I spent the winter semester 2013/14 at the University of Winnipeg and would like to share my experience with living and studying, the city and Canada in general.
Since I really wanted to go to a bigger city, I decided to go to Winnipeg, even if it was relatively nowhere. Furthermore, the “cheap” tuition fees also spoke in favor of Winnipeg.
During the 4 months I lived in the student residence “Lions Manor”. The student residence was about a 10 minute walk from the university, which was fine. I had a single room with a bathroom, but had to share the shower with the other students in my hallway. Visit act-test-centers.com to get information about 12 best universities in Eastern Europe.
It is recommended to register for the dormitories as soon as you have been accepted for the UW, as there is supposedly a long waiting list and the places are allocated quickly. I applied for a room relatively early and was therefore offered a place straight away. There are two other student residences, one is directly on the Mc Feetors Hall campus and the other is individual houses where several students live together. Although my room and our dormitory would really be in need of renovation, I would choose it again and again, as it is extremely difficult to find an affordable apartment or flat share on your own. You also get to know a lot of lovely people much faster, with whom you can meet spontaneously in the evening – we have often cooked together, played cards or celebrated!
Unfortunately, since the majority of dormitory students are international students, you don’t get to know that much about Canadian culture and Canadians themselves. What was really a big negative point was that when you moved into the dorm you had to buy everything again, there are no pots and pans, no dishes, cutlery, kettle or the like. Even bed linen etc. you had to get yourself. So I first looted Wal Mart and had to spend a lot of money.
The location was okay, but there are a lot of homeless and criminal people in the area, so that you have to be a little careful in between. There is a drugstore directly opposite and there are also a few supermarkets and restaurants in the vicinity.
The library is fine too. However, it is relatively difficult to study there, as most of them think they can exchange their coffee gossip there. You get a username and password for printing and you always have to top up your account with money so that you can print.
There is a coffee bar, two canteens, a pizza restaurant and Starbucks on campus. In addition, the bookstore, where you can buy your books and university clothing, is also right on campus.
The gym is also directly on campus and is really well equipped, since you pay the gym fees directly with the tuition fees, you just have to go and have your student ID verified. I would go right before the beginning of the lecture so that you can still rent a locker, because these are gone very quickly. The rooms and the equipment are ok, but nothing special. If I compare that with my FH in Cologne, I can’t really say that you notice that you are paying so much more money to study there.
At the UW I chose 4 courses. We had to send our course selection to an employee at the university and she entered us. I got every class I wanted.
I took the following four courses: Aboriginal Spirituality, Intro Human Geography, Women in Islam, East Asian Culture.
On the whole, I found the workload to be quite high, because in addition to the final exams there are often 1 – 2 midterms per subject, projects, presentations and assignments that have to be completed and submitted in the semester. In each subject, literature is given at the beginning of the semester, which should be read in preparation for the lecture. So you are really busy every week with learning, group meetings or preparation / follow-up work. However, I would rate the demands placed on the students as somewhat lower than at my university in Germany. My impression was that the grade was better than you would expect at your home university.
There were between 20 and 60 people in my courses and the professors really tried very hard to get to know everyone personally and to make sure that everyone comes along.
LIFE / LEISURE
Winnipeg is a big city, but not in the way you would normally imagine a big city to be. The city itself is not exactly beautiful, it looks a bit like everything stopped in the 70s. However, you can really celebrate a lot and well and if you have a lot of money you can really do a lot. There are many restaurants, bars, discos, paint ball etc. . .
If you rent a car, you can also drive over to the USA to the outlets or to the national parks around them.
The gym offers a variety of sports activities, such as surfing in Tofino, skiing and cross-country skiing, hiking, kayaking, rafting, climbing and others. I made use of many of them and would recommend it to everyone!
Unfortunately, Winnipeg is a long way off and flying in Canada is comparatively expensive. I traveled before and after, but only stayed nearby in between because it’s just too expensive.
In between, we made trips to national parks or smaller towns around them, which was really very nice.
Unfortunately, I got the impression that everything is very, very expensive in Canada! In addition to the high cost of studying, there are also high rents and money for groceries, books, excursions, insurance, transport, etc. Books in particular are very expensive. I bought all of my books new from the university bookstore and have already spent a lot of money on them. You should book flights as early as possible, otherwise you will quickly pay over 1000 euros.
The Winnipegs are simply an extremely friendly, open and helpful people. They made it really easy for you to get used to it and to feel good. I felt comfortable and in good hands there at all times, and would always go to Canada to see so much more of the really great landscape and wildlife! The semester abroad was a really nice experience, despite some criticisms that I have listed above.
If I decided to do it again, I would definitely go to a city that is a little more civilized and where you can experience some road trips without having to drive 2000 KM first. If you do decide to go to Winnipeg, take some time before and after to explore the area and Canada / North America.
The university was really great, I can only recommend it.