Hello from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada! I have been doing my study exchange at Algoma University for almost three months now, and this semester has been so different from anything I have ever done. I arrived in “The Soo” at the end of August, when the weather was almost +30C and no one was even thinking about school yet. I chose to live on campus, because it was a very easy option for me as I didn’t want to live in a host family. The campus is very small, and a major advantage is that it only takes you 2 minutes to get from your room to class. I live in the Lou Lukenda Res, which is an okay option, but coming from my own apartment in Finland it was a bit of a shock not having a kitchen, or even a fridge in your room. But, I have adjusted, and it has been (mostly) a fun experience living in a dorm.
School is very different here at Algoma than at TAMK, especially when it comes to reading, writing, and group work. The studying is much more theory based, and the work load is much more with all the assignments, quizzes, mid terms, final papers, final exams and homework on top of that. I don’t think it is harder, it’s just more. In TAMK we do a lot of group work and assignments are based on real cases or companies, whereas here we do individual assignments rather than group work and the assignments are basically describing theories. I have done courses in HRM, business ethics and Canadian business, and I think they are have given me something that I probably wouldn’t have learned back home. It is very interesting to talk about these issues here, because the university is very diverse, and in every class there are people from many different countries.
Sault Ste. Marie is a nice, small town. There is everything you need here, but not much extra, but I have been traveling around Canada, and doing a few road trips in Michigan, USA. The people in Sault Ste. Marie are so nice, and at the university you really get to know people, starting from the staff in the cafeteria and your professors. The class sizes are about the same as in TAMK, but there are so much more activities arranged for students to get to know each other. The school has also made it possible for us to see so much culture and history around the city, which has been great because those events have been something you wouldn’t experience as a tourist!
Anyway it has been a great experience that I will never forget!