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The University of Waterloo (Canada)

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Simple advice: if you are considering going toQuite BrightComputer Science
Simple advice: if you are considering going to UW for Computer Science, stop yourself from making that decision. This school is horrible. Exams contain topics never shown in class, assignments are intentionally made ridiculously difficult - and as such are not an extension of what you are learning but a cheap excuse to waste your time. The professors are not helpful when you go to them with questions and it is obvious that the University only cares about taking your money. Don't waste your time and money. Go somewhere else
1st Year Male -- Class 2018
Campus Maintenance: B, Education Quality: F
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Disclaimer: This review is based on my experiences.BrightAccounting
Disclaimer: This review is based on my experiences.
I had a miserable time during the 4.5 years I spent at Waterloo. The only enjoyable time I had was frosh week, and that was during the first week of school. By the time first term was completed, I wanted to switch out, and to this day, I regret not switching out. The accounting professors were unhelpful, exams were harsh and grading was unfair, and at times it felt as though the accounting professors themselves were unknowledgeable. The PowerPoint slides they used in classes seemed like they came directly from the publisher's slides, and they would often times just read the slides in class, without explaining the contents, and would simply gloss over the examples, or provide you with an example and a solution. And then, when you go back to review the day's notes, you realize that the solution they provided was wrong. And not only that, the method was sometimes wrong as well. Of course, not all professors are that terrible, I can think of a few that made me continue to have faith in humanity, but in my experience, the majority of accounting professors were only in it for the (very ample) salary. I felt that the faculty did not care for us and would often give exams that were so difficult, they had to bell curve it by >25%. It was a very negative environment, and I was often depressed. (The constant rainy weather, cement backdrop, and the geese crap everywhere did not help alleviate moods either). The only thing Waterloo accounting taught me was that I can teach myself everything. I learned nothing else from AFM apart from what I taught myself. By the end of the program, I was so jaded that I wanted nothing to do with accounting. Let me reiterate that for you, going into Accounting at Waterloo made me despise my entire profession. By the time I graduated, I couldn't see how accountants could not be greedy, how they could not be backstabbing and cutthroat, and how they could not be so self-absorbed. I wanted nothing to do with the hellish environment. All of the good friends I made at Waterloo were not in the accounting program, and they, along with my elective courses were what kept my sanity in tact during my time spent on this miserable degree. I am full of regrets and feel that AFM destroyed my optimistic disposition. I hope that this review can cast some light to those considering AFM.
4th Year Female -- Class 2012
Surrounding City: A, Education Quality: F
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When I sit back and think about whatAverageBiology
When I sit back and think about what I'm doing with my life, I often find myself deeply regretting ever coming to the University of Waterloo. It may very well be one of the worst decisions I've made in my life.

The bureaucracy surrounding Waterloo is atrocious. The student union is terrible, does not foster a positive student community, leaving individual faculties creating their own social circles which lead to a very divided campus. In addition, they force students to pay a very expensive health insurance fee, leaving you only 1 week to opt out at the start of the fall semester for the whole year. If you miss the deadline, you're forced to pay an additional ~400 dollars on top of tuition, textbooks, student union fees, etc. Not cool, FEDS. No one ever goes out to campus events and the campus vibe is always cold, anti-social and isolated. It's just not a friendly place to be.

The co-op programs at Waterloo are very overrated and I felt cheated, as it was the main reason I chose the university. During the open house, university employees really hyped the co-op program. Everywhere seemed to say it was great, and online, they boasted that over 90% of students found a job. But when I logged onto JobMine, jobs were scarce compared to students enrolled in the program and very few students were ranked, let alone hired for jobs they were hoping for. No meaningful support is given from the co-op office and the system clearly favors employers over students.

Professors are very hit or miss. Waterloo definitely has some great profs, and a quick look at ratemyprof will attest to that, but there are also very poor ones who will make your student life a living hell. Even with good profs and lab instructors, I would say 30-40% of the TA's I've had didn't speak English as their first language, which is generally fine when communicating over email, but is sometimes very hard to talk to in person i.e. during a lab.

Finally, for all the fees we pay, libraries are often over-crowded, loud and dirty. The path to the DC library is not even paved and turn into one long mud puddle during spring.

I felt cheated from UW's co-op program and reputation as a leader in research. I'm not sure if it is due to the relatively new president they have had and if it's simply a case of things not being how they used to be, but UW is definitely not a student friendly university. It isn't worth changing cities for, it isn't worth the tuition. As a final slap to the face, just as students began singing up for summer courses, most of the university/faculty staff I had to contact for forms were all on vacation.One positive is I really enjoy the professor I was able to have guide me through my undergrad research. She really made me not hate myself as much for choosing this university. However, if you're currently deciding where to go, especially if you are thinking of entering in the sciences, I strongly suggest you do not choose the University of Waterloo.

4th Year Male -- Class 2015
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F
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