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svetaisthebest
Feb 3rd, 2011, 12:30 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm considering going on exchange next year and was thinking of going to either the US or Canada. I'm currently studying at the Australian National University and they offer exchanges with a couple of partner universities within the US and Canada. There was a list of partner universities and Iíve narrowed the list down to the following:

-State University of New York (Brockport or Stonybrook) I have to say Iím really leaning towards New York at the moment so any information on these campuses would be awesome!
-University of California (apparently I have to apply to the university of California system and not to individual campuses)
-University of Washington
-University of Ottawa
-University of Toronto

I donít know much about them though, so I was hoping someone could provide some advice as to which of these universities is best in terms of ranking and affordability. I think my tuition fees will remain the same as here so Iím also wondering about accommodation costs etc. This was quite a spontaneous decision and Iíve never been to the US or Canada so any advice will be much appreciated!

Crazy Canuck
Feb 3rd, 2011, 05:08 PM
In terms of ranking, Toronto technically ranks higher than Ottawa, but both are fine universities. Our universities are publicly funded, so even the "shit" universities are passable. If you're going for international recognition, Toronto is probably a bigger name, if only because it's in Toronto.

What are you going to study?

Ottawa might be a tiny bit cheaper to live in, but it depends on which Toronto campus you're comparing it to.

There is a lot more to do in Toronto, obviously. If you care about nightlife or culture, I'd go with Toronto over Ottawa.

Toronto has milder winters, too.

Barrie_Dude
Feb 3rd, 2011, 05:14 PM
Toronto is good. And its expensive for sure. But there is a lot to do. And the campus is right downtown.

njnetswill
Feb 3rd, 2011, 05:44 PM
UC Santa Barbara has a beautiful campus and probably the party school of the UC system.

UC Irvine doesn't have much appeal but is a very solid school academically.

UC Berkeley is our country's #1 public university. Academics there are some of the best in the world, and sits in a very diverse, interesting community with lots of great places to eat. It is also very, very left-leaning. So super gay and environment friendly. :p

UC San Diego sits in beautiful La Jolla but doesn't have much of a school culture. Very strong academically, especially in biology and international studies.

UCLA is located right near Beverly Hills :p:lol: Probably only second to Berkeley academics wise. Culture is very different though.

Don't know much about UC Santa Cruz besides the fact that their mascot is the banana slug.

I hope you don't end up in UC Merced or UC Riverside. :p:o

Tuition to all UC schools are about the same. What makes one place affordable or not to live in is really the community where the campus is located.

svetaisthebest
Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:05 PM
thanks for the responses everyone:) I have to come up with three preferences in about a month. Are there any New Yorkers here?? I would love to hear from you guys too!

In terms of ranking, Toronto technically ranks higher than Ottawa, but both are fine universities. Our universities are publicly funded, so even the "shit" universities are passable. If you're going for international recognition, Toronto is probably a bigger name, if only because it's in Toronto.

What are you going to study?

Ottawa might be a tiny bit cheaper to live in, but it depends on which Toronto campus you're comparing it to.

There is a lot more to do in Toronto, obviously. If you care about nightlife or culture, I'd go with Toronto over Ottawa.

Toronto has milder winters, too.

I think the reason I was leaning towards Ottawa is because I have a few relatives there and my cousin goes to the University of Ottawa and I guess it's always good to know someone before starting. The fact that it's slightly cheaper also helps:p

I'm currently doing a Bachelor of Global and Ocean sciences and hoping to major in marine biochemistry. So I'm hoping to study something along those lines overseas but I haven't looked into the science faculties at these universities.

UC Santa Barbara has a beautiful campus and probably the party school of the UC system.

UC Irvine doesn't have much appeal but is a very solid school academically.

UC Berkeley is our country's #1 public university. Academics there are some of the best in the world, and sits in a very diverse, interesting community with lots of great places to eat. It is also very, very left-leaning. So super gay and environment friendly. :p

UC San Diego sits in beautiful La Jolla but doesn't have much of a school culture. Very strong academically, especially in biology and international studies.

UCLA is located right near Beverly Hills :p:lol: Probably only second to Berkeley academics wise. Culture is very different though.

