At first I was quite undecided about whether and how I should do a semester abroad. This uncertainty did not last long, however, when I was able to gather some helpful information through MicroEDU and thus the stay abroad was to be a profitable and meaningful experience. The testimonials from colleagues, friends and relatives also encouraged me to study abroad for a semester.
Ultimately, I decided to do my semester abroad at Capilano University in North Vancouver. The entire application process was made much easier by the support of MicroEDU, I just had to collect all the documents and these were then forwarded directly from MicroEDU to the university abroad. I went through the official application process and was finally accepted. The preparations could begin…
1. Information about the university abroad:
The university itself is structured similarly to the DHBW Stuttgart. The courses are usually occupied by 20-30 students. The number of hours for the courses taken is three hours per week. The campus is a bit outside, but it is surrounded by a wonderful landscape with a lot of nature. The university offers many sports activities, for example a gym that can be used free of charge.
There is a very large range of courses that you can then choose individually. If you have already completed the relevant preliminary courses in Germany, you are very free to choose the courses. However, one should try to cover the German courses abroad as well as possible; I tried this too.
In some cases, courses were included that were repeated on the German system. However, the level is generally a little lower than in Germany.
The grading system differs from the German in that the respective grade is made up of different components. Various assignments are carried out regularly, which make up about half of the grade. The other half consists of mid-term exams and final exams.
The assignments have very different formats. For example, it can be group work, presentations or various homework.
You should deal with the choice of accommodation at an early stage in order to have a wider range of options. I decided to live in a student residence so that I could quickly get in touch with other students. This decision was great, because you can make great contacts very quickly and get to know great people.
However, the price for a room (mostly a double room) is comparatively expensive as the rooms are small and the food on offer is limited. You can also apply for a single or double room. I had the advantage of getting a single room, which I can only recommend. In the double room it gets very cramped and privacy is severely restricted. Let’s put it this way, you have to be the type of person to live with a fellow student you don’t know.
It takes 20-30 minutes by bus from the residence to the university and around 45 minutes to the city center.
2. General information:
For Canada you only need a visa for a stay of six months or more. For a shorter stay, the ETA form is sufficient, which can easily be applied for online and is completed within a few days. However, if you want to stay longer or work in Canada, you have to apply for a real visa, which has to go through a much longer process.
The university offers health insurance abroad, which is compulsory and costs € 1 per day.
Travel and leisure:
Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada and is beautifully situated. It only takes an hour to reach the US border. So it is quite possible to travel to Seattle or Vancouver Island for a weekend, which I can definitely recommend.
If you like skiing, Whistler is a must; it is one of the best ski resorts in the world. It’s a good 1.5 hour bus ride from Vancouver. But you can also ski around Vancouver: you can ski on the three mountains Grouse, Cypress and Seymour in winter and hike there in summer. Especially from Grouse Mountain you have a breathtaking view of Vancouver. In addition, it is possible to visit the various national parks to simply enjoy this magnificent nature.
Vancouver also offers great beaches with amazing sunsets.
There are also numerous clubs and bars to visit.
The city actually offers something for every taste in every season. In general, the west of Canada has a lot of landscape. The Rocky Mountains around the national parks Banff and Jasper are especially worth a visit. It is advisable to rent a camper for this, as Canada is very camper-friendly and is the best way to soak up nature.
According to toppharmacyschools, studying in North America is not cheap. The price depends on the number of courses. Usually you pay around CAD 2000 per course. You should take 3 to 4 courses. An additional CAD 40 per month is incurred for public transport. Depending on the course you still need books, which will cost about 100 CAD each. The cost of living is on a similar level as in Germany. A CAD is worth about 66 cents.
Overall, it was a great experience for me and I would definitely do it again. You get to know so many new people, you can improve your English and enjoy a wonderful country. Canada is characterized by breathtaking landscapes and very hospitable people. So I can recommend a semester abroad at Capilano University to everyone.