University: Vancouver Island University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, International Business Administration
Study type: semester abroad
At the beginning I would like to say right away: Canada was a great time, which I would not want to miss under any circumstances. The friendly nature of the Canadians and the incredibly impressive nature cast a spell over outdoor lovers in particular. At the university I really appreciated the small groups and the relaxed relationship between professors and students. The application process ran very smoothly thanks to MicroEdu and I was always able to get in touch with my personal contact if I had any questions or were unclear. In case you should consider Bafög I can only give you one tip: the sooner the better! So it’s best to take care of it immediately! The first payment was still in my account before I left – but I got to know fellow students who had been in Canada for a few months and still had to be patient because the documents were missing or had to be checked. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see Griffith College Dublin.
Where am I supposed to live?
I asked myself this question relatively soon and thought about what might suit me best, because there are of course a wide variety of options :
I soon made friends with fellow students who lived in the dorm. There is a clear advantage here when it comes to sitting in the lecture room in 5 minutes or ordering the first beer in the student pub. You can also find Canadian and international students here. As in all halls of residence, there are campaigns to get to know each other in order to promote togetherness, which makes it very easy to make new contacts. However, if you need quiet nights to sleep, I would advise not to take the cheapest room offer.
I was also in various WG ‘s to visit. Deep friendships can be made here and a cultural exchange takes place in international flat sharesinstead of. The location is often crucial here, as the bus network in Nanaimo is rather underdeveloped. So if you want to avoid long walks to the university, you should think carefully about which location is suitable. There was roughly a balance between which ones had already been selected in Germany and which ones were only put together on site. The bulletin board at the university helps here, but above all the Internet and CRAIGSLIST, which you can use to find numerous offers for the next possibility of living. A tip here too: Especially in the winter semester, very nice holiday homes are often rented to students at a reduced price! Longer distances to the university are often compensated by a fantastic view of the sea or lake!
These are a dime a dozen, with or without meals included, next door or in the same building – the choice here is really big. Absolute benefits are of course getting to know real Canadian life and improving your English language skills at every opportunity. However, I only knew two variants: It was the best decision that was made or the worst. A portion of luck is certainly always there. Unfortunately, host families are usually further away from the university and it is more difficult to meet like-minded people.
Now where did I live in Nanaimo? I myself chose a very unconventional type of accommodation for a semester abroad decided – in the end I stayed at the PAINTED TURTLE GUESTHOUSE. The main reason was freedom. I lived 2 minutes from the port in the middle of downtown with cute cafes, restaurants, bars and a supermarket very easily accessible. 15 minutes by bus from the front door to the university. The guest house offers students single rooms with a double bed, wardrobe and desk, all on one floor. I’ve become particularly good friends with two Canadian students and an exchange student from Nigeria. The bathrooms are shared with fellow students. Living room and kitchen area is shared with all guests. Since the fall semester also falls during Nanaimo’s off-season, it was always very quiet.I particularly liked the many spontaneous cooking and pub evenings and the stories of travelers from all over the world. There was one major shortcoming: Unfortunately, this type of living cannot score in terms of costs.
I took 4 courses. In hindsight, I think 3 courses would be ideal, because that leaves enough time to explore the country and its people in addition to the university. The home university often even prescribes 5 courses, which is feasible but involves a lot of work. One or the other excursion must certainly be avoided here.
My courses were as follows:
- Strategies for Sustainable Development
- Branding and communication
- international marketing
I was very happy with my choice of course and I didn’t exchange it again on site. The first two courses particularly impressed me with the course structure and learning content. Especially in Strategies for Sustainable Development, I had the feeling that I could take a lot with me from the numerous discussions in class. There was no book for this course, only current documents, which made it very exciting. The learning effort was reasonable. International marketing was the most complex. Here we worked through a complete book and there were small mini tests for each chapter week after week. That’s why I think I was able to retain a lot, which made learning for the midterm and the final much easier. In general, there is a lot of group work, papers and presentations. In my opinion, it is almost impossible to fail a course note flows in.
What shouldn’t I miss?
Insider tip no. 1: Register early for all possible excursions via the university’s OUTDOORREC. I did that right from the start and I know many who have regretted waiting too long. Places fill up quickly because the excursions are very popular. If you are not quite sure yet, I can only advise you to book and pay. There is always someone who will thank you for the place if you change your mind. For example, I went canoeing for 3 days, hiked the spectacular JUAN DE FUCA Trail on the west coast, snorkeled with seals and spent a surfing weekend in Tofino. Together with the other students and the leaders, a good mood was inevitable.
Insider Tip #2: Explore Nanaimo. Stroll along the harbor and take a trip to Protection Island. Drive to Pipers Lagoon under the full moon and watch the sea. If you want to go dancing, the KONCEPT is best. You shouldn’t miss out on cozy pub evenings with billiards or karaoke. Be sure to enjoy live music in the CORNERLOUNGE.
Insider Tip #3: Explore Vancouver Island. Surf and walk the beaches in Tofino and Uclulet. Be sure to visit the museum in Victoria and ask for a (free) guided tour, then explore the houseboat settlements. For animal fans – take part in a whale watching tour. Head north along the coast and keep your eyes peeled for seals.
Insider Tip #4: Explore British Columbia. A must is of course Vancouver, maybe even a Canucks ice hockey game will be visited? Don’t miss the Rocky Mountains in summer and nearby Whistler in winter.