Program of Study: Natural Resources Conservation
Country of Exchange: Bangor, Wales
Why did you choose that region of the world?
Bangor University (United Kingdom) offered an excellent array of courses in both Natural Resource Sciences and Agriculture (my two areas of focus). I was able to take courses that are not yet available at UBC—such as a renewable energy module and a course on heavy metal toxicology for both agricultural and industrial sites. I was also excited about the prospect of studying in an area of such stunning natural beauty. Snowdonia National Park offered me many opportunities to go hiking, rock climbing, and to tour highland farming operations. Because Bangor is in northern Wales, there remains a high percentage of people whose first language is Welsh. Learning a bit of the language was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and helped ease me into local community life. Attending Bangor University also permitted me to fulfill my aspirations to travel in central Europe. Being only two hours from London, I could easily fly to Spain for the weekend, and still make it to class for 9:00am on Monday morning (with my homework done, of course!)
What was the highlight of your exchange?
The academic highlight of my international experience was taking part in field trips to Snowdonia National Park, where my classmates and I were able to walk the same path Darwin did as a young scholar. I was also excited to take a graduating level environmental economics class with Dr. Colin Price, whose influence helped me bridge the gap between some of my conservation values and neoclassical economics. There were many non-academic highlights—however being in Hyde Park, London, for the Royal Wedding of William and Kate was most definitely my favourite!
I am currently working in the field of agriculture, with hopes to pursue a Professional Agrologist designation (in conjunction with a masters degree in environmental science). What the future holds is still uncertain—I enjoyed my international exchange so much that I am considering applying for a UK work visa. Going on exchange has afforded me opportunities that I could have never expected as a first year UBC student. I plan on taking every opportunity that I can!