Don't know much about UC Santa Cruz besides the fact that their mascot is the banana slug.

I hope you don't end up in UC Merced or UC Riverside. :p:o

Tuition to all UC schools are about the same. What makes one place affordable or not to live in is really the community where the campus is located.

thanks for that! I only knew a bit about the Berkeley campus and I didn't know much about the rest. I think I will put the University of California system as one of my preferences and hope for the best! From what you've told me, I like the sound of San Diego and LA. UC Merced isn't one of our exchange partners so I just hope I don't end up at Riverside:lol:

Ryan
Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:27 PM
I'll touch on Crazy_Canucks points too, since I don't know about the other universities.

UofT has a better international reputation, but I don't think the profs/classes are really much better from what I've heard from my friends who go there. I've visited U of Ottawa and its a really nice campus, one of the better Canadian universities academic-wise as well.

I like Ottawa more than Toronto actually - there are still a ton of places to go drinking/downtown/partying, but the city isn't overwhelmingly big like Toronto. Everything feels more connected and laidback. Oh and I think the people in Ottawa are way nicer than the ones in Toronto.

Crazy Canuck
Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:29 PM
I think the reason I was leaning towards Ottawa is because I have a few relatives there and my cousin goes to the University of Ottawa and I guess it's always good to know someone before starting. The fact that it's slightly cheaper also helps:p

I'm currently doing a Bachelor of Global and Ocean sciences and hoping to major in marine biochemistry. So I'm hoping to study something along those lines overseas but I haven't looked into the science faculties at these universities.


I know many people in Ottawa, too, and would certainly consider it for future employment/academic pursuits. It does have horrid winters though, I'm not going to lie. There is some decent architecture in the city, though, if you like looking at buildings, and it's a pretty good university. If that's what you were learning towards in Canada, then stick with it. Mind you, Ottawa is nowhere near an Ocean ;), so you might want to look into how good their program is; I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Toronto (also nowhere near the Ocean, but undoubtedly has a Marine Biology program) had a better one, just by virtue of being much bigger.

To be frank, I have no idea which of the two is better for Marine Bio, Ocean Sciences, etc.

Crazy Canuck
Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:32 PM
I'll touch on Crazy_Canucks points too, since I don't know about the other universities.

UofT has a better international reputation, but I don't think the profs/classes are really much better from what I've heard from my friends who go there. I've visited U of Ottawa and its a really nice campus, one of the better Canadian universities academic-wise as well.

I like Ottawa more than Toronto actually - there are still a ton of places to go drinking/downtown/partying, but the city isn't overwhelmingly big like Toronto. Everything feels more connected and laidback. Oh and I think the people in Ottawa are way nicer than the ones in Toronto.
Ryan forgot to point out that every Canada who wasn't raised in Ontario hates Toronto ;)

I disagree with him that the people in Ottawa are nicer. In Ottawa they have the whole French/English bullshit issue that nobody west of there gives a shit about it. Anecdote: A friend of mine used to bag groceries as a part time job in university and got shat on weekly for being unable to speak perfect French to the occasional douchebag customer that went through.

In short, both cities have people problems. The uni kids in Ottawa might be a bit more friendly, though; I don't really know.

Apoleb
Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:33 PM
Don't rule out University of Washington. Haven't been there but supposedly it has one of the most beautiful campuses in the US, and Seattle is in a great natural setting. Academically, it is also among the best and on par (or slightly below) Berkeley and UCLA. Of course it depends a lot on your major. (edit: it's lower in the rankings than I suspected but still among the best public schools).

If I were you I'd go like this:

University of California (nothing beats California weather).
University of Washington
don't care about the rest. And Canada is too cold. :p

svetaisthebest
Feb 3rd, 2011, 11:00 PM
to the Canadian posters- do you think it would be tough living in Ottawa for about 5 months without knowing much french? I mean, I know a bit of basic french from high school but that's about it:p and without knowing french, would I have any chance of getting a casual job there?

and yeah I'm going to research the marine bio program in Ottawa now:unsure::lol:

Also Apoleb, is the cost of living in Washington really high? I did quickly look up the University of Washington and the campus is indeed amazing!

