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Studying Sociology in Canada: Student Profile

Studying Sociology in Canada: Student Profile main image

Natascha Hassing explains why Canada is her ideal study abroad destination, including both world-class universities and unbeatable ski resorts.

Originally from Denmark, Natascha Hassing did not always plan on studying in Canada. After studying her International Baccalaureate in the UK, she originally applied to five universities in the city.

However, after already leaving her native Denmark behind for the UK, she had the inclination to do something different, and a presentation by the University of British Columbia at her high school piqued her interest.

Mountains, beaches, culture

“The mix of ski mountains, beaches, and cultural diversity in one city was very appealing, and was an aspect that was new to me. I love the outdoors, and mixing my studies with the Vancouver lifestyle seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity for me!

“I can’t say that I always knew I wanted to study abroad, but moving, trying new places and experiencing different cultures is in my blood. I am a Danish citizen, but I was born in Japan and have lived in Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, England and now Canada.

"Broadening my horizons and grasping new opportunities that come my way is exhilarating to me, therefore when the opportunity to study at UBC and move to Canada was introduced to me, it seemed like the perfect timing to continue the lifestyle I had started.”

So how is the Vancouver lifestyle treating her? “I thoroughly enjoy all the activities Vancouver has to offer and the culturally diverse friends and co-workers I have met at UBC,” she replies.

“I have taken full advantage of UBC’s discounted Whistler pass (a ski resort just north of Vancouver), and spend most weekends skiing in Whistler with my closets friends at UBC. I have enjoyed meeting new people from all around the world, and building my own community and niche in Vancouver and at UBC."

Part of an international community

"I have learned so much moving to Canada on my own and have tremendously flourished as an individual. I love my friends and co-workers and hope to stay in contact with my Vancouver community no matter where in the world we may be, 10, 20 even 40 years from now.

“UBC is incredibly accommodating to international students as well, and ensures all students are aware of the international services that are provided. There is an International House on Campus, where international students can go for help with visas, work permits, and other culturally different logistics.

"Therefore, I think it would be difficult for an international student to feel uncomfortable or different at UBC, especially as Vancouver is a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicities to begin with.” 

Though she is clearly enjoying her time in Canada, there are still certain parts of the experience which have not been so great.

“I guess the toughest part has been being so far away from my family, especially in times of stress or tough and lonely experiences. Throughout my three years at UBC, my parents and siblings have been living in England, and sometimes knowing that I was the only family member far away was tough to deal with.”

However, she is ever willing to put a positive slant on things: “I think it has only made me a stronger individual. My family is a fantastic support system, and I have come to highly appreciate and value that while being at UBC, and it makes the times we have together extra special and loving.”

Academic challenges

Having covered the social and lifestyle issues, we thought it would be interesting to find out how the academic side of things was going for her.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Natascha’s response is extremely positive: “I am really enjoying my course! Completing a major in sociology and a minor in psychology complimentarily combines my interests into one interdisciplinary BA program.

"The course load is manageable; however as you move into your third and fourth year the expectations and demands increase and become seemingly challenging and rigorous. 

"Learning to manage your academics with other interests and activities Vancouver boasts is essential, but is a learning and growing process for all students anywhere in the world. Over time I have become more knowledgeable of what programs and courses UBC has to offer, and the list is endless!

"Therefore, I sometimes think, had I come to UBC with this knowledge I may have chosen my degree differently. Many of my friends have switched faculties and courses throughout their studies as they found new interests and learnt of other UBC programs. However, I continued my chosen degree, while accepting my realization of my other passions and interests, which I can always pursue at another time, be it through a job or graduate programs.” 

Advice for others

It would seem almost academic to ask Natascha if she would recommend study abroad, but does she any particular advice she might want to share with us?

“If you’re an individual who likes to try new things and travel, going abroad for university is a fantastic opportunity for you. Once one has chosen to go abroad, I would advice to never doubt your decision, and make the most of everything that is offered to you while you are abroad.

"Of course times can get tough when being further away from your family, but I would highlight never to give up, and to make the most of your new surroundings and new friends.”

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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I like to study there

Great! You can find out more about studying abroad in Canada with our country guide: https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/north-america/canada/guide