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The University of British Columbia, Vancouver

British Columbia, Canada

Ranked among top 10 universities in CA

About The University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Founded in 1908, the University of British Columbia (commonly known as UBC) is a public research university with an annual research budget of $600 million, situated in Vancouver. It is the oldest institution of British Columbia. Most students enrolled are from Arts, Sciences, Applied Sciences, Medicine and Business. Their motto, 'Tuum Est means 'It is yours. It is up to you.


UBC Vancouver's School of Engineering

Public
university

45%
acceptance rate

C$9,000 (~US$7,100) /year
average tuition fee

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C$6,100 (~US$4,800) /year
average living expense

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476

Yocketers applied
for Engineering

64

Yocketers admitted
for Engineering

1173

Yocketers interested
for Engineering

NA
average GRE quant score

NA
total graduate enrollment



Location

UBC's main campus in Point Grey, twenty minutes from downtown Vancouver, is spread across 993 acres accommodating 85% of the students of UBC. It has the view of several beaches and the North Shore Mountains. It has two satellite campuses and many affiliate colleges. UBC also has another campus in downtown Vancouver. At Point Grey Campus, food is great. For non-Canadians, healthcare is great too. There are great opportunities for biking and hiking around. However, students miss having a train/subway service to the campus. The Vancouver campus is technically on the outskirts of the city and doesn't give the benefit of being in an ‘urban area'.


Infrastructure

Spread across 993 acres, the UBC main campus has a mix of new and old buildings. Its Pacific Regional Park serves as a green belt between the city and the university. It is also home to numerous gardens like the Botanical Garden and the Nitobe Memorial Garden.
UBC houses TRIUMF, which is Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. The campus has a rich cultural heritage and houses the ‘Chan Centre of Performing Arts’. There is a farm on campus called the UBC Farm. Among the architectural attractions are also the beautiful ’Irving Barber Library, the Museum of Anthropology and Ladner Clock Tower’.
The wifi on campus is particularly spectacular. It is super fast and reliable.Â
Students feel that the study space is a little insufficient, especially during exams. The 24-hour study space is open only during final exams while it is always 24 hour for other universities. Another issue that students point out is that UBC has some or the construction going on campus, all year round. Hence the students feel like they are constantly chasing wrong routes and need frequent detours.


Residing Options

As per infrastructure, Marine Drive and Ponderosa Commons are the two residences that are the best at UBC. ‘Gage' is one of the cheaper ones if you want to balance out the rent. Fair View and Fraser Hall are the quieter ones. Students strongly suggest avoiding ‘Thunderbird' housing at all cost because it is disgusting, unhygienic and unsafe. Having said that, most students live off campus, apart from the first year undergraduates. Gas prices are high so better to use public transport. Vancouver city has a very high housing cost, one of the highest in the world.


Weather

Vancouver weather is said to be perennially in mood swings. Students say that the sunniest days can suddenly convert into heavy rains. For people who are from very hot places, it is a pleasant surprise but a lot of people that are not suited to prolonged cloudy weather may feel depressed. The best weather in Vancouver is in the summer time but most students are not on campus then.


Faculty and pedagogy

The Student to Faculty ratio at UBC is 18:2. Out of all departments, computer science faculty is particularly appreciated for being highly knowledgeable and easy to understand. The Economics faculty are supposed to be brilliant lecturers and they come from one of the top 10 schools in the world. Other majors with such professors are from Geography, Education and Forestry. It is overall a great place for graduate studies with top class researchers and students. In 2016, UBC invested CAD $2.5 million for the mental health of students and faculty to help them with the overstressed environment.
UBC is taking more and more students every year, especially international students, to improve their financial condition. But it may take a toll on the faculty and their deliveries.


Financial aid

UBC is said to have one of the most rigorous admission standards in Canada, so it is already a big deal if you crack though. The average tuition fee for international students is around $8000 to $9000 excluding incidental expenses. For students with an outstanding academic background and extracurricular experience, scholarships come easy at UBC. One can also apply while studying at UBC if they get good grades.


Jobs and placements

For computer science graduates, placements will come like a cake walk, provided they have good grades. If you pick up courses in business, it gets even better. Especially because, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon hire a lot of students from UBC every semester. Graduates from UBC also receive jobs in top American colleges such as UCLA and Purdue University. Some of the students also get retained in UBC itself.
However, if you get job offers from not these popular companies, alumni suggest that you take down things in writing, and check things in the contract properly.


Crowd and campus life

39000 undergraduate and 10000 graduate students. 29% of international students. Good gender balance. Their faculty, alumni and researchers have received 7 Nobel Prizes, 69 Rhodes Scholarships and 65 Olympic Medals. The university boasts of a good alumni base for educating three prime ministers of Canada, most recently the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
One of the largest research libraries in Canada, UBC has over 9.1 million volumes of books. If your idea is unique, you may even be allowed to create a student club in the university or give a TED talk about a mesmerising experience.
There is a UBC Student Union building which houses dozens of clubs, restaurants and cafes. The UBC sports team is called Thunderbirds. Their varsity teams participate in NCAA Division 2. They have the Doug Mitchell Sports Center which has the largest seating capacity. It was where Winter Olympics was held in 2010.Â

People are generally very active and are known to be engaged in recreational activities like Yoga.


Alumni

  • Justin Trudeau: Prime Minister, Canada
  • Beverley McLachlin: Chief Justice of Canada
  • Jeff Wall: Prominent Canadian Artist


Verdict

Vancouver can surely be an expensive university and an expensive neighbourhood. UBC as its motto goes is what you make out of it. If you care to take care of your study habits, you will do quite well. Don’t let the weather take a toll on you. Interact and engage as much as possible.


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