Home Sweet Home

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)

After another two weeks of travelling in Canada and the US, I eventually made my way back home – first to Germany and then to Manchester (at last).

In Germany, I spent the majority of my time with friends and family, exchanging stories on all the things that had happened in the last few months (and there were a lot), celebrating my sister’s highschool graduation and visiting friends in different cities in the area. It took me a while to realise that I am not in Canada anymore (it is summer, but where is the snow?!), but I eventually got used to the fact that my time in the country famous for its beautiful nature, its icehockey team and maple syrup was over – for now. Writing and talking about Canada still makes me feel nostalgic, but at the same time I have missed my loved ones at home. And there are a few things that  I sometimes take for granted in Germany that I have missed, too:

The architecture, for instance, (here in Freiburg)…

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…or a good wiener schnitzel with spätzle – a typical German dish.

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Back in Manchester I worked as a student ambassador for a couple of days before starting my internship.

IMG_9774As part of the internship I sometimes travel to London and I must admit I was quite surprised when I found a sunny and hot London (it was over 30°C!)  instead of the cold and rainy one I was used to. I mean, where is the rain?! Where is the wind?! Why is it not cold?! Well, at least the red buses are still there and of course, the impressive architecture. London never fails to amaze me in some way or the other – and neither does Manchester.

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Although it is in the middle of summer and many of my university friends are back in their home country or travelling, I was very pleased to see some of them during graduation in July. It is unbelievable how fast time has passed. Two years ago I first arrived in Manchester, not knowing a single person. This year I am welcoming new students to our University in September, with a wealth of experiences to share. And next year? Next year I will (hopefully) be where some of my friends were this July – graduating with a degree from The University of Manchester. Let’s see what the future holds in store for me, but whatever is going to happen – the beautiful memories I have made in Canada will always stay with me.

What happened next?

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)

UBCAbout one and a half months ago my time at UBCO came officially to an end and it was time to say goodbye – goodbye to UBCO, but not to Canada. After we had finished our exams, Maria, a friend from Mexico, and I made our way to Banff and Lake Louise. It took us quite a while to get there (yes, it all looks very close on the map… maybe a bit too close), but the view awaiting us was simply breath-taking.

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I would even say that Banff was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Nothing compares to the feeling of sitting on a rock thousands of metres above the ground, somewhere in the mountains, a light breeze touching your skin, overlooking the whole town, and just enjoying the view.

592At some point on our way we got lost and stumbled across a secret spot. It is not just a name that we invented, but it is actually on the map – “The Secret Spot”, except that we were heading somewhere else and just ended up there. I guess putting down your map and getting lost every once in a while is not such a bad idea after all, you might even discover something beautiful. It is another one of my favourite spots (and there were many in Banff). We sat there for quite a while just listening to the sound of the waterfall and the waves passing by. It fills you with a kind of inner peace and satisfaction.

As you can see in the next picture, the weather can change quite tremendously from one place to another in Canada. Maria and I foolishly assumed that the weather would be similar – I mean come on, how much of a change could there be if you travel a few hours to the east? Well, this is Canada, and if there is one thing I have learned about Canada by now it is that it’s very diverse, whether it comes to its scenery, its wildlife, its population or, yes, its weather; it is diverse and it is constantly changing. But at the same time this is what I love about Canada.

Lake LouiseThe picture shows frozen Lake Louise, which is just about thirty minutes from Banff.. Do you see what I’m trying to tell you now?

We didn’t really have the appropriate clothing for the weather, but we nevertheless walked around the whole lake (and went hiking for hours in the mountains in Banff). At some point we were even walking on the lake, but we didn’t even realise until we got back and viewed the lake from afar.

There are many other spots and viewpoints that I particularly enjoyed, but before I show you and tell you too much, it would probably be best if you go there and see for yourself. Because, whether you believe me or not, even the most beautiful pictures that I have taken do not fully capture the beauty of the view I have seen in real life.

Reflections On Returning To Manchester… A Year On

By Sophie Black (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

It’s been a year since my time at UBC ended.

The sense of spontaneity and adventure has long gone, taken over by the dreaded dissertation and final year stress.

Living in Canada for the year taught me to be flexible, open-minded to different cultures, and adapt to new ways of thinking and doing things. I have grown in so many ways – I have more confidence, I am far more independent, and my mum says I am noticeably more mature (I’m not sure what she is insinuating… but I’ll take it as a complement!). It has made me more appreciative of what I have – a spin on the phrase ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’. Since I lived ‘without’ them for a year, now I have returned from Canada I value my family and friends so much more.

