University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: Summer Sessions
Period: 05/2016 to 06/2016
“How did you get to TRU ?” was one of the questions a professor there asked me. But let’s start at the beginning…
As a Sparkasse employee with a full-time job, I study part-time, and the stay abroad as part of the summer sessions is a mandatory part of my MBA course. From an organizational point of view, this initially means a certain challenge – planning the stay abroad alongside work, coordination with colleagues, etc. I also had to realize that of the countless universities and colleges worldwide, only a few come into question that offer content within the framework of the summer sessions within the specified period offer suitable and correspondingly creditable master’s courses… Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Swinburne University of Technology SUT.
I was even more grateful for MicroEdu ‘s help . On the website, I was able to quickly filter out the universities I was interested in and narrow down my “desired candidates” more closely. After lots of questions, which MicroEdu always answered promptly, in detail and with lots of useful information, I made my decision: I’m going to Thompson Rivers University (TRU)!
Things to do before
Even if this seems self-evident – you should start preparing for your stay abroad early on. With the documents from MicroEdu and in particular the “Pre-Departure Handbook” from TRU, you have a great basis and a checklist, so to speak.
On the subject of documents: Since I was only there for 8 weeks, I didn’t need a study permit or visa, my passport was enough. The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) was not yet mandatory, but it can easily be purchased at www.cic.gc.ca for a modest 7 Can-$. You then get a questionnaire on the plane – you have to present this to the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officer at the first Canadian airport you land at. Everything went smoothly and quickly for me, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
The TRU does not require any special vaccinations or dental certificates, with the German standard vaccinations and any additional recommended vaccinations for Canada (e.g. meningococci) you should be on the safe side here. However, the vaccination protection must be up to date, and you should have your vaccination card with you as proof. You should take out (travel abroad) health insurance in Germany and bring proof of insurance in English with you. If the proof is found to be sufficient, you can opt out of the standard insurance program of the TRU – worked great for me and was cheaper overall.
Welcome to Kamloops
TRU is located in, or more specifically on the outskirts of, Kamloops, about a 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Vancouver. Kamloops is a quiet, scenically beautiful small town of approximately 86,000 people. “It never rains in Kamloops!” a Kamloops Glass worker told me. Basically it is quite dry and warm in summer, but May 2016 also had a few unfriendly days in its luggage. The residents of Kamloops are much friendlier, and it’s easy to start a conversation with a “How’s it going today?” The city and its surroundings are primarily for nature lovers, the cultural offer and above all the nightlife are very manageable. I can recommend, among other things, a visit to Riverside Park, for further excursions a car is definitely helpful.
You don’t need a car for daily supplies, the Superstore and Walmart are each only about 1km away from the university. A restaurant from the fast food chain Wendy’s, various other restaurants, a hairdresser, a jeweller, etc. can also be reached within this radius. You can also use the local bus network free of charge with your TRU student ID.
Welcome to TRU
I was at TRU for the first summer session (early May to mid-June) in 2016, before that came the orientation week. Since I couldn’t arrive earlier, I missed the first day of the orientation week, but that wasn’t a problem. The first thing to do is contact your International Student Advisor (ISA) at TRU World on site – he or she will be available to answer any organizational questions throughout your stay. I was warmly welcomed there and provided with all the important information from scanning my passport to orientation on campus. There is also the Program Advisor, which provides general information about the MBA and the volunteers for all questions about everyday student life – when it comes to supporting students, the TRU really plays in the top league!
During the orientation week, a few organizational things will first be taken care of, e.g. scanning your ID card, health insurance, administration of online access and, if necessary, choosing a course. There are also various events on topics such as safety and working in Canada. The university does not require a TOEFL test – but beware: if you cannot produce a TOEFL iBT with at least 88 points and at least 20 points in each of the four areas, you must take the English test in the introductory week!! In addition to the serious background of student life, there is also information on the International Student Activity Program (ISAP), which provides a range of events for varied leisure activities.
I have taken BUSN 5020 Financial Accounting and BUSN 5060 Human Resources Management courses. I had great teachers in both courses, both courses were interesting and fun. Depending on how you spend your free time and how your own English and any previous knowledge in the courses is ordered, there is a lot to do, but it should be manageable. With mid-term exams, case studies and presentations, you are required to work permanently – you should definitely take this into account when planning your leisure activities.
Especially in the first summer session it is very quiet on campus, according to my ISA there were only about 250-300 students there. Much more was already expected for the second Summer Session. However, I found sitting in a course with 10 to 12 people to be a clear advantage – you get to know each other quickly and can develop real friendships. I mainly met students from Africa and Asia; European students seem to be fewer at TRU.
Where to stay
TRU students generally have a choice of three residences located on or near campus – Upper College Heights (UCH), McGill On-Campus Housing and the “New Rez”, the TRU Residence and Conference Centre. With the “New Rez” I chose the most expensive, but probably also the best variant. The dorm is only about 150m away from the International Building, where my courses took place. You live there in shared flats of 2 or 4 with students of the same sex. The furnishings are of a simple standard, but you have to bring your own pillow and blanket for your bed. Kitchen and bathroom are shared, the bedrooms are single rooms. The fact that you can’t lock your bedroom is initially unsettling – mutual trust within the shared apartment is therefore a prerequisite. However, I could only move in there after the end of the orientation week, until then I had rented a small hotel near the campus.
If you don’t like a dormitory, you can find a host family through the TRU or you have to look after a hotel or private apartment yourself – the latter is of course much more expensive.
If you like big city flair and a wide range of entertainment and don’t want to miss out, you can save yourself the flight in the 48-seat propeller plane from Vancouver to Kamloops. I can definitely recommend TRU to anyone who wants to study in a quiet, friendly, informal, open and international environment. Kamloops and the surrounding area have a lot to offer, especially for nature and sports enthusiasts.
In any case, I was very happy with my decision and would choose TRU again at any time.