University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Development Aid, Political Science, Literary Studies
Study type: semester abroad
Don’t hesitate, partycipate! Halifax is definitely worth a semester abroad! So, loosely based on Douglas Adams: Don’t Panic! This isn’t a hitchhike through the galaxy, but a report on a semester abroad at the SMU. You can leave the towel at home (you get it on- and off-campus and it’s not really important for survival). Instead, never forget your European accent, either South African or Australian or whatever else you can find in your accent collection, because the Halifaxers handle it a little arbitrarily: the main thing is accent and exotic, the assignment is random:
We: “Hi! We would like to have a cocktail!”
Halifaxer: “Oh, you are from South Africa? That’s so cool!
We: “Well.., no,… a little bit further north… you know…but thanx for the drink!”
Which brings us to point number one:
The species “Nova Scotians” in their original form:
Please forgive my tendency to stereotype at this point. You have to carry out individual case analyzes yourself, for example during a semester abroad. Check iamaccepted.com to see best law schools in USA.
How to recognize them: Nova Scotians are mostly very laid-back and open-minded. That’s great, because it’s a very stress-free way to get to know people. Strategy number one: Take a cab and say where you want to go. Simply answer the question where you are from and you are in the middle of the conversation and have met the first Halifaxer. This also works at the university, in cafés, pubs or discos. Modifications are advisable, especially with regard to the latter two locations: Don’t give your address straight away (as in a taxi), this could be misunderstood.
If it happens that you have met too many people (we want to adapt to the Halifaxers in the assimilation process and also become laid-back, social stress can be considered undesirable), then just try it with irony. And hey presto, you can quickly get rid of the people you have met successfully with minimal effort. For most of the inhabitants of the beautiful peninsula, irony is one of the language delights yet to be discovered in the next millennium.
This is how you don’t attract attention: As a boy, wear baggy pants and caps, if you’re dating someone, dress up by putting on a clean shirt and leaving out the caps. As a girl you hardly attract attention if you go to the university in baggy pants or pajamas (otherwise everyone will think you are from Montreal or Toronto), speak 4 octaves higher than normal and every second sentence is: “Wow, that’s awsome!” or ” Oh, that sucks!”
Otherwise: There’s no scolding, no complaints either (so dismiss Marvin as your hero). Any form and extent of unpleasantness is collectively commented on with “sucks”. Which is a pity, because that way you can’t use the vocabulary that is known to be learned the fastest.
Get ready for your biggest culture shock when you come to university in the first few days and want to sort something out! Everything works right away and if something goes wrong and you ask someone for help… you get it immediately and absolutely uncomplicated. Strange but true! It is still important to take care of everything in good time, especially when it comes to course registration. Business graduates probably have a harder time there, but for me (politics and cultural studies) it was no problem to swap courses and choose new ones in Halifax. If you would like to live in a hall of residence, you should apply in good time. But off-campus is nice too. For room deals, look to the competition, the Dalhousie University off-campus homepage. They always have more offers!
And now seriously: Halifax and the SMU are really a great choice, not only because the people are very nice and the city is a pleasant size (you can “conquer” it in a short time, but it gets boring anyway not), the courses are good and the professors are very motivated! )!JSo: Don’t panic, not even when looking for an apartment (apropos: calling is ALWAYS better than writing an email!!!) or choosing a course (they have already prepared themselves quite well for the masses of Germans who will probably visit the SMU regularly now.