My year at UBC undoubtedly made me feel so much stronger academically. This was only compounded by the fact that I was able to take modules beyond my Geography degree, spreading my understanding into the anthropological, sociological and psychological realms. I have frequently found myself referring back to concepts and theories I learnt out at UBC, subsequently making my essays and exam scripts seem interdisciplinary in addition to giving the impression I have gone way beyond the reading lists!

My time abroad has led me to constantly encourage younger students to take the same path. When the academic year started again in September, I took the opportunity to become a Global Guidance Ambassador for the International Programmes Office. This job has run perfectly alongside my final year of university, giving me eight hours a week when I can escape from my dissertation and just chat to students who are thinking about studying abroad. It has enabled me to share my wonderful experiences and hopefully encourage more to take the same opportunity. It does, however, come with one major downside: I am SO jealous of all the students who still have their time abroad ahead of them!

I totally appreciate those who find the idea of studying abroad terrifying. I too had many an evening of tears to mum in the weeks prior to my flight out to Vancouver, panicking about being away from home for so long. Yet think about it this way: how many people have you ever heard tell a story of their awful time studying abroad? How many say they regret going? (hint hint) Going on exchange is an incredible experience. If you have the chance, go!

The last month of the best year ever

By Giulietta Grassi (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

It’s officially one month ’til I leave the best city in the world, one month ’til I come home to London and start my final year at Manchester. I am lost for words just thinking about it; I can’t believe a year has passed so quickly… I just want to fly back to the beginning and do it all over again. It has been the best year of my life!!

The past month has been packed with trying to see and do as much as possible. We visited Seattle again for the weekend, had one last trip to the USA, and visited my friend’s friend who studies there – the best way to experience Seattle life! It was the best weekend, just exploring the city some more and chilling all together, especially during the long coach journey there, which wasjust filled with us playing pranks on the first person to fall asleep after barely any sleep the night before.

The festival of Holi also happened on campus, thousands of UBC students gathered in the rugby field where Indian music blasted from speakers and we covered each other in paint. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! By this point I actually recognised the different Indian songs playing after spending a year being shown the ropes by one of my best friends here who is from New Delhi.

Also, my best friend from London came to visit – it was amazing! I took her to all the main spots, downtown, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Main Street, the Museum of Anthropology on campus (it’s amazing and free for students!), all the blossom tree spots and then on the final day I took her to Whistler where we met all my friends who had been skiing for the day for apres-ski. It was amazing having her here and having her meet all my friends; it felt like she had always been here… the best reunion!

The past week has been filled with exams, and as cheesy as it sounds, I have actually been enjoying studying and the work I’m doing. I love the freedom of choosing what your final papers are on (yes, apparently I say ‘paper’ instead of ‘exam’ now…) and using your own research and articles found; it makes me excited to think about dissertation writing when I get back – I never thought I’d see the day when I would say that. Also, the non-stop work period means everyone is downstairs in the main commons block of Walter Gage (my accommodation) studying together into the early hours, half of the time is spent studying but the other half is spent hysterically laughing together and procrastinating; my favourite time of day.

The weather has also turned back to summer weather, as it was when I first arrived, and I LOVE IT. The trees are covered in blossom and campus is covered in people studying, listening to music and SUN. I never want to leave this place! It’s weird how in a year you can find a completely new life for yourself, one that a year ago you had no idea about but now is the most important thing to you.

The next month is going to be filled with doing as much in Vancouver with everyone as possible, along with travelling up to Banff and the Rockies, and being with my friends 24/7 until we all have to say goodbye. The thought of it hurts, but I just feel so lucky to have had this year here, that has been life-changing. All I can say is… STUDY ABROAD !!!!!!!! If you get the chance RUN AT IT, because I promise you it will be the best decision you have EVER made.

