Studying engineering at a Canadian university – Life in a foreign nation

Studying engineering at a Canadian university - Life in a foreign nation

Studying abroad also needs an equal understanding of investment to profit, employability and stay visa regulations after completion of a study program. Talking to experts will be a better option as it will help them get a clear understanding of what you wish to pursue and where.

I am Ananya Kamboj and studying abroad was a decision that I made during the years of my school. I hail from Mohali, Punjab. At Thompson Rivers University in Canada, I am pursuing software engineering. I chose Canada for my higher education because of the infrastructure offered by the country.

The country also offers high-grade technology along with modern-day innovation and training programmes. The Canadian education system is the best in the world. I did not want to miss the experience of pursuing higher education in an international and multicultural environment.

I was aware that I would be able to gain a global perspective on the different cultural backgrounds of people. Also, I learnt about how they think, perform and act in a wide variety of engineering situations that are complex.

About the Course

I am pursuing a five-year Bachelor of Engineering at Thompson Rivers University. My stream is a software programme. This program is completely different from a four-year programme in India. This is because they follow a different system called co-op education or cooperative education.

The learning experience is flexible at the university. They apply a variety of teaching methods such as lectures in small class sizes, laboratory classes, tutorials, online resources and group work. This will prepare me for rigorous and specialized professional training in my chosen field in all aspects.

I chose Calculus, Programming, Linear Algebra, Engineering Design, Physics and C++ programming in my first year as the core subjects.

Admission Procedure

The admission procedure is not complex. However, it is a bit long. I started preparing for my college admissions in class 12. Later, in August 2021, I appeared for IELTS. I submitted my application by the end of November. The application form asks for the scorecard of Class 11 and 12 of a student and the IELTS score. Students can submit their interim scorecard until the actual scorecard doesn’t come.

The admission criteria in Canada and the application process can vary significantly depending on the program, the university and the province. For most UG programs, the criteria that are essential for admissions are competency in the English language and successful completion of high school.

Canadian Universities have limited space. Therefore, there is more competition for admission. Therefore, completing high school along with meeting the minimum average is not enough to guarantee admission to Canadian Universities.

There is a centralised application system in British Columbia. It is named EducationPlannerBC. It helps students plan, search and apply to universities for admissions. I had to appear for a personal interview after this followed by group discussions.

How the Canadian education system is different from India

Everything in Canada is digitalized. Notes are made by us on iPad. Weekly quizzes are conducted on the syllabus of the previous week. There are two midterms which cover 50 per cent of the syllabus each. Finally, a final exam is conducted.

When I joined college, I was a little apprehensive. However, it turned out to be a great experience. During my initial days, the modern-day technology and infrastructure at the university attracted me the most.

Studying at this university offers various advantages such as flexibility and stress-free education. Students are allowed to choose their own courses at Thompson Rivers University. Students can also personalize their timetable.

I can choose to finish upper-year courses early. Also, I could work on the option of choosing electives in business, arts and also forestry and conservation. The education system in Canada is similar to the education system in the United States.

Several opportunities are offered to work with education clubs and participate in other extracurricular activities as well as sports. Opportunities are also offered to do research at the UG level. Three scholarships are offered by the university at a value of CAD $6,000 each for the first semester.

Under the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) accredited engineering program, undergraduate students can apply for the scholarship. The main criterion that a student needs is to score more than 90 per cent marks in CBSE Class 12 exams. They must also score seven bands each in IELTS.

Students must score a minimum of 3.67 GPA, in order to be eligible to receive scholarships in the subsequent semesters. After I complete two or three semesters, I plan to apply for a scholarship as it would cover my fees for 3-4 courses or subjects.

Canada as a Society

People in Canada are helpful, friendly, and warm. It was difficult to adapt to the taste of the food here in the initial days. However, now I am used to it. But still, I miss homemade food. Life is more organised in Canada.

At Sandman Signature Kamloops HotelI, I am working in the hospitality department. This part-time job helps me in managing my finances. Many part-time jobs are offered in Canada for students. This will help them out with finances.

I have a keen interest in football other than academics. I was selected for a football program named ‘Football for Friendship’. Also, I wrote in various journals about football games. Moreover, I have my own venture called Sports to Lead.

There, we conduct activities for women\’s empowerment and youth. I also participated in various programs that promote Sustainable Development Goals. I also published a book titled My journey from Mohali to St. Petersburg.

Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic affected everyone equally. I was in a dilemma in the initial stages and contemplated studying in Canada. The pandemic resulted in the closure of schools in India. This has led to the postponement of the CBSE Class 12 exams in the Indian education system.

Therefore, there was a delay in the results of Class 12. This has in turn affected my university application. Also, this made an impact on my student permit. However, with the continuous efforts of the university and also the efforts of both the Indian and Canadian governments, despite the crisis, I am able to fulfil my dreams.

My advice to students applying abroad

I highly advise students to do research before deciding to study abroad. Before deciding, I met representatives of various universities. I also tried to understand the immigration laws as well as the student laws of the countries.

Studying abroad also needs an equal understanding of investment to profit, employability and stay visa regulations after completion of a study program. Talking to experts will be a better option as it will help them get a clear understanding of what you wish to pursue and where.

If you wish to study in Canada, you must get accredited to Designated Learning Institutions. These institutions are approved by a territorial government. They host international students. In order to obtain a Canadian study permit, a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution is essential.

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