University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Economics
Study type: semester abroad
I was at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops for a semester. I decided to go there because I’ve always wanted to go to Canada and was less attracted to the east, although MicroEdu also has a uni there. Organizing my semester abroad through MicroEdu was definitely a great decision, because the advice and help are really worth their weight in gold!! Everything went smoothly, I did the TOEFL, sent my papers to MicroEdu and was promptly accepted at TRU. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of Auckland.
I’ve lived in McGill On-Campus Housing, but I have to say I couldn’t have lasted more than a semester there. The rooms are very small, the walls are thin and the bathroom is shared with three other students, which is not ideal. But it was cheap and you were right on campus. However, Upper College Heights is probably the better alternative, since you live there in a real flat share and get to know people faster. The new residence is quite expensive, but also offers much more comfort. A host family is definitely a great opportunity to improve your language skills significantly and to really get to know Canadian culture..
The university itself is great, there are many computer labs and a few cafeterias and a canteen, but the prices there are a bit higher than we are used to in Germany. The sports offerings were not very large, but as a student you can do it for little Money to the gym and use the pool for free. The professors were very good, the small group classes very pleasant, and the lecture rooms were quite modern, especially in the International Building.
Kamloops itself was a bit of a disappointment for me though. The city is really small and quite desolate.. There is a shopping mall and a few isolated shops in “Downtown” (which actually didn’t exist).. Otherwise, the big shops like Walmart and big supermarket chains like “The Real Canadian Superstore (the cheapest) or “Safeway” (rather expensive..). Groceries were a bit more expensive than here, but the price was still okay, if you shop at the superstore, for example.
The nightlife in Kamloops is pretty good though, there are only two or three places to go, but you never have to think twice about it.. : -) We went to either Thirsty Dog (TD) or Cactus Jacks (CJs ) and always had a lot of fun!! The prices were the same, $5 entry (sometimes ladies specials) and a beer is $5.50. CJs then played country from time to time, which was pretty funny (sometimes something different..)! of course that helps too! : -)
Although the landscape of Kamloops was more reminiscent of the savannah, you could take unique excursions into the area from there: We went to Vancouver (Island) as well as to Banff and Jasper National Park, which was really breathtaking in terms of landscape! The Rocky Mountains are definitely worth a visit, no matter what time of year, and Banff National Park is the place to be. The best thing to do is wait until you’ve met a few people at university and then rent a car together and take a few trips, it’s worth it!! You don’t even have to drive far, north of Kamloops is Wells Gray Park, for example, which is definitely worth a visit! I made the mistake of planning a trip before I arrived and then went to Banff and Jasper on my own,
All in all I don’t regret going to Kamloops at all as I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people!! As I said, the city is not the best, but it is bearable;) The nightlife offers a lot and the landscape around Kamloops is just awesome! The university is very good and you can learn a lot and it’s still fun! I wish you every success with your application and at TRU!!