University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I studied at Saint Marys University in Halifax from August to December 2008. Check iamaccepted.com to see vocational training in united states.
It was already clear to me at the beginning of my studies (business administration) that I would definitely do a semester abroad. What I didn’t know was in which semester and of course the big question where…
I decided to go abroad after the pre-diploma. Many professors recommend it, but in principle a stay abroad is possible every semester (and definitely recommended!!). The question of where to go was a bit more difficult…ultimately there was an information evening at my university on the subject of a semester abroad, where I met two very nice, open-minded people who raved about Halifax and MicroEdu. So I started researching MicroEdu…
MicroEdu is a great organization, which makes planning your stay abroad hassle-free, stress-free and easy. They provide you with sufficient information material and answer all questions about your stay abroad. The application process is also very easy and hassle-free. Simply fill out a simple application form and send it to MicroEdu. From there it will be forwarded directly to the university. Just a few weeks after my application, I had the confirmation in the mail! Halifax is particularly interesting for many Germans because no TOEFL test is required.
There is also sufficient help from MicroEdu with the choice of subjects! If you wish, you can get as many course outlines as you want, so that the crediting of the subjects should normally not be a problem. I clarified all this with the individual professors before my stay. Submit an outline for each and have the whole thing approved. For me it wasn’t a problem at all.
MicroEdu will also help you with the necessary forms if you apply for an international student loan. In short, I can help everyone with the organization, since all employees are well informed and always motivated to help everyone interested in the best possible way!
Now on to my personal experiences. Personally, I applied for the SMU at the beginning of 2008, precisely because I had always planned to go abroad. That had some advantages, because I didn’t have any stress with the BAföGamt (applications regarding Canada should be received 6 months before the start of the trip) or with the choice of course.
Back to the question of why I chose SMU…as already mentioned, the information evening was decisive! But Canada has always fascinated me, because I was (and still am) fascinated by the landscape of this huge country and really wanted to experience it all in real life. However, I also read the negative testimonials at MicroEdu beforehand, which were about the fact that you can’t really improve your English… To be honest, that was my biggest concern because I really wanted to improve my English through the experience abroad! I talked about it with a lot of friends and finally let myself be convinced that I will definitely continue to improve my English…
In retrospect, I unfortunately have to agree that you can only improve your English to a small extent if you don’t stubbornly avoid Germans.
Therefore language friends;), if you value the language, then better not go to Halifax. For the first few weeks I thought it was really bad having so many Germans around me! But of course, over time you get used to it and over time you got to know such good friends from all over Germany that you come to terms with the situation.
If you don’t want to live with Germans under any circumstances, you shouldn’t move to the YMCA or the residence (e.g. senior suites). Many opted for the rather expensive Senior Suite in the hope of English-speaking roommates and ended up sharing flats with other Germans. The advantage of the residence is that you live on campus and live very nicely (spacious rooms and nice eat-in kitchen), but also very expensive.
Personally, I’ve lived at the YMCA, which is super central to town and much cheaper than the residence. The university is easily accessible by bus or on foot. The great thing is that you can use the gym, swimming pool and sauna there for free. However, the big disadvantage here is that a lot of Germans live in the YMCA. In the end, I met such good German friends there that we all really enjoyed life in the YMCA! It should be mentioned that it is not nearly as nice as the residence. The rooms are rather small, there is only one kitchen and separate washrooms for women and men.
Regarding cleanliness: The women’s washrooms were always clean (the cleaning lady came every day), not always in the men’s, but I can’t judge for myself;)
The kitchen was also cleaned every day, but this is used by about 25 people, so at the end of the day it can happen that the kitchen makes an inedible impression… There was also a common room with a TV where you could watch felt like all the furniture had been picked up from somewhere off the street, but I have to say you get used to everything 😉 We had a really fun time there and have no regrets living at the YMCA!
Some Germans have found a flat share locally and I believe that this is the best alternative if you want to improve your English and make contacts with Canadians. The whole thing can be a little more stressful, but if you arrive in good time before the semester starts, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Now to the university. Anyone who comes to Halifax with thoughts of relaxing from the stressful everyday university life in Germany will quickly realize that this will not be the case…certainly it also depends on the choice of subjects, but on the whole it almost worked every German like that. It’s not like in Germany that you have an exam at the end of the semester, but continuous learning is required, ie regular tests, presentations, group work, papers…are the order of the day. The advantage is that the grade is not just made up of an exam but of many components, so that you can easily compensate for a bad grade. In terms of content, the courses are easier than in Germany, but the amount of learning material is very large and often uninteresting. However, if you sit down and learn he can take very good grades home with him, since the exams are less demanding than in Germany. Attendance is required for most courses, which can then also be part of the grade.
What bothered me personally was the memorization and group work. You will find that many Canadians are rather lazy and tend to let the Germans do the work. Therefore, always be careful when choosing a partner, otherwise it can happen that all the work gets stuck on one person.
As a rule, most Germans do 3 courses there. I also completed 3 courses and was fully utilized. A plus is that, unlike in Germany, the professors are very helpful and usually know the names of all students because the courