University: Thompson Rivers University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
My semester abroad in Kamloops was a very nice experience. I met a lot of new people, had great experiences, saw a lot of the beautiful landscape of British Columbia and my English improved significantly after my semester there. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Universidad Catolica Argentina.
About a year before my semester abroad, I researched various universities in America at MicroEdu. 6 months before that I applied to TRU. The application process is quite simple and the MicroEdu staff will help you at any time with questions and problems relating to the university, immigration and housing.
I chose Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops because I always wanted to go to British Columbia in western Canada. In my opinion, the location of Kamloops, between the Rocky Mountains and Vancouver/Vancouver Island, is perfect for discovering the country. In addition, the university and the city are very manageable, which makes it easy to meet new people. However, if you want to go to a big city, Kamloops is clearly not the place. The campus is on a hill above downtown. So if you don’t have your own car, you have to rely on public transport.
At the same time as I applied for the university, I also applied for a place in the student residence UCH (Upper College Heights). In my opinion, this residence is the best in terms of value for money compared to the other two (Residenz and McGill).. You live there, so to speak, in a 4-person flat share, have your own room and share a large kitchen and two bathrooms with your 3 flatmates. Another advantage is that you get to know people quickly and it is easier to keep in touch. Most of my friends stayed at the UCH so it was always easy to spend free time together. The UCH is not on campus like the other two dormitories, but you only have to cross the street once and you are directly on campus in 3 minutes. Also, the nearest supermarket is right across the street, making it easier and more convenient if you don’t have to carry your groceries that far.
TRU is a very international university. It may well be that in the business courses you sit in a class with more international students than with Canadians. In general, the university is well organized and as an international you get help quickly and the introductory week especially for international students clarifies many questions. A lot is being built on campus at the moment and many new buildings are being built. I particularly liked the campus life, as I didn’t know it from Germany. As has often been mentioned in previous reports, studying in Canada differs from the one in Germany. You have to do a lot more during the semester for the courses (group work, writing papers…), but all this work counts for the final grade, so that the exams at the end of the semester sometimes only account for 30% of the final grades. However, the level is lower than in Germany and with a little effort it is not difficult to get good grades.
I attended three courses so that I had enough free time besides university to enjoy my semester abroad and take as much experience with me as possible. However, the cost of the courses depends on the respective professor. I had a course in which only the grades from the midterms and the finals counted towards the final grade. In another course we also had to submit group work. What I like about the Canadian system is that the material is well distributed over the semester and you have already learned the material through the midterms, so that the final exam is not that difficult.
Although Kamloops is actually “in the middle of nowhere” and there isn’t that much to see in the city itself, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area. Although you generally have to get used to longer distances in Canada. I often rented a car with friends and we drove to places like the Rocky Mountains (Jasper and Banff National Parks), Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver at the weekend. But there is also a lot to do in the immediate vicinity of Kamloops. Sun Peaks ski area is only 40 minutes away by carand offers a fantastic ski area. There is also a swimming pool with sauna, steam bath and whirlpool on the campus grounds, for which students do not have to pay an entrance fee. Otherwise you can spend your time in Kamloops with sports, cinema, discos, pubs and shopping.
The prices in Canada are roughly comparable to those in Germany. Some foods are more expensive, especially dairy and cheese products. Alcohol is also a lot more expensive than in Germany. On the other hand, petrol is very cheap compared to Germany, which is good if you take a lot of trips by car. Overall, a semester abroad is quite expensive, but I would spend the money again at any time.
I can only recommend this to anyone who is still considering doing a semester abroad in Kamloops ! Although some might be put off by the location, I can only say that, just like the size of the university and the city, it doesn’t matter. It depends on what you make out yourself! I learned a lot during my time abroad, not only at university, but above all made new friends and gained life experiences.