housing and course selection

I’ve been getting lots of questions regarding housing so i thought i’d post a note here. Basically there are loads of options here.

Firstly, you could choose off campus. Although this would be nicer accommodation probably, from what my friends have said it’s just as expensive as lining in residence and it’s a lot further away – bit of a bummer but if there are a bunch of you it could be fun. Tricky if you’re only one semester tho.

In terms of on campus options there is still loads of choice,

There’s Fairview – the townhouse style res. This is the one i choose and i don’t regret it for a second. It is further away from most classes (esp arts ones) but it’s still only a 15 min walk from the furthest building and only 10mins from the gym and the pool. There is a cafe (the beanery) right here and it’s really social. I’ve been lucky getting amazing flatmates (room-mates over here even though you have your own room) which has definitely had an effect on my bias towards this res. I would warn you though, the small rooms are truly tiny – if you like your space, avoid them.

Then there is gage. Although this one looks horrific from the outside it’s alright inside and it gets truly amazing views if you’re lucky enough to get an upper floor. It’s seen as more of a party option and it’s definiely more central but it is a tower block so has a much less personal feel.

There are totem and vanier. These are the first year residences so you can get people under 19 in them although technically anyone can stay here. These places are far more controlled but they do organise amazing events and they are certainly social. These are the catered options so if you’re not up for handling a kitchen these are a good option and the food is very tasty – much better than catered at home. However, if you are over 19 you will definitely be among the oldest there which you could find an issue when you have a million midterms in relation to the average first year. However all this said, Cat (a scottish girl in second year on exchange from Aberdeen) loves it. So it definitely depends on you.

There also marine drive. I’ve only been here once so i don’t know all that much about it but it seemed nice – again self catered. I’m sorry i don’t know more.

All of the on campus residences have a 24 hr manned desk so you always have someone to go to if you need help – ie a spare key when you’ve locked yours in……and you’ve just had a shower…and you’re in your towel…and you have to walk over in the snow bare foot!!! – not fun.

I hope this is of some help when you decide. : )

ok next thing – courses.

Although you get pre assigned courses based on the form you send to the go global office you can change them easily when you get here. The system over here is very easy to use and allows for lots of taster course adding/dropping at the start of term. Also, as an exchange student you can more often than not get into courses that are ‘full’ by going to see the professor in charge, if you give a valid reason (ie. ‘i’m on exchange and i need this course to fill the requirements from my home university’, or  ‘i’m on exchange and i’d love to have the opportunity to take your course as it is not offered at home and the topic fascinates me’) then you should have no problems. Note the shameless us of the exchange card – trust me it’s priceless and useful in more ways than you’d imagine.

i hope this helps,

but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a mail and i’ll get back to you as soon as i can.

good luck ! x

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