University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I still remember exactly how many testimonials I read, how often I changed my favorite university and generally had doubts about my plans for a semester abroad – one thing first: dare! Throw away the doubts and you will just have a wonderful time! For me it was the best semester and definitely the best decision I’ve made so far. Check iamaccepted.com to see 5 best nursing schools in Europe.
MicroEdu does a great job, takes care of almost all organizational things for you and I’m sure that the greatest possible support would also be given if you had problems during the semester. The whole application process was super easy and went really fast. A huge thank you for that!
Why I chose Halifax and it was the perfect choice
Even if Halifax doesn’t really seem particularly special as a city when I first get information – the testimonials, a friend’s recommendation, the location by the sea and facts such as relatively low tuition fees and a non-existent English certificate, ultimately made me choose Saint Mary’s University.
Once you arrive, you quickly realize that the city has its own charm. Halifax is a great size, so you can get anywhere easily and quickly feel comfortable. The open mentality and friendliness of the Canadians also contributes to this. The countless pubs, bars and restaurants, the nearby mall, the beautiful parks, the waterfront and other leisure activities and events mean that there is no chance of boredom. For me it is the perfect city to study in.
Travel and Excursions
When it comes to Canada, everyone always thinks of the west coast with Vancouver and the Rockys and I’ll tell you, the east coast is completely different, but in my opinion no less beautiful!
Use your time before, during and after the semester as best you can and explore the area. Time flies by, so you should really use the time at the beginning of the semester. We often booked cars and accommodation very spontaneously, sometimes we had only known each other for a few hours and yet everything always worked out perfectly and we had super nice and eventful days !
There is no way around Cape Breton, but Prince Edward Island, Bay of Fundy, the Lighthouse Route etc. are also absolutely worthwhile. All of Atlantic Canada has a beautiful vibe and within half an hour’s drive you can be out of the city and surrounded by beautiful nature.
In the case of a break you then have the opportunity to fly away again or, as I did, to do a bit of what you haven’t been able to do in Halifax and the immediate vicinity before. Friends of mine have flown to Mexico, Boston, New York, Seattle, Montreal and Ottawa, among other places.
After the semester, I flew to Montreal, Quebec and New York with a friend. We had down to -25° and a lot of snow, so there was a really nice Christmas atmosphere everywhere. If you get the chance, definitely take it with you after the semester. I paid the same amount for the flights this way as if I had flown directly from Halifax to Germany.
I really liked the university. With a few exceptions, everyone was very helpful and the course content was interesting. The campus is typically North American, as you would imagine, with a football field, burger shop, etc. I learned a lot and enjoyed studying in the library.
From my home university, I had the requirement to take four courses, which I thought was quite feasible. However, almost all other exchange students only had three, which is of course even more pleasant in terms of leisure activities. But it all depends on the choice of course. The difference between courses from the 3rd and 4th year was already clearly noticeable in terms of difficulty. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with any language talent and my English was not really good compared to others. Nevertheless, I got along really well in the courses and you quickly notice that you understand better and better, reading is faster and the barrier to speaking is getting smaller. My courses were:
A really well-intentioned piece of advice: do not choose this course! In my eyes, the professor was the most unsympathetic and at the same time so demanding and strange in the task at hand that he almost robbed me of my credits at my home university. Some others also had problems with the course. If you have a lot of previous knowledge in finance (e.g. you have a finance master’s degree), it is doable, otherwise it’s better to keep your hands off it, because then you simply lack a lot of previous knowledge. There will be two midterms, a final and two assignments.
Human Resource Management
I can unreservedly recommend this course. The content is interesting, the professor is really nice and helpful and the exams, the assignment and the paper are really doable. Each week there is also a small written participation task, which is included in the grade at the end with 10%.
Money & Banking
I had a very nice Indian professor who was also totally helpful and tried to ensure that we understood everything and got along well. You have the option of submitting four assignments, of which the top three are counted. With these you can definitely bring your grade forward. Midterm and final are then also very feasible and absolutely fair. Definitely interesting, recommended and it’s not bad if you’re not there. The course is still offered by a second professor, but I was advised against it.
It is mostly about portfolio theory. If you take part in the four pop quizzes, you are already guaranteed 10%. I liked the course, but especially in the final exam I was missing a few basics from the previous courses.
I think no matter where you do your semester abroad, it stands and falls with the people you meet and with whom you spend your time. Thanks to the MicroEdu contact list, we were able to meet and exchange ideas right from the start, so that the start was definitely easier and nobody had to fear being alone. So we always had someone who was in the same situation (finding a room, etc.) and with whom we could do something, start trips and explore the city, even before we got to meet people at the university. I spent the entire semester with many of them and really made good friends. In fact, it was mostly German, which fortunately made it much easier to see them again.
Halifax itself then just makes the whole thing easier and nicer, so that in the end you actually wish you could add another semester to it and it feels a bit like leaving a new home.
So, dare and make your own experiences, you will not regret it and have a wonderful time!