Jessy Xie, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)

Vancouverites (Vancouver people) are really into hiking as there are lots of mountains and good hiking trails around British Columbia. There are also lots of good nature spots for relaxation when you’re here. Yoga is popular here as well!

In terms of culture, I feel that it is rather similar to Singapore in terms that the place is full of Asians. Therefore, there is quite a bit of Asian-Caucasian blend in terms of food and norms. There is definitely some cultural difference since its Canada, such as being hyped over hockey or the sports team, etc. In Canada, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the major holidays that are celebrated.

When you’re in Canada, you have to try Tim Horton’s. Canadians love their coffee. Also, personally, I really like their honey Crueller donut and Iced Cappuccino. You can also try their timbits, which are essentially donuts, but in a mini ball bits size. My favourite food includes sushi and Korean food! There are also poke bowls which are one of the new fads. Since the country is so diverse, you’re able to get the different variety of food in Canada as well. There is Chatime, a bubble tea chain. You have to try their Thai Milk Tea and Assam Milk Tea! However, their prices are a lot more expensive as compared to Singapore prices though.

I haven’t been around Canada or Vancouver much, but I do have some recommendations about what to do when you visit Canada. During summertime, you can visit Playland – an amusement park.

For hiking trails, you could try:

  1. the Chief
  2. the Grouse Grind (if you want to challenge yourself)
  3. Lynn Valley (it’s a moderately difficult route but with a really nice view)
  4. Deep Cove/Quarry Rock (for beginners)

Within Vancouver, you could visit Stanley Park and Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you want to travel around, Canada, you should go to the big cities like Toronto and Montreal. I would strongly recommend you to check out Banff (places such as Morraine Lake) or Jasper for the beautiful scenery.

Most people drive around places. Within Vancouver, where it is more congested, you can take public transportation such as the Bus and Skytrain.

When you are in Canada, a meal per person may cost around SGD 10- SGD 15. Dinner will be more expensive as well, where it ranges between SGD 10 to SGD 20. In addition, there is the tipping culture in Canada as well where many would tip about 10% to 15% of their total food cost. When I purchase groceries, it cost me about SGD 200 to SGD 250 a month. Transportation will cost about SGD 100 to SGD 200, depending on your monthly pass restrictions for adults. Students receive a subsidized rate of around SGD 50 a month for services such as travelling to other cities within Vancouver (e.g. Richmond and Burnaby). Regarding accommodation, I am currently staying with 3 other people in an apartment in campus that have 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen and my personal room. This cost me about SGD 800 a month.


About School

I am studying in the University of British Columbia (UBC) which is one of the top-ranking universities in Canada. The campus is gorgeous! You can look up the UBCC (UBC Confession) on Facebook to look up about UBC Culture! Some posts are quite hilarious.

The courses are structured rather differently among the different faculties. For example, the psychology courses as assessed on a bell-curve while most of the commerce courses are scaled to a certain average and not strictly following the bell curve distribution.

There are usually 2 lectures a week that last for about 80 minutes each. For upper level courses within the commerce faculty will rarely have tutorials.

Academically, I feel that UBC is quite similar to NUS with assessments as there are midterms, individual assignments, group presentation and final examination, etc.

There are many clubs with different focus on campus available for the students to join. For example, Sparks is a club within the commerce faculty that organizes the orientation day, called “Imagine Day”, and the welcome party for the first years. The senior commerce students also arrange weekend activities to bond the students together. There are definitely many other activities that arranged by different individual clubs. You can just pick a few to join. Also, on Wednesday every week in my school, it is a something like a “Drinking Night” at PIT which is a bar on campus where you can meet new people and socialize!

NUS Bizad Club
NUS Bizad Club

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