Stanley Park seawall
Stanley Park seawall
Blossom on campus
Blossom on campus
Holi festival
Holi festival
Ferris wheel in Seattle
Ferris wheel in Seattle
My best friend from home
Reunited with my best friend in Vancouver
Goofing around in Seattle

 

Academic differences between Manchester and UBCO

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)

To all those coming to UBCO, or interested in coming to UBCO, here are some differences that you might be interested in knowing beforehand:

  • Term dates and alternative assessment

The second term at UBCO starts about two weeks earlier than in Manchester and lasts about four months. Since the start of the term at UBCO falls into the January examination period in Manchester, you have to arrange alternative assessment for these exams. While it is in most cases possible to arrange alternative assessment in the form of an essay in more discursive subjects, such as Politics and Philosophy, other departments, such as Economics, require you to sit your missed exams during the August resit period for the first time. While it felt nice not to have to study for exams in January, the alternative assessment, the deadlines of which coincided with the start of the term at UBCO, as well as the academic system at UBCO both require good time management.

  • Course choice

Since it usually takes four years to complete your bachelor’s degree in Canada, exchange students from Manchester usually take third year courses. You are, however, allowed to take one or two second year courses. What I noticed is that some second year courses complement my first year studies in Manchester very well while in other cases third year courses were a more appropriate choice. For this reason it is useful to email the professor about the syllabus before you make your choices. At UBCO, as in Manchester, you are allowed to add or drop courses within the first two weeks. After that there is another deadline here in February, up until which you can still drop courses, but with a W (for withdrawal) standing on your transcript. Although withdrawing from a course is not recommended as you would need to do the required number of credits per semester in order to complete the equivalent of a full year at Manchester.

  • Teaching methods

Different from the typical combination of lectures and tutorials at Manchester, there are no tutorials for most courses here at UBCO. Instead, there are two 80-minute classes per week for every module that you take. The class size is much smaller with usually no more than 100 students in one class. In one of my classes, there are just 40 students which is a great contrast to the 200 to 300 people you sometimes find in a lecture theatre in Manchester. I enjoy the small class sizes, since it makes it easier to get to know your classmates and generally facilitates class contribution. Many students ask questions during class and it is not unusual to do exercises in class and to discuss the answers afterwards or for the professor to engage students in a discussion. You also get to know your professor better and, as in Manchester, all professors have regular office hours and are very willing to help with any problems you might have. Moreover, there are TA (teaching assistant) hours as well. Teaching assistants are usually students that have taken the class before.

  • Assessment methods

Whereas there is usually a great emphasis on the final exams in Manchester, the final exams often accounting for 60 to 100%, more weight is placed on continuous assessment here in Canada. There are a variety of assessment methods that are used, such as midterms, group work, take-home midterms and exams, graded assignments and homework. None of my finals accounts for more than 40%. If, however, you miss one of your midterms, the weight of the midterm is usually added to the final. If the midterm is worth 20%, for instance, then missing this midterm would mean that the final exam accounts for 60% of your grade. Although it takes pressure off you to do well in your finals and spreads the workload throughout the semester, this makes it even more important to stay on top of your work and keep up with the reading throughout the term.

  • Essays

Essays or term papers here often require you to choose your own topic or pose your own question within a certain framework, a little bit like a mini-dissertation. It gives you much more freedom in your focus and research and allows you to explore a certain aspect of the course that is of particular interest to you in greater depth. The preferred writing style and form can vary slightly from the way you are used to structure essays in Manchester so that I would recommend asking the professor about any formalities you might be uncertain of beforehand, such as referencing or the word limit.

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(Can’t finish a post without a picture of the beautiful scenery, I just love the view too much. I am sure you will too if you decide to come here 🙂 It looks even more beautiful in real life.)

Trips (Seattle, L.A. and Whistler)

By Giulietta Grassi (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

The trips and travelling have been one of the best things about studying abroad! I’ve loved going away with everyone, from researching where we’re going and where we’re staying right down to getting on a plane all together and finding our way in a new place. Here is a breakdown of some of the places I’ve been to so far during my first semester:

SEATTLE
Seattle was the first place on our list of places to visit. It’s so easy to access from Vancouver, a 4 hour coach journey and you’re across the border and in the US of AAAA. I loved Seattle! It’s got a big city vibe, similar to Vancouver, minus the mountains and sea. We were lucky because we knew some people studying in Seattle, so we got the full American college experience. We visited the public market, wondered the thrift shops and went to a college Halloween party. It’s amazing how a border can make so much difference, Vancouver and Seattle are right next to each other, yet there is such a difference in feel between the two. I loved every moment of this feeling and this trip, and I am definitely going back to Seattle before I leave.

