University of British Columbia (Canada) vs. Macalester (U.S. liberal arts college)

<p>Hey everyone. </p>

<p>I am an international student just wanting to find out more about the University of British Columbia. I got a really great scholarship there and I would just like to know more about the academics and social/campus life there (esp. adjustment for international students). I am also concerned about the large student that really an issue? I've never been to Canada before and just would like to know more info about the life in schools there.</p>

<p>Also anyone who knows a lot about Macalester College in the US, I would appreciate your comments. I got a scholarship there as well.</p>

<p>This is very important...and I would love to hear your perspective. Thanks a lot. :)</p>

<p>You cannot go wrong in either place. There is an exceptional first year liberal arts programme at UBC--arts one-- that you may wish to inform yourself about before making your choice. I suspect Vancouver might have a slight edge on Minneapolis as a student city but you probably would love either place. It depends upon the friends you make in first year.</p>

<p>i think it depends on what type of universities u prefer really... ubc and macalester are kinda different... correct me if i am wrong, but i think ubc has like 60000 students and macalester has around 2000? but ubc clearly has better international recognition, although macalester, like most LACs or US unis in general, may provide a more all rounded education. so ultimately, i think it boils down to a breadth vs depth and large university vs small college preference...</p>

<p>oh and if you're asian (or chinese in particular), you might like vancouver better coz there're lots of them there haha.</p>

<p>coming from bc i would tell you the college life would be much better at macalester</p>

<p>thanks for all of your insight so far.</p>

<p>I know ubc has the higher international reputation (38th in the world) and a very good economics program (thats what i want to study), however, i am very concerned about the size of the school and the large classes, lack of personal attention, etc. that comes with it. I want the entire college experience.....and therefore even though i knw i have heard that Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities on earth to live in, I am worried that it will be hard for me (being an international student......from Jamaica by the way) to fit into the ubc environment (even tho ive never visited) due to the kind of lack of community feel that i can imagine of a typical big school like UBC (40,000 at ubc).</p>

<p>Also, Macalester is an excellent school in itself, even tho it doesnt have the international rep of has the small classes, prof accessibility, well-rounded education, as you all have said. </p>

<p>I am unable to visit either of them(due to cost and distance), so I have to rely on my gut feeling and the advice of others.</p>

<p>Its a tough decision for me.......anyone else who really knows about any of these schools (esp UBC) please feel free to add your comments. I love to hear as much perspectives as possible. Thanks a million :)</p>

<p>P.S. AllenI can u please give me ur reasons. Thanx in advance.:)</p>

<p>stephi; did u receive the International Leader of Tommorrow Award in UBC? If yes what was ur award amt.?</p>

<p>vdgreat.....yes i did receive the International Leader of Tomorrow Award...and the amount is consistent with my financial need.</p>

<p>Did you receive it as well?</p>

<p>I was also nominated for this award. But later on I just told them to withdraw my application...I was seleceted in my ED college.</p>

<p>95% of the UBC student population are native British Columbians, who are granted with ridiculously low tuitions (around $2000-6000 per year, and most don't live on campus). If you are seeking for a more secluded, quiet life style, UBC probably would be your top choice. The entire campus is surrounded by densly packed woods and the pacific ocean, and I believe that there are only two main roads that can lead you in and out of the campus. There are certainly lots of things to do on campus, which is fully equipped with the best educational/recreational facilities in the nation. There are at least five 4-5 main library buildings, and most of them have just been fully renovated/newly built and equipped with the latest technologies. If you are an international student, you could always take a break at the International House (to meet other foreign students/counsellors/job opportunities/activities) or experience a more academically engaging environment at the Lui Institute for International Affairs. </p>

<p>Other on campus activities you could do include: taking a walk at the romantic Japanese organic garden (very authentic), or go to one of the many weekly music opera/orchestral concerts at the Chan Theatre. If you are looking for a "cheap date", take a stroll at the Rose Garden, which offers a spectacular, breath-taking view of the entire city of Vancouver, the snowy mountains, and the infinite skyline of the Pacific Ocean. </p>

