The semester abroad in Vancouver exceeded all my expectations in a positive sense. On the one hand, Canada itself and Vancouver as a city are breathtakingly beautiful and diverse. On the other hand, studying at Capilano University was a real enrichment for my studies. The study system is different than in Germany, which I will explain in more detail later. However, it made a great contribution to dealing very intensively with the content of the courses and taking them with us. You had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, to develop personally and to grow beyond yourself.
The application process at Capilano University was totally hassle-free with the help of MicroEDU. They always helped me immediately if there was a question or something unclear. When all the formalities were cleared and the tuition fees were paid, I got an acceptance from Capilano University in Vancouver relatively quickly and was able to choose courses that were suitable for me. Visit iamaccepted.com to get information about 6 best countries to study architecture.
Capilano University is a relatively small university (approximately 8,000 students) in northern Vancouver, Canada. It is very rural, surrounded by many trees and nature, which gives it a very pleasant and quiet atmosphere. The university can be easily reached by bus from almost any direction and the ticket for public transport is also included in the tuition fees. So you can drive around carefree and practically free of charge in the entire transport network.
The range of courses is also very diverse. Many of the other international students have taken business courses – I personally have chosen courses from the areas of “Education”, “Autism” & “Human Kinetics” because I study elementary school teaching at home.
As already indicated, the study system in Canada is very different from that in Germany. Unlike with us, you only choose 3-4 courses per semester and these are usually very small and have a number of participants from 15 to a maximum of 30 people. This creates a more school-like atmosphere in which lecturers and students get to know each other and also chat on a personal level. The lecturers are also called by their first names and they make sure to develop a personal relationship with each student. The whole system made it a lot easier for me to get into the new situation. Because you don’t know anyone at the beginning, it is difficult to get involved or to approach fellow students at first. Through the familiar contact with lecturers and students but this fear was gone immediately after the first hour.
The courses also differ in the effort that has to be made. With only four courses being attended, much more is required of the courses themselves. There is not only a final exam, but also at least four further group work spread over the semester, quizzes, midterms and presentations. All of these tests give a certain number of percentages and are ultimately summed up to form an overall percentage. So the whole grade is not on the final exam, but is made up of many small grades. That means a lot more work during the semester, but it also means that not the entire grade depends on an exam.
The International Office of the CapU was always very supportive and planned some activities and always answered questions directly – you were really never alone with a problem!
Vancouver is one of the greatest cities I’ve ever been able to live in. This city really has everything you can hope for: mountains, beach, city, forests… and that’s exactly what you had to explore when you didn’t have a university. In the winter semester of 2016, there were a particularly large number of Study Abroad students with me at CapU – you almost always had someone who wanted to go on an excursion and you were really almost never alone. There was actually something new to discover every day and the unbelievable nature in British Columbia is simply impressive and invites you to do so. I tried to take as much of it with me as possible and used the time afterwards (December & January) to travel to the east of the country – worth the trip despite the freezing cold!
One thing that I found very nerve-wracking was looking for an apartment. What I can advise everyone: do not enter into a rental agreement until you have seen the room in person. There are so many shabby rooms that are on sale for dear money. Personally, I didn’t want to fly to Vancouver without a permanent place of residence, and was lucky that several students on the Facebook group of Study Abroad students talked about renting an apartment recommended by other fellow students. This apartment is located in a building complex and is rented out by a company on a monthly basis (see: Suite Deals North Vancouver). We were really lucky with this apartment because it was already furnished, can be rented on a monthly basis and is very well connected to buses. However, everyone else I got to know found a room on site (within the first few days or weeks).
Organizing a semester abroad as a free mover looks very overwhelming at the beginning and can really get over your head, but MicroEDU really manages to simplify this process and is your contact person at all times!