From June 17th to July 12th, 2019 I attended the Summer Graduate Business Program of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. All in all, I can anticipate that I was more than happy with the choice.
The program comprised three courses: Cross-Cultural Management, Global Strategy and Social Entrepreneurship
The courses are perfectly coordinated. In the first course, Cross-Cultural Management, the lecturer made sure that we learn a lot about Canadian culture. We were thrown into group work with his Canadian students to learn firsthand the most important points about Canada. So we also had the opportunity to “chat” in a relaxed manner and to learn how to speak English.
In the second module, “Global Strategy”, we learned what to consider when a company expands into previously unknown markets. In the third module, “Social Entrepreneurship”, we developed not only “Design Thinking” but also our own idea for a social enterprise. The “Canvas Business Model” helped us to develop our idea.
All three modules were a great mix of theory lessons, company tours (these were always off the schedule on Fridays) and guest speakers, with whom we were able to share their experiences on the topics firsthand.
We got homework in all three modules. In terms of scope, they were not without, but ok and easy to do. The examinations were a mixture of written assignments (e. g. on the subject of “To what extent do companies have social responsibility?”)
It is advisable to take a laptop with you, as homework usually had to be written and printed out on the campus printer.
The requirements for English language skills are relatively moderate at UVIC which stands for University of Victoria according to AbbreviationFinder. With the help of a questionnaire that is integrated in the registration forms, you have to give a self-assessment of your English skills. I submitted my TOEFL test result. Then the questionnaire is superfluous.
We were a mixed group from Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Germany.
Campus and living:
We lived in the Cluster Housings. These are 4-person apartments. Everyone has their own room and there are two bathrooms available. There is also a living room and dining room as well as a kitchen with fridge and stove. A kettle was also available. The Cluster Housings are the slightly better accommodations on campus. There was a large meadow right in front of our houses, where we could play a great game of frisbee.
The way to the classroom was about 7-10 minutes on foot. On the campus there are many ways to get food. There should be something for every taste: including freshly prepared burgers, noodles, sushi, smoothies, sandwiches, bagels, salads. There are also several cafes.
Either you can get food at one of the numerous options on campus, or you can walk about 10 minutes to the beach (Cadboro-Gyro Beach) to the “Peppers” supermarket.
If you have to do a major purchase, you can take the bus to Wal-Mart, for example. One way by bus costs 2. 50 CAD. With a day pass for CAD 5, you can go anywhere as often as you want.
The UVIC has a great range of leisure activities that can be booked as an option. I’ve attended almost all of them. Often these were much cheaper than you would have booked privately.
I have booked the following:
- Whale watching
- Butchart Garden with great fireworks
- by bus to the Sydney Night Market
- Mount Douglas Hike
- Pizza and Game night
- Karaoke Night
We had a closed Facebook group for the entire time (even shortly before), through which we could ask questions at any time and were always provided with the latest information.
The UVIC organizers were always there for us and took great care of us. It couldn’t be better!
Besides being on campus, I had been to Vancouver for a few days beforehand, which I can really recommend.
Downtown is a must on Vancouver Island. There are countless shops, restaurants and bars here. We took a rental car on a Sunday and drove west towards Mystic Beach. I can really recommend taking a look at the island. The UVIC teachers always gave us good tips.
In terms of price-performance ratio, I can highly recommend the UVIC (including a consumption card for most shops on campus and living is included in the tuition fees). The entire organization and support from the university was also impeccable.