In August 2019 my semester abroad started at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver. I traveled two weeks before the semester started to take part in the university ‘s orientation days and to settle in Vancouver. I also took care of finding a room for the time in Vancouver. I have already written to some landlords in advance, but I wanted to inspect the rooms to avoid rental fraud. This worked very well and I was able to do so in the two weeks before the semester started and find a room quickly. A good option is to look for a place to stay via AirBnB, there are apartments there for long-term stays and these can also be viewed beforehand.
At the beginning of my stay abroad, MicroEDU issued a list with the contact details of other KPU students (with consent, of course). I found this to be very practical and helpful, as I was able to make contact with other students from Germany who were in the same situation as me and you could exchange ideas in advance. The best: Great friendships have developed.
The semester then started in September. I took three modules: Organizational Behavior, Fundamentals of Business Communication and Social & Cultural Anthropology. I wrote several midterms (exams during the semester) in all modules during the semester, there were oral grades, I wrote term papers and gave presentations. The semester ends with a final exam. The note is composed of all these parts. In my opinion, the workload during the semester was definitely higher when I knew her from Germany, but at the end of the semester I didn’t have that much to do during the exam phase.
Campus and Accommodation
You can take your courses at five different locations. I took mine on the Richmond campus as it was the shortest distance and easiest connection to downtown. If it is possible to take all of your courses in Richmond, I would definitely recommend this as the other locations, while very nice, are very far from the city center. My residence was located in Richmond, close to the skytrain. This enabled me to walk to the Richmond Campus and at the same time only needed half an hour to get downtown by public transport to drive. There is also a direct bus from the Richmond campus to the Surrey campus.
The university offered many leisure activities at low prices, for example a zipline tour through the Whistler rainforest. The university also has a gym and there were weekly courses such as yoga, basketball, table tennis and much more. It is very easy to get in touch with other (international) students, especially through the leisure activities, orientation days or events that are organized by the KPU which stands for Kwantlen Polytechnic University defined on abbreviationfinder.
Vancouver is a breathtaking city with the perfect mix of nature and the big city. There are beautiful hiking trails, people do a lot of outdoor sports and you can watch wildlife up close. For excursions I particularly recommend Vancouver Island and the national parks in Canada (for example Banff and Yoho) are beautiful. The people of Vancouver come from the most diverse cultures of the world and you experience all religions and ethnicities of this world. Above all, the polite and courteous manner I was particularly enthusiastic about the people.
Temperatures and weather
It actually rains a lot in Vancouver. Fortunately, I didn’t experience this until mid-December through January. Before that there was a lot of sunshine and temperatures reached up to 28 degrees in August. In autumn the weather is comparable to the temperatures in Germany. In January there was also a week of snow and up to minus six degrees. Otherwise the temperature rarely went below zero degrees. However, you can practice winter sports in the surrounding area and in the mountains. One shouldn’t have a problem with cold and wet weather when going to Vancouver for the fall and winter. Personally, I found it very nice to experience the palm trees at English Bay both at almost 30 degrees in August, but also to explore them covered with snow in winter. Nevertheless, the winter weather in Vancouver, comparable to the rest of Canada, is very mild.
I recommend a semester abroad in Vancouver if you want to get to know a different system of studies, if you have a great interest in multiculturalism and are looking for the perfect mix of big city life and natural wonders. I was very impressed by the city and the people and I hope to be able to go to Vancouver again in the future!