“A semester abroad is something that not only helps you theoretically, but also shapes your personality”, I would subscribe to this sentence without ifs and buts. When I think back to my time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it is not primarily the course content that sticks in my mind, but rather the people, the region, the experiences that I was able to gain – many unforgettable moments. My time in Halifax wasn’t my first stay abroad, but I still felt unsafe when I arrived in Canada and didn’t really know what to expect. This uncertainty was quickly taken away from me, because everything was well organized. After arriving at the airport, a taxi took us to the university gates, where we were assigned a room. I decided to live on campus and I do not regret this decision at all. Of course, living in a dormitory is associated with higher costs, but the living situation also gave me the chance to be in constant contact with other students (you didn’t miss anything;)), to reach my courses comfortably on foot (approx. 10 minutes to the lecture room) and to feel the atmosphere of the campus. With around 8,000 students, the university is rather small, but the campus is alive and is the center of life for many students. Since there are so many international ones, you quickly get to know people from all over the world, which was a really great experience for me. German meal for breakfast, Chinese lunch and Indian for dinner, for example.
Before my semester abroad, I decided, after consulting my home university, to take 5 courses, mainly in the areas of economics and commerce. It has been shown that 5 courses ensure that you are mainly occupied with the preparation and follow-up work and that the workload can easily get out of hand due to constant performance reviews (pop-up quizzes, tests, assignments, midterms). Many of the international students therefore opted for three courses, which in my opinion, as long as it is not specified by the home university, is absolutely sufficient to be permanently employed. The study content in the courses, Marcoeconomics, Business Finance I, Computer Science, Global Marketing and Making Sense of Atlantic Canada were all very interesting and especially the last-mentioned course, who talks about the culture and history of the Nova Scotia region, really impressed me. As expected, the level of performance of the courses was not as high as one is used to at German universities, but this is well compensated for by the higher workload and one does not feel underchallenged. I would also describe the support from the professors as very positive, because every faculty took plenty of time for questions and comments, was positive about criticism and even made appointments to help the students. This is not always the case in Germany and so you felt that you were in very good hands at the SMU. Read more student reviews on Act-test-centers.
In addition to everyday university life, there were also plenty of leisure activities. The region of Nova Scotia is definitely worth a trip and has many other things to offer in addition to the great landscape. There is the possibility to watch whales on the high seas, to raid your wallet in two shopping centers or to enjoy the Indian Summer (fall semester). The nightlife also has a lot in store for students, as there is something for everyone in the city with the highest density of bars in North America. The International Center also organizes excursions for the students.
What really appealed to me personally was the wide range of sports on offer at the SMU. In addition to soccer, American football, ice hockey and rugby, there is also a fitness studio that can be used free of charge with the SMU pass. This is well equipped and also offers the opportunity for indoor basketball. The SMU Huskies are of course also a highlight of the university, because regardless of the sport, the school teams usually have a big say in the national championships.
To conclude my report, all in all it can be said that the semester abroad at SMU was a really great experience. In retrospect, I would make this decision again and again and choose to study at the SMU. During my time in Halifax I got to know many interesting people from all over the world, got an insight into the Canadian culture and way of life and was also able to take a few things with me for my further studies. So my conclusion is very positive.
SAINT MARYS UNIVERSITY
so to put it in one sentence: the year here in halifax was the best for me that i have ever experienced! i believe everyone who has the opportunity should go abroad and halifax is a great place to do so! the student and pub life is terrific – there are countless bars and pubs with live music and the entrance fee is around 3 euros on average! halifax is big enough to have city life and on the other hand small enough to find great, quiet places. the landscape around halifax is terrific and even in halifax there are many trees, some parks and beautiful streets with family houses, i think it’s especially great that the sea is right here! the people are incredibly friendly and helpful. if you have a smile on your lips, you get 100% one in return!
the university is very well organized. Not too big and not too small. the area is very beautiful and the sports equipment is a dream. if someone is actively involved in a sport (at least at national level) and is an athlete by heart, he will lose his heart here! It is possible (if you are one of the chosen ones) to take part in a university team. I’ve played volleyball here and I’ve never had such a great and professional training session before. It was time consuming – training every day, the first half season even twice a day and competitions every weekend – but it was more than worth it for me! So i got around a lot – we flew to montreal, ottawa, newfoundland and saskatoon for example! and drove to all universities in nova scotia and new brunswick to play league games there.
the lecturers at the university are very accommodating and friendly and help you as much as possible. This also tells you exactly what you have to do to get good grades.
At the beginning i lived at the YMCA (many international, but also canadian students live there). the staff is young and very nice. You can use all possible sports facilities and sports courses for the rental price and it is right in the city center – so the university, the pubs and bars and shops are not far! then by chance i met some nice canadian girls and moved in with them. which I personally found terrific because that’s what I wanted to experience canadian life! therefore i haven’t done much with the unbelievable number of german students. because i didn’t fly to canada to continue the german lifestyle. but everyone can decide for themselves…
now i will travel 3 months across canada to explore the whole country!
so I can only say: it’s fabulous here! the winter is damn long and cold (down to -25 degrees and 3 degrees in april) but you get used to everything and there are many, many sunny days – that keeps the atmosphere up!;-)
oh, cost: I would say all in all, you get the same thing as in germany. Rent is more expensive and some food too, but nightlife and clothes and other things are cheaper. It depends on everyone personally how much they spend here, if you look around you can get cheaper than at first glance like to look.