Crazy Canuck
Feb 3rd, 2011, 11:02 PM
You don't need to speak French to live in Ottawa, so you'll be fine. And you can certainly get casual work without knowing any French, as my friend the former grocery bagger can attest to.

miffedmax
Feb 3rd, 2011, 11:09 PM
My son is a freshman at the U of T. He absolutely loves it there.

One of the nice things about the Canadian schools is they are cheaper than the US schools, even for international students.

One of the things he likes about U of T is that it's right in downtown Toronto, so there's about a bazillion things to do. And it has a really nice blend of international students--his best friends include not only fellow Yanks and kids from Canada, but also students from Turkey, Dubai, Korea and Serbia. So I think it having a big reputation does help it attract a decent number of foreign students. He also says that despite rumors to the contrary, he hasn't had any problem getting to see and interact with professors when he needs to.

For him, the big factors on choosing U of T were:
1. academic repuation
2. location in a major urban area
3. our family having a gajillion Canadian relatives even though we live in Texas
4. (and probably most important) he could double major in Asian Studies and Music and still graduate in four years (most other schools he looked at would have required summer school or a fifth year).

UCLA is one of the trendiest schools in the US right now, and really hard to get into.

Berkeley is a historically great school, but in the midst of a major financial crisis.

U of W is a strong school for sure--underrated in the US and actually rated higher by some foreign publications IIRC.

I don't know much about the New York schools.

Ryan
Feb 3rd, 2011, 11:21 PM
to the Canadian posters- do you think it would be tough living in Ottawa for about 5 months without knowing much french? I mean, I know a bit of basic french from high school but that's about it:p and without knowing french, would I have any chance of getting a casual job there?

and yeah I'm going to research the marine bio program in Ottawa now:unsure::lol:

Also Apoleb, is the cost of living in Washington really high? I did quickly look up the University of Washington and the campus is indeed amazing!



Like Becca said, you don't need ANY french to get by in Ottawa, so don't worry about that.

She makes a really good point about Ocean Sciences programs. :lol: I know Dalhousie University in Halifax (mah home towwwwn) has a great sciences/marine biology/ocean sciences program. Its got the most bars per capita in North America too, so thats always a plus. :drool:

Barrie_Dude
Feb 3rd, 2011, 11:29 PM
Ryan forgot to point out that every Canada who wasn't raised in Ontario hates Toronto ;)

I disagree with him that the people in Ottawa are nicer. In Ottawa they have the whole French/English bullshit issue that nobody west of there gives a shit about it. Anecdote: A friend of mine used to bag groceries as a part time job in university and got shat on weekly for being unable to speak perfect French to the occasional douchebag customer that went through.

In short, both cities have people problems. The uni kids in Ottawa might be a bit more friendly, though; I don't really know. I would go a step further and say that everyone that does not live in Toronto hates Toronto and it can be applied to some of us that live here as well. There is the belief that Torontonians believe that Toronto is the centre of the universe and I can certainly see that, though its really not different than New York, Paris and London in that respect

svetaisthebest
Feb 4th, 2011, 12:16 AM
The University of Washington sounds pretty good so far because it does have a good marine sciences program.

As for the University of Ottawa, I don't even know if an undergraduate marine sciences program exists:unsure: I saw that there were science programs but they weren't about marine science specifically:shrug: I haven't checked about U of T yet.

Ryan, funnily enough I ended up on a page about the marine sciences program at Dalhousie whilst searching about the program in Ottawa:lol: Dalhousie is actually one of our partner universities too so maybe I should consider it as a preference. I have to write up a statement about the suitability of each university for my major so it would be helpful to find a university that does have a strong ocean sciences program:lol:

Ryan
Feb 4th, 2011, 12:29 AM
Check it out! http://oceanography.dal.ca/undergraduate/index.html

Crazy Canuck
Feb 4th, 2011, 01:44 AM
Halifax would be a decent place to live, if you ignore that whole climate problem.

