Florine Kremer has been on a study exchange for 5 months to Canada for her MSc Management, Economics and Consumer studies. She has attended the University of British Columbia.
Why did you choose for Canada to go on study exchange?
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is known for being active in sustainability and having close relations between teachers and students. Also, its campus is surrounded by the ocean on one side, mountains on the other, and 20 mins from downtown Vancouver. For me, Canada felt like a safe choice. Because there’s no language barrier, it’s easy to get to know people and more about the culture. For me, UBC was a way to explore Canada’s nature and different scientific perspectives on sustainability.
What is the culture of the country like?
It’s American in some ways, but ultimately very Canadian. People are very polite and friendly. The country is very big, so there’s a difference between the East and West part of the country (French vs. English speaking). Overall, people are very active, wear sports clothes all the time, love hiking and hockey (ice hockey of course). Vancouver is very well off, so everyone goes out for dinner and drinks a lot.
What are the possibilities for housing?
Housing is possible on campus. Register in time, as exchange students have a fair chance of getting a room there. You have to pay a $900 deposit and the rest (for me that was another $2365) has to be paid during the week of term. If you don’t want to live on campus, you can live in Kitsilano, which is also close by and really nice. West End or Downtown (Yaletown, Chinatown, Gastown) are the nicest, but really expensive. You want to avoid East Vancouver, as it’s really far away from campus and not the safest neighbourhood around (still safe to walk around though, just preferably not to live).
Do you have tips for students who are going to Canada?
As always, I would recommend travelling beside your study. Rent a car and go on a road trip every weekend. There are a lot of really nice places nearby, for hikes etc., but also further away is definitely worth the trip. The Exchange Student Club (ESC) organises some trips and parties every Thursday, e.g. a surfing trip to Tofino (Vancouver Island) and a weekend to the Rocky Mountains.