Vancouver – this city is definitely not worth a short visit! I have never regretted my decision to go to Vancouver for my semester abroad, on the contrary, for me it was the best decision I could make and I spent an unforgettable time there!
Long before my semester abroad began, I knew that I would like to go to Canada to study for a semester there. When I inquired about toppharmacyschools, I came across the KPU and after exchanging a few e-mails with Katharina von MicroEDU , I finally decided on this university as well. After I had done the TOEFL test and filled out all the documents, everything went very quickly and easily. Soon I had my acceptance and the preparations such as the flight, looking for an apartment etc. could begin.
I have to say that I actually planned to look after an apartment or something similar before my departure in mid-August. In the end I spent the first few nights with a super nice couch surfer and with her help and craigslist. com or kijiji. com found a place to stay after the second visit.
Start of the university
During the 3-day orientation phase, Exchange Students were offered a variety of activities to get to know our fellow students, the university and the city better. I couldn’t have imagined a better start at university. So it was not a problem on the first day of class to find your way around and to get to the right course rooms. After everything organizational was discussed in the first week, the lessons really started in the second week. I have all of my three courses on campus in Surrey, but I lived downtown and had to commute to university for over an hour every day. So I would recommend anyone who plans to live in DT to take courses on the Richmond campus, as it is a lot closer to the center. Even if the apartments in DT are significantly more expensive than a bit outside, it is definitely worth living there, as you are simply right in the middle of the action and don’t have to think three times whether it is still worth going into town to meet friends.
In any case, it has to be emphasized that in Canada a lot of value is placed on working in groups and almost every lesson, smaller or larger group projects were presented to give every student the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills in a small context of the Practice more often. In addition, homework was given approximately every two weeks, such as writing short essays on the current topic, carrying out a group project or completing an online quiz. In addition, it was necessary to read and prepare the corresponding chapter in the textbook for each lesson. In general, the atmosphere in the course was very pleasant, as all students knew each other after a certain amount of time and the professors were always open to questions. The lessons not only consisted of the professor giving a monologue on the blackboard, but it was always very interactive and the students were involved in the design of the lessons, so that mostly a lively exchange of views between students and professors developed. As already mentioned, I took three courses at the business faculty and that was just the right amount of work and time, so I had enough free time to take a closer look at the city and its beautiful surroundings.
In any case, it has to be said that Canada has a different grading system. Unlike at most German universities, the grade does not only depend on a single final exam, but consists of a mid-term test, quizzes, presentations and group work. This gives you the chance to change your grade in the course of the semester.
Another special feature of this system is the small number of students in a course. A maximum of 35 places were made available in each course. This created a closer relationship between the students as well as with the respective professor, which I didn’t know from my studies in Germany. In return, however – at least in the courses I attended – the presence of the students was checked every hour.
Since performance certificates were repeatedly provided during the semester, such as the group projects or intermediate exams mentioned above, which were added to the overall grade, the final exams were not as stressful as I was used to from Germany. This was largely thanks to the one or two intermediate exams per course. The majority of the grade, however, consisted of the last exam at the end of the semester and, as at my German university, there were no more lectures in the last two weeks before the exams, so that one could prepare well for the upcoming examination phase.
I did not take an additional language course because all courses were held in English anyway. It wasn’t always easy, but it brought me a lot further in terms of my language skills. Of course, only English was spoken outside of the university and among the international students, which I was very happy about.
Vancouver and Surroundings
No matter how you want to spend your free time, everything can be found in and around this brilliant city! Whether skiing in Whistler, a wonderful winter sports area, hiking through the nearby mountains with rivers and suspension bridges or a few days on the beach in Tofino for surfing. . . I was simply overwhelmed by the variety that Vancouver and its surroundings have to offer. Of course, not only nature lovers and outdoor freaks will be happy here, night owls and music fans of all kinds can also let off steam here. There are numerous bars, cafes, pubs and clubs where you can party through the night.
As mentioned at the beginning, my decision to go to the KPU in Vancouver for my semester abroad was the best I could make for myself. In addition to the things I learned at university, I have also made a big step for myself personally. Going to a foreign country on your own and getting to know a new culture was a great experience. I can only warmly recommend everyone to put their semester abroad into practice in their dream country, even if it seems a bit more difficult at the beginning. It doesn’t always have to be a partner university and thanks to the support of MicroEDU and the KPU’s International Office team, I had an unforgettable time in Vancouver.
If you have any questions or if you would like more information on a specific topic, please feel free to get back to me.
Have fun in Vancouver!