Anonymous asked: Heyy :) I was just wondering if you could give me a hand, I'm thinking of applying to UBC for next year to study arts but am still a bit unsure? What are they classes like? and if you know what the on campus living is like, and whether there are alot of international students (i.e British, Australian, American), or mostly just Canadian? I was also curious as to what career path you are thinking of? sorry if it's personal, i've got pre-entrollment jitters! xx :)
I’m glad to help. UBC is a great school since it consistently maintains its status within the top thirty highest ranked universities in the world.
What does this mean? it means you should consider it for the following reasons:
a world renowned name matters today for people who are trying to break into many industries. this is through a well trusted name on the transcript you got your degree from.
a plethora of opportunities beyond a name means meeting and working with tons of other people who are just as bright and ambitious as you are. trust me when i say that this matters in our world today. opportunities: arts co-op, mentoring programs, internships, volunteer experiences… tons and tons of stuff to do at UBC.
ok now let’s answer all your questions.
- what are the classes like? they’re not easy. alot of people at UBC seem to think that they can find classes that are “easy” enough to coast through without having to think, as long as they search hard enough. wrong. you have to use your brain. the difference is that classes can be taught in a wide variety of styles and rhythms, often depending on who your professor is as well as the department it is offered in. obviously, different people have different ways of learning new things and therefore you will have different opinions about professors, classes, and exams and so forth depending on who you ask. So my answer and the bottom line is this: I have never regretted taking a class at UBC. I only take courses where you actually go to the lecture rather than some kind of an online class because I learn best from some kind of a dialogue with a real human being. the professors I have had have been, for the most part, very well experienced and dynamic. They will challenge you to think critically and improve your reading and writing skills in arts. What I like most about the classes I have taken is that they allow me to unleash alot of my creativity in combination with my keen interest in how the world works. My interests- and probably yours since you are interested in arts- are how does society actually work? why? how did it get to be that way? Why do people behave in the ways that they do? has this changed? how do we know? these are the kinds of questions you begin with in first year and then as you go through your degree you narrow such questions down even further. What do you want to study? Depending on how you answer this question, classes can vary greatly. If you don’t know, don’t fret. There are tons of first year programs to ease you into arts that expose you to many fields of study that might interest you so that you can make an informed decision about what you might want to major in. You might be interested in the arts one program (something i did in first year), or CAP or some other program. ask me for more info if you like and ill be happy to give you lots of details.
- campus living - i have never personally lived on campus but i have made friends with a lot of people who have. here’s what i know: you’ll be sharing your room with one other person. if you can get along, great, if not, well that’s gonna suck. you also have to deal with a lot of partying, loud noises (like firealarms getting pulled at 3 in the morning) and shared bathrooms. the food gets old real fast too. however, on the plus side, you make lifelong friends, you always know where the best parties are happening (seriously something important lol) and there’s always stuff going on. i have never met anyone who has regretted living in residence at ubc. most residences that I have had the opportunity to infiltrate have had a pretty high number of international students. I always meet people from Australia, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, and some African countries on exchange at UBC in the dorms. in total, though, most international students I meet tend to be from somewhere in Europe or Hong Kong. then again, there are also a fairly significant number of people from northern/central BC or the Island or eastern Canada as well. so you’ll definitely be dealing with people from every corner of the world if you live in residence.
- my career path - i had no idea what i wanted to study, let alone think of a career before first year at UBC. so I decided to do what my father and sister did- take the arts one program at UBC. I’m really tired now so I won’t explain all about it now- you can read up on it at the website. http://artsone.arts.ubc.ca/
If you read it and you like it, take it with ROBERT CRAWFORD- he is an amazing professor. He’s the one I had. he is a political science guy with a focus on international relations. it was through his political analysis of classical and contemporary pieces of literature in the canon that convinced me to minor in political science in second year (everyone has to choose their program by second year). Fortunately, I had taken sociology 100 in first year along with arts one and that was where I found my passion for sociology as a field of research. what I liked about it so much is how sociology offers a number of “lenses” to view the world which help you to make sense of things. anyway, suffice to say, I chose sociology as my major long before I chose my minor.
In my third year (last fall) I realized that the difference in the number of required courses for a major in poli as opposed to a minor was quite small. It was for this reason that I chose to switch to a major in poli instead of a minor- so now I am a double major.
Anyhow, I’m sure this is quite confusing so I’ll stop ranting and just say to you that if you want to know more about sociology or political science at UBC- I am your man to talk to! I have been involved with both departments for quite some time now.
as for my career, I realized in second year that i didn’t have one going for me. Sure, I could end up getting a great degree with great grades from a great university- but that’s not going to necessarily land me a job/career when i’m done. So I took a deep and hard look at myself and decided to forge a path for myself. I had been tutoring ESL people at UBC and from my work for a while. It was something I loved to do and I could see myself travelling in the short term and teaching English abroad. so I got my teaching certificate in ESL at a local college in downtown Vancouver with a great reputation and got myself into the arts co-op program at UBC. I spent the past year volunteering teaching immigrants English and learning as much about the industry as possible. After a bit of job searching, I have managed to secure a work placement through the UBC co-op program with a Chinese company. I am moving to China for the September- April terms to teach English at university there and this will go down on my university transcript.
My advice to you: whether you go to UBC or a different school- be sure to get yourself into a co-op program or job placement of some kind. It could make the difference between a very long and arduous process of finding the right career for you and a much smoother transition into the working world.
All the best and keep on asking questions if you want to know more.