L.A.
Los Angeles!!! What I loved most about this trip was the spontaneity of it. We had never planned to go to L.A., but one day it was suggested and a few hours later we had booked tickets to go in 2 weeks time… IT WAS THE DREAM. We spent the whole plane journey singing Miley Cyrus Party in the USA. We managed to find a cheap apartment to stay in, right off of Hollywood Boulevard, and spent the 4 days wondering Hollywood. I definitely recommend going there for a short break, it was perfect just to get some sunshine, chill at Venice beach and feel like Hollywood stars for the weekend.

WHISTLER
I’ve visited Whistler 3 times since being here, all 3 of which have been amazing. The first time was (when there was still some warmth in Canada) for Thanksgiving. We rented camper vans which had tents attached to them. We spent the weekend camping just outside of Whistler village, it was so cool! There were 17 of us cramped into all these different camper vans, sleeping on tents attached to the tops of the vans. It was one of the best and funniest experiences of my life. The other 2 times I went were during winter; skiing in the day and going out at night. Being the clumsy human I am, I managed to hurt my knee badly so am unable to ski now, but even without skiing Whistler is amazing; just exploring the village, staying with loads of friends in an amazing apartment, surrounded by snow and cosy winter vibes. I definitely recommend taking advantage of Whistler as much as possible in Vancouver! BUT being really careful skiing and do not be dumb like me. Whether a skier or not, Whistler is perfect for the weekend and chilling with friends.

Seattle
Seattle
Thanksgiving camping in Whislter
Beverly Hills, L.A.
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Thanksgiving camping in Whistler
Skiing in Whistler
Whistler
skiing in Whistler
Skiing in Whistler

New City, New Uni, New Home

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada)

My first two weeks in Kelowna passed by very quickly. I moved into Purcell, a hall of residence on campus, and soon got to know my roommate (we have two separate rooms, but our rooms are connected through a common bathroom). Because afternoon classes and the international student orientation were cancelled due to a snowstorm on my first day of class, my roommate gave me a little tour around the campus and told me everything I needed to know to survive the first week of uni. Despite the cold weather, the Canadians I have met so far seem to be very warm people. They are generally very friendly and helpful.010

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at UBCO were the beautiful snow-covered mountains and trees in the background. They seem so close, but are yet so far. I was told that even students from other parts of Canada are amazed by the scenery here when they first arrive. Many students here are from Vancouver and even though you can see the mountains there as well, they are not as close as they are in Kelowna.

127D058uring my first two days here, it snowed non-stop for 48-hours, it broke a 78 year record for the amount of snow fallen within that period. That was a lot of snow. By the next day, the snow reached up to my knees. I have never seen that much snow in my life, but I liked it very much. It wasn’t as cold as I expected and there was enough snow for one massive snowman and many, many snowball fights. On my second day my roommate, some of her friends that I got to know that day and myself drove to an open field full of snow to have a little snowball fight. Shortly afterwards when we were driving further, the car drove off the road and got stuck in the snow.   It was an interesting and funny experience because that has never happened to me before, but then again, we are in Canada (where in the UK could you get stuck in snow?). It was a really fun day and I enjoyed the snow very much.

It is still snowing here on some days, but on others it is sunny. The sun can be deceiving though, because it felt colder today, on a sunny day, than it did when I first arrived. Some people told me that it sometimes069 snows up until March, but I really hope it doesn’t. I went to downtown Kelowna with other international students the other day and they told me that the park there is much more beautiful when the lake is not frozen and the trees are green. I met other international students during a welcome back dinner for international students during the beginning of the second week. As you would expect, they are from all around the world, from Mexico, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan and many other places. Some are here for a whole year, some, like me, only for this term.091

Kelowna has a big mall not far from the Uni, and Walmart is only two bus stops away. That is where I got the things I needed from when I first arrived. You can get a bus pass called U-Pass from the Students’ Union so that bus rides within Kelowna are free for students. Because I am living in Purcell, I am on a mandatory meal plan (not all halls of residence have a mandatory meal plan, but you can purchase one voluntarily as well) so that I don’t have to go grocery shopping a lot. The food on campus is quite healthy, you have several cafeterias with food ranging from rice to noodles to sushi to salad and fresh fruits. They even have a smoothie bar on campus with different “boosters”, such as protein powder or calcium powder, as well as several cafés, such as Starbucks and Tim Hortons which is quite popular amongst the students here. On most days there is a long queue in front of Tim Hortons, but there is a camera around that area so that you can check online how long the queue is.

