In Canada there is no uniform procedure for choosing a course for semester students, each university has its own procedures for this. In contrast to what is common at many US universities, for example, semester students in Canada do not normally have to “crash” courses, instead choosing a course from Germany before the semester abroad begins.
This has the advantage that you usually know whether you can take your desired courses before you leave for your semester abroad in Canada. If necessary, you can contact your home university again about other courses that can be taken if you did not get a place in all of your desired courses.
Nevertheless, should you you as possible in advance of your application to study in Canada to inform you when and how you get your rates for your planned semester abroad can choose. Because at some Canadian universities and colleges, it is common that even in applying the required courses must be specified, and you that by then already the creditability of your desired courses clarified with the home university should have. Other universities, on the other hand, ask you to choose a course as soon as you have received approval.
The most important steps to take in choosing a course in Canada
The general rule is: first come, first served! An early application is always worthwhile, but especially in Canada, a major country in North America listed on existingcountries, because here the students choose their courses in the spring for the entire academic year. So it pays to plan your semester abroad in Canada as early as possible. This is especially true if you want to spend the winter semester in Canada from January to May – because here too the course selection begins in the spring / early summer of the previous year, so that some courses may already be full if you apply later in the year.
The following aspects should be considered when choosing a course for a semester abroad in Canada before and after the start of the semester:
1. Number of credits in the semester abroad Canada
Before you make your selection of courses, you should clarify whether you are obliged to acquire a certain number of credits during your semester abroad. This is often the case if the stay abroad is firmly integrated into the curriculum of your university and / or if this requires a so-called “Learning Agreement”. Even those who receive BAföG abroad usually have to acquire a certain number of credits, which they can – at least theoretically – count towards studying in Germany.
2. Check course selection
Most semester programs in Canada are designed so that international students can choose their courses across disciplines and semesters. However, depending on the university, individual courses or even entire subject areas, such as law or medicine, may only be reserved for students who complete their entire studies at the respective university.
As a rule, Canadian universities provide a course catalog online that you can use for orientation. Anyone who needs a certain number of credits must ensure that the desired courses meet the requirements of the home university and require the respective course descriptions (course outlines or syllabi). The Canadian universities either make these available online or there is an Academic Advisor from whom you can request them.
If you only study in Canada for one semester, you should also ensure that the courses are not “full-year courses”. These courses run over the entire academic year and cannot be taken for a single semester.
3. Proof of previous knowledge
There are courses for which students have to prove certain previous knowledge that they have acquired in other courses. Only when the respective professor has checked whether the student meets the required requirements can the course be activated. Of course, this takes longer than the activation for courses that do not require any prior knowledge. Each university is differently strict here, but in general you should assume that you have to prove the necessary previous knowledge. Of course, you cannot have taken exactly the same courses as the local students because your studies are structured differently in Germany or different priorities are set within the courses, but the courses taken shouldat least be comparable in terms of content.
4. Choose alternative courses and make full use of the contingent
If possible, choose at least one alternative course for each of your desired courses for the semester abroad in Canada, which you can switch to if necessary. A semester abroad always requires a little flexibility. In Canada, students who are enrolled for a full bachelor ‘s or master’ s degree usually have priority and of course there are always courses that are particularly popular or in great demand for other reasons. Sometimes it is precisely the alternative courses that positively surprise you and are much more exciting than expected.