I've recently received a number of offers of admission (many more than I expected - I might have over-applied a bit I guess).
I'm currently admitted to UBC (Victoria), Alberta, Ottawa, McMaster (Hamilton), Toronto (St. George) and Western (Unspecified). I'm also waitlisted at Queen's and Memorial. I'm from Ontario. I'm currently leaning towards UBC or Ottawa. I'm not sure what to look at to make a decision about any school. I'm interested in quite a few specialties, and am open to exploring more, so I don't think that is too big of a factor in the decision.
Here are my pros and cons:
- Although I've never been, I've heard Victoria is super beautiful (it was my first choice of location for UBC) without the crazy costs of living of Vancouver, for example.
- UBC is, I believe, one of the higher "rated" schools in the country (although I know Canadian schools aren't really tiered like they are in the states).
- I love being on and around the water (although, admittedly, I'm more used to lakes than oceans) and Victoria would give me the opportunity to do so.
- It's relatively inexpensive (17k a year instead of 25k for most of Ontario).
- To my understanding, UBC has the "distributed campus" thing really well sorted out (better than any of the other schools I know of).
- It's really far away from home
- I don't know if I'd have challenges matching back to Ontario for residency if I chose to do so (undecided at this point - I know lots of people fall in love with BC and never move home).
- Very cheap (12k a year, but they also gave me a 3k a year scholarship, bringing it down to 9k)
- Also one of the higher rated schools I think.
- Same as BC, plus it's super cold and I'm not sure if there's much to do in Edmonton
- Another really cool city with tons to do
- I've heard it has a really nice mix of PBL and normal courses
- I could try to regain the French that I've slowly been losing since the end of high school after my parents went to the effort of sending me to bilingual school as a kid
- Also pretty far away
- Expensive tuition
- Lots of opportunities to see a lot of high end hospitals
- Close to home
- I've heard that the culture can be a bit toxic and the workload is higher than at other schools
- The city of Toronto is... not my favourite. It's super busy, you can't really drive anywhere, and the last time I went for a half hour walk I felt like I was constantly about to be hit by cars.
- I've also heard that because there are so many med students, clerks and residents, it can be hard to get any sort of hands-on experience
- Close to home
- Some level of prestige
- 3 year program - I'm not sure what I want to do
- I'm not sure how I feel about basically only having PBL
- Close to home (if I end up at the London campus, which was my first choice).
- London is quite a bit like the that I grew up in and the one that I went to University in - a nice mid-sized (aka population of 100,000-500,000) place with lots of green space
- The unspecified campus thing - I'd rather not go to Windsor
- The London campus seemed a bit worn down
Western was in my original top 4 (UBC, Ottawa, Queens, Western), but the unspecified campus kind of dropped it down. If I were admitted to Queen's, I'd also strongly consider it (close to the water, really nice building, solid school in general) - it'd likely compete with Ottawa and UBC.
Does anyone have any input? What else should I consider? I'm having trouble finding details about differences in curriculum, so if anyone can link me to them or explain the distinctions, that'd be awesome!
Also - side note - how do I go about finding start and end dates for schools? I have to a) figure out how much time I need off at the end of the summer, and b) figure out whether I can go back to my current job (which I love) next summer.
EDIT: Another question - can I use OSAP if I go to UBC? If not, am I eligible for BC student loans? It would suck to be without any sort of government loans.