Attending courses, living in a shared apartment or student dormitory and going to the dining hall every day – at first glance, everyday student life in Canada does not differ much from everyday student life in Germany. But if you spend one or two semesters abroad at a university there, you will quickly notice that there are one or two differences. International students go into raptures, especially given the campus life in Canada and the service facilities offered by universities and colleges. In the following you will find out what everyday student life in Canada looks like and what makes it so special.
Lectures in Canada
The courses in Canada do not differ significantly from those in Germany. Common are above all lectures (lecutures) in which a larger number of students will be taught the theory and seminars (seminar) in which the lessons are more interactive and applied. In addition to these two common types of events, there is also the so-called laboratory or studio. In these courses turns for natural and engineering scientists (laboratory) as well as for students in the fields of Art and design (studio) all about practice. Another important type of event at universities in Canada are the tutorials / discussion sections: These are usually a supplement to a lecture, seminar or lab / studio. Tutorials offer the opportunity to go deeper into the material covered and to repeat what is not understood.
The biggest difference between German and Canadian courses is in the types of exams. While the subject matter at German universities is usually checked at the end of the semester by a final exam, at universities in Canada various performance reviews (e.g. mid terms, papers or essays) take place continuously throughout the semester. German students rave about the very personal atmosphere that is usual in Canadian courses and the excellent support situation.
You can find the necessary information on the course content, the venue and the course requirements in the course catalogs of the universities. Especially when it comes to choosing a course for a semester abroad in Canada, you should inform yourself here in good time about the courses offered. The catalog also often offers a lot more information, for example on the grading system or the academic calendar.
Campus life in Canada
The campus life in Canada is not as famous and infamous as that in the United States, a major country in North America listed on ask4beauty. Nevertheless, you will certainly find an equally lively campus atmosphere at many Canadian universities and colleges. Because in Canada, too, most universities are campus universities and the identification with their own university is also very pronounced among Canadian students.
Among the many different campus facilities, the library is often the focal point. The students spend a large part of their time here. For this reason, the libraries are often not only equipped with an extremely wide range of specialist literature, but also have a café and various learning and relaxation areas. But of course there is more than just learning on a campus in Canada, because what characterizes campus life there is the wide range of leisure activities and the regular events. Be it the numerous club / societies, the wide range of sports, the Student Union parties or the sporting events: Unlike in Germany, in Canada one’s own hobbies and leisure activities are firmly integrated into everyday student life on campus. The fact that the students spend a lot of time together on campus outside of the courses naturally contributes to the special sense of community.
Services offered by universities in Canada
Universities in Canada attach great importance to ensuring that students feel comfortable, find their way around and complete their studies within the standard period of study. After all, students do not pay low tuition fees and their satisfaction is the most important factor in Canada ‘s only national university ranking, the Maclean’s University Ranking. The range of services offered by universities in Canada is correspondingly broad. This of course also includes the International Student Office, the number one contact point for international students. The. Also plays an important role for all Canadian and international students is Student Union / Student Association. The Student Union Building is often the central meeting point on campus, because here the students not only get legal / financial advice and other services, but can also play billiards, table football and “gamble”.
The various counseling services that universities in Canada make available to their students are also numerous, such as
- Academic Support (Student Advisory Service)
- Learning Support (such as Math Learning Center or Writing Center, workshops)
- Personal support (such as psychological counseling or career counseling)
Also, students with children and students with disabilities or chronic diseases, found in the universities and colleges of service and advice offers.
Accommodation for studying in Canada
Regardless of whether it is a semester abroad or a complete Bachelor’s or Master’s degree: The question of accommodation for studying in Canada arises at the latest after you have received the letter of admission from the university. Depending on the duration of the study and also depending on your own individual needs, different types of accommodation are possible. In general there are three alternatives:
- Accommodation in the student dormitory
- Accommodation in a private shared apartment or in your own apartment
- Accommodation in a host family (homestay)
No question about it: every type of accommodation has its advantages and disadvantages, be it in terms of costs or in terms of comfort and privacy. While you benefit from the proximity to the university and a lively student life when you live on-campus, you have to accept significantly more expenses and limited privacy here. Living with a host family is certainly the best way to get up close and personal with Canadian culture. However, it is certainly very different from the “typical” everyday student life in Canada, which might appear to be a shortcoming to some.
Catering while studying in Canada
Dining halls, food courts with a huge selection of the most varied dishes, food trucks, cafés and one-stop shops – when it comes to catering while studying in Canada, the students are spoiled for choice, especially on campus. Unlike at German universities, where huge canteens for mass processing and one or the other cafeteria are common, Canadian students are offered a lot more on campus. However, the food there is often more expensive than you are used to in the canteens in this country and the daily meals can be expensive here. Especially those who live in student dormitories without a kitchen are forced to book an expensive meal plan in order to be able to cater to what is on offer on campus.
However, it is much cheaper to cook yourself. If you live in private accommodation or in a student residence with a kitchen, you should take advantage of this and swing the wooden spoon yourself as often as possible. Basic foods are on average more expensive in Canada than in Germany, but it is worth paying attention to what is on offer. At the Farmers’ Market, for example, there is always fresh fruit and vegetables in season, which are no more expensive there than in the supermarket. Even with the International Student Card (ISIC) you can always get a bargain and keep the cost of living lower.