University of British Columbia: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Tianne Jensen-DesJardins, 24

Tianne Jensen-DesJardins (Courtesy of  Tianne Jensen-DesJardins)

Tianne Jensen-DesJardins (Courtesy of Tianne Jensen-DesJardins)

Why did you choose UBC?
I chose UBC in part because of its first-year program called Arts One, which combines a variety of fields of study. I stayed at UBC after my first year because of its English honours program, where students remain in one cohort for the entirety of their second year. Of course, my hometown is an hour and a half away from the campus, so location also played a large role in my decision.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
I really enjoyed my summer internship as an undergraduate academic assistant. Working alongside a professor to create an online English course was an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of academia. Another favourite experience has been my time with the Ubyssey, the school paper. From the time I wrote my first article, I’ve been welcomed into a community of people who are passionate not only about journalism, but also about inclusivity and diversity.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
The only extracurricular I’m involved with is the Ubyssey, but only because of my lengthy commute and other activities outside of school. If I had been able to live closer to campus, I would have joined some rec teams and outdoor clubs.

What do you think of your professors?
I’ve had good experiences with almost all of my professors. Most have been passionate about the material and have eagerly helped students learn it. Most professors have gone above and beyond what I expected when I entered university. A number of my professors were willing to schedule video calls within a day or two after I had requested them. Overall, the professors at UBC have been nothing but supportive.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
I have nothing but praise for the professors and the variety of courses offered and find it is easy to get into my preferred courses. However, I have run into many snags in my dealings with the school’s administrative staff. I find that UBC, as a larger university, takes a long time to reply to requests or schedule times with advisers.

What is off-campus life like in Vancouver?
Having grown up in the Greater Vancouver Area, I know more than my fair share of interesting locations beyond UBC’s idyllic campus. For example, Granville Island (a short bus trip away) is the go-to spot for fresh pasta, cheese, bagels, school supplies, art supplies, live theatre and more. To find a location with a lighter price tag, I’d check out Jericho Beach, which is just down the hill from campus.

PROFILE: The University of British Columbia | Vancouver, B.C. | Founded 1908

If I wrote the school motto: It would be ‘Opportunity awaits those who seek it out’
Best place to live: Off-campus housing with some friends
Best place to study: At the botanical garden on campus
Best campus events: Storm the Wall and the annual snowball fight
Best campus food: Pizza at Mercante
Best cheap lunch: Subway in the Life Building
Best place for a fancy dinner: The Gallery Patio & Lounge on the top floor of the Nest, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) building
Best giveaway: Anything along Main Mall during the first two weeks of term
Best bar for hanging out: Browns Socialhouse is close and has a decent happy hour
Best live music venue: The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has the most amazing acoustics on campus
Best place for a nap: The basement of the Walter C. Koerner Library
Best weekend activity: The school is fairly old, so I was amazed by how many new buildings there are on campus
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The school is fairly old, so I was amazed by how many new buildings there are on campus
If I could change one thing about the school: I’d lower the parking fees

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