SAINT MARYS UNIVERSITY
First of all, I have to say, I have never regretted going to Halifax. It was a fantastic time and I would definitely do it again.
Halifax is a pretty pretty city with around 250,000 inhabitants. If you live near the SMU, you can also reach everything important on foot. Point Pleasant Park is particularly recommended.
I really liked the university itself. Small course sizes with 20 to 30 students and friendly and hard-working lecturers is something different than a German mass university. In my courses, however, the focus was more on quantity than quality, which means there was a lot of text to read with little usable content.
I took 3 courses, so I had enough free time to explore Atlantic Canada. The courses were Industrial Organization, Entrepreneurship and International Business Management. Industrial Organization was okay, everything important for assignments and exams could be learned from the notes. I really liked entrepreneurship. There you had to look for 3 articles from specialist journals for each topic and then summarize them. Based on these articles, the topic will then be discussed throughout the course. Since all of the students took part in my course, it was really good and I learned something. International Business Management was just gibberish and a lot of text to read. In addition, in my opinion, senseless group work had to be done. I can’t recommend this course, the other two can. Read more student reviews on Iamaccepted.
On the subject of living in Halifax: I flew to Halifax the day before the International Orientation (be sure to take part!) And then looked for an apartment on site. I can only recommend flying there a few days early, but definitely staying off-campus. The student residences are overpriced and you have to take a meal plan and then eat in the not really good canteen.
I was also very lucky and my second apartment was a direct hit. Very close to the university, modern furnishings and also reasonably priced at $ 400. I was in a homestay so I had my own room and the rest of the house was shared with my landlord. You can also practice your English in this way.
You have to reckon with 400 to 550 dollars in rent for a smart room.
As a first port of call I can recommend the Heritage Hostel – Link: http://www.hihostels.ca/NovaScotia/en/index.aspx?sortcode=2.15 – centrally located and with internet and telephone. Book early!
I used the following pages to
search for an apartment myself: http://halifax.craigslist.ca/
http://offcampus.smu.ca/ http://www.ancillaries.dal.ca /default.asp?mn=184.108.40.2065&f=acc&aa=se
Are all pretty good, just take a look.
In general, Canadians prefer to be called rather than written by email. So don’t be afraid, pick up the phone and just dial the number. Halifaxers are all very nice and always happy to meet a foreigner.
As a further tip, I can tell you to definitely get an account with Deutsche Bank. With the bank card you can then withdraw money free of charge from the Scotiabank.
Nova Scotia has a lot to offer, so rent a car and drive off. Cape Breton is really beautiful during Indian Summer, especially the Cabot Trail. In any case, plan a whole weekend for this. Prince Edwards Island is also very beautiful, as is Kejimkujik National Park. Montreal and Toronto are also “close by” and definitely worth a trip.
Unfortunately, the cost is the only thing that isn’t great. Calculate for tuition fees, living, eating and traveling with 7,000 to 8,000 euros, depending on how much you travel and how much rent you have to pay. However, I was able to take leave of absence from my university for the semester, which saved me 500 euros in German tuition fees. Applying for a foreign exchange does not do any harm. The same applies here: the earlier, the better.
I hope my report has helped you a little. As I said above: I would go to Halifax again. Have fun in Canada!
SAINT MARYS UNIVERSITY
I decided to actually do the stay abroad in Halifax at relatively short notice, as the student loan office was only able to give me a verbal acceptance for the foreign student loan at the end of July. So my first tip is: Apply for a foreign student loan as early as possible (if you cannot pay the tuition fees yourself).
I started looking for an apartment from Germany because my predecessors told me that it wasn’t necessarily that easy in Halifax. Ultimately, I decided to live at the YMCA, which is like a youth hostel. You have your own room there and share the kitchen with around 25 flatmates. For the price of the equivalent of 310 euros, it is okay if you compare it to other “hovels” in Halifax.
The accumulation of German students at the YMCA turned out to be a major disadvantage for my English skills, which is no different at Saint Mary’s University. From my point of view, that’s the main disadvantage of Halifax, as the meaning of a semester abroad is a little lost. On the other hand, it’s a great experience to meet so many nice Germans who you haven’t known at your own university before.
The level of study in Halifax is rather lower than the German level. Perhaps this is because I took part in the undergraduate program. Nevertheless, the amount of work should not be underestimated, as presentations or term papers have to be done all the time and there are even intermediate exams halfway through the semester. So you have stress throughout the semester. The care and motivation of the professors is very good, so that personal conversations can develop. This is certainly also due to the size of the lectures (around 20-30 students). Overall, the study conditions are better than in Germany, although I think that studying at a university in Germany promotes independence a lot more.
Life in Halifax isn’t too expensive. However, due to high taxes, alcohol is very expensive. There are plenty of places to party and go out in Halifax.
Canadians are very nice and open. Nevertheless, I have the impression that there is also more superficiality in dealing with one another.
All in all, I can only advise everyone to do a semester abroad, as you broaden your personal horizons a lot. You get to know so many nice people from whom some Germans could learn a slice when it comes to friendliness. But you only really learn to appreciate Germany because some things work better here.
Those who want the right “feeling” for a semester abroad (ie without too much German contact) should perhaps choose another university or move in with Canadians in Halifax.
I hope to have helped you.