University: Brock University
Continent: North America
Field of study: industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
I also spent my semester abroad at Brock University in St. Catharines and was more than happy with my choice.
It quickly became clear that I wanted to spend my semester abroad in Canada. I’ve been interested in the breathtaking nature and Canadian culture for a long time, so I grabbed the opportunity and decided to go to this wonderful country. Check ehuacom.com to see states and cities with the most Brazilians in USA.
After Canada was chosen as my destination country, I still had to decide on a suitable university. MicroEdu seemed to me to be a very competent partner for my semester abroad, which was more than confirmed. So I compared prices, courses and general leisure activities, as well as the location of several universities and finally decided on the Brock. Especially the good location in Canada, as a starting point for my numerous trips, convinced me. The application via MicroEdu went smoothly and quickly. Questions were answered very quickly, and so I had my place at the Brock secured just a few weeks after my final decision. The adventure could begin.
University/ course choice
About a month and a half before classes at Brock began, I was able to choose my courses. You had to state your desired courses in the application documents. For some courses, prior knowledge is required, which I was able to demonstrate through the transcript of records from my home university. It took a little while to get my transcript of records checked, which is due to the relaxed nature of Canadians, but in the end I was able to choose all the courses exactly the way I wanted.
I took the three courses Supply Chain Management (OPER 4P26), Introduction to Marketing (MKTG 2P91) and International Trade (3P93).
I can definitely recommend the two courses Supply Chain Management and International Trade to you. The lectures were well designed and the lecturers were friendly and helpful. Introduction to Marketing was really boring with my lecturer (Sheng Deng). I would not choose this course again. The way I had to learn for this subject (learning 600 pages of a book by heart) didn’t help me at all for my future.
In general, the learning effort in Canada is very different than at my home university. There are smaller tests, oral participation, homework, projects, etc. throughout the semester. Even if it sounds like a lot at first, I really haven’t overworked myself. In addition, you always stay on the ball and no longer have to learn everything at once for the final exam.
In addition to normal university operations, the Brock offers a variety of leisure activities. To this day I am overwhelmed by the huge and really good range of sports. There is a gym, free sports courses, an indoor running track, several sports halls and a private 50m pool. For more or less money you can also book other sports courses or team sports. For example, I played Inner Tube Water Polo and it was incredibly fun. Team sports are also a great way to socialize with Canadians.
My tip: Make sure you take advantage of this varied offer. Sport is an important part of everyday life for Canadians.
In general, the Brock is very well equipped. The library is a place to meet, study, or spend time between classes. The computer equipment is also very good. You don’t have to starve at the Brock either. There are several large food courts and you can buy coffee on almost every corner. That really impressed me.
Now a few words about the International Office: Before and during my stay, the International Office made a lot of effort to help the international students quickly and kindly with all their concerns. The International Office also plans many activities where you can meet students from all over the world. These offers are really recommendable and I always had a lot of fun at the meetings
I lived off campus in Thorold. I had already looked for the accommodation from Germany because I wanted to save myself the time of searching locally. And I can say that I was extremely lucky with my shared apartment. I lived in a house of six with three Canadians, one French and another friend from Germany. Living with Canadians gave me a special insight into Canadian culture. We did a lot together and one of the Canadians even took us Germans home with her. Those were wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t want to miss anymore.
In general, I have only had positive experiences with the locals. Canadians are a really open, welcoming and super friendly people. On my travels I only met nice people and I always felt comfortable in this country.
Regarding Thorold: It is a self-contained site and is directly adjacent to St. Catharines. I only took the bus for about 10 minutes to Brock. To get to Downtown St. Catharines or the Pen Center, however, I had to transfer to other bus routes at Brock. From 11 p.m. you have to look for another means of transport, because then there are no more buses. It doesn’t cost that much by taxi and as a student there is even a discount with the Brock Taxi.
Many students also live in Thorold and many of us internationals have also found accommodation in Thorold. If you also want to live off-campus, it is best to look for a suitable place to stay on Facebook in the international group or on kijiji.ca. Rents range from $350 – $500 making them affordable.
Traveling through Canada
Now we come to my favorite part of my semester abroad, the travelling. Canada really has a lot to offer for us little explorers. I flew to Canada a month before classes started and traveled through western Canada with a friend. We drove from Vancouver to Victoria, to the numerous provincial and national parks to Calgary with our mobile home. It’s been an unforgettable four weeks, with plenty of outdoor experiences that have showcased Canada in the best light. If you have time before the semester, then this “little” round trip is really worth considering. The weather was still really good in Augustand at the campsites we met many tourists and locals. The length of the trip was also ideal. We had enough time to let nature affect us and to hike the vastness of the country.
Arrived in Ontario, I took many small weekend trips. I’ve visited the largest cities in the East (Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa), I went to Algonquin Park with a smaller group (also highly recommended), got to know a Canadian family and because of the proximity to the USA, I did too paid a visit to New York. Reading Week was particularly suitable for New York.
Traveling on long-distance buses and staying in Airbnbs have also made travel affordable. I was also lucky enough to travel with my Canadian flatmate who had her own car.
My tip: Take a little time to compare prices and nothing will stand in the way of your travels
I spent five exciting months in Canada and I like to think back on my little adventures every day. Take advantage of the university’s many sports and leisure activities and don’t miss out on travelling, because Canada has so much to offer.