University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: life sciences
Study type: semester abroad
I studied biology at TRU during the fall 2007 term. All in all, I really enjoyed my studies there. The classes are relatively small and the support from the student advisory service was great. However, since I am not used to homework and weekly tests from my German university, it was a bit stressful at first to get used to the new everyday university life. The weekly seminars with group work and handicrafts were sometimes very unusual. It was always fun though. This is also a point that any new student there will quickly notice. The lecturers and students are all very nice and open-minded. My courses were relatively interesting and the laboratory courses also dealt with things like brewing beer in addition to modern molecular biological methods. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see University of California Davis.
Exactly this point will stay in my memory very much. Working there is more relaxed, there is less time pressure and the deadlines for certain homework can sometimes be chosen flexibly. However, this pervasive work ethic can also come with its downsides. In the fourth-year courses in biology, for example, you always had to reckon with being in the laboratory a few hours longer than planned or putting in an extra shift on Saturday mornings.
The grading of the services there also seemed more than fair to me. My grades consisted of several points such as assignments, midterm and final exams, test results and presentations. However, an unusual way of preparing for the exam by German standards was the distribution of part of the exam questions by a few lecturers. At first you look a bit incredulous at the note you received, but as you can imagine, you gladly accept it.
There is not much to write about Kamloops itself. Unfortunately, the city itself is not that pretty. On a sunny day, however, you can head downtown with other students and lounge on a small beach on the Thompson River. Furthermore, you should go to a car rental company as soon as possible and explore the wonderful nature of Canada. Various national parks (Banff, Jasper, etc.) as well as Vancouver and Vancouver Island are close by by Canadian standards. In addition, in the winter you can either go to Whistler for a weekend or take day trips to Sun Peaks to ski or snowboard.
If you want to go out in the evening, there aren’t too many options. In addition to two disco-like shops and a country bar for the right cowboys, the university pub was a popular destination on “Thirsty Thursday”.
Student residence or rather a motel?
Since I initially lived in a motel near the campus, I can only advise everyone to get a place in the student residence on campus as soon as possible and, above all, in good time. In addition to the fact that you live relatively isolated and therefore cannot make acquaintances as easily as in the dormitory, money also plays a role. I stayed at the Hospitality Inn. A room with a kitchen there costs $720 a month. In big cities that might be justified, but in the Canadian provinces I see it as exorbitant.
I then moved to the new student residence (Conference and Residence Center) on campus and was happy. Of course you have to be aware that in the worst case scenario you will get a roommate who has moved out of the house for the first time and behaves accordingly. However, I don’t know anyone who couldn’t come to terms with their roommate to some extent.
Since a few friends also lived at McGill, we naturally also visited the second dorm from time to time. Although the McGill is very spartan and the rooms are quite tiny, the McGill is by far the cheapest option to live close to the university. You should be able to live there for a semester.
All fast food chains, supermarkets and liquor stores are located right next to the campus.
In conclusion, I can only say that the semester abroad was definitely worth it. I didn’t learn as much as I might have done in the corresponding semester in Germany, but I met nice people and had a great time. I’ve polished up my English and I find the experience abroad in itself to be very valuable.
Finally, I would like to add that thanks to MicroEdu, enrolling at the university worked wonderfully.