<p>For those of you who are hoping or simply wondering whether or not to spend your next four years at UBC, my advice as a local vancouverite is that UBC is a great school, and you definitely won't be disappointed. The UBC campus is relatively big, and it is also located in the West City, where the richest people in multi-million mansions live. The environment is just one of the best, if not the Best in the world, and UBC is located on a peninsula, looking out towards downtown vancouver, georgia strait, and the pacific ocean. Don't worry, the location where UBC is situated is considered the BEST district in Greater Vancouver, always containing a majestic feeling.</p>

<p>But please also keep in mind that Vancouver is a really REALLY wet city, and rains for bout 8 months per year. The winter in Vancouver is just GLOOMY, but the summer is BRILLIANT. Also hosting the 2010 winter olympics, Vancouver, although incomparable with the eastern metropolitans, is certainly a promising city.</p>

<p>Vancouver Welcomes You.:)</p>

<p>thanks to all of you who have taken the time to add your perspective. :)</p>

<p>is there any one else.....please tell me what you think!!</p>

<p>........come on....this is important</p>

<p>wow... ubc sounds great.</p>

<p>Off topic:Hey jimmy. How is SFU & UVic? I feel like UBC is giving my the run-around. They say I am missing my O-Level Certificate but I have sent it many times. ANYWAY. SFU, UVic and Queen's are there. Trying to decided where to go.</p>

<p>Now, I would go to UBC, but then again, I am looking FORWARD to a big school. I mean uni is going to be your life. Might as well keep it eternally fresh as far as the population is concerned.
And the educational quality is very good i hear. Plus if you are going back home, it might help a little to go to a school with a better rep. It would not matter much in Canada, but to get you first good jobs back home, the name of the school would help.</p>

<p>UBC certainly has an extensive degree of international recognition. In Canada, you could see UBC as standing on the same level as America's Stanford or MIT. </p>

<p>If you are accepted by Simon Fraser Univerisity, University of Victoria, and Queen's University (which is in eastern canada), I STRONGLY recommend you to accept the enrollment at Queen's. Queen's has an equally strong (or perhaps stronger) reputation in Canada and around the world. I believe that Queen's has always been ranked within the top 3 institutions in Canada, along with University of Toronto and Mcgill University, which are all located around the eastern metropolitans in Canada. </p>

<p>Most Canadians feel that Queen's deserves a much better status than UBC, SFU, and other institutions simply because of its prestigious curriculum, high standard of admission, and its location/history. Queen's is a much more mature university in Canada than western institutions like UBC and SFU (SFU is only 40 years old :)). It is located in Kingston, Canada's first capital city, and the place has a very heavy, yet authentic intellectual, cultural atmosphere (mainly dominated by neo-gothic english architecture). It is also one of the most well-funded large public university. </p>

<p>By the way, Queen's and the schools in the west (UBC, SFU, UVIC) have tremendous differences (most importantly a 3000 km difference in distance).</p>

<p>I would not recommend anyone to attend SFU or UVic UNLESS there is ABSOLUTELY NO OTHER CHOICE. Even for native british columbians, SFU is JUST an "average" university/college that is located in the city with UBC. Its academic background, quality of education, and intellectual atmosphere CERTAINLY cannot match those of UBC or Queen's. It's admissions average for arts I think is only 80% (that's a PRETTY easy grade to gain in highschool). So SFU cannot be considered a "prestigious" or even a "near-prestigious" institution in Canada, and it undoubetedly has a much lower international recognition.</p>

<p>So macleans is bogus on that one? Does it really matter if I am going to grad school a year or 2 after I graduate? I like the Queen's program but I know it is wicked competitive. And I am more laid back (funny thing, it would be easier to get into Queen's than UVic at this point. UVic needs at least 4 Cs. Queens only 2. Note, this is on the conditional offer. A-Levels.) And I have heard Queen's is kinda dull socially. In my mind prestige only reall matter in my final course. Be it law, biz or whatever I do. </p>

