University: Vancouver Island University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Psychology, Neuroscience
Study type: semester abroad
Hello, last semester I did a semester abroad at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and I can say that I found it very nice and can recommend it.
I actually decided to do this semester abroad at the end of 2010 and after I had found out about the academic program and the various academic contents via MicroEdu, Vancouver Island University accepted me and, as far as I remember correctly, I started in January 2011 finished my application. MicroEdu will help you with this by taking a look at the application documents beforehand to ensure that they are correct and complete. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Newcastle University.
When I arrived in Nanaimo I rented a car, which unfortunately wasn’t exactly cheap, like almost everything in British Columbia. So I had the opportunity to drive off the island and see, for example, Tofino or Victoria, the largest city on the island. Basically, it can be said about the island that there is a lot to see and you certainly won’t get bored. However, it must also be said that you should calculate enough expenses to be able to make all these trips. But I also have to say that later at the university all kinds of day trips are offered for little money, such as trips with surfing lessons in Tofino, day trips to a Vancouver Canucks ice hockey game or snorkeling with seals, etc. You just have to find out in good time when the registrations for this take place and then be at the gym on time to be able to get hold of one of the coveted places. By the way, that’s pretty much the only thing that can be done for little money at the VIU. The costs in British Columbia are roughly 10-30 percent higher than in Germany, excluding clothing, gas and fast food.
It is also advisable to apply for a room in a student residence in good time. This is very nice, cozy, right next to the university and that’s where the most is going on. Here you get to know a lot of nice students and you are always right in the middle of the action. There are various living options in the hall of residence, such as 4 people or 10 people with a separate or shared kitchen or bathroom, etc. Of course, the prices also vary here.
On the subject of a car, I think it would have been easier if I had one, but it’s not the end of the world without it either. You can walk from the university to the nearest shopping center and there is a free shuttle bus that runs once a week to a larger, more distant shopping center. Not everything can be reached by bus and not at all times. Taxis are also affordable as long as you share them with others.
As far as the study conditions are concerned, only positive things can be said here. I had extremely interesting courses in my department, such as forensic psychology. The working atmosphere was very pleasant. The classes were mostly relatively small with around 20-30 students. One difference to my home university was, for example, the fact that there was more work to be done for the various courses because proof of performance in the form of essays or presentations was required every few weeks. But nothing that couldn’t have been done. For this you choose only 3 to a maximum of 5 courses per semester.
One of the few things that bothered me was the fact that you needed at least 1-2 books for each course that could not be borrowed. This means that pretty much every student went to the university bookstore at the beginning of the semester and bought all sorts of books. And these weren’t exactly cheap. Usually between €40 and €110 per book. So it’s not unusual to spend around €400 on books per semester. There are no seminar scripts and the books are usually not available in the library. Unfortunately, students don’t usually join forces to buy books together and then copy them.
But these financial pitfalls, which I think exist everywhere else at North American universities, are actually the only shortcoming. Maybe the fact that Nanaimo isn’t a big city like Vancouver, for example, but rather a small town. But this flair can also have its appeal if you prefer to stay away from the urban jungle. So I can say with a clear conscience that it was a beautiful and instructive experience for me. I think doing a semester abroad can be very important and formative for the development of most students. And if you decide to do so, I don’t think you can go far wrong with Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.