So you’ve applied to UBC and you’re awaiting for your admission decision.
It’s quite a nerve racking process; I remember four years back applying for UBC as my first choice for post secondary studies. Why UBC? There are many excellent universities to choose from in British Columbia. To name a few you have UBC, SFU, UBC-O, UVIC, UNBC, Langara, TWU.
Yet my choice for UBC came while in high school in BC. I liked their campus. You really get to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of Vancouver.
Next, I like the large campus. UBC has a huge campus and almost like a city of itself, it makes for good exploring and things to do. Importantly, in my opinion, it’s part of the university process. To have somewhere away enough from your norm to experience something different. It’s an incentive to live on campus which is part of the experience you get at university (I’m of the inclination that university is more than education but the networks and experience you build).
Finally, I chose UBC because of the community. I like a big university with a big international community. It introduces thoughts and allows you to intermingle with other cultures and people. It’s interesting and it’s vibrant.
I’m not saying UBC is the university for you (there are a lot of difficult people there too lol), those are simply some of the reasons why I appreciated UBC (there’s lot of eagles too!).
And BTW heads up, the picturesque photo they use in marketing UBC, IS NOT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY SEE…you know what I’m talking about. The sunny rose garden over looking the ocean and mountains. That’s real. It’s by the flag pole past Koerner and Sauder school of business. The sunny weather? Comes once every 7 days in the months from November to March 🙂
Who is this for:
Who is this article for? Well it’s for you, the one reading because you’ve applied to UBC. You’re a UBC Prospective Undergraduate. Congrats 🙂
Firstly, this article is more so intended for the international community coming to Vancouver to study at UBC. I hope it’ll help you get started and know what you can find in Vancouver. Feel free to browse this site for other information about Vancouver from a local’s view point.
Next, let me get this out there. I really enjoy meeting people and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy inviting and welcoming people and sharing any experience we can (partly the reason for VancityAsks.com). It’s something intuitive and something I enjoy (yes I used that word a lot). I find it exciting quite honestly.
We at VancityAsks.com would like to extend our genuine assistance for you moving from another country for your studies. If you have any questions about Vancouver please reach out and comment bellow! If you need a ride from the airport, we can help you too. (free) We just really enjoy welcoming people to this amazing city, even at our own expense of time and gas! Basically, this is a formal suggestion that we’d be happy to help you with your transition to Vancouver however we can at VancityAsks.com
Now, who else would be interested in reading this?
It’s for you who are still closing near the end of your high school education and looking for something to read while you procrastinate.
It’s for you who grew up in the suburbs of Vancouver (like me) in Coquitlam or maybe Port Coquitlam (good on you – your commute must be enjoyable) who perhaps may not know what Vancouver has to offer.
It’s for you, who’s perhaps currently in Singapore or New York and want to know more about what to expect in Vancouver and UBC.
Why is this on VancityAsks.com?
VancityAsks.com is a local question and answer site for Vancouver. We want to discover the best Vancouver has to offer. When you ask, where’s the best pizza in Vancouver, we have the answer from a first-hand local experience. When you’re wondering where you can get the best sushi in Vancouver? We got you covered. Something you’ll come really accustom to is drinking coffee and we also share the best coffee in Vancouver.
So it seems fitting that we also uncover our own experiences about UBC and I hope it’ll help in some way at all with your transition to university. We’re also writing this to get some likes here:
What to expect:
The waiting process can be frustrating can’t it. I remember refreshing the UBC SSC again on a daily basis waiting for my admission. UBC goes on a rolling admission base on your application strength (the best application gets approved first). My grades weren’t so good, and so my application was the latter to be approved. Foolishly or maybe faithfully, UBC was the only school I applied for haha.
Once you’ve gotten your offer, really consider if you think UBC will be the best option for you economically and personally. (There are some really amazing people and professors at UBC although there are also the fair share of ummm. yeah.)
Now once you’re admitted and you’ve accepted your offer of admission. Up and coming for international students is Jump Start in August. I’ve talked to a lot of friends while at first year residence about their jump start experience and some loved it and some did not like it so much. It is a great way to make friends though. I knew some who simply came early to Vancouver with their family and explored the city together.
When school starts in September, the first week (and even the second) is really relax. It’s a great time to meet new people and get involved with on campus activities. Go to imagine day and check out the (student) club days later on.
Honestly speaking, this video is quite accurate to many experience of their four years at UBC (with some exceptions):
If you’re a keener, it can be definitely worth while to get involve in student government.
Apply to be the first year representative of your faculty student association. I’ve notice, it seems those who go on to further positions in the student government are typically first year reps. I would think because they have the experience, rapport, and network/familiarity to be elected for other positions.
So if you intend on being in the student government later on, be the keener in the first year and apply as a first year rep. I don’t think you get paid for being a first year rep (I was quite an introvert so it wasn’t my bid) but if I’m not mistake the higher positions later in student government do pay quite reasonably.
Also in my humble opinion, if you want to run for student president some time in your 4 years at university and score that $30,000+ salary for the year…you should know, it’s a lot of a popularity contest than a merits in some level. Most of the people who become student president have strong marketing campaigns and are typically part of frats or large clubs (whose members then help with word of mouth pushing for votes). As a voter, inform yourself of each individual platform and vote purposefully.