Due to the fact that the term started so early and I still had alternative assessment to do until the beginning of the second week, I haven’t changed my room much until recently. This weekend I finally found time to print out pictures of family and friends and to put them on the wall to make my room feel homely. It literally took me the whole day, but the result made me very happy. The room didn’t really feel like my room without any signs of the people I love around me. No040w that my wall is full of pictures of family and friends, it also feels more like home. It says “Little things make big days”.  I think that is very true. It only takes something little to make a big change, because, in the end, every big change starts with a little step. For me, one of them was the decision to go abroad, to leave Germany for Manchester and Manchester for Kelowna. I have learned so much in recent years and am very grateful for that. Studying and living abroad really has changed me. Each of the countries I have lived in has left an impression on me that I cannot fully describe. Were I given the same choice again, I would definitely choose to go abroad again. Beautiful memories, invaluable experiences and a lot of challenges that make you grow – that is how I would describe it.

Because the people around me are all very open and nice, I already feel at home here; but there is still a lot to explore. By now I have made a list of things I still want to do here. Some of the top things on my list include visiting other Canadian cities, such as Vancouver and Banff (the national park there is supposed to be stunning), to go skiing and snowboarding, to watch a ice hockey game (most Canadians are huge ice hockey fans) and to visit the kangaroo farm (yes, that’s right, they have a kangaroo farm! My roommate told me about it and showed me pictures, but unfortunately, the kangaroo farm is currently closed and doesn’t open until the spring break). I’ll keep you guys updated about my time here at UBCO, watch out for kangaroo pictures in one of my next posts!

UBC school life

By Giulietta Grassi (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

So I have been in Vancouver for three months now, and I still can’t believe it! Three of the most amazing months of my life. It definitely has been an adjustment, living so far away from everyone you love, getting used to the time difference, and finding your way completely by yourself. However, the biggest thing I think I have had to adapt to is UBC’s academic and school structure.

The workload here is really different compared to Manchester. I always assumed there wouldn’t be much difference between Canada and England, but there really is. I, and many of my other international friends here, have found that UBC’s workload is much more than our home universities’. When talking to the others from Manchester, we all agree that the workload here is much bigger, but the work itself seems to be easier. I am still trying to decide which I prefer…

In Manchester, as an Anthropology student, I usually have some readings and a few small tasks a week, followed by a big essay or two every two weeks/once a month. Whereas at UBC I have big tasks usually every week and much more weekly work and readings as a whole. I have definitely found this challenging to adapt to, but I have loved having this challenging. Yes, it has been difficult to keep on top of, trying to travel and do as much as possible here, but as geeky as it sounds, I have liked challenging myself.

Another thing I’ve found is that participation in class makes up part of your grade here. At first I was so scared by this, but now I actually like it… I like being forced to have my say in class – it makes me really think about what the class is about, and the aspects I am interested in. I have definitely done a lot of mumbling, going red and being flustered by questions that I’m expected to answer, but afterwards I have loved the feeling of having my say and giving my opinion, no matter the reactions. I feel like this way of learning is really stimulating and has really made my class experiences much more enjoyable.

The academics here has definitely been the biggest change for me from Manchester. Keeping up with constant work, rather than just the usual big essays. Although I am still unsure as to which way of learning I prefer, either way I feel UBC’s way of learning has taught me alot. I know that I’ll be coming back to Manchester with much more confidence (I hope) and much more willing to put my hand up in lectures and have my say. It’s taught me to speak out.

I MADE IT TO VAN CITY

By Giulietta Grassi (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

After days of stressing, packing and saying goodbyes I have now finally made it to VANCOUUUUUVER! I’ve been here nearly 2 weeks now and have loved every moment of it. Let me try and somehow start from the beginning…

I arrived in Vancouver completely jet-lagged and confused, and getting through immigration was only the start… but a few hours later I was in a hostel, surrounded by people from all over the world and in downtown Vancouver at the centre of it all. Vancouver is beautiful! It is the perfect mix of city life and outdoors. You walk 5 minutes down the road from sky rise buildings and traffic to see the sea and mountains, I’ve never seen anything like it. IT’S AMAZING! Coming from London, I’ve always been used to non-stop, busy and fast paced city life, but here city life is just as busy but relaxed and chilled out; music is blasting from cars, people dancing and taking salsa lessons on the streets, outdoor Zumba classes and much, much more.

