I’ve just finished my second week of classes here at UBC and to say it’s been pretty intense. The timetable here works very differently to the UK- instead of doing 6 modules over the course of a year they do a minimum of 3, normally 5 for a full time student per semester. As an exchange student I’m doing 4. My classes here are shorter than the ones I had in Cardiff- only 50 minutes or an hour and 20 minutes long, but you have 2 or 3 classes a week on each module. This means that although the work is of a similar standard to Cardiff there seems to be a lot more of it! And assessments don’t just come in one essay and one exam either- I’ve already had one assessment that was a written exercise in class. Participation and with your classmates and lecturers is encouraged and expected- for someone that only piped up once for the whole of first year- this has taken some getting used to!
Having said this, I am loving all of the modules I chose to study here- UBC has a wide variety to choose from. I chose, Introduction to Economics, Geopolitics, Geography Environment and Sustainability and Creating Canada. Learning about geography here is so different from in the UK- mainly because of the case studies that they use. So far they have either been on Canadian case studies- which include a lot on indigenous peoples and their histories and cultures, which I find so interesting having never really known anything about them before, or ones closer to home such as the UK and the EU. Hearing about our issues and geographies from the perspective of Canadians is really thought provoking- and has made me question a lot of my own previous assumptions. Also, all of my lecturers are really engaging and so helpful if you have a problem.
Despite classes having started I’ve still managed to have loads of fun- I’ve been whale watching, climbed Grouse Mountain, checked out a few local restaurants and the Museum of Anthropology and attended Homecoming. I’m looking forward to seeing some more of Vancouver itself this weekend- Stanley Park and Downtown are two spots I can’t wait to visit!