Learning also comes in different ways as cliche as it sounds. I wasn’t quite the fan of in-class learning and haven’t done so well in my classes (mostly those that I didn’t like) although keep reading outside of class on what interest you. Many of you I know are likely going through university to check that box for a degree. I’ve spoken to many who have gone on to do careers in things outside of their degree scope.
I personally find that university is essential not for the rigid academics (many of which you won’t actually use outside your classroom unless you pursue academia) particularly but for the life skills, experience, and networks.
Go figure this one out, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
That’s pretty much it I suppose in terms of expectation for your first year. Know also that the point above leads to the next, your grades are important but look at it with perspective. Many people (myself included) got really stress about first year grades. It doesn’t really hit you as much until probably 3 months into your first year when you realize relative to others, you appear behind.
Your 90%+ you got in high school is rare in university. Attaining a B is quite a feat for certain classes. Look at the grade distribution here (you’ll need your SSC login now it appears – previously you could access it public):
You have pretty much everything you need on campus if you choose to live on residence but do take the time to explore Vancouver outside of UBC. UBC is situated to the west of Vancouver in the Point Grey community. It’s near by two communities: (1) Kitsilano – Otherwise known as Kits, check out the beaches, cafes, and eateries. You will find good coffee and donuts at 49th Parallel Coffee shop. You’ll find a beach (you can actually walk there from UBC through Spanish Banks if you’re up for a hike). You’ll find hippy stores. (2) Kerrisdale – It’s a nice, small community you arrive taking the 41 bus or the 43 bus. Here you’ll find good sushi and a nice family orientated neighborhood. UBC is also 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver by transit for your downtown Vancouver adventures.
Follow Ricardo Seah for his downtown Vancouver adventures: https://www.facebook.com/ricardoseah
Read this Vancouver guide by Alvin Yu:
Both are UBC students above. Well Alvin, went on to Edmonton to study at University of Alberta.
- Go for the orientation. Go for the campus tours. Make those friends and networks. I attended several UBC events while in high school and it was really useful for me personally. Many of the seniors are very glad to share their experience and they are really friendly (contrary to a “friend” I remembered who told me if they knew we were from high school, we’d be scorned at the events – hence think for yourself.) Imagine what a easier transition it would be if you’ve met a few in your program (or one you wanted to transfer into 😉 ) who could tell you about courses and professors to expect. Imagine how much easier it would be to make friends if you could recognize people you met before on campus and get introductions. Imagine how much easier it is for positions at (student) clubs or events if you knew the individuals from a previous encounter. Networking isn’t only exclusive to a specific study. It’s a general good and it’s always nice to make meaningful relationships. Be genuine.
- The AMS has some nice paid positions for the student government that can be worth applying for. IMHO if you’re looking some extra income, get involve in student government early on and build upwards. Also for international students, if I’m not mistaken you’re allow to work on campus without a work permit:http://students.ubc.ca/career/resources/working-canadaThe AMS does hire for a lot of position and UBC has quite a bit of programs to encourage on campus hiring. It appears you can work off campus too up to 20 hours.
- Honestly, your first year grade doesn’t matter as much (it does matter) but there’s no point beating yourself up if you didn’t do as good as you expected when you first considered your goals. Sometimes our self expectation can be unrealistic. It’s sad to read occasionally about suicides because of grades that occur in university (and in certain south east asian countries). You have so much potential, you’re admitted into one of the top universities in Canada; you have other skills and gifting so be able to look beyond your grades but for where it matters, you’re paying (or your parents are paying) $10k/year for your studies so do make the most of it.The part it matters is largely with course selection for the second year. Your GPA determines your time for course registration; you want the good courses and good professors. Professors do matter a lot to your learning. Most the professors in the Math, Computer Science, and Economics department are amazing. (with a few exceptions)Study what you enjoy and take some GPA boosters 🙂 I use to think GPA boosters was a waste of credits but they do help and they do matter. Check with the grade distribution link I posted above and choose GPA boosters if you need it. Good GPA boosters are typically intro foreign language courses of course it depends on your bent as well.
University is an exciting time and a time of transition. You can waste it away or you can make the most of it; we suggest you consider what you hope to get out from your 4 years (or five) and go for it.
It cannot be understated but genuinely choose your friends carefully. Yes, it’s a time where many fool around and reckless decisions but it can also be a time for growth and genuine understanding of who you are. Will you use this four years for your life as a platform or will it be a waste?
Honestly, the programs are such that you can easily make it through without really getting much from your education but why would you? Lastly, control your thoughts and your consciousness. (don’t lose your chooser – don’t let others choose for you. Don’t listen to propaganda. Think for your life and be productive to society. We’re neighbors for a reason.)
I hope you’ll enjoy your university experience whether at UBC or wherever else you go. If you plan on studying in Vancouver from another country, please feel free to reach out to us at VancityAsks.com and we’ll be happy to help however possible. (whether be it question, or being a line of support, or a ride from the airport to your destination – if schedule permits. I may be in and out of Vancouver). Also follow VancityAsks.com to learn more about Vancouver!
I’ll probably update this article later when I feel like it; meanwhile after a straight 2 hours of writing, I’m simply going to post as-is. It’s not a graded essay after all. Please leave your comments and thoughts and suggestions. I’m sure there are many others who can provide better tips than these so please do!