University: Vancouver Island University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
At the beginning of 2011, I decided to spend a semester abroad and then received all the important information about Vancouver Island University from MicroEdu. The application went smoothly thanks to the support and shortly after the application deadline I had confirmation from the university. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see North Park University.
Unfortunately, the online registration for the courses was delayed a bit and I was on the waiting list for 4 courses until I was in Canada and I was only sure of one course. However, this was not a problem and I was able to take part in all but one of the courses.
I took the subjects Marketing Channels, Retail and Wholesale Management and Strategic Management Issues. The last subject was from the fourth semester of the Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and had the highest learning effort of all three.
The Marketing Channels subject was very interesting and we worked on a lot of case studies during the time. However, as an international student, you initially have the problem that Canadian examples are often discussed and I only knew a fraction of these companies. One benefit of the course was clearly that the only required textbook was relatively inexpensive.
The second subject I took even got by without a textbook and was retail and wholesale management. This is a course that focuses on the management and design of a retailer. In addition, instead of an exam, there was a kind of scavenger hunt in Vancouver, where the aim was to answer as many questions as possible.
The last course I took was Strategic Management Issues. This course, although time-consuming, is very interesting because it covers many different areas. There is also a kind of business game in which you have to manage a company in a group for several weeks.
Before I flew to Canada, I received a list from MicroEdu with the contacts of the other students who would also study at VIU. This enabled us to contact others beforehand and had the opportunity to clarify questions regarding apartments, transfers from the airport and much more.
When I arrived I first stayed at the Painted Turtle Hostel, which is highly recommended. Many other students also lived there for the first time, which made it possible to make many contacts quickly. Within three days I looked for a room in the city and later moved into a flat share. You can find a lot of housing listings at http: //Nanaimo.craigslist.ca/. On this site there are also bicycles, cars and much more. The easiest way is to get a Canadian cell phone number, as most providers do not respond to emails or respond very late.
I still had a good week before the Orientation Days started, during which I and some other students saw a lot of the island. In general, there is so much to see and experience both on the island and on the mainland. Starting with whale watching, surfing in Tofino, but also diving, kayaking, mountain biking and, above all, hiking. I also took a trip to the Rocky Mountains, where we spent a lot of time in the car, but it was definitely worth it. We were especially lucky with the weather throughout the semester.
The university campus is on the mountain and therefore you can expect one or the other step to get to the individual buildings, but this also gives you a very nice view from the library over the harbor to the mainland and the mountains.
The events and lectures are structured somewhat differently than in Germany. Instead of a single exam at the end of the semester, in Canada you have many individual exams such as group work, up to three exams, presentations or papers. As a result, you almost always have something to do during the semester. However, the courses are much smaller, the professors are always approachable, respond to emails very quickly and in a friendly manner, and there is also the option of going to a writing center. There you can get tips and help on getting paper.
All in all, I can only recommend a semester abroad at the VIU. I had a great time and had many great experiences.