Exchange Report University of Calgary, Canada

    Exchange  Report     University  of  Calgary,  Canada   Ruby  Lam,  BBA  (MGMT)   Spring  2014  Exchange             “ T h e   w o r l d   i s...
Author: Madison Lester
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Exchange  Report     University  of  Calgary,  Canada   Ruby  Lam,  BBA  (MGMT)   Spring  2014  Exchange  

          “ T h e   w o r l d   i s   a   b o o k   a n d   t h o s e   w h o   d o   n o t   t r a v e l   r e a d   o n l y   o n e   p a g e . ”   -­‐   S t .   A u g u s t i n e  


Table  of  Contents    

Page       Part  I:  Activity  Log                                               2-­‐3         Part  II:  General  Exchange  Information             4-­‐7                                   Part  III:  Check  List                                                8      






Part  I:  Activity  Log     January,  2014   When  I  first  arrived  in  Calgary,  it  is  the  middle  of  winter  when  was  extremely   cold.  Everywhere  was  covered  by  snow.  I  moved  in  the  residence  with  the  help   of  my  buddy  from  business  school  here.  There  was  a  gathering  for  international   students  before  the  start  of  semester.  I  met  some  other  exchange  students   there,  including  those  from  Hong  Kong,  Singapore  and  Australia.  As  classes   began,  I  often  went  shopping  with  my  friends  and  cooked  dinner  together.   Things  got  better  once  I  got  used  to  them.  


February,  2014   I  celebrated  Lunar  New  Year  together  with  some  Hong  Kong  students  in   Chinatown.  I  met  some  friends  who  also  love  snowboarding,  so  I  went  on  a  day   trip  with  to  Sunshine  Ski  Resort  to  spend  a  day  snowboarding.  We  also  joined   the  Banff  tour  organized  by  CISSA  (Center  of  International  Student  and  Study   Abroad).  Banff  was  a  very  beautiful  town  under  Canadian  Rockies.  Apart  from   entertainment,  I  had  to  study  for  the  midterms  that  mostly  held  before  reading   week.  I  had  to  finish  some  homework  too.  After  all  these,  I  went  to  Vancouver   with  my  friends  and  spent  a  week  there.    

March,  2014   March  was  the  month  of  projects.  There  were  many  project  meetings  every   week.  Fortunately,  all  my  group  mates  were  very  nice  and  friendly;  we  made  a   great  team  together.  Moreover,  I  went  to  Canada  Olympic  Park  to  snowboard   with  my  friends  again.  But  I  thought  the  park  is  just  for  beginners  and  the   routes  are  just  not  that  interesting  and  challenging.  So  we  had  a  road  trip  again   to  Fernie,  BC  to  snowboard  again.  We  stayed  there  for  one  night  before  we   came  back  to  Calgary.  It  is  very  enjoyable  and  exciting  to  go  on  a  ski  trip  with   friends.      


April,  2014   It  was  time  to  study.  Exams  were  usually  around  the  end  of  April.  We  did  have  a   study  break,  but  most  of  us  went  to  visit  other  places  near  Calgary  before  the   end  of  semester.  I  went  to  an  outlet  just  out  of  town,  where  was  a  good  place   for  shopping.  I  also  went  to  Drumheller  to  see  the  fossil  and  museum  with  my   friends.  After  finishing  the  exams,  I  went  to  Toronto  and  then  spent  one  month   to  travel  around  the  US.                                                    



Part  II:  General  Exchange  Information     Visa  Procedures   If  you  hold  a  HKSAR  passport  like  me,  you  do  not  need  to  apply  for  visa  if  you   stay  in  Canada  less  than  six  months.  For  other  passport  holders,  please  refer  to   the  immigration  department  of  Canada.    

Orientation  Activities   CISSA  is  responsible  for  all  the  orientation  activities.  There  was  a  gathering   before  the  semester  started.  I  suggest  that  everyone  should  go  for  it,  because  it   is  a  very  good  opportunity  for  you  to  make  some  friends.  There  will  be  all  the   information  needed  for  your  stay.  You  just  have  to  look  for  emails  as  they  will   send  out  the  details  before  you  arrive.    

International  Service  &  Activities   CISSA  also  responsible  for  assisting  international  students  and  organizing  tours   to  explore  the  city  and  beyond.  Just  stiop  by  the  center  if  you  have  any   questions,  or  sign  up  for  their  mail-­‐list,  and  you  will  be  able  to  get  first  hand   news  from  them.    

Accommodations   I  stayed  in  on-­‐campus  residence.  I  chose  Yamnuska  Hall  as  it  is  only  for  Year  2   students.  It  is  quite  expensive  but  you  have  better  environment,  as  it  is  the   newest  hall.  The  school  is  building  two  more  residential  halls,  so  maybe  you   will  have  more  choices  in  the  future.  I  suggested  that  you  do  not  necessarily   have  to  stay  in  Yam,  just  pick  one  that  best  fit  your  budget  and  preference.  You   can  also  rent  room  outside  campus.  Just  ask  CISSA  for  more  information.      

Courses  Registration   In  the  application  form  of  the  university,  there  are  spaces  for  you  to  fill  in  the   courses  that  you  wish  to  take  during  your  exchange.  For  business  courses,  you    


just  have  to  meet  the  requirement  of  the  course  and  they  will  automatically  put   you  in.  For  non-­‐business  courses,  you  have  to  register  by  yourself  just  like  me.   The  register  system  is  exactly  the  same  as  that  of  HKUST,  so  I  am  sure  you  will   be  fine  in  using  it.  For  your  reference,  I  took  MKTG  487  (Service  Marketing),   MKTG  483  (Consumer  Behavior),  POLI  381  (International  Relations)  and  SOCI   201  (Intro  to  Sociology).    

