University: Brock University
City: St Catherines
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, visual arts
Study type: semester abroad
At first I didn’t even know where to spend my semester abroad, so I was very happy that MicroEdu supported me.
When I applied to Brock University, I also made the decision to live with a host family. You could state this directly with the application. In retrospect, that was the best decision I could have made. I lived with Canadians and thus got a great insight into the way of life of the people living there, I could always ask questions, I was always helped and in relation to everyday life I was also given a lot of freedom (since that is often from criticized by people our age). If you decide to live with a host family, you can be sure that you will end up with a good family. All families participating in the Homestay Program are checked in advance by the homestay coordinator and you can indicate any preferences etc. in the application form (non-smoking household, pets etc.). I had my own floor with my host brother, my own bathroom, my own living room with fireplace, couch, TV, etc. You have to say that of course there is always a bit of luck involved, it can also be that the family only provides you with the room and no lounge etc. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see top 15 tourist attractions in London.
A negative point was that the Brock coordinators on site were a bit disorganized or maybe. were also overwhelmed. So I received my acceptance relatively late (although I hadn’t applied too early either) and on site when putting together the timetable they were a bit overwhelmed and I was more on my own, which is not that easy, especially in the first few days.
For this reason, I recommend that every “new broker” also register for the Brock mentoring program. You will then be assigned a student from Brock who will support you with all sorts of things in the first few days. That was a great help for me personally, because the Brock just seems huge to you and you need time to find your way around and you may be overwhelmed.
The relationship with the lecturers is much better there than here in Germany. It’s more on a friendly basis and I felt like they were also trying to make sure you don’t fail the exams as an international student (if you show commitment). If you have the opportunity to not be too limited in your choice of courses, all I can say is: choose Mr. Short. No matter what course he offers. Super loyal, nice lecturer who makes it easy to get good grades and also learns something. He really makes university life there easier than other lecturers do.
You have to be prepared to write at least one midterm exam in every course, which can be very comprehensive. If you have passed this, you can automatically take part in the final exam at the end of the semester.
Otherwise, the Brock offers a huge number of sports facilities (in addition to the gym), some of which can be visited free of charge, some for a fee. There is also a swimming pool.
The bus service to the Brock is in and of itself very good. About 10 buses leave the university in different directions. If you’re lucky you live in (Old) Glendrige, from there it’s 5 minutes to downtown St. Catharines and 10 minutes to the Brock. In addition to some cafes, downtown also offers clubs. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest, although the town really dies out around Christmas time as most students head home to their families.
That being said, if you are adventurous there is plenty to do in St. Catharines. I recommend everyone to buy a bike (used) and then ride it to the waterfalls near the university or to Niagara Falls (30 minutes). A lot also happens in the Pen Center. A kind of shopping mall with a cinema, restaurants and numerous shops about 10 minutes by bus from the Brock.
You’ll find that the people of St. Catharines are super friendly and helpful (generally in Canada). If you intend to go/drive over to the USA, be sure that you have all the necessary documents with you, because sometimes they really frisk you down to the bone and the US Americans are often not that friendly at the border.
In terms of time, the winter semester is simply the best. You arrive in August with 30 degrees and sunshine, experience the Indian summer, and ideally end your semester abroad with -20 degrees, snow, sunshine and a blue sky. You will notice that the weather is much better than in Germany;)
All in all, I can definitely recommend Brock University. I would have liked to have stayed another semester and would choose this university again and again.
Nevertheless, I have to say very clearly: In the end, it’s up to you what you make of it!
Have fun and if you have any further questions, please send me an email.