SAINT MARYS UNIVERSITY
This field report relates to a one-semester stay at Saint Marys University in Halifax, Canada.
I had planned to study abroad for a long time and when I was looking for information on the Internet I came across the MicroEDU homepage. There I read through the extensive offers at various universities around the world.
Since Canada has always interested me anyway, it quickly became clear to me that I would choose this country. When I took a closer look at the offers in Canada, I was very impressed by the Saint Marys University and the experience reports spoke for themselves.
After that it was actually very quick. I asked MicroEDU by phone and the very friendly staff was very knowledgeable and helpful. They immediately emailed me the relevant information so that I could get an accurate picture of the university again.
When I finally decided on Saint Marys University, I contacted MicroEDU again, who immediately sent me the relevant application forms. However, you are not left to your own devices. You can always call or write to MicroEDU to solve any problems that may arise.
Step by step I came closer to my goal Canada until I finally got the acceptance from the university.
Now I took care of the flight. The airline Condor offers quite cheap flights, but not in winter. I only booked the outbound flight to keep the option of returning via New York, for example.
On August 20th, we finally left Frankfurt in the direction of Halifax. When you arrived you were picked up by the university’s pick-up service free of charge and taken to any location.
I got the offer to live in one of the senior suites in the dormitory. This is located directly at the university and is divided into 2-4 apartments, each apartment consisting of a bathroom, kitchen and individual rooms. The apartments were really satisfactory. The only drawback was that there were absolutely no utensils in the apartments and the price is relatively high. However, you already have permanent accommodation before your arrival.
The course selection was made online beforehand via the university’s homepage. Here, too, the support from MicroEDU was very good, so that this process did not turn out to be particularly time-consuming.
I clarified the possibilities of crediting with my professors at my home university beforehand and adjusted my courses in Halifax accordingly (MicroEDU has some syllabi with which you can get enough information about the course that the professor needs).
The lectures were more reminiscent of the German school system. In one course (Monetary Economics) we were a total of 8 students, 6 of them German !!! It has to be clear to you that the effort at the university is higher than in Germany. If you were used to learning from Germany only a few weeks before the exam, you have to study and work continuously there, as tests are written all the time and / or homework or group work has to be completed.
But if you are very confident in using the English language, you shouldn’t have any difficulties and good grades can therefore be achieved.
You can write a lot about life in Halifax. Halifax has about 350,000 inhabitants, but the city center is quite manageable. The groceries are relatively expensive, so you tend to go for cheap, simple groceries, which you can keep up with for 4 months.
You can party really well in Halifax. Despite the high alcohol prices, there are always offers in bars or discos that you can take advantage of, of course, such as in the Palace every Wednesday and Sunday $ 1 for a small long drink! Only the discos all close very early.
Canadians are all very friendly and helpful and yet have a fairly casual lifestyle. In the supermarket, the goods are carefully packed in bags, regardless of whether one or ten are in the queue. At McDonalds, too, it was always an experience how long you had to wait for the meal at the so-called “fast food” restaurant.
There are a few possibilities for excursions. What I liked best was a weekend trip to Cape Breton, in the north of Nova Scotia. We rented a car with some students to see the famous Indian Summer and the nature in Cape Breton. I can only recommend this to everyone. National parks with moose, black bears or whale tours are offered there.
Overall, you can’t tell enough about Canada and Halifax. You get to know a lot of new people, even if there are quite a few Germans, but that in turn creates new friendships.
I really enjoyed the time and can really recommend Halifax and Saint Marys University to everyone.
SAINT MARYS UNIVERSITY
In general and in particular, I can only agree with the opinions of the forum and the reports on the SMU and Halifax from personal experience. The registration, support and support from the SMU employees is really exemplary and you “book” an all-round carefree package.
Finding accommodation turned out to be the greatest difficulty. As I was able to see myself on site, there are really a lot of flats and apartments that are empty in the winter semester. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know in advance what you are getting yourself into. Furthermore, the apartments are mostly without furniture and it is not really worth buying the furnishings for a four or five month stay on site. I myself lived in a bed and breakfast for five months. Since these are only fully booked in the tourist months, you have a good chance of finding something cheap for the winter months. The price is of course a matter of negotiation. My B&B was the Marigold Bed & Breakfast (http://www.marigoldbedandbreakfast.com). Joan is an excellent host and the stay on site has resulted in a great friendship. The rooms are comfortable and can be redesigned to meet the needs of a degree if necessary. So I also had a large desk and the room became a bit more functional. It is also not far to the university (about half an hour on foot) and a bus stop is just around the corner. In the end, I would stay there again at any time and can only recommend it. Additional information is available on the website and I am happy to answer any further questions. Read more student reviews on Existingcountries.
A tour of Nova Scotia is also worthwhile. There are enough car rentals and if you do your research, you get good conditions. Otherwise I was in Montréal for a week. An absolutely fantastic city that should simply be included in any itinerary. Here, too, I can recommend “The Grove On Coursol” Bed & Breakfast (http://www.bbcanada.com/1736.htm).
In the end, it was a fantastic experience. All worries about how it would turn out to evaporate so quickly that you don’t even notice. You adapt so quickly and the friendly and helpful Canadians are very helpful.
I hope I was able to shed some light on the darkness and help with the search for an apartment.