Ryan
Feb 4th, 2011, 01:58 AM
Our winters (except last two days) are actually the mildest in the country outside of Victoria pretty much. Or do you mean the rain and fog? :o We get a lot of that. But our summer's are reall nice. :(

svetaisthebest
Feb 4th, 2011, 02:14 AM
Check it out! http://oceanography.dal.ca/undergraduate/index.html

it actually does look really good! and I went through the courses as well and the marine biology/oceanography courses are similar to the ones that I would study if I stayed in Aus:D

Halifax would be a decent place to live, if you ignore that whole climate problem.

what's the climate problem?:p


anyway I think I've decided on two preferences- University of Washington and Dalhousie. I have to sort through the rest now and find one more:lol:

Ryan
Feb 4th, 2011, 02:40 AM
I wouldn't call it a problem. :lol: Google the city, wikipedia, learn more about it - we're just prone to sudden weather changes. Spring and Fall we get lots of rain. But overall its a MUCH better climate than most places in Canada. And our winters are better than Toronto/Ottawa's.

Anyway, I could go on about Halifax forever....so if you have any questions dude just ask. ;)

miffedmax
Feb 4th, 2011, 03:21 AM
Some of the Florida schools in the US are really good for that oceanography and stuff if you partner with them--but they might not be of interest as it sounds like you want to go somewhere further north.

Dalhousie (like U of T) is pretty popular with US students right now, which you may or may not view as a good thing. IMHO it probably is, since Yank helicopter parents do their homework before shipping the kids off to school.

Barrie_Dude
Feb 4th, 2011, 03:30 AM
Some of the Florida schools in the US are really good for that oceanography and stuff if you partner with them--but they might not be of interest as it sounds like you want to go somewhere further north.

Dalhousie (like U of T) is pretty popular with US students right now, which you may or may not view as a good thing. IMHO it probably is, since Yank helicopter parents do their homework before shipping the kids off to school.
I had no idea your son is at UT. Funny how life works out. My sis is in Dalls and I am often in Texas though I live in Toronto.

~{X}~
Feb 4th, 2011, 03:39 AM
Well Stonybrook isn't a bad school but there isn't much to do in its location honestly haha because its out on Long Island, however you can just hop on the Long Island Railroad and I think within an hour or so you'll be in New York City and well New York is... New York. Can't go wrong with that. ;)

I'd say go somewhere where you would feel comfortable, have fun, where the program of your choice is available and isn't crazy expensive. :)

miffedmax
Feb 4th, 2011, 06:19 PM
I had no idea your son is at UT. Funny how life works out. My sis is in Dalls and I am often in Texas though I live in Toronto.

Yeah, after he decided to go there we found out if was kind of a mini-trend for US kids to go there--McGill, Dalhousie, Waterloo, British Columbia and Queens are also big (well, a few hundred to a thousand a year) with US kids.

My sister went to York U. And my cousin from Winnipeg has a kid at Cornell. We all just pretty much ignore the northern border I guess.

Crazy Canuck
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Even the school I did my undergrad at had it's fair share of Americans (Guelph). To be honest, I probably wouldn't have remembered that had I not started there in 2001, but there you go.

Crazy Canuck
Feb 4th, 2011, 08:22 PM
I would go a step further and say that everyone that does not live in Toronto hates Toronto and it can be applied to some of us that live here as well. There is the belief that Torontonians believe that Toronto is the centre of the universe and I can certainly see that, though its really not different than New York, Paris and London in that respect
This is true, but it's much more pronounced when you leave Ontario.

A friend of mine, who was born in Toronto, backpacked around the country the year after university. Some people were openly hostile to him when they learned where he was from!

Frankly, most of the rest of the country suffers from a massive inferiority complex. Still, it's lovely here and you should totally come svetaisbest! Especially out in Dal, nobody picks on Halifax!

svetaisthebest
Feb 5th, 2011, 06:17 AM
So far I've decided on Dalhousie as my first preference followed by the University of Washington. It was mainly because I looked up residential halls and the ones at Dalhousie seemed a lot better. Despite the architecture at U of W being amazing, the pictures of some of those dorm rooms didn't look too appealing:lol: As for the weather changes, I think it should be fine. I'm from a city in Aus that's known for it's rapid weather changes too. The winter might be a bit difficult especially since I'm hoping to go during the winter/spring session but I still really want to see some snow:p

I still have to come up with a third uni preference before submitting an application. There's a bit of a long selection process over here because so many people want to go on exchange so I have to hope for the best.

thanks so much for all of the help guys:hug: I'll tell you how it goes!

