I moved to Vancouver at the end of December 2016, studied from January to April and then worked in Vancouver to finance my tour of Canada. I stayed in Canada for a total of nine months.
Go to the registration process with MicroEDU
First of all: MicroEDU awards the experience reports, but no influence is exerted on the content. That means I can reflect my experiences openly and honestly. To cut a long story short: I have absolutely nothing to complain about. You will receive all the documents that are required (if necessary with German instructions on what exactly needs to be filled out) and support at any time if you have any questions. In addition, the whole thing is 100% free, so from my experience I can only recommend MicroEDU.
To the KPU
According to answerresume, Kwantlen Polytechnic University consists of three campuses – Richmond, Surrey and Langley. I have taken all of my courses in Richmond only and I recommend it to others. Surrey and Langley are relatively far out.
Would I recommend the KPU to others? It depends on. My focus was on having a lot of time on the side to experience the city, improve my English and see as much as possible. The university was irrelevant to me. The requirements of the KPU are not too high (I only took courses in the first semester) and leave enough scope for leisure activities. But if you value a very prestigious university, try to come to UBC (University of British Columbia). The UBC is one of the world’s best universities and cannot be compared with the KPU. As far as I know, this is not (yet) offered by MicroEDU. And there are far stricter admission criteria.
To my courses
As I said, I only took courses from the first semester. To qualify as a full-time student, you have to take at least three courses. There were also people who took more courses and, of course, had more to do. Since my focus was more on other things, I only took three courses. These goods:
- Languages of the World (a linguistics course on different languages, what makes a language, etc. )
- Introduction to Criminology (theoretical basics about criminology)
- Computer Business Applications (to put it simply, learn the basics of Office programs)
To the lecturers
With regard to the choice of course, the lecturer should also be taken into account. On the one hand there is Paivi Koskinen, my Linuigstik lecturer. A super friendly, open and fair woman – highly recommended! On the other hand, there is Mark O’Meara, my computer course instructor. He himself is totally relaxed and nice, but the course I covered dealt too much with the basics (which may not be attributable to him). Lastly there is Franco Marino – and here comes the urgent warning: if it is somehow possible, under no circumstances choose a module from him! The way he teaches seems anything but sensible and really very out of date. To give an example: it is not enough to understand the content of the course. If you could not reproduce the words you chose in the lecture one-to-one in the exam, you had bad problems. I think it speaks for itself that more than half of all students dropped out of the course during the semester.
On the subject of living
MicroEDU provides a number of sources for finding accommodation. The most common solution is Craigslist. In any case, it is easiest to find an apartment on site. If necessary, something can also be found from Germany, the risk is then of course always greater.
I can only recommend you to stay downtown. I lived in the West End and just enjoyed not only having all kinds of shops around me, but also living almost right on the beach (English Bay) and Stanley Park. If you regularly jog, ride a bike or enjoy walking, there is nothing better. Of course, it always depends on what is most important to you. Many of the other students have lived in Surrey as that is where they took most of the courses. Lots of others in Richmond because they’ve had so many courses here. I myself only had university three days a week and happily took the 45min drive on myself.
To Vancouver in general
Vancouver is an incredibly cosmopolitan and colorful city with so many different cultures and nations. But the best thing is to explore the city yourself. The longer you are here, the more you will discover and experience. Life as a whole is not necessarily cheap. Groceries are on average more expensive than in Germany, if you like to go to bars or nightclubs, you can calculate a whole lot more, since not only the alcohol is very expensive, but also entrance fees are usually required (on weekends also for normal bars).
If you yourself are open to new things, then you will be welcomed here with open arms. In Vancouver it doesn’t matter if you are white or black, gay or just different, as I have experienced it, absolutely everyone is tolerated here. And that is a great attitude towards life.
To the Study Permit / Working Permit
I am listing this point again because it cost me a lot of headaches and long Google searches in advance. If you are only coming to Canada for one semester, you do not need a study permit. A simple visitor / tourist visa for six months is sufficient and you only need the ETA number.
If you want to work on campus, a study permit is required. If, on the other hand, you want to work off-campus, you need a working permit. You can apply for this via the IEC program (International Experience Canada) or apply for it. All information about this can be found on the Internet (I think the Working Holiday Visa is the official name). Important to know: because all applicants are pooled, firstly it is not certain that you will even get a work visa and secondly you do not know when. The application phase starts in December, which meant that I entered the country without a work visa and was only selected for it after my arrival. If you have a similar situation, you can inform the officer at the airport who will decide about your entry. just tell. There shouldn’t be any problems here, in general the Canadians are simply very understanding, including the officials at the airport. In the event that you only get your acceptance in Canada, you have to leave the country and re-enter. If you live in Vancouver, you might want to take a day trip to Seattle. On the way back and crossing the Canadian border you can then get your permit.
Vancouver is an absolute dream city. I have experienced all the seasons here and can tell you that summer is by far the best time to be here. During my stay I experienced a real winter with a lot of snow (very untypical for Vancouver), which is a nice time, but in no way comparable to summer time. In addition, if time and financially possible, you should plan to travel to Canada after your studies. The country offers an incredible amount to see and the chance, while you’re here anyway, is simply very good. If you have any questions about any point, feel free to contact me.