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Schools Where to go? Canadian universities.

  1. Dec 12, 2017 #1
    I've been mulling over the question of "does it matter where i do my undergrad" and while many seemto answer this question with: no, your employer is never going to care. What about for those who want to stay in academia?

    I'm currently preparing to move from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to somewhere else in Canada to study physics and I just can't decide! I've looked at University of Toronto, McMasters, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, and University of BC.

    I've sort of narrowed it down to U of Manitoba or U of T. But both have very different pros and cons. Winnipeg is cheap to live in and tuition (with fees) is only around 5000$ a year, where as U of T well i'm looking at about 8000$+ and paying twice as much in rent! However, U of T seems to be pretty solidly ranked as the best place to study physics in the country and just looking at the classes available for 4th year students with classes like "Time Series Analysis", "Continuum Mechanics" and "Laser Physics" on top of the standard quantum mechanics, optics, computational physics etc makes it look like a much more robust program.

    Can anyone weigh in on this? I'd like to live in Toronto, its a fun city, but that said, i'm moving to study, so it's certainly not the main draw. For me the priority is a quality education and keeping my options open. However, that said, higher cost = needing to work more, which can have a negative impact on my education all that same...
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2017 #2
    Personally, I'd go with the cheaper option. Also bear in mind that Winnipeg in winter is awful.
  4. Dec 12, 2017 #3
    Bit of cold weather doesn't scare me! Grew up on PEI, it's pretty miserable there in winter.

    What makes you say the cheaper option though? Did you do a physics degree in Canada?
  5. Dec 12, 2017 #4


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    All the schools that you're looking at are good. You'll get a great undergraduate physics education at any one of them.

    Cost of living in Toronto is going to be higher and it looks like you've already crunched the numbers on it. I wouldn't double the amount of debt you take on just for the sake of an extra course or two in your fourth year. And you have a good point about how the extra cost translates into needing to work more.

    For some students some work is a good thing. It gives them mental down time and gives them some practical work experience that can sometimes be an advantage later when they're looking for work in the outside world. But the time factor can weigh on you as well. If you have to work an extra eight hours each week that's eight hours that's not spent studying or doing other things that you might need to do to take care of yourself (sleep, exercise, socializing, etc.)
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