Teaching  &  Assessment  Methods   The  professors  were  really  kind  and  willing  to  help.  The  teaching  method  is   quite  similar  to  that  of  HKUST,  but  even  more  straightforward  I  think.  There   were  homework  assignments,  and  sole  and  group  projects.  Midterms  and  finals   mostly  were  MC  and  short  answer  questions.    

Sports  &  Recreation  Facilities   There  were  a  swimming  pool  (indoor  of  course!),  a  gymnasium,  an  ice-­‐skating   rink,  etc.  Feel  free  to  use  them,  as  they  were  all  located  in  the  same  building.   There  was  also  an  outdoor  center  for  ski  gear  rental.  It  is  much  cheaper  than   renting  those  at  the  resort  by  showing  your  student  ID,  but  make  sure  you  can   bring  them  there.  As  I  bring  my  own  and  just  have  to  get  a  snowboard,  so  it  is   not  that  expensive  for  me  than  my  friends  who  need  full  gear.    

Cost/Expenses   It  really  depends  on  how  you  spend  and  where  you  go.  I  spent  most  of  my   money  on  traveling  and  snowboarding.  I  usually  cooked  with  my  friends,  as  it   was  quite  economical  to  share  the  groceries.  I  think  I  spent  around  HKD80,000   for  the  whole  four-­‐month  exchange.    

Social  Clubs/Networking  Opportunities   There  was  club  week  in  the  second  week  of  class.  It  was  something  like   promotion  period  in  HKUST.  You  can  talk  to  the  committee  and  decide  which   club  you  want  to  join.  There  was  a  Hong  Kong  Student  Association,  they   organized  activities  that  were  really  great.        


Health  &  Safety   It  was  really  expensive  to  see  a  doctor  here.  So  make  sure  you  have  health   insurance  with  you.  You  can  also  bring  your  own  medicine  with  you  in  case  of   some  minor  problems.   It  was  very  safe  in  Calgary.  But  I  think  you  should  take  precaution  anyway.  Do   not  walk  alone  at  night.  You  can  call  for  safe  walk  in  campus  at  night,  the   security  department  will  send  someone  to  accompany  you  back  to  residence.   Beware  of  Thursday  nights  because  it  is  their  pub  night,  people  get  drunk  and   get  crazy  these  days.    

Food   I  lived  in  Yamnuska  Hall  so  it  was  compulsory  for  me  to  purchase  food  fund.  It   was  like  putting  money  into  your  student  card  and  you  can  pay  by  electronic   money.  You  can  get  refund  from  it  at  the  end  of  your  exchange.  I  suggested  that   you  get  the  cheapest  one  because  it  is  more  than  enough  even  it  is  the  cheapest   one.  There  were  food  stalls  everywhere,  but  MacHall  and  the  Dinning  Center  is   the  major  spots  for  meals.    

Transportation   It  is  quite  easy  to  go  to  downtown,  Chinatown  and  most  of  the  malls.  Calgary   Transit  provides  bus  as  well  as  LRT  services.  You  have  to  purchase  an  U-­‐PASS   for  riding  them,  after  you  pay  for  it,  you  can  ride  for  free  for  unlimited  time.    

Climate   It  was  very  cold  in  January  and  February.  There  were  snowstorms  too.   Temperature  was  around  -­‐10  to  -­‐20  degree,  sometimes  it  might  reach  -­‐30  or   even  -­‐40  degrees.  It  was  much  warmer  in  March  and  April,  around  10  to  -­‐10   degrees.    

Communication   English  is  the  official  language  in  Canada.  Some  people  may  speak  both  English   and  French.  I  have  not  met  any  communication  problems  since  I  arrived.   However,  you  may  need  time  to  understand  their  jokes.    



Cautionary  Measures   Bring  coat  that  is  water-­‐proved  and  wind-­‐proved.  Dress  in  layers,  otherwise   you  will  be  very  hot  inside  buildings.  Always  aware  of  any  kinds  of  warning   issued  by  both  the  government  and  school  about  bad  or  extremely  weather  and   follow  their  instructions.    

Other  Notes   If  you  wish  to  go  to  the  US  during  your  stay,  remember  to  apply  the  US  Visa   BEFORE  departure.  As  it  will  be  extremely  difficult  to  get  an  US  Visa  there.   On  the  other  hand,  if  you  wish  to  try  ski  or  snowboarding,  remember  to   purchase  an  insurance  that  cover  these  activities  because  they  are  often   categorized  as  extreme  sports  and  normal  travel  insurance  may  not  cover   them.                                          


Part  III:  Check  List    

Things  to  Bring  For  a  Wonderful  Exchange  in  Calgary    



Snow  boots  


Water-­‐proof  and  wind-­‐proof  coat/jacket  


Ski  Gear  and  clothing  (if  you  want  to  ski)    






US  Visa  (If  you  wish  to  travel  to  the  US)  


Credit  cards  


Confirmation  letter  from  U  of  C      

    **If  more  information  is  needed,  please  feel  free  to  get  my  contact   from  SBM  Exchange  Team  by  emailing  at  [email protected]**  



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