Even at the beginning of my studies, it was clear to me that I would like to do a semester abroad during my studies. The best option for me was to go in the fourth or fifth semester. So I decided on the fifth and started looking for suitable offers a good six months beforehand. Since my university did not have the largest range of partner universities, I had to take care of it in another way. After researching the Internet and visiting trade fairs a few times, I came across MicroEDU and was happy about the large selection of universities around the world and also the free service. So a great thing. I initially looked at North America but I wasn’t so sure about the country yet. In the end, I just found Canada more attractive and carefree. For example, I didn’t need a visa for my five-month stay. After that my search was further restricted to the east of Canada with proximity to the USA. Finally, I chose Brock University.
The application process via CoCo went smoothly and you feel that you are in good hands. Questions are answered quickly and helpfully and you only have German contact at first, as CoCo forwards the documents to the foreign university. So everything worked out great! After just three weeks I got my approval. After the first pleasure, I started thinking about what to do next. I took part in the mentor program and a short time later got a Canadian student from Brock as a mentor. I then first pestered him with questions and he helped me a lot in advance and relieved me of one or two worries. He picked me up from the airport and looked for an apartment with me because he advised me not to look for an apartment on the internet beforehand. That’s exactly what I would recommend. When looking for apartments on the Internet, they often do not correspond to reality or may not even exist.
I lived in Thorold which is a great location. It is well connected by buses to the university, supermarkets, the pen center and downtown. Many students live there and therefore there are enough “Rooms for Rent” before the semester begins. I myself found my apartment within a day. Learn more about Brock University on andyeducation.
Long before you arrive in Canada, you have contact with the International Office in order to choose the right courses. Communication worked flawlessly there too and we always got quick answers. You are really well looked after and during the semester there are always trips and meetings offered by the International Office.
The orientation week went off as one would expect from a North American university. There is a fair that takes place on campus for two days, where there are lots of things for free. You get campus tours and can take part in all kinds of games. The first two weeks you can try many sports to find the right one. The range of sports is huge. In addition to the gym, there is a large pool with diving towers, an indoor running track, three sports halls and a large artificial turf field next to tennis courts. I was in two intramural teams, which are sports teams that play against each other every week. It’s a really cool way to get to know people and try new sports.
The three courses that I have is in the semester, I found really interesting and easy to understand. In general, you feel more like you are in school than in university, as you have to do assignments, group work and write exams during the semester. The textbooks are quite expensive, so you should either watch in the groups on Facebook that you get a used one, or generally wait to see whether you need the book at all.
In addition to university, I still had enough time to see a part of Canada. In September I did a canoe tour in Algonquin Park, which for me was part of Canada. The weather was still quite warm for a long time, but we were a week too early for the park to experience the Indian summer. If not in Algonquin Park at the time, I found the colors of the leaves on the trees shortly afterwards stunning. If you live only 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls, a visit is of course not only mandatory. It is advisable to go there on Fridays and stay until the evening, then the falls will be brightly lit and there will be fireworks (more often in summer). I was in Montreal for Reading Week, which I found very nice. With the Greyhound or Megabus you can get almost everywhere cheaply. So I’ve been to Toronto quite often. In good weather you can see the Toronto skyline from St. Catharines or on Port Dalhousie Beach.
Culinary not to be missed are S’mores, Poutine, Icewine and of course Tim Hortons: D.
All in all, the Canadians are a nice bunch and I don’t want to miss the time there.