University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: art and design
Study type: semester abroad
The semester abroad in Halifax is one of my most beautiful and exciting experiences. It was almost exactly what I wanted and what I expected. Check existingcountries.com to see vocational training in Germany.
I stayed in the Residenz, which is quite expensive, especially if you’re staying in the Loyola or Vanier. I would recommend Rice if you want to cook for yourself and don’t want to pay an expensive meal plan in addition to the residence. Of course it is cheaper to live in a homestay, but it is in the residence that you meet most people and socialize more easily. I always found people who wanted to do something in the evening or spend a chilled evening. Most of them were Germans. With around 90 German exchange students, that’s no wonder. Getting in touch with Canadians is rather difficult if you don’t live with them. Because they have to work quite a lot to be able to pay the tuition fees. I still spoke quite a bit of English, e.g
That’s why the best time to go to Halifax in September is to attend orientation week. You will definitely meet international students there. We did everything possible: Tall Ship Silva Tour, Presidents Dinner, Club Tour and a game night. As far as I know, there is no orientation week in January and the international students tend to be on their own at first.
The people from the International Center are helpful and nice. You should definitely go there. They help with problems and have often planned smaller events such as day trips to the surrounding area. The Chair of the International Center is Ysaac. He comes from the Dominican Republic and is really friendly and open. If you want to party, he’s definitely there. That’s definitely not bad at first, because you get to know the clubs through him. In Halifax, it’s a good idea to have ID with your date of birth on you at all times. You definitely have to show it at clubs, but often in bars too. Canadians don’t get alcohol until they’re 19. Halifax’s club scene is really good for a small town. Probably because Halifax is more of a college town. We got everywhere either on foot, by taxi, bus or Husky Patrol. I especially liked the Marquee, the Bubbles and the Ginger’s Tavern. The latter is a bar with live music. But there are many more, although most tend to end up in the Dome for the cheap drinks. On Thursdays there were also many at the Palace for the wet t-shirt contest. The girls who take part and win there get around 300 CAD.
However, the workload for the courses should not be underestimated. If the university only requires 18 ECTS credits or only taking three courses, you should not necessarily choose more so that there is still time for weekend trips. Since the SMU is based on the British university system, you have to hand in assignments or papers almost every week for three courses. In addition, there are the midterm tests, which have a high percentage of weight in the final grade and should not be underestimated in terms of the learning effort. Personally, I’ve been pretty lucky with my Faculty of Arts courses in terms of the learning curve. In addition, my German university is more interested in the credits than the grades. The teachers in my courses were also pretty good. They had expertise
At the weekend we went to Prince Edward Island, but also to Cape Breton and did the Carbot Trail. I thought it was nice to get out of Halifax, but Nova Scotia is more for people who like the countryside and nature. We also went to Kejimkujik and went canoeing there.
I also loved Montreal and Toronto. Especially Toronto is really nice. Many flew there for a long weekend. Some also drove to Montreal in a rental car. They each took about 11 hours. So it will definitely not be boring in Canada.
By the way, it’s better to go to Halifax in September, because it doesn’t get really cold until the end of December. I really enjoyed the four months in Halifax and made new friends.