University: Brock University
City: St Catherines
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Last year, 2015, I spent my fifth semester, a winter semester, in Saint Catharines, Ontario (Canada) and attended the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. The semester lasted from September 9, 2015 to December 22, 2015 and my stay lasted a few days longer from September 2 to December 23. During this time I attended the three courses “International Business”, “International Finance” and “Introduction to Marketing”, used the free time to travel and got to know many exciting people and their cultures. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see South Korea higher education.
After a failed attempt to apply for one of the coveted places at partner universities of our faculty, I decided in spring 2015 to go abroad as a “free mover”. When I was looking for a suitable university, there was no question that I wanted to further expand and perfect my English skills. Among the English-speaking countries, it quickly became clear to me that I should go to Canada, a country with great cultural contrasts and wonderful natural scenery. A very good university was found in Brock University in the middle of the Niagara region, which at the same time turned out to be the perfect starting point for various weekend trips. By accident I found the page of Company MicroEdu, which simplified contact with the university and application. The “International Office” at Brock University was also of great help in all administrative matters.
Finally, in April, the offer came. As soon as the flight and a hotel were booked for the first few days, things started. Arriving in Canada, the first challenge arose: an apartment had to be found; because looking for an apartment is easier on the spot than over a distance of several thousand kilometers. However, this issue was resolved within a day. I visited two flat shares and decided on one of them. It was a four-person flat share with three Canadians in Thorold, the neighboring town of Saint Catharines. In hindsight, Thorold itself is not the best area to live in. The area north-east of the Brock on Glenridge Ave is probably a better place to live. (to about the corner of Glendale Ave.).
Alone in an unfamiliar country, I naturally wanted to get to know people. It was the same for many others. At the beginning we organized a meeting of Germans who came to Canada with MicroEdu – we were 20 – in the next few days there was an “Orientation Week” and some other activities organized by the university to meet new people. And that’s exactly what I did: At “Wine and Cheese”, an “International Barbecue” and a “Social Mixer” I got to know Canadians, French, Danes, Australians and students from many other nations in a relaxed atmosphere. This quickly resulted in friendships and combinations with Canadian students who will spend their coming semester as a semester abroad in Germany. All in all, I would definitely recommend attending as many events as possible and not always chatting up the same people there.
In the weeks that followed, I went on various excursions with some of these fellow students. Among other things, we went to Niagara Falls, to Toronto several times (a trip to Toronto Island is highly recommended), to Buffalo, Chicago, to the Blue Mountains, to Algonquin Park (especially recommended in autumn), to Ottawa, Montreal (also awesome in the fall) and to Quebec.
University life was relatively relaxed at the beginning and surprised by the small size of the lectures of 15-45 students, but quickly became more stressful and required a much higher workload during the semester than studying in Germany. This was due to grades for participation, group projects, midterms and homework, which spread the workload away from the “final” over the entire semester. During the study and lecture breaks, the canteen, the university’s own swimming pool and fitness studio were popular meeting places. Towards the end of the semester, in December, both university life and free time became more stressful. In addition to studying together for the final exams and submitting group work, there was also a quick purchase of one or two Christmas presents, visiting the last travel destinations and, if possible, seeing again all the people we had met and loved since September. We finally got into the Christmas spirit by visiting a “Christmas Parade” in Toronto, a “Candlelight Stroll” in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the “Festival of Lights” in Toronto and a few other activities. These finally formed a successful conclusion of our time in Canada.
There have been major changes in lifestyle for many of us. Things that Canadians consider particularly healthy sometimes take some getting used to and are more like “junk food”. It is rarely worth cooking for one person, as restaurants and snack bars are relatively cheap. In addition, cars are the first choice for Canadians and bus connections are not as advanced as in Germany. So it can happen that a bus comes too early or too late and you have to wait an hour for the bus. But you kind of get used to it.
It is important to clarify with the university at home beforehand whether the courses can be credited. Unfortunately, there was a big debate for me. MicroEdu and the International Office are a huge help here !
All in all, the Brock was definitely the right choice and it was really worth the investment of time and money.