I stayed at the Same Sun Hostel on Granville Street, and it was definitely the best choice! I was daunted by the fact that I’d be staying there for 9 days before campus accommodation opened up and I could move in, but I would not change a thing. The people there are so friendly and everyone is in the same situation, looking to meet people and explore the city. I spent the 9 days visiting the main spots like Stanley Park (go there at sunset!), Granville Island, Gastown and China Town and meeting different people from all over the world daily. But the best part of it was definitely climbing Grouse Mountain, one of the hardest, most amazing things I have ever done! I was told it was a short, hour-long hike… no no no! It is a good 2 hours of uphill hiking, but worth EVERY MINUTE FOR THE VIEW (and bears!!) from the top. Definitely do it, despite all the blood, sweat and tears shed, I would do it all over again!

9 days later we made it to UBC and it could not be more different from Manchester! The campus is HUUUUGE and basically a village of its own; you even need to take the bus to get to some parts of it, crazy! It’s so beautiful here. I’m living in Walter Gage on the 8th floor and my view looks out onto sea and mountains. Waking up in the morning could not be better! I’ve been here 2 days now and I still can’t get over how beautiful everything is. You walk 10 minutes from your room and you’re on the beach. (I spent my first trip there saying “WOW” and “I can’t believe it” for a good 10 minutes before it finally sank in that I’m living here for a year.) The flats in Gage are perfect; 6 people to a flat and Walter Gage as a whole is really social so there are different events on each night. So far my time here has just consisted of meeting more people and exploring UBC! I am in love with it here already!

I would definitely recommend staying at a hostel downtown before moving in to accommodation: it gives you the time to meet other international students going to UBC, as well as people from Canada and all over in general, (which sets you up for great connections if you decide to go travelling after!). Also, campus is so big and it takes 20 minutes to get downtown from UBC, so staying at a hostel gives you the time to see Vancouver properly before getting completely immersed in campus life.

I hope this blog has somehow been helpful and given you a better idea of what the beginning of Van City life is like! This next week is going to be filled with frat parties, BBQs and making the most of the weather and beach before summer ends! UBC’ING ME SOON!

Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Downtown
Downtown
Top of Grouse mountain
Top of Grouse Mountain
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Wreck Beach
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VAN CITY

Bye, Bye BC!

By Sarah Winspear (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada).

So here goes, my last blog post in Canada and what can I say it’s been amazing! Although for me this is not the end of my time abroad as the adventure will be continuing in the States with a bit of travelling and then working at an American summer camp which I can’t wait for. But it has meant the last few days have been pretty hectic as I only finished my exams yesterday and have a lot of stuff to sort out in the last few days before I can leave for the USA.

Looking back this year has gone exceptionally quickly and I can’t believe it’s just about over. I remember the excitement of first arriving in a new city and meeting my new flatmates and now it’s time to say goodbye. I have become so adapted to the way of life here; going to 8am lectures, grabbing a blue chip cookie or Tim Horton’s coffee to maintain energy and of course going out for cheap sushi often, so now I don’t think it’s really sunk in that I am actually leaving.

Seymour- where I spent my first night in Vancouver
Seymour- where I spent my first night in Vancouver

A few things I am definitely going to miss are the general feel of campus and how beautiful it is, with the ability to walk 10 minutes to the beach to watch the sunset, the convenience of Whistler a mere 2 hours away on the grey hound and of course the people that I have met from around the world.

Wreck Beach Sunset
Wreck Beach Sunset

Some highlights for me have been:
-the diverse range of REC events available (these are recreational one off events that are great fun)
-Whistler
-The Rocky Mountains
-the stunning campus
-being able to go and watch campus sports (which always have a good atmosphere)
-the city in general with an ocean and beaches, mountains and trails and a thriving downtown area all in close proximity
-and so many more that I just can’t write everything down.

Rec events-day of the longboat
Rec events-day of the longboat
Team Regal-Storm the wall
Team Regal-Storm the wall
the Rockies-Moraine Lake
the Rockies-Moraine Lake
Autumn/fall
Autumn/fall
wreck Beach
wreck Beach
Beautiful Campus
Beautiful Campus
Campus
Campus
Beautiful Campus
Beautiful Campus
Nitobe Gardens- on campus and free for students
Nitobe Gardens- on campus and free for students

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City Centre from the revolving restaurant
City Centre from the revolving restaurant
City Lights-Granville Street
City Lights-Granville Street

Finally I don’t really know what else to say other than no matter what you are doing consider study abroad and make the most of it while you’re there I guarantee you will not regret it and will look back and wonder how the previous year past by so fast!!

