I was fortunate enough to complete the last semester of my Law Degree in Semester 2 of 2017 at the University of British Columbia. Put briefly, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
UBC is a huge (and beautiful) campus and has everything you need (including beaches and a regional park). It is set in a beautiful location surrounded by the sea and mountains. Vancouver itself is a beautiful city with lots going on.
I lived on campus in Walter Gage. It was so close to the Law Faculty, the Gym, the Swimming Centre and the Library. I lived in a 6 person flat and was lucky enough to live with Canadians (Canadians are among some of the friendliest people I have ever met). I found the cost of living to be similar to Auckland.
I loved my Law courses at UBC. The classes are much smaller (around 15 people) and are discussion based. UBC offers a huge range of courses and I picked really interesting papers that weren’t offered at Auckland (for example, Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Penal Policy). The professors are really passionate about the law as are all of the students. Two of my courses were taught by practicing lawyers and Judges. I found the culture at Law School to be a lot different to back in Auckland and really loved it.
There are so many clubs and activities to get involved in at UBC. I was involved in the yoga club, went swimming every week and went hiking or skiing most weekends. There is a real culture of getting outdoors every weekend; whether it be exploring the city, going hiking in the local mountains or going skiing at Whistler (which is only a 2 hour drive from Vancouver). I made the most of my weekends and would always have an adventure planned with other exchange students. The exchange club at UBC is amazing and puts on lots of events throughout semester including ski trips, camping trips and hiking trips.
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been. It’s also huge so there are heaps of opportunities to explore it and travel around before, during or after your exchange. I was fortunate enough to travel to Banff, Montreal, Quebec City and the Yukon during my exchange.
I was a little apprehensive and nervous about exchange before I went but it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done. I made lifelong friends and have memories that I will cherish forever. I would highly recommend choosing to do your exchange at UBC.