Ryan
Feb 5th, 2011, 06:11 PM
Cool man! If you have any questions about Halifax, Dalhousie, or Nova Scotia, just let me know.

svetaisthebest
Feb 6th, 2011, 01:16 AM
Cool man! If you have any questions about Halifax, Dalhousie, or Nova Scotia, just let me know.

okay thanks! I don't have any questions now but I probably will later on:lol::p

Jarl_02
Feb 6th, 2011, 01:28 AM
Well I guess this is the best place to ask this, I don't I should be making a new thread for this.

I also like to have some feedbacks about 2 universities, the difference is they are in Germany.

I'm going to apply to several universities in Germany to study Biology there. I'll be applying in TUM ( Technische Universitšt MŁnchen) and LMU (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitšt) so maybe someone would help me about these or tell me other good universities.

Vartan
Feb 6th, 2011, 01:30 AM
Stonybrook is a decent school, but there is not really much going on campus. :shrug: I could ask around for you if you have any specific questions.

What is your intended major? Have you considered NYU?

Crazy Canuck
Feb 6th, 2011, 01:31 AM
Jarl - I'm sure that it wouldn't hurt to make a new thread, if only because there might be some people out there that know a lot about schools in Germany who are staying out of this thread.

Jarl_02
Feb 6th, 2011, 02:00 AM
Jarl - I'm sure that it wouldn't hurt to make a new thread, if only because there might be some people out there that know a lot about schools in Germany who are staying out of this thread.

That's what I thought :lol: but I didn't want to make a new thread but I guess I should :)

svetaisthebest
Feb 6th, 2011, 06:29 AM
Stonybrook is a decent school, but there is not really much going on campus. :shrug: I could ask around for you if you have any specific questions.

What is your intended major? Have you considered NYU?

yeah I remember another poster made a similar comment:lol: Do you know if it's better than the Brockport campus though? I'm just trying to find a third university to put as a preference cause I've already got two.

I'm intending to major in marine science and chemistry:) and I haven't considered NYU because it's unfortunately not one of our uni exchange partners.

sorceress
Feb 6th, 2011, 07:33 AM
I'm from a city in Aus that's known for it's rapid weather changes too.

Melbourne!!:p

Vartan
Feb 6th, 2011, 02:47 PM
yeah I remember another poster made a similar comment:lol: Do you know if it's better than the Brockport campus though? I'm just trying to find a third university to put as a preference cause I've already got two.

I'm intending to major in marine science and chemistry:) and I haven't considered NYU because it's unfortunately not one of our uni exchange partners.

I am sorry but I have never heard of Brockport University. :sad: However, I know that Stony has a good science program.

Willam
Feb 6th, 2011, 04:11 PM
The University of Washington sounds pretty good so far because it does have a good marine sciences program.



If that's your Major then Florida is where you want to be at.

The State University system of Florida is one of the best in the nation, at par with the UC, NY and Texas systems.

There are also many private colleges that excel in that area, like the small private Eckerd college, located right on St. Pete beach, one of the nations top beaches.

Also, the University Of South Florida is a top 10 research university in the nation and has an outstanding marine bio program.

FGCU is another marine-bio focused school, located in Ft. Myers. Relatively new school with a lot of funding and boosters.

University Of Florida is always a good alternative no matter what your major is, and I could be mistaken but it's one of the 3 biggest/largest universities student-wise in the US.

Another great private school is U of M. (University OF Miami) however it is quite expensive.

I know you limited your options to Canada/NY/Cali but I thought i'd give you my input in the sunshine state, in case you were interested.

BTW UM, UF and USF have top-notch division 1 athletics programs and beautiful campuses.

PS. I've heard that Binghamton in NY has great business/chemistry programs, idk if your school has any exchange programs with them but it would be worth to look at. I have many, many friends at Bing and they love it.

Vartan
Feb 6th, 2011, 04:16 PM
Binghmanton is the best SUNY.

