University: Vancouver Island University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I really enjoyed my time in Canada at VIU!
The organization of the semester abroad was super easy… MicroEdu is a great thing! You always get quick support and are never left with a problem on your own for long! Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Edinburgh Napier University.
The flight from Germany to Vancouver didn’t seem long at all. I was way too excited and had enough food for thought! In order to be able to rest straight after the “exhausting flight” I booked a room in Vancouver near the airport for the first night… that was total nonsense! In hindsight I can say that it really wasn’t necessary and I wouldn’t do it again! Either you take a room right in the center of Vancouver or drive straight over to Nanaimo.
The semester started at the beginning of September… but there was already something going on at the university in the last week of August! That’s why I was happy to arrive in Nanaimo on August 19th… Personally, I thought it was nice to attend the first introductory events, to look around the campus a bit and to get used to the new place of residence!
In terms of difficulty, the courses at the VIU can definitely be mastered. I only had courses from the first, second and third years (University Writing and Research, Human Resource Management, Advertising and Promotion), which I got along with very well in terms of content! The big difference to studying at a German university, however, is the much higher workload. When I read the field reports here at MicroEdu, I always thought “it can’t be that 5 courses can’t be completed or can only be completed with a lot of time” and so I took 5 courses at the beginning.
Two weeks after the start of the lectures, I have already deselected two courses. And even so, my semester was still peppered with submission and exam dates.
If you really plan to come to Canada just to study, with a little effort you can definitely do 5 courses… but if you also want to plan some time for travel and other leisure activities, I would advise against 5 courses!
Because Nanaimo as a starting point for great activities and trips has it all….
Travel & Co
I was very fortunate to meet a great bunch of nice people who loved to travel as much as I did. We have done many trips and excursions together. There is plenty to discover on the island alone: strolling through Victoria, surfing in Tofino, kayaking in Nanaimo, the Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island, cute street markets, idyllic parks & waterfalls or varied adventure trips to the north of the island including bears & whales free on top were really great and made the time on the island unforgettable! But trips to the Rocky Mountains, to Seattle, Vancouver or Las Vegas were also a lot of fun.
We definitely recommend the excursions organized by the university! There are really good things there and the price is totally right! We’ve booked a Vancouver Canucks hockey game, a weekend kayaking & camping trip, a surf trip to Tofino and a hiking trip to Big Falls through uni and it’s always been great fun and the mentoring has been great!
Life in Nanaimo itself was quite funny… I lived in a shared apartment within walking distance between the university and the port. I was still hoping to get a place in the dormitory, but afterwards I was very happy that things turned out differently. If you want to do something in Nanaimo in the evening or at the weekend, you are a bit dependent on the buses. The last buses to the campus leave before 12. However, if you can fill a taxi, the price per person is pretty much the same as a bus ride. Nevertheless, it was nice to be able to just walk to the harbor on a sunny day. I was lucky enough to have a shopping center right on my doorstep, which also made a lot of things easier. This saved me from having to walk back to the university from the nearest grocery store with heavy bags.
But whether it’s better to live in a dorm or off-campus in private apartments always depends on where the people you regularly hang out with live… you just have to be a little lucky.
The tuition fees and flights alone are quite a hit… there are also high costs for books and food is not exactly cheap either. With rent, bus ticket and the expenses for many activities and trips, you can quickly reach the five-digit range (€). However, it was worth every penny from my point of view;)
Although we were able to enjoy the driest and most beautiful beginning of summer and winter during our time in Nanaimo, it could also get pretty wet and windy at times! Especially with big feet one despairs in Nanaimo and surroundings when looking for rubber boots (which are both practical and fashionable there). So if you still get them in your luggage, it’s definitely worth it.
It was just an amazing time that I will never forget!