Basically, I can only recommend a semester abroad to everyone. In Canada I not only improved my English and learned a different way of teaching, but also a friendly and open culture.
So that the whole thing is a bit clearer here, I have created different topic blocks:
According to usprivateschoolsfinder, Brock University is a small, modern university that has a great range of sports! The swimming pool and sauna are a thing of the past and you can feel as though you can do all the sports there are. And at really affordable prices.
The lectures are in smaller groups between 15 and 40 people. But there are also lectures with around 200 people. The course grades are usually made up of several grades. Among other things, mid-term exams, tests, lectures, essays and participation count. But don’t let that put you off. There is definitely enough time to travel;)
The course credits were a bit complicated for me, because at the WWU Münster I have to have every course that I want to take abroad checked. At the same time, you cannot take every course at Brock, as Canadian students are preferred. So when all Canadians have chosen their courses, you will be offered the remaining items. I put myself under a lot of stress before my semester abroad, but in the end it was completely unnecessary. I had the courses that I would like to take from my German university credit me and then went to the first lectures of these courses in Canada and then asked the professor if I could still go in. He then made sure that it still works. That works very well because many people register for a course but then don’t take part.
The international office takes really good care of the newcomers. We kept meeting and doing different things together. From a barbecue, to Christmas dinner, a trip to Toronto, basketball games from the MBA, to supermarket shopping, everything was there. And even if you have to see a doctor, they’ll help you. Or also with the housing agency, which can be very helpful.
I would look for an apartment locally as some of the others were really unlucky with their apartment. The best thing to do is to take a hostel for the first week and then look. It’s a bit more stressful, but you can at least have a look at the apartments beforehand and see how the bus connections are. I can also give you the addresses of the people I’ve lived with or friends of mine. Then there is probably another free room.
I think you can also live on campus, although we were told that it would only last for a whole year. But some of them only lived there for one term.
St. Catharines is a small place 15 minutes away from Niagara Falls and therefore right on the border with the USA. There are also some outlet centers right on the border and you can tell that the USA is a lot cheaper than Canada.
In St. Catharines itself there is a walking mile, a shopping center and a beach. So rather contemplative, but all the better for traveling: Toronto, French Canada (Quebec, Ottawa, Montreal, 1000 Islands), Algonquin Park in Canada and in the USA: New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston.
Standard of living
Groceries are a lot more expensive than in Germany, which really takes getting used to. But other things are cheaper, such as clothes or long distances by bus. But more on that in a moment.
Most Canadians have a car, which is really good. Unfortunately, you don’t get very far by bike because everything is designed for drivers and I had to take the highway to get to university. Then there are only the buses that run very well at university, but unfortunately hardly at all afterwards. The night buses run from 5 p.m. and only until 11 p.m. during the week and until 1 a.m. on weekends. But you can easily share a taxi. They also have student rates!
When it comes to longer journeys, it’s a good idea to rent a car or, if you’re going to big cities, take the train or bus. If you are lucky you can get a bus for $ 1 and even if you are not lucky, they are very cheap. I drove from St. Catharines to Washington DC for a whopping $ 27 and that’s a 10-hour drive. On top of that, the long-distance buses all have internet and electricity at their place.
I can only warmly recommend Brock University and I think it’s a unique experience to get to know a culture so intensely! If you have any questions or just need good tips / helpful websites, you can email me or we will meet in Münster.
Have fun abroad!