Impressions after the first year of undergraduate studies in Canada
Hello, dear readers of Habr!
This topic is a direct continuation of the previous two of my articles.
It's April, and I already finished my first undergraduate course at the Canadian University of British Columbia. Honestly, a huge number of things happened: both good and not so good. Although Canada is a kind of “Parallel Universe” for me, it can’t do without its specific drawbacks. I’ll talk about some of the little things, the difficulties of daily routine, Computer Science department courses, housing, leisure, work, the attitude of Canadians to each other and more about a ton of interesting things!
Attention! Under the cut, there are a lot of pictures, photos, text, impressions and, of course, my subjective opinion.
1. Take a look around
I noticed that I never told about the nature of British Columbia, but in vain, it is wonderful.
As soon as I arrived in Vancouver and finally sorted things out in my room, I bought a bike and went for a drive around the city. Well, how about the city, the environs of UBC. Still, the town is not small, and it’s quite difficult to go round it even in a day.
Amazed by the huge number of parks: I did not have time to cool down from the previous park area, as the next begins. And everything in living creatures: geese, ducks, seagulls, squirrels, raccoons and other smaller brothers. Speaking of squirrels, I managed to take a good picture of the squirrel only once, and that was when I was riding my bicycle in the opposite direction.
Of course, I really like the fact that Vancouver is a place where mountains and the ocean touch. That is, in fact, you can ride a snowboard, and the same day swim in the ocean. Speaking of swimming in the ocean: it is quite cold here; at least it's hard for me to swim in it. Friends said that such a thing is constantly here. This is not surprising - a cold current passes near Vancouver.
Due to its special geographical location, the weather here is very variable, as we have in Siberia. The temperature here does not jump from -10 to -35 in a couple of hours, but a clear sky can be cloudy in 20 minutes, and after that heavy rain can begin.
The photos below are my trip with friends to the mountains. Everything is just like in films and cartoons: mountains, lakes, deer, fresh air.
All winter the temperature kept +6 ... + 12. The week in December was -5 ...- 10, even the snow fell, but the very next day it completely melted. Snow hardly falls here, unlike the same Toronto and Montreal. I honestly tried all winter to buy a hat - it didn’t work out: I'm too lazy for that. But he lived well without a hat - he bought a jacket for $ 30 (very lucky, the clothes here are quite expensive) and wore a hood all winter. Laziness made me economical.
It is worth noting the Rose Garden - the photo was taken after all the roses were ripped off, but the beauty of the view of the garden, mountains and the bay was approximately transferred. Plus below is a photograph of a different angle - on the benches, from which it is very convenient to contemplate this landscape. Almost every UBC bench was set up in honor of someone. On one of these benches, the inscription reads “Sharing his love to sea and mountains” - as far as I remember.
For a while, people on the campus were very annoyed. This is how UBC works: two years ago, the Main Mall was a carriageway, today a smoothly cut lawn lies on the site of the road. No construction projects ever made me mad - I understand that all this is for the best. By the way, the new SUB - Student Union Building is under construction. Someone once whispered in my ear that there would be slides down, as an alternative to elevators. Gorgeous.
More types of Vancouver and UBC want!
3. EA and Global Game Jam Vancouver
During the time I studied at Computer Science, I managed to get to where FIFA and NFS are doing, and I managed to take part in creating a small game on GGJV. What can I say, I really liked the EA office. I hope that in the future my company will have an office no worse. And a football field with the inscription EA still exists and is even often used for its intended purpose (you can check on google maps). Kodak building across the street from the EA office. What a twist!
There was a lot of fun at GGJV, but I learned almost nothing new - my team worked in the Game Maker program, and I acted exclusively as a level designer. I also ate a lot there, played Kinect, talked, tried not to get fat (my futile attempts) and met the creator of Retro City Rampage. By the way, this guy gave all the participants (and there were more than 200) a free Steam version of the game.
4. What courses did I take?
- CPSC110 - Fundamentals of Programming. We studied functional programming using the LISP-like language Racket as an example. Deepened into generative, degenerative, tail and other types of recursion. We can say this is a course in the knowledge of Dzen (!) Recursion.
- MATH100 - Differential Mathematics. Derivatives, applied and all that.
- PHYS101 - Pressure, liquids, gases - in general, the basics of physics.
- EOSC112 - Something like a merger of geography, ecology and the like. Mostly the course on the knowledge of DEN (!) Of the greenhouse effect, solar radiation and global warming.
- SCIE113 - Compulsory Course (English Language Science Workshop). Here we discussed various articles, learned to think critically and translate our thoughts onto paper - Philosophy and English in one bottle.
- CPSC210 - OOP Basics and Serious Java Training. Pretty interesting course. The final project (15% of the assessment) was a small application for android - nothing complicated.
- CPSC121 - Fundamentals of Logic. Throughout the course, we learned to think like a machine. Conjunctions, Disjunctions and the like. Plus a little set theory and a big spoon for proving theorems. Oh yes, another spoon (so savory) of electrical circuits.
- MATH101 - Integral Mathematics. Inverse course MATH100. Integrals and their application. Many integrals. Many uses.
- PHYS102 - Electricity and Magnetism. Almost all of this was in my 11th grade, so this course did not make any problems for me. However, I did not get the highest rating for it. It just so happened - physics does not like me, I do not like physics.
Basically, the courses left an impression favorable. All teachers are responsive - to the teacher on CPSC210, say, I just went to joke sometimes or just talk about OOP together. Sorry for being unprofessional - Java came very easily to me after Objective C.
5. You tricked me! Where are the minuses?
I did not cheat anyone. Cons, nevertheless, are present.
- Vancouver is a very expensive city in itself. Clothing, food, entertainment, etc. - For me it was too expensive.
- Grants for training are very difficult to obtain if you are a white man in full health. Neither UBC, nor Google, nor Microsoft did I like. It seems I just prepared a bad resume or my grades were not high enough. Well, let’s overthrow our company with preference and sofas.
- Traveling by any public transport is free for students. From here there are many not students, but lovers of freebies. Once or twice I saw either drug addicts under a dose, or simply people with mental disabilities, but they behaved very strangely (for example, they stomped all the way, snapped their teeth and looked around sharply). It's okay, they are not aggressive, but still unpleasant.
- Sexism here is very disliked. Although I believe that the time has come to protect the rights of men - it’s much easier for women to get a job than “a simple white guy in good health.”
- In addition to passing the TOEFL, you need to pass the LPI - exam inside UBC. It took me a lot of nerves, and I passed it only the third time. Many have passed from the first, but I know people who, like me, had a huge amount of difficulties with this exam.
- Study. There is a lot of time to take a walk, but sometimes you just want to learn - therefore it is impossible to break into social life.
- Very difficult after Canada in Russia. In Canada, everyone is smiling at each other and everyone is welcoming. In Russia ... well, you know.
sqrt (-1). Conclusion
What can I say, I really liked this year. The only thing missing was the beloved one nearby. Well, what can you do, she is studying in Russia, I am in Canada. Nothing, I’ll take it to my place soon;)
By the way, I found a home for $ 450 5 minutes from UBC and I am very happy about it.
This topic was written at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. It just so happened that I write such topics during long round-trip flights.
If you suddenly noticed any inaccuracy or typo in the text - you are welcome to my reception .
I will be happy to answer any of your questions in the comments!
PS After the first two articles, an incredible number of people wrote to me on Skype, on mail, on facebook, in contact about the process of admission. Waiting for you all next year!
The first article in this series began my life on Habré. Thank you, Habrahabr, that inspire me every day for new achievements!