University: Brock University
City: St Catherines
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I decided relatively late, earlier than originally planned, to complete my semester abroad. Thanks to the materials and help from MicroEdu, I was able to complete my application to Brock University on time. After about 4-5 weeks I finally got my acceptance. Check act-test-centers.com to see vocational training in Switzerland.
My choice of course was not easy, despite the always friendly contact persons from the International Office. Many courses were already full and many were almost full. The last 2-3 places in a course are always reserved for Canadians. In addition, initially my previous knowledge was allegedly not sufficient for many courses. In the end I got the courses I wanted.
Finding an apartment in St. Catharines, on the other hand, was very easy, thanks to MicroEdu. MicroEdu established contact with another exchange student who was already in Canada and was still looking for a new tenant. Without further ado, I decided to take the room in a house with three other students.
Studies & Campus
My university in Germany does not have a campus in the traditional sense, since the lecture halls are spread all over the city.
I was all the more impressed on the first day of my semester abroad. There is everything your heart desires on campus. Numerous dining options are available around every corner. Tim Hortons (the Canadian version of Starbucks) also has a presence on several corners.
There are countless learning areas and group rooms. In addition, numerous sports fields, a swimming pool and a fitness studio are available for the sporty balance. Brock University also offers numerous sports as courses. There is even a bank branch and a pub on campus.
All buildings are connected to each other. This was very practical at -25 degrees Celsius in some cases.
My choice of courses was limited to three courses: International Finance, Derivative 2 and Entrepreneurship. Overall, these courses were much more time-consuming than courses in Germany, but also much simpler. Three courses turned out to be the best choice between free time and studying.
I found International Finance very interesting and instructive. I would recommend this subject to anyone who is interested in this topic. Derivatives 2 was a very small course of only 8 people and not bad either. Entrepreneurship was a very large course by Canadian standards (about 70 people) and consisted mainly of a lot of ramblings, 3 exams and a presentation at the end of the semester.
With almost 100,000 inhabitants, St. Catharines is a fairly manageable city. Due to the large area and low population density, it seems more like a village.
The heart of the city is the Pen Center. This is a large department store with numerous restaurants, shops and a supermarket.
Downtown is rather manageable in St. Catharines. The bus terminal for all long-distance journeys is located here. There are also a few bars and cafés for a relaxing evening with friends.
The bus connections in St. Catharines are excellent during the day, but unfortunately there is hardly any bus at the weekend and in the evening. Then you have to rely on taxis or Uber.
Nevertheless, when looking for an apartment you should make sure that you live near a bus stop and that a bus takes you from here to the Pen Center and Brock University.
The International Office offers many events at the beginning of the semester. These are mainly aimed at international students and exchange students. This is a great place to meet new people and make friends. I took part in both a Toronto trip and a Niagara Falls + Wine Tasting trip.
In addition to the “bigger” events, the International Office offers small events such as film evenings almost every week.
During the semester you always have a week off. Many students use the so-called Reading Week to travel. So I decided to travel to the United States with three other exchange students during that week. Thanks to long-distance bus providers such as Megabus, this is also very cheap. We decided on a trip to New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. The bus ride takes around 10-12 hours and usually includes a change in Buffalo. Unfortunately we caught the weekend with -25 degrees and heavy snowfall in Canada. Our outward journey with Megabus was then canceled without further ado, which is why we had to change to Greyhouse.
I can only advise anyone who has never been to NYC to take the opportunity and stop by during the semester abroad. The city is very impressive and really never sleeps.
Philadelphia turned out to be a good and relaxed stopover. Washington DC was very quiet due to the off-season and was very laid back compared to NYC. We almost liked DC better than NYC.
At the end of my semester abroad I use the remaining days to travel to Montreal and Quebec City. After all, apart from a few visits to Toronto and Niagara Falls and the surrounding area, I had seen very little of the east coast of Canada. Quebec City in particular surprised me positively, but Montreal was also very beautiful because of its old and new district.
I can only recommend the semester abroad at Brock University to anyone who wants to travel and see a lot during their semester abroad.
Don’t be afraid to go in winter either. With -25 degrees and lots of snow, Canada has its very own charm. I would do my semester abroad at Brock University again at any time.