Returning home and thoughts for my final year

It’s taken a few months to readjust to life since returning home, partly due to the time difference but mainly due to the lack of independence since moving back with my parents. Although the grass is always greener on the other side, with home cooked meals and a clean house being two things that are greatly missed as a student, I’ve always greatly enjoyed the freedoms of student life particularly after living 5000 miles from home.

London life is so vastly different from Vancouver’s slow-paced and outdoorsy lifestyle which I found suited me well. It’s taken a while to remember the things I love about suburban life in West London and not wince at the cost of transport every time I hop on a train. However, after catching up with close friends and heading up to Manchester to hear all the stories I’d missed while away, I’ve noticed how the year abroad has benefitted me in terms of my motivation and positive outlook on life. After living somewhere where mountaineering sports and coastal walks were a regular part of my free time, I’ve found myself prioritising daytime activities over nights out (potentially a sign of old-age) which has helped me to cope better with work-related stress and anxiety.

As the summer flies by I’m having mixed emotions about returning to uni. While the prospect of the final year work-load is daunting, I can’t wait to be properly reunited with my uni family and also with those Manchester students I’ve become close with in Vancouver. Given the regular assessment at UBC, I feel I’ve developed a stronger work ethic and an ability to manage multiple deadlines which has equipped me well for fourth year. Furthermore, the ethos at UBC to become an active member of the community has inspired me to get involved with student volunteering groups and, in turn, utilise student resources to build my CV and career prospects.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year abroad and can safely say it has benefitted me in ways I cannot begin to list. I’ve found writing these blogs a helpful way to summarise the highlights of the year and am sure I’ll take pleasure reading back on them in years to come. I hope that after speaking to UBC students about UoM more positions become available to go on exchange to Vancouver as it’s such an inspiring city that provides an ideal environment for student life.



How to enjoy a post-study abroad adventure on a budget

By Ruby Smith, University of British Columbia, Canada

Prior to my arrival in Canada, I had ambitious plans to travel before returning to the UK. However, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances relating to my visa I was unable to get a job and was therefore was left with a very small budget to travel with. Regardless of the troubles I faced trying to get a job, I eventually found some great options that didn’t leave me broke and ended up having a sweet end to my year abroad.

Continue reading “How to enjoy a post-study abroad adventure on a budget”

Final Reflections

Melisa Karasu, University of British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Waterfront

Well I can’t believe that my time abroad has finally come to an end. I’ve only been back home for a couple of weeks and it already feels like it was all a dream! Now I have settled back into life in England, I think a post dedicated to reflecting on my experience is in order. Continue reading “Final Reflections”

Before arriving at UBC

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

Despite the many similarities when doing your year abroad in another westernised English-speaking country (I wouldn’t say it was exactly a culture shock), there are many differences between Canada and England.

The views are definitely better in Canada

Continue reading “Before arriving at UBC”

Oh how time flies when you’re having fun

Melisa Karasu, University of British Columbia, Canada

Well it’s safe to say that this semester is absolutely flying by. I can’t believe I am over halfway through already! In the short time I have been here I have already seen and experienced so many amazing things, my only complaint being now that I am running out of time to complete my never-ending list of things to do here! Continue reading “Oh how time flies when you’re having fun”

Nearing the end of my year abroad

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Canada for almost 7 months. My time here is all too quickly coming to end with the semester finishing at the end of April. My last exam falls on the 27th giving me only a day to pack up my whole life and move out of University accommodation the next day.

Vancouver waterfront

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Academic Differences at UBC

Melisa Karasu, University of British Columbia, Canada

I thought I’d dedicate this post to the academic differences in the arts department here at UBC from Manchester, as there are definitely a fair few! Although I study English Language with Screen Studies back home, I am only taking English classes here, with one free choice still within the arts faculty, so this post could be helpful for any English students (or anyone in the arts) considering UBC. Continue reading “Academic Differences at UBC”

I made it to UBC!

Melisa Karasu, University of British Columbia, Canada


Well here I am, finally in Canada and settled (just about) in UBC! It felt like the time would never come and then suddenly it was thrust upon me. Having had a really busy December trying to fit in alternative assessments, packing and Christmas and New Years, I feel like in the last few weeks before my departure I hadn’t really given much thought to the reality of what was about to happen, and it didn’t really feel real. Continue reading “I made it to UBC!”

Adjusting to life back in Manchester

By Joe Gaskin (UBC, Canada)

It seems slightly weird being back in Manchester after a year away. You quickly get back into the same old routines and after a few weeks it feels as if you were never away. But of course, the feeling of nostalgia is always there, which is both good and bad.

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Reflection on Study Abroad

By Joe Gaskin (UBC, Canada)

I thought it would be good to write a post that just sums up my year and shows just how much fun I have had. It’s been a life-changing year and something that I wouldn’t change at all even if I could. But it is so hard to sum up my experiences in words so I created this photo slideshow, which I thought might get my message across a bit better. Enjoy!


Summer Travels

By Joe Gaskin (UBC, Canada)

The biggest and best trip of my time abroad came right at the end of term. UBC was weird in that university finished for the year at the end of April. This means you’ve got just under 5 months’ summer holiday. Of course, I had some sensible aims for this time off, such as work experience and earning money, but I could not ignore how good an opportunity this was to go further afield from Vancouver and travel.

Continue reading “Summer Travels”

Reading Week Rockies Roadtrip

By Joe Gaskin (UBC, Canada)

In February, at UBC, you get a reading week which I guess is meant for studying but if you’re a study abroad student there are probably better ways to spend it (i.e. travelling). During my reading week, I rented a car with 3 friends and we went on a road trip around British Columbia and neighbouring Alberta.

Continue reading “Reading Week Rockies Roadtrip”