I am studying to be a teacher at secondary school and since my main subject is English, I have combined the desire to go abroad with the usefulness of a semester abroad.
I knew that I wanted to go to western Canada, only where and which university was not so clear to me. That’s when I came across MicroEDU and they had Kamloops “on sale”. “It’s not that bad after all,” I thought to myself and decided to go for it, and thanks to the great support from MicroEDU, it was all very easy. Thanks again at this point! I took two English courses there (Academic Writing / Academic Reading Skills) in preparation for my written exam and of course to improve my English in general. I was there for a total of five months from April 22nd to September 20th, 2009 and completed the summer semester (May 4th-August 8th). I really enjoyed my time in Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and I can only recommend this choice. According to AbbreviationFinder, TRU is the abbreviation of Thompson Rivers University.
I liked the place Kamloops and the TRU a lot, because it is a manageable university with good supervision and a great atmosphere, Kamloops is “strategically” well located and there is a wide range of leisure activities there. The TRU campus is very beautiful and all facilities are easily accessible despite the spaciousness. At dusk, a deer can sometimes run into your path… All students, but especially the international ones, are very well looked after by Academic and International Advisors, who are the contact persons for (almost) all problems. I was given very good advice in advance when choosing a course and my e-mail inquiries from Germany were always answered promptly and very friendly. Due to the internationality, there is a very open atmosphere, the people there are nice and friendly anyway.
In addition, Kamloops is “strategically” very well located within the province of British Columbia. This means that from there all beautiful and interesting places, such as Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Kelowna, Banff and Jasper (national parks) are easily accessible for weekend trips, which is not a matter of course given the size of Canada (!). Furthermore, Kamloops and the surrounding area offer many different sports and leisure opportunities in summer and winter, after all, Kamloops is also called the “Tournament Capital of Canada”. On campus is the so-called “Aquatic Center” with swimming pool, large sports hall and fitness studio ($ 25 for students / month). In winter, the beautiful “Sunpeaks” ski area is close by (approx. 35km). In addition, ISAP (International Student Activity Program) regularly offers great rides and activities.
Nothing is perfect, of course Kamloops has its downsides too. For some, this certainly includes the small town flair (Kamloops has approx. 70,000 inhabitants) with a very manageable cultural offer. The nightlife is limited to a few bars and clubs, which, like everywhere in Canada, close at two o’clock in the morning. However, a place is always about the people, and it shouldn’t be difficult to make friends there quickly and have great house parties, they’re the best anyway.
Another disadvantage of Kamloops is the public transport network, which only consists of a few bus routes that run every 20-30 minutes, but are free for students. Canada is simply a country for car drivers and personally I can only recommend, if at all possible, to buy a car at the beginning of your stay, possibly to share it with several people, and to resell it later. Having your own car increases mobility immensely and is ideal for weekend trips. One more thing should be mentioned: The summer and autumn semesters differ mainly in that there is almost nothing going on at the university in the summer, as most of them are away during the summer. That, in turn, has its advantages and disadvantages. But if you want to experience more people and party wise, you should go in autumn or winter. Kamloops is a good choice
One more word about the living situation there: For the first three months, i.e. during the semester, I lived on campus in the McGill On-Campus Housing dormitory, the cheaper alternative to the TRU Residence & Conference Center on the other side of the campus. It just depends on what man / woman wants: Either a cheaper, very simple and small room, but “very socializing”, speak loudly with many people around it, or an expensive room with “cheap hotel flair” in 2 or 4-person units, not much quieter either. Speaking of loud: There is hardly any soundproofing in Canada… For the last two months I have been living privately with friends, which is of course better and cheaper, but probably difficult to organize in advance. Otherwise there are a number of motels close to the university, where the rooms cost from around $ 600 / month,
All in all, Kamloops is a very nice place and TRU is a great university. You can definitely spend a good time there and personally I was able to have a very good time there. Therefore, and for the reasons mentioned above, I can only recommend this choice.