University: Brock University
City: St Catherines
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
Go Badgers, Go Badgers, Go Badgers – a semester abroad at Brock University in Canada
I knew relatively quickly that I wanted to do my semester abroad in my 5th university semester. The FOM only has a relatively small selection of partner universities and that’s how I ended up at MicroEdu. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see 9 most romantic places in the world.
MicroEdu offers a variety of colleges worldwide and the application process is made very easy with clear contacts. Once you had decided on certain courses at the foreign university, you could apply. After about 4 weeks I had a confirmation from Brock University and couldn’t wait to start my accommodation, flights and other semester abroad preparations. My adventure should start in the fall term (September-December 2017).
When looking for accommodation, I can recommend “kijiji” or the Facebook groups “Brock University Class of 2019, 2020 etc.”, as rooms are offered there at regular intervals. Overall, it’s very common to live in student houses off-campus. These are usually half the price of on-campus dormitories. I lived in a house with four other girls in Thorold. Our house was comfortably furnished and we even had a small garden (CAD$420/month for my room). My roommates came from Canada, Iran and Asia. We all got along very well and had some cool house parties together.
Overall, you make new friends very quickly at Brock University. Through an introductory week with many activities such as trade fairs, wine tasting, Niagara Falls excursion, food and sports events, you get to know the area and the other internationals. To be honest, my acquaintances from freshman week became my best friends as the semester progressed. My “uni group” consisted of a Canadian, a Dutch woman, an Iranian, a Russian and an English woman. I’ve been back in Germany for a month now and I can’t wait to hug these wonderful people again. We especially enjoyed the ice hockey games of the Brock Badgers (the university team). The mood among thousands of Brock students was always awesome!
Brock University is well known for its wide variety of sports offerings. I especially loved the gym and the pool. In addition, there was even a whirlpool, a smaller sauna, an indoor running track, tennis court and much more. When I wasn’t doing sports, I was sitting in the library or in one of my classes. I had chosen three courses for the semester: Marketing Research 3P96, Managerial Accounting 2P12 and Corporate Finance 2P91. The course grades usually consist of assignments, tests, exams and group work. You have to pull yourself together and learn to follow the content. Compared to the German university system, a good grade requires a lot more effort. The professors in my courses were very nice and you could always ask questions.
Everyday life in Canada
Life in Canada is a little different. The people there are all very open and friendly. My usual day started with a 15 minute bus ride to the university. Running to the bus, the bus driver usually stopped for me halfway and greeted me with “how are you today”. During Christmas he even wore a Santa hat and always made me happy with his positive nature. In Thorold, buses only come every half hour. However, I didn’t know time stress in Canada and it doesn’t help either. Luckily, my roommates all had a car, so they could give me a lift when it was raining or snowing.
The food prices for basic products such as milk, butter, bread, “alcohol” are a lot more expensive than in Germany. For a liter of milk you often paid almost 2€ and for a cheap bottle of wine (by the way, in Ontario you are of legal age at 19 and can drink alcohol) around 8-10€. Above all, one must not forget that the tax is added to every purchase. Subway and Canadian Starbucks, Tim Hortons, were visited by me almost every day.
All in all, I can only recommend Brock University. The location of the university is simply great! Within 30 minutes by bus you are at the world-famous Niagara Falls. You can also get to Toronto quickly and easily by Megabus or Greyhound. (approx. 1-14$ per trip, duration approx. 60 minutes). In addition, you have the opportunity to explore the USA, such as New York or Boston, by bus or plane at low cost. In October there is also a “Reading Week” in which you should study, but you can also simply explore Canada for a week. Five of us rented a car and visited Québec City, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston. Canada is a beautiful country and anyone who has the opportunity to go to Brock University should definitely do so. I definitely have wanderlust again!
If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact me.