Dani12
Feb 6th, 2011, 11:26 PM
Melbourne!!:p

Or even Canberra :lol: It went from boiling hot to bloody cold in a heartbeat!

duhcity
Feb 7th, 2011, 03:19 AM
Binghmanton is the best SUNY.

But Bing is a dead campus. At least for me, when I visited. Seriously considered it, since I would get state tuition, but I just couldn't. You need a car when you're up there, or the options are limited.

Vartan
Feb 7th, 2011, 03:23 AM
But Bing is a dead campus. At least for me, when I visited. Seriously considered it, since I would get state tuition, but I just couldn't. You need a car when you're up there, or the options are limited.

I agree. As my friend who goes there described it: "tree, tree, tree, tree, tree, tree, rock, building, tree, tree, tree..."

svetaisthebest
Feb 7th, 2011, 04:01 AM
I am sorry but I have never heard of Brockport University. :sad: However, I know that Stony has a good science program.

if you haven't heard of Brockport then it's probably not that great:lol: :p and thanks for the info about Stonybrook:)

If that's your Major then Florida is where you want to be at.

The State University system of Florida is one of the best in the nation, at par with the UC, NY and Texas systems.

There are also many private colleges that excel in that area, like the small private Eckerd college, located right on St. Pete beach, one of the nations top beaches.

Also, the University Of South Florida is a top 10 research university in the nation and has an outstanding marine bio program.

FGCU is another marine-bio focused school, located in Ft. Myers. Relatively new school with a lot of funding and boosters.

University Of Florida is always a good alternative no matter what your major is, and I could be mistaken but it's one of the 3 biggest/largest universities student-wise in the US.

Another great private school is U of M. (University OF Miami) however it is quite expensive.

I know you limited your options to Canada/NY/Cali but I thought i'd give you my input in the sunshine state, in case you were interested.

BTW UM, UF and USF have top-notch division 1 athletics programs and beautiful campuses.

PS. I've heard that Binghamton in NY has great business/chemistry programs, idk if your school has any exchange programs with them but it would be worth to look at. I have many, many friends at Bing and they love it.

I checked again and we aren't exchange partners with any of the universities in Florida:( even within New York, the only universities I can apply to are Stonybrook or Brockport. I don't think Binghamton is an exchange partner either:(

Or even Canberra :lol: It went from boiling hot to bloody cold in a heartbeat!

yep I'm from Canberra;) and yeah it was so cold yesterday:rolls: it's funny because we had the aircon on most of last week and now we had to turn on the heaters:lol:

I agree. As my friend who goes there described it: "tree, tree, tree, tree, tree, tree, rock, building, tree, tree, tree..."

:spit:

ťgalitť
Feb 7th, 2011, 05:04 AM
Stony Brook is a really great research school. Brockport is a smaller liberal arts school. If you're going SUNY, though, I recommend Geneseo, because it's the most selective school in the SUNY system (and I went there for undergrad so I'm biased :hearts: )

Binghmanton is the best SUNY.

I'm there now form my PhD. Whether it's the "best SUNY" depends on what you're going for. Their chemistry department is top-notch, as someone mentioned. Geneseo's harder to get into for undergad, but people have actually heard of Binghamton, which means more in the real world. :sobbing: The campus is pretty gross, too. Tree, tree, tree, tree rock is accurate. :tape:

~CANUCK~
Feb 7th, 2011, 05:41 AM
For what its worth, you might want to check out UBC. You get to study in Canada without the worry of cold winter's and snow. I have a friend currently doing a Masters in something to do with Marine life, she is going to save the penguins of something. Anyways check out their Oceanography undergrad program.

https://you.ubc.ca/ubc/program.do?from=degree&programID=156

svetaisthebest
Jul 17th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Hey guys! I got nominated to go to Dalhousie university next year. So I'll get to go to Halifax next year for the winter session over there. So excited:bounce: Slightly nervous about landing over there in mid winter though. The closest thing we have here to snow is frost:lol: I guess the whole exchange experience will change my definition of cold:p

A huge thank you to everyone who posted for all of the help:hug:

miffedmax
Jul 18th, 2011, 03:15 AM
Congrats. Dalhousie is a great school from what I hear.