By Rhiann Singh, University of Ottawa, Canada
I am over halfway through my first semester here at uOttawa so I thought I would share some of the differences I noticed between The University of Manchester and the University of Ottawa.
One of the main differences between UoM and uO is how we are assessed. At UoM it tends to be 100% exam or coursework after Christmas, however, at uO final exams take place before Christmas. Also at uO there are midterms at least once over the course of the semester. I remember reading several blogs from people on here who studied in Canada, and a lot of people prefer the assessments in Canada rather than UoM. Personally, I prefer the way we are assessed at UoM as I much prefer writing an essay rather than having an in-person test, like at uO. I haven’t done a ‘test’ in almost 4 years so I really struggled with my first midterms here in Canada. If you prefer doing ‘tests’ then Canada is the place for you!
Classes (Modules) & Timetabling
The main difference is that at UoM you have to do a minimum of 4 classes/modules. I was quite apprehensive about the workload as at UoM we only have 3 modules but I actually didn’t find the adjustment difficult. Another difference is that, at least not in my classes, there are no seminars. I didn’t really enjoy seminars at UoM, so I have not complaints about this! One thing I noticed that the classes are much smaller in uO, in 3rd year and above, with around 75 people. I much prefer this as I feel more engaged in classes, and it also makes the classes a lot more interactive. It is easier to build a relationship with your prof too. Another big difference is that at uO there are 3 hour classes and some classes take place from 7pm – 10pm. At first I thought this was some joke or a timetabling error but it is actually real. I personally don’t mind either of these things but I can understand how some people hate it. One thing I like about uO is that you can take electives as well. Alongside my 3 criminology classes I am also taking beginner French, which is interesting but hard! – I did Spanish in secondary school. If you ever decide to study in Canada, I highly recommend you to take a class/elective different from your course.