Boston vs. UBC: University Life & Delicious Desserts

UBC students were given an eight-day break in February and I spent this precious time in Boston visiting my friends at the Berklee College of Music and Northeastern University. Throughout this trip, there were notable differences in how students spend their university lives between UBC and several universities in Boston. I will share the similarities and contrasts of the university life in Boston and UBC. As a treat, I will also comment on Boston and UBC's (near UBC) delicious desserts places. Wondering why? Because desserts are surely one of the most important sources of happiness for students!

Many universities in Boston are in the city. Students can go shopping, catch a movie, and eat in fancy restaurants that are within walking distance or no longer than a few train/bus stops away. Most facilities (hair salon, clothing shops, restaurants, cafés, drug stores, supermarkets) are located on fancy Newbury Street, which is about a five minute walk from Berklee College of Music and other universities. Newbury Street is similar to Robson Street in downtown Vancouver. Therefore, university students in Boston tend to hang out near Newbury street on weekdays and weekends.

On the other hand, it takes UBC students about 40 minutes by bus or about 25 minutes by car to go downtown. The inconvenience is a little more evident for students at UBC regarding shopping and watching a movie. However, there are several supermarkets, cafes, and places to eat in and near UBC, such as the Nest, the village, and Kitsilano. UBC students who live in the dorms have a tendency to stay around UBC to finish errands during weekdays and relax on weekends. When students have less homework and more time, they will go to farther spots such as downtown or Richmond.

The difference between the mobility of UBC students and Boston students correlates with the sizes of their respective campuses. Universities in Boston are not large as they are located in the middle of the city. Some university buildings are also scattered in different places in the city. Thus, Boston students venture outside of the university for business and pleasure. In contrast, the UBC campus is an unbelievably huge 400 hectares, and is often called a city within a city. There are places I still have never had the chance to visit on UBC campus. There are many restaurants, shops, cafes, as well as novelty stores such as one dedicated to glass products. On that account, most essentials are already available at UBC so students do not take the trouble to go outside the campus.

As I mentioned above, Boston students go outside of campus to run errands and have fun. On top of that, many universities are in the same city. As soon as they leave their university area, they see other university students everywhere so there is more connecting between different universities.

UBC is far from other universities and colleges. Many UBC students do not go outside campus very often so they have more difficulty meeting with other university students unless they are part of clubs or sports. The easiest way for UBC students to meet other university students is to communicate with exchange students.




Amorino is famous for customizable rose-shaped gelato! You can pick various flavors of gelato to be placed in a rose shape. Amorino gelato is delicious and also visually aesthetic.

Recommendation: Mix of lemon, mango, and strawberry gelato in a cone.

Georgetown Cupcake 

Georgetown Cupcakes are very cute and compact in size so you want to eat more and more. Georgetown Cupcakes offers seasonal monthly cupcakes such as the Cherry Blossom cupcake in March and the Easter Nest cupcake in April! You will never be bored with the monthly-changing cupcakes and classics!

Recommendation: Red Velvet in everyday classics.

Pastella: Creperia Italiana

Pastella’s fresh crepes are made in Italian tradition. You can choose between sweet and savoury fillings including chocolate, fruits, hazelnuts, prosciutto, and cheese. Pastella is open until 11 p.m. daily so eat delicious crepes here after eating authentic spaghetti upstairs in Eataly!

Recommendation: Banana e Nocciola (Babbi hazelnut spread and banana)


Rain or Shine 

If you eat Rain or Shine’s ice cream once, you cannot resist visiting again. Made-from-scratch, Rain or Shine’s ice cream offers a collection of ice cream, from straightforward vanilla ice cream to distinct flavours (eg: Blueberry Balsamic) and also has seasonal specials.

Recommendation: Chocolate and London Fog flavour in cone (Keep an eye on the new seasonal flavour as well – Jasmine Cherry Blossom!)

Additional info: COMING SOON TO UBC!

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar

You will never see an empty line in Nero. Nero offers two types of waffles: Brussels and Liege. One is light and crispy and the other is sweet and chewy. They have a range of toppings including Nutella banana, orange chocolate, Oreo, mocha, caramel & hazelnut, and more. You can also take out a single non-topping waffle if you want a light snack. 

Recommendation: Fruity in Liege

True Confections 

True Confections offers unique types of cake including cheesecake, pies, and chocolate cake in different spice. Offers whole-cake as well. True Confections is open until 12am on sunday to friday and until 1am on saturday so you have plenty of time to go buy a cake even after work!

Recommendation: Fresh Fruit Cheesecake

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