It was clear to me that I would like to spend my semester abroad in Canada and preferably in Vancouver. No sooner said than done, I got in touch with MicroEDU and after a little research, discovered the KPU. Although the main campus is located in Surrey, which does not belong directly to Vancouver, but belongs to the metropolitan region, it can still be reached in about an hour by public transport. The university made an attractive impression because it is a good size with around 17,500 students and not only foreign students can be found there.
After my university had given me the approval, I had MicroEDU send me the enrollment documents, which were easy to fill out, and registered for the TOEFL test. After all the documents were complete, I submitted my application for the winter semester at the beginning of March. Then I had to wait for a while, but during that time I was in contact with CC again and again and they said I met all the requirements, so the acceptance was only a matter of time. At the beginning of June the time had finally come – yay! I was really happy and the further preparations could start. Visit andyeducation.com to get information about University of California Berkeley study abroad program.
I flew to Vancouver in mid-August, two weeks before the start of the semester. At first I rented a room in a B&B so that I could start looking for an apartment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy at all. It was my wish to move into a shared flat with other students. I mainly searched for apartment listings on Craigslist and Kijiji. There was also a lot on offer, but many of the rooms were in the basement / basement. Vancouver has very high rents, so it is not uncommon to find a room in a shared apartment for $ 900. After a long search I got a very nice, bright room (16m²) with a private bathroom for $ 700 a month thanks to a tip from a friend. That was really a stroke of luck and the location was also good, as the nearest Skytrain station was only a few minutes away. That is also a clear tip from me, if it is possible, then you should try to find accommodation near train stations, because bus travel is much more tedious and associated with much more unreliability and waiting. I would also recommend looking for a place to stay in Vancouver and not moving outside. There is just a lot more going on and a long journey, especially in the evenings, can be annoying;)
I took my courses mainly on the campus in Richmond (another suburb of Vancouver), which was 45 minutes away by bus and train from the east of the city. It has just been extensively renovated there and the campus has turned out to be really nice. In the week before the start of the semester, the International Office offered an introductory event on a voluntary basis (up to one day). I took part in it and there were a lot of cool trips with us and above all you got to know the first people and learned a lot about the process and studying at the KPU. For a problem-free start at the KPU, I therefore recommend participating in the orientation events of the International Office.
At the beginning of September things got serious and the lectures began. I attended three events in three days and that was a good workload. So there was enough time to rework everything and of course to enjoy life and leisure in the beautiful city and the surrounding nature. There are a maximum of 35 students in the courses, so it’s more familiar and you get to know each other better over time. At the beginning there was a bit of confusion for me about the correct choice of course came up, but that too could soon be clarified with the help of the International Office. Here I advise, if something is not liked or there are other difficulties, to contact the IO immediately, because the deadlines are short when it comes to changing options or reimbursement of fees. As for the choice of courses, you can find short descriptions on the website and you can also see the dates on which the courses are offered by which lecturers. The website ratemyprofessors. com is very helpful as a decision-making aid which course and, above all, which lecturer should be chosen. At the beginning of the courses we also received more detailed information (Course Outline), which, if requested, can be sent to the International Office for course selection, I was told.
The courses were well structured and I was mostly able to follow them well. The English didn’t cause me any problems and subject-specific vocabulary is easy to learn. The lecturers were all very helpful and, if necessary, also took their time individually and answered questions or problems. The workload is distributed very differently than in Germany. You have to do a lot more during the semester and you are encouraged to stay on the ball with homework assignments, papers, mid terms or group projects. So learning for the final is no longer a big deal and also counts a lot less in percentage terms than mostly in Germany. I first had to get used to this other kind, but I think it’s so much fairer and you keep more I think.
In addition to the university, Vancouver also has a lot to offer. You are super quick in the countryside and can enjoy the great Canadian nature, for example on hikes. Many excursion destinations can be easily reached by bus, and Whistler can also be reached with an inexpensive shuttle bus. The city itself has everything to offer, from shopping, celebrations, restaurants of all kinds, museums, beaches, markets, culture (e. g. theater on Granville Island) and the beautiful green oasis – Stanley Park – to everything your heart could desire.
I felt really good in Vancouver and I can recommend a semester abroad at the KPU with a great feeling!