Dear people! I’ll tell you a little about my experience in Winnipeg from September to December 2014. Winnipeg is generally a great city with probably the nicest people in Canada and a good university.
It was clear to me beforehand that I definitely wanted to go to Canada. It was actually supposed to be Québec because I wanted to go to a French-speaking region. After I started looking for universities on my own, I quickly realized that it was quite complicated because I hardly understood anything and everything was very bureaucratic. Then I came across MicroEDU by chance and just made an appointment because the office is in Münster, where I also study. After the appointment, it was clear to me that I wanted to organize my stay with MicroEDU. Unfortunately, there were no universities from Québec on offer, but it is definitely easier to organize with MicroEDU and it is free of charge. Visit act-test-centers.com to get information about Slovakia higher education.
Over the next few weeks, I looked at all universities and read through many testimonials and finally decided on the University of Winnipeg, on the one hand because the tuition fees there were the lowest and on the other hand because the course content best suited my German major. I submitted my application to MicroEDU just before Christmas.
About a month later I got the approval and then every now and then checked for flights. I definitely wanted to travel as well, so I first had to make a plan of what I wanted to see and how long I would stay where. I only laid out the plan roughly so that I could book all the flights at once, as it would then be considerably cheaper. It is really worth experimenting with the flight locations and dates a little. I saved almost 400 euros for six flights. In mid-April I booked all the flights and shortly before that I booked student loans. I booked flights from Frankfurt to Vancouver, Calgary to Winnipeg, Winnipeg to Montreal, Buffalo to San Francisco, Los Angeles to New York, New York to Frankfurt and paid a total of 1500 euros for them. If you also want to go to the USA, remember to apply for an ESTA. But that’s relatively straightforward. I only did this a week before entering the country, but you can also do it before your entire stay.
Another factor why I chose this university is that you can be accommodated in homestay families, which are far cheaper ($ 650 a month) than finding a room yourself. The simple thing about it: You fill out the application form and send it by email and you always have a family safe. This also saves the nerves of having to look for a room from afar. I also applied for that in April.
After that, there are actually only a lot of little things left to do: Take out travel health insurance, apply for a credit card, refresh your vaccinations, possibly ADAC or HI membership, buy a suitcase, etc. Incidentally, you are insured through the university from September to December.
At the end of July I had to pay the rent for three months in advance. The last rent is paid on site in cash. And around the middle of August, I paid the tuition fees. You have to note that such a foreign transfer can take about two weeks.
Then all that was left was: Get on the plane and off you go!
The University of Winnipeg is a fairly small downtown campus that can be easily reached by any bus. I attended the subjects Restorative Justice (Conflict Resolution Course), Criminological Theory (Sociology Course) and Sex & The Criminal Law (Criminal Justice Course). I was actually enrolled in Criminal Justice, but it’s worth looking through which courses might still fit. I went to the examination office beforehand with a slip of paper and descriptions of possible courses that match my focus on criminology and asked which courses I would most likely be able to get credit for. SoI managed to get credit for all three courses. The workload of three courses is also perfectly fine.
I didn’t necessarily have to do more for university in Canada than I did in Germany, but I had to start earlier and study more steadily because there are several intermediate exams and not just semester exams. Fortunately, I only had to buy one book myself because I could borrow the others from the library. The courses at the UofW are relatively small with a maximum of 45 people. You can always talk to the lecturers about everything and many of them are very friendly and helpful. I would rate the exam level as easier than in Germany. Thinking and analyzing for oneself is not so much required, exams consist mainly of reproducing what the lecturer told in the lecture. Only the finals should be taken really seriously. They are more difficult than the intermediate exams. You can apply for a transcript at the university, which will then be sent to you in Germany.
Winnipeg is a relatively isolated city that isn’t really touristy. However, there are many events throughout the year that are worthwhile. In addition, in December I flew to the Rocky Mountains again to go skiing. Winnipeg itself has many small sports bars or pubs that play live music. My favorite pub was The Toad in Osborne Village. There is almost always live music in the basement and Tuesday is Soulnight, so you don’t have to pay an entrance fee. Beer is unfortunately quite expensive in Canada and tastes a bit watery. However, the draft beer there tastes pretty good. Otherwise you can still really eat well in the city. There are many small restaurants of all kinds. The sushi restaurants in particular were very good. You should eat burgers at The Grove. There are also a few small malls, but the one where you can actually get everything is Polo Park. It is a bit out of the way, but you can get there very easily by bus. Boxing Day is especially worthwhile with lots of good bargains. When you’re not partying, eating or shopping, you often meet up with friends at home for a beer. The Canadians are really a super friendly people who take you in very quickly and also integrate Winnipeg Wet Lands at sunset, for example for dinner (geese watching is really something special here) or invite you to their friends’ house.
The important thing is that you don’t just stay in Winnipeg. Take your time and travel around. I did a West Canada tour, then an East Canada tour and finally a small America tour (California and New York). On these trips I liked the Rocky Mountains best, which are great in both summer and winter, Ottawa and San Francisco. By the way, New York is good as the end of the trip. There you can waste your last money in the outlet mall.
I definitely made the right decision with the University of Winnipeg. In late August you arrive in summer, experience autumn and the real Canadian winter. It’s always sunny in Manitoba too!
I was a little scared of living with a host family, but it was better than I could ever have dreamed of. I really feel like part of the family. This country and its people are just fascinating and I would really have loved to have finished my studies there if it weren’t so expensive to study there.