<p>I am really lost here. You do know the cut off for UBC is 80% arts? 84% comm. (Queen's 83% arts, 87% comm/ SFU 80%, 85%). So I can't really use entrance reqs. for comparison. I will end up in Biz/Comm somewhere down the line. And I am not really sure I can make it into the Queen's prog. You know, you are the only one I have heard put down SFU like that. I know SFU's biz course is very good. But that is all I know. And I might not even get into UBC. </p>

<p>Okay so aside from academics and prestiege, how do those schools compare? I NEED a good social life and general things to do. And Queen's doesn't seem up to that task. Need a 'FRIENDLY' academically 'challanging' environment, but not something that is designed to weed out those who don't breath, sleep and eat academics. I am pretty laid back. I mean right now that my grades where good enough to get in, I can feel myself slacking off. After all I only need 2 Cs. (I will kick up again during exams, but this is how I am.)
I could always go to Queen's for a year and tranfer out when the comm program rejects me. That is an option no? lol.</p>

<p>Just my guess</p>

<p>JIMMY@KILLARNEY, are you a high school student or are you a UBC representative? What gives you the right to put down other schools like this? According to your logic, only Mercedez-Benz are good cars, cars like Audi and Volvo are craps? Do you know that SFU and UVIc are constantly ranked no.2 and no.3 in the Macleans magazine, only behind Waterloo? You bash SFU and UVic only because they are new compare to UBC? Are you going to bash Waterloo as well, since it is only 50 years old. Bill Gates hires more graduates out of Waterloo than any other unis in Canada! The admission average for UBC is only slightly higher than the ones at SFU and UVic. So, I am not really sure why you think UBC students are so much better than UVic and SFU students, because they are not! Next time, get your facts straight before you open your mouth. I find it frustrating that some people just don't respect SFU and UVic.</p>

<p>calm down kid...</p>

<p>wow lol luishu seemed a little upset..Anyways i will try to give you all my points of view and thoughts on the BC schools..I am personally from BC and have lived here all my life i interact daily with students of UBC, and have spoken to past students, professors, etc all who have attended UBC, SFU, and UVIC..there are pros and cons of all the schools located in british columbia. UBC has well over 40 thousand students like jimmy already mentioned a very large portion of the students are BC natives who do not really live on campus and commute from various parts of the lower mainland. a great thing about UBC is its amazingly low tuition. now being a commuter at ubc almost every single person i have ever discussed has told me there college experience, was not that great as they are only there for classes and dont get to meet very many people because the school is so large. ive also been told by some people in academia they wouldnt want a student to go ubc for undergrad if they are looking for a great education because of some of the large class sizes and all that..this to me is one of the biggest negatives of ubc...however UBC does boast great academic rankings in several publications with newsweek, the times higher education and macleans all ranking it friends who LIVE on campus now these are not commuters do enjoy the location of ubc which is in a great residential part of the lower mainland about 25 minutes away from downtown i would say..there are great on campus facilities including the ubc libraries, the student union center which has like a club and pub and all that on campus, the drinking age is 19 in BC, and there are frats on campus which my friends are involved in that throw some good parties. i would believe living on campus you may have a decent college life being about half an hour from downtowns shopping, clubbing, and all that, but also having maybe a sense of community..BC is also very beautiful i have to agree after i was in england for a few months i was happy to return to vancouver..but i was told while i was gone it rained for 28 days be prepared for a LOT OF RAIN..however the summer in vancouver is tought to beat theres nice beaches lots of culture and beautiful people..its a great mix..i hope i helped you guys when thinking about the positive and negatives about UBC..i personally dont want to go to ubc because ive lived in the area much too long, i need a change(getting away from home), i dont think i would have that great of a college experience being a commuter and all, my father isnt a fan of UBC also, plus the large size i really dislike..but hey ive known people who have liked it and disliked it</p>