I am doing a dual degree in international management and since my employer gave me the opportunity to do a semester abroad, I of course took advantage of it immediately. Since my home university unfortunately has no partnerships with North American universities, the decision was quickly made to plan my semester abroad as a “free mover”. This was very feasible with the help and support of MicroEDU.
Studying at CapU:
My semester abroad at Capilano University started in September and ended in mid-December. For international students, the so-called “internationals”, a selection of courses was offered, from which one could take at least three to five courses. After a few discussions with my home university regarding course credits, I then decided on “Cross-Cultural Business”, “International Trade & Law” and “International Business”. Even though it was only three courses, it was nonetheless very time and labor intensive. Regular homework, submissions, presentations and group projects have accompanied me throughout my studies. However, the topics were super interesting and exciting so that you really learned a lot and it really brought me a lot for my studies in Germany.
In addition, there were many opportunities to get to know fellow students better, be it through group work or learning communities. All the lecturers I gave lectures to were super helpful and friendly. The courses were set up so that I went to university on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so that I could use Tuesdays and Thursdays either for preparation or for sightseeing.
One particularly has to highlight the campus, which I found really beautiful, due to its location right in the forest. Especially in autumn it was nice to look out the window while sitting in the library or taking a little walk with a few friends. Since the campus was also quite small, all buildings could be reached quickly on foot. I didn’t often take advantage of the colorful variety of food on offer in the university cafeteria, as I personally found it to be quite expensive. However, there are also a lot of microwaves there, so you could just bring something from home and still eat there.
Although Capilano University is in the north of Vancouver, I decided to live in downtown. So I had to accept the 45-minute journey to the university three times a week, which was no problem for me personally. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to live right in the center of one of the most beautiful cities in the world and to have the opportunity to go downtown and do something every day. I lived with six other young people in a house where each one had their own room and you only had to share the kitchen, living room and three bathrooms.
I have to say that for me personally it was one of the best experiences during my semester abroad, because I got on really well with my flatmates from different countries and we are now sharing a lot of fun and unforgettable memories. However, many other international students have stayed in apartments in North Vancouver that they found through Airbnb. Accordingly, they had a much shorter and more comfortable journey to the university.
Vancouver / Canada:
Before my semester abroad, many people told me that Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world. After the four months there, I can only fully confirm that! According to educationvv, the city is simply breathtaking and has everything your heart desires. Many beaches, mountains, a very good infrastructure, many good restaurants and of course the multicultural society give the city a very special and unique flair. Whether for sunbathing, hiking, skiing or shopping – Vancouver offers something for everyone.
About Canada in general one can say that the landscape is simply beautiful. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to fly to the east coast, but I can definitely recommend Whistler and Vancouver Island on the western side. In addition, you should definitely plan a trip to the Rocky Mountains, that really left me speechless and was one of my personal highlights.
Culture / mentality:
Without a doubt, the Canadian mentality is one of the friendliest and most helpful mentalities. I was really amazed at how open and talkative the Canadians are. I have to admit that it was only at the beginning that I had to get used to the fact that strangers would always start conversations with me, be it on the bus or in the supermarket. But I got used to it quickly and found it very pleasant to have a nice small talk on every long bus ride.
I can recommend everyone to roughly calculate the costs and plan sufficiently. You really shouldn’t underestimate the tuition fees and the monthly rent. The food is on average a little more expensive than in Germany (especially dairy products). However, you can find out relatively quickly where in which supermarkets the price-performance ratio is best.
In summary, I can say that I am very happy about my semester abroad in Vancouver and that it couldn’t have gone better! I can only recommend everyone to do the same!