I hope my blog has shown you a little insight into study abroad and live in Vancouver and that you’ve found it interesting!

Thanks for reading
Sarah 🙂

Vancouver Top 10!!

By Sarah Winspear (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada).

After doing so many amazing things so far I thought a summary of my top 10 might be a good idea. So here goes in no particular order.

1. Thanksgiving in the Rocky Mountains

Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake

2. The best gig ever in Seattle (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Lorde and many more)

Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys

3. Trips to Whistler

Whsitler
Whsitler

4. Going to Camp

Kayaking
Kayaking

5. Climbing Grouse Mountain

admiring the scenery
admiring the scenery

6. The Canucks Game

DSC_0415

7. The Aquarium

Dolphins
Dolphins

8. Christmas Lights and the Christmas train in Stanley Park

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9. Day of the Longboat

Long boat team
Long boat team

10. The Colour Run

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Beautiful BC

By Sarah Winspear (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada).

I really don’t know where to start, so much has happened in the past week!! One thing that immediately struck me about Vancouver and the UBC campus is how beautiful the surroundings are. I still can’t believe I live so close to such vastly differing terrains with mountains, the ocean and a city centre so close by, and I love how green the area is, so many trees!!!
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View from the 16th floor
View from the 16th floor
Campus
Campus
Campus views
Campus views
UBC cmapus
UBC cmapus

So far this week I have been to the beach which is actually on campus and about a 10 minute walk from where I live. I thought I lived close to the coast at home but this is a whole new level. Wreck beach has some amazing views out to the Pacific and of the mountains, only downside is it is actually a nudist beach, but once you get over this fact it’s actually a really pretty area.

Wreck Beach
Wreck Beach
wreck beach
wreck beach

I’ve also been to Stanley park near downtown which is another beautiful area but unfortunately we didn’t have much time to walk round it all so I would like to hire a bike and some point and cycle the perimeter.

Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park looking onto Vancouver
Stanley Park looking onto Vancouver
View from Stanley park
View from Stanley park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park

Since being here I’ve had quite a few new experiences including going to a country night at the Roxy in downtown. I went with Canadians and there was a live band on and loads of people wearing cowboy hats, denim shorts and boots!! It was great even though I only knew two songs; Taylor Swift and Mumford and Sons. Some people even started line dancing, we definitely don’t get this in England but I loved it!!! Also that night there was a woman with a snake allowing people to take photos with it, well this was the first snake I’d ever seen and to be honest I thought they were pretty scary before hand but I was brave and decided just to touch it, it was a very weird feeling like nothing I’ve ever touched before.

Downtown Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver

On Tuesday there was Imagine day which was a day for new students to get told information and then get the chance to sign up for any societies or clubs. There were a lot of stalls all trying to get you to sign up. While I was there a group started singing acapella, it felt like I was in Pitch Perfect . I signed up for a couple including: the Ski and snowboarding society (I’ve only been skiing once and I’m not very good but hoping a few trips to Whistler will help me improve), the exchange society, who are putting on a trip to the sunshine coast, and I signed up to a sorority (not that I actually know what that means).

I’ve had two days of classes so far but I’m still adapting to having lectures in classrooms rather than the lecture theatres I’m used to and having to find classes that aren’t full if you want to switch a class. I’m particularly looking forward to the cartography (maps) course as I did a similar module last year however this one seems a lot more practical-based in which you make many of your own maps in lab time. I’m also taking a course on Modern Europe which should be interesting learning about Europe from a Canadian perspective.

This evening I went to my first ever basketball game, it was the UBC Thunderbirds against University of California Riverside. Unfortunately we lost 77-88 but it was a great evening, but again very strange having a sort of mini indoor stadium a 2 minute walk away. There were cheerleaders, a band, and Thunder the UBC mascot. It was all as you would imagine and there was even a commentator who in every time out would advertise for things such as refreshments. In every break there was load music playing the atmosphere was brilliant!!

Thunder the UBC mascot
Thunder the UBC mascot
Basketball game
Basketball game

I have another day of classes tomorrow then a free pancake breakfast on Saturday which I cannot wait for, the amount of free food so far has been great; we had a bbq on Monday and a free lunch on Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll get to explore a little more of Vancouver this weekend and I’ll let you know how it goes!!

Sarah 🙂