University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I studied at Thompson Rivers University from early January to late April 2010 and summarized some key points:
The application via MicroEdu was very easy and didn’t take much time. Right from the start, I had a permanent contact there who was always available to answer questions. Correspondence with the TRU on site in Kamloops also worked smoothly. The offices are staffed daily from 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. You can always get competent answers to your questions there. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see St Francis College.
The courses are usually very small (10 – max. 40 students) and personal contact with the lecturer/professor is always possible and even desirable.
I would say that the individual courses are less difficult than in Germany and, in most cases, manageable. Throughout the semester you collect partial points through assignments, quizzes and lectures, so that the final exams never make up more than 50% of the final grade. Although this is more work during the semester, it relieves the exam phase at the end of the semester.
In my opinion, the level of the business faculty suffers from the extremely high percentage of international students. This is usually over 80%. However, this number only refers to the business courses. In the economy courses there were far fewer internationals and in the natural sciences you will probably mostly be the only one.
I myself lived in the New Residence directly on campus and cannot recommend it. Although the building is very new and actually well equipped, there are also many negative aspects. The walls consist only of wood or plasterboard and are therefore extremely poorly soundproofed. Added to this is the constant monitoring by cameras and, last but not least, the extremely high price of around €2,000 per semester. The New Rez is primarily about printing money. For example, without informing the residents, the cleaning intervals have been doubled compared to the previous year, payment in installments costs an extra $165, but it takes 8 weeks to get your deposit back…
For a semester I would go to Upper College Hights or Mc. Recommend Gil. These are both significantly cheaper and serve their purpose just as well. If you are planning a longer stay at TRU, a room close to the campus makes the most sense.
Kamloops is a very sprawling city with around 80,000 residents and only has a small town center. The university is located on a hill and can be reached by bus in about 10 minutes from the city center. All important things (supermarket, mall, pub, etc.) are in the immediate vicinity of the university. That’s why I wasn’t often downtown. If you are looking for an extensive nightlife and a large selection of bars, pubs and clubs, you are definitely wrong in Kamloops, Kamloops is simply too small for that.
Kamloops is a very good starting point for traveling in British Columbia.
In winter, the Sun Peaks ski area is only 40 minutes away by car (very good early bird rates in October for season tickets). Anyone who has driven here does not want to go back to the Alps;) The national parks of Banff and Jasper are also not far away and the great city of Vancouver can be reached in 3 hours by car. Renting a car is fairly straightforward and cheap flights can be found for short trips to the US .
If you are looking for a cheap way to spend a semester abroad, you should give Canada a wide berth. The tuition fees for foreign students at TRU are around €5,300 (if your university does not have a partner agreement). The flight costs about 1000€. You have to plan more for living expenses than in Germany. The food prices are mostly above German level. However, cheese, sausage and alcohol are much more expensive.
Canadians are very open and friendly people. It’s very easy to get into conversation with them and everyone has been to Europe/Germany before or at least knows someone who has been there before. Many also have European ancestry, which is always an easy conversation starter.
If you push yourself a bit at the beginning of the semester, it’s easy to make friends with Canadian students and I’ve met really great people. If you want to communicate with Canadians on site, you urgently need a Facebook account and a Canadian SIM card is also very helpful. However, this is very expensive and: Avoid the provider Rogers!
I can recommend a semester at TRU to anyone who wants to get to know a wonderful country and great people. You have to organize a lot on your own, but you can always find support when you need it.
If you really want to make friends with Canadians, you have to be careful at the beginning of the semester that you’re not just with Germans. It’s not that easy, as there are an incredible number of Germans at TRU.
If I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Canada again, I would go there in the second half of the year. Everything that is gray and dull in winter must be breathtaking in summer/autumn. Most leisure activities are geared towards summer (water skiing, hiking tours, climbing, camping, hunting, rodeo, etc.).
All in all had a great semester at Kamloops and would highly recommend.