University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
It was always clear to me that if I got Auslandsbafög, Canada would be my country of choice, so Halifax was the logical consequence after my informational interview at MicroEdu. The reviews are almost always positive and the registration is totally uncomplicated. Check iamaccepted.com to see 7 myths about PHD abroad.
I hadn’t bothered about an apartment before, I wanted to look for something locally. It wasn’t a problem at all (I don’t know how it is in September, not so many are looking in January) and ended up at the YMCA. I’m not sure myself whether I should recommend it. You have the advantage that all possible sports facilities from the fitness room to the swimming pool are in the house and that you live fairly centrally, but when you see other apartments here, you get a bit jealous. The rooms at the YMCA are quite small and it can be difficult to find a place to cook in the shared kitchen.
The university differs from my German university in many respects. I’m used to anonymity in Germany. In Halifax, I had two of my three classes with fewer than ten people. It was surprising when I was addressed by name in the second lecture. The level is a bit lower, but you get more busy. There will be midterms, assignments and termpaper throughout the semester. But it’s not an issue and you should concentrate more on life;)
The city of Halifax is definitely worth living in. The people here are all extremely friendly, much friendlier than in Germany. So it can happen that cars stop to let you cross the street even though you don’t want to cross the street. Everyone is helpful and totally laid-back.
Partying here is a bit different too, drinking in public is not allowed, alcohol is more expensive and many clubs close at 2am. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate badly here. On the contrary. There are a lot of pubs and clubs and you can quickly find out when and where it is cheap.
The university is just as likeable as the city. Especially very international. The only problem is that there are a lot of Germans here, especially in autumn. So German is spoken more often than desired, at least if you don’t pay attention to the fact that you surround yourself with other nationalities. And there’s enough of that here…
Studying abroad in Halifax was a really good decision. I had a really cool time here and can only recommend it. If you decide to do it too, you are almost guaranteed to have a fantastic stay abroad and meet super interesting people from all over the world.