The registration for the Summer Graduate Business Studies Program (SGBS) of the University of Victoria (UVIC, see answerresume) was initially very straightforward and simple. In addition to personal data, general application conditions and proof of sufficient knowledge of the English language, after a general check, MicroEDU took over the submission of the documents to the foreign university. The coordinators of the program then contacted them by email and on Facebook for general information about accommodation, Process and arrival were distributed so quickly. After registration you have to take care of the journey yourself, but both the university and MicroEDU were always available for questions of any kind.
In terms of content, three courses were taught during the 4 weeks: Cross-Cultural Communication, Global Strategy and Social Entrepreneurship. All courses were taught by professors from UVIC and, in my opinion, had a very good practical relevance. All professors were very committed and interested in the students’ learning success.
Each module was characterized by a good mix of lectures in the classic style, discussions and debates as well as team and project work. In addition to the attendance phases, submissions and assignments had to be made regularly, which were then assessed. It was partly a team task, partly an individual performance.
In principle, the teachers were always ready to deviate from their ideas on content and to respond to the students’ interests in terms of content. Even outside of the lectures, ie during breaks or during the numerous company tours in and around Victoria, the professors were always open to talk to the participants in the summer session.
The daily routine was usually divided into two parts: lectures were mostly held in the morning, while the afternoon and evening were filled with various leisure activities.
At the beginning of the program, all participants received a schedule on which the lecture times and leisure activities were precisely entered. You had to register separately for the leisure activities, some of which were also chargeable (but mostly very discounted due to the size of the group). This left enough freedom for each individual participant, as you could find the events that were interesting for you before the start of the program.
The leisure program included, for example, walks, excursions to places of interest in downtown Victoria, market visits or parties on the weekend.
If the learning workload allowed, excursions and road trips could also be undertaken on your own at the weekend.
All summer school participants lived on the university campus. The accommodation was in close proximity to all facilities of the university (approx. 15 minutes walk to the lecture building). Shops, sports facilities, the bus stop and the beach were also within walking distance.
Each bungalow had space for a total of 4 students, each of whom had their own room of around 10m 2. There were also two bathrooms and a kitchen with 2 fridges and a small living room with a seating area.
The local support was taken mainly from the two program coordinators Maggie Li and Chelsea Sutherland which interested always were, to make the four weeks as enjoyable and memorable as possible. On the one hand they organized the excursions and leisure activities (including company visits), on the other hand they always tried to achieve a balance between lectures and leisure activities. In addition, they were always the point of contact for concerns and problems of all kinds.
In addition to the two supervisors of the program, the employees of the UVIC Housing Office were always available for problems with the accommodation, problems that occurred briefly, such as with the WLAN connection, were quickly resolved.
Overall, it is important to know that the SGBS program is a kind of compressed semester abroad. Everything is relatively well structured, since 4 weeks are not much to cover a lot of material in the lectures. This means that overall good time management is necessary in order to combine work and leisure well with one another. In addition, the lectures mainly live from the cooperation and commitment of the participants. Both are particularly important in order to get the maximum benefit from your stay.
It is also important to know that the cost of living in Canada is a lot higher than in Germany. It is therefore an advantage to roughly estimate the total cost of the stay beforehand.
It is definitely an advantage that the organizational effort before the start of the summer session is very low, since neither a visa has to be applied for nor documents from the home university have to be submitted.
In summary, it can be said that participation in such a program is highly recommended to everyone, as you benefit from it both academically and personally and, in particular, your English skills are sharpened. In addition, international friendships and contacts are created and university life can be easily combined with leisure activities.
However, it must also be clearly stated that the costs for such a comparatively short stay abroad are very high and a four-week program cannot replace a complete semester abroad.