from orientation to midterms with pop quizzes in between

hey!

i just realised i saved this as a draft but didn’t actually post it….doh!! (and i am completely computer illiterate so i hope the pics work)

So,

in terms of uni work i’m not going to lie, it’s pretty hard core. Five courses (required by Glasgow) per term is more than what your average Canadian student takes so the workload is intense, thinking caps are required at all times. Also the assessment is continuous in most classes which is totally different from my classes back home, here it’s pop quizzes and midterms galore. I have a solution though – caffeine. Suddenly i understood why there is a Starbucks on every corner (even on campus). That being said, the courses are interesting and i’m finding the different styles of learning a real eye opener, moreover i’ll be going back to glasgow with a work ethic i never knew i was capable of having – can’t be bad.

As for the non work side of Campus life. . . . There is loads to do in Vancouver and even on campus itself. It’s very preppy participation esk over here. Lots of chanting and pep rallies which i have to admitt i find strangely amusing. If you join the ‘blue crew’ (basically a fan club for ubc sports clubs – the big blue bird in the pic is their mascot, the thunderbird) then you get free entry to all the intervarsity sports events which is pretty interesting, lots of facepainting and shouting. Also, there are loads of sports we don’t really get (or don’t actively promote as much) in Glasgow like American Football, Ice hockey and basketball.

I also got involved in the annual longboat race, which is made up of multiple 10 man/woman teams all rowing their hearts out to win nothing but pride. Each team gets dolled up in imaginative fancy dress and undergoes a weekend of training before race day. i would thoroughly encourage you to get involved but i would strongly advise not going to a 8 am race start having not been to bed…..cheering and hangover is not a good combination. that being said we did come 3rd – whoop – perhaps alcohol is benificial to sport.

There is also a beach on campus, perfect for a cheeky wee sunbathe between class (it was warm enough to do this till about mid oct). It is however a nudist beach so bring a sturdy stomach as unfortunately elderly rotund ladies and gents are not a rare sight.

There is also a cinema on campus and a few pubs (expensive though, no curlers pound a pint here). The pool is also really good to get some exercise in.

There are also loads of clubs in UBC, from arts and crafts, to free food club to sports. So far i’m in the Surf and the Mountaineering club and both are great fun. The surf club host beer gardens, themed nights and trips around canada – all of which are really good fun, there is even talk of Hawaii trip next year….STOKED!!!  – as they would say.

There also loads to do off campus in Vancouver. Stanley Park is beautiful, perfect for a picnic, a bike ride or even a concert (they hold open air gigs with international artists – soo good). There is also the grouse grind, a mammoth walk up grouse mountain with a killer view at the top. I’ve also been Kayaking in a place called deep cove – stunning views.

The clubs in town are also good. A good mix of your usual with a few gay bars, seedy dens and the amazing Blarney Stone (a club that plays scottish/irish tunes – reminds me of home). But….one complaint, there are no chippies, they just don’t have chips on the way home! (and no french fries soooo do not count as chips) it’s all pizza over here – very odd. Another odd thing is the bus system, due to your U-pass (annual bus card) not only do you catch a bus in, you also catch it home at 3 in the morning – makes nights out way cheaper.

As for off campus and away from Vancouver, the options are limitless. I’ve already taken trips to Vancouver island Whistler and others have gone to places like Seattle and the Rockies. Vancouver island is stunning, i got really excited about the pumpkin fields – a very foreign sight. I’m excited about snow from my wee expedition to Whistler too, through UBC you can get a season pass (the season being november to april over here) for 400 dollars when they cost the average mr Joe Blogs a whopping $1700 – definitely a must – especially if you can wing it so you’ve got a mate doing a season over here so you can get free digs.

Also along the way i’ve experienced my first Thanksgiving and i have to admit i’m sold – christmas dinner twice a year, who can argue with that?!

argh!! i’ve just seen my word count. I think that gives you a rough idea of the limitless things to do and the unfortunate limits on time.

i’ll keep you posted

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