Studying in Canada was comparable to studying in the Netherlands; the course content is very practical, a lot is done in team and project work and the courses are quite small, ie between 10 and 40 people per course. The relationship with the lecturers is therefore very personal; the lecturers take care of each student individually and are very accessible if you have any concerns. The teachers seem to be more than fair, especially to international students.
In general, there are many contacts and good advice for international students at TRU. In addition, after the first two weeks you can rethink and change your choice of course, which is very helpful. You can even negotiate the dates for exams. The final grades for the courses do not only depend on the exam, but the final grade consists of several parts, such as attendance, assignments, midterm exam and final exam. This means that the effort is quite high and you have to constantly submit something, even if the claim is comparatively low and the grade is generally comparatively good. Since the semester abroad was part of my studies, all courses were credited to me and my grades were taken over. According to Abbreviation Finder, TRU is the abbreviation of Thompson Rivers University.
Kamloops itself is a small town and, in my opinion, is not particularly pretty, even if the area with all the mountains is beautiful. As in every bigger city there is a cinema, bowling center, a small shopping mall etc. There are also several possibilities to go out and even if the choice is limited, there is still a location open from Wednesday to Saturday where you can party more or less well can. In comparison, Kamloops is not a party stronghold, but the fact that around 10% of the population are students and there are around 1000 international students – who are all looking for a connection – is a good prerequisite for having a great semester of fun.
Kamloops is also a great starting point for trips to eg Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Rocky Mountains, Whistler and Seattle.
I lived in the McGill dorm on campus which, contrary to my initial fears, was the best decision. For one thing, it’s nowhere near as bad as expected; The rooms are small and noisy, but functional, relatively cheap and definitely bearable for a semester. Furthermore, the location is just perfect; it’s just 2 minutes to the university. There is a canteen, pub, Tim Hortons, swimming pool and gym on campus. There are also many leisure activities, especially for sports enthusiasts. There are also several huge supermarkets and fast food restaurants in the immediate vicinity. Although the city is further away, the bus connections are good during the day and everything can be easily and cheaply reached by taxi in the evening.
After all the advantages I have mentioned so far, the main disadvantage of this semester was that it was extremely expensive. This was mainly due to the tuition fees, of course, but the costs for accommodation, meals and excursions also add up. Alcohol, cigarettes, as well as dairy products and meat, for example, are very expensive.
In conclusion, I can say for myself that it was a very successful semester; I met a lot of nice and interesting people, experienced a lot, traveled a lot and also had great courses and teachers. So the investment has really paid off for me, both in terms of personal experience and in terms of my studies.
However, my expectations were rather low at the beginning of the semester; So you can put it this way: if you are prepared for the fact that Canada is expensive, that the McGill is not a luxury apartment and that the coolest clubs in Canada are definitely not in Kamloops, then the conditions are extremely good to be pleasantly surprised and have an unforgettable time.