good time.

I arrived a few weeks before the term started in Vancouver to find somewhere to live. Most apartments only become available on the 1st of each month, so keep this in mind.


  • Get out of the city. Vancouver is a great city, but nothing special. The attraction is the mountains and ocean surrounding the city.
  • Bring your raincoat. But if you don’t have one, wait till you get here because they’re a lot cheaper than in Australia.
  • If you intend on skiing a lot, buy a seasons pass to one of the North Shore mountains (Cypress, Seymour or Grouse) 6 months ahead and get the early bird prices.
  • Try the beer. The Pacific Northwest has a load of microbreweries, that all brew really tasty beer.
  • Bring your raincoat. Really.


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