University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Linguistics and cultural studies
Study type: semester abroad
If you already have a semester abroad, why should you go to Thompson Rivers University ?
I was at TRU myself (as the university is abbreviated everywhere) and studied there for 1 semester. It has long been my wish to go abroad and one of my study conditions was to do it. I decided to use the time and study. I found great support in MicroEdu. I reported to the agency and received a lot of help. There wasn’t a question that wasn’t answered. To apply, I filled out several documents, got my university documents and then passed them on to the contact person. Everything was checked several times and then it was time to wait, at least for me. It took a while, but I got an offer. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Sonoma State University SSU.
While I was waiting for my acceptance, I was already taking care of other things. It is helpful to make a to-do list so that you do not forget anything that is important. I kept an eye on my desired flight date and the flights, took care of foreignstudent loans ( always worth a try ) and got a passport. Luckily I didn’t need a visa as I was in Canada for less than 6 months.
You also have to take care of accommodation as a precaution. There are several possibilities. On the one hand, you can live directly at the university, either in New Rez or McGill Housing. New Rez is relatively expensive and is at the end of the university. It’s supposed to be very nice and clean, but I’ve never been in there because you have to know someone who lives there (who puts you on a list etc..). I’ve been to McGill a few times, but it wasn’t really my thing. The rooms are very narrow and small and each room has its own front door. I didn’t like it there.
Then of course you can also move to a host family. I didn’t want to and I’ve heard both good and negative stories about it. That always depends on you and your host family.
I chose Upper Collage Heights (UCH). There you live in a 4-person shared flat with the same sex. There are no mixed shared flats. There is a shared kitchen for the 4 residents and 2 bathrooms. A room always has a balcony. Different nations and cultures are always put together. I was lucky and had a German roommate who, thanks to MicroEdu, I was able to contact 1 month before my departure. She knew her stuff and gave me lots of tips. You also get to know other residents very quickly in the UCH. You get into conversation or meet them at small parties. There is also a film night on Tuesday evening, where the latest films are always watched.
The UCH is very close to the university, on the other side of the street. It’s super easy to get away from there by bus and you also have the superstore, i.e. the supermarket, right in front of the door. You can actually get everything there, even if some products are different than in Germany and some things are not available at all. Likewise, Wendy’s (like McDonald’s) or other real restaurants are around the corner. There is a steakhouse and a good burger place up the road. Everything is reached in 5 minutes.
The buses run regularly, but there is no name or anything like that on the bus stops, so you usually have to wait. Buses are free for TRU students. We drove it to the mall (you can shop ok) or downtown. Since there was a lot of snow when I was there, the river was frozen and looked very nice. Aside from a few more shops and restaurants, there wasn’t much downtown. Nevertheless, you should make the trip once, especially because of the river.
At the beginning of their studies, there is an orientation week for foreign students, in which everything important is taken care of: university ID, course confirmation, getting to know supervisors, possibly taking out health insurance and the like. Foreign students are always taken care of. There is a booth in the International Building where you can book excursions. These include an example from my stay: a trip to Vancouver for 1 day, curling or a trip to one of Canada’s largest shopping malls. But you have to be quick and register in time. In general, many events take place at TRU. Either these are announced by poster or Facebook.
The university itself was great. I had 4 courses, 75% of which I enjoyed attending. 3 courses were led by women and one by a man. Unfortunately, this one course was also the most boring for me. I learned something there, but a lot of things seemed familiar to me. It was a “Composition” course designed to get you started in college and academic writing. I still rave about the other 3 courses to this day. My first course was Children’s Literature’ and we read a lot of books like ‘Peter Pan’ or ‘Speak’. That sounds simple, but it isn’t. There was a lot of discussion and you had to write so-called Reading Responses, in which you wrote how you felt about a certain topic and how it was reflected in the book. There were also 2 essays and the final exam. The second course was “ Women’s Bodies/Women’s Roles ”. This course made me think a lot and challenged me. Even though it was difficult, not only because of the language but also because the teacher was strict, it was still one of my favorite courses. And finally, a course called Introduction to Prose Fiction. It was about short stories and classics like “The Great Gatsby”.
All lecturers were very helpful and could always be reached in case of problems. They tried to integrate me into the courses and to use my perspective as a European or German. So some fellow students saw some topics not only from the Canadian point of view. The Canadian system is different, but it was very engaging and a lot was learned; both academically and personally.
It was a very nice time and I don’t want to miss it. With TRU I had a good university at my side, which challenged me a lot but also encouraged me.