University: Vancouver Island University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I spent my semester abroad in WS 17/18 at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo – Canada. During the semester I was able to gain a wide variety of experiences and, in addition to many international friendships, I also took a lot with me personally. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Deakin University.
When I started my master’s degree, I was sure that I wanted to do a semester abroad and it was clear to me that I should go to Canada in particular. I decided to spend a semester abroad at VIU, on the one hand to get to know Canadian cultureand nature and to interact with students from other countries. On the other hand, the Canadian MBA program is the ideal complement to the German Master of Science program due to its practical orientation.
Since there was no suitable partner university for my program at my home university, I decided to organize my stay as a “freemover” myself. I turned to MicroEdu. The support from MicroEdu was really good. My questions were always answered very quickly, contact with the VIU was established in an uncomplicated manner and all of my application documents were checked and forwarded.
After a successful application, I started to make the necessary preparations. For entry into Canada for less than six months, only the so-called ETA is required, which can be applied for easily and quickly online (about 7 dollars). Then I took care of a flat share and reported on several apartment ads on Craigslist, which in the end was relatively uncomplicated. There is also the option of staying in a dorm room on campus to apply, but I wanted to live in a shared flat with Canadians, so this option was out of the question for me. Since the search for an apartment was not so easy for all internationals, I would recommend applying for a place in a hall of residence at the same time (in good time!). When studying at the VIU, health insurance that is recommended by the university or is comparable is mandatory. However, since this is only valid until the end of the semester, I took out additional insurance with the ADAC after the semester due to my travel plans, but never took advantage of it.
Situation on site
I moved into my flat share in Nanaimo a few days before the start of the university and was able to take care of my mobile phone contract and missing equipment as well as explore the area at my leisure. Before the university starts, the so-called “Smooth Sailing” for international students takes place instead of. This includes a few information sessions and there is the opportunity to meet other students. After that, I attended an orientation week for new MBA students, which includes more and less helpful events, but is also a good opportunity to meet other students. The MBA program is attended by a large number of Indians and Asians, which has led to an interesting cultural exchange throughout the semester. The town of Nanaimo itself is quite small and doesn’t have much to offer, but it has the perfect location in the center of Vancouver Island, so that you can easily and quickly reach your travel destinations on the weekends.
The VIU has a number of MBA courses that I could choose from. In the end, I took the business courses “Strategic Marketing Management”, “Global Investment Management” and “Big Data” from the third MBA semester. In general, it can be said that the courses are very practice-oriented and interesting. The courses were manageable in terms of workload and were rated fairly and relatively well. Thanks to a lot of project work and opportunities to participate during the lectures and some group projects, I was still able to learn a lot of new things and take some things with me. I particularly liked the “Big Data” course, because the R program was used practically in my own projects.
During my stay I had a lot to do with the other exchange students. It was a great experience to do something together with so many people from different countries. I particularly enjoyed my participation in the MBA Games, an Olympics that is unique in Canada with various disciplines (from case to sport competition). My case team consisted of an Indian, a Nigerian, a Canadian and myself, which was a very exciting cultural experience.
In addition to studying, we traveled a lot, often to experience Canada’s unique nature. For example, my highlight was the trip to Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where you can see turquoise lakes. In addition, the Outdoor Recreation of the VIU organizes very good trips at low cost, e.g. surf trips to Tofino, snowshoe hikes and climbing sessions, which are highly recommended (register in good time!). Vancouver Island and Canada in general offer some beautiful destinations to explore on the weekends.
I came back to Germany with a lot of new experiences and some international friendships. In conclusion, I can say that I really enjoyed my time in Canada and that the semester abroad was an enriching experience in many ways. The Canadians were friendly and helpful and the country has a lot to offer. I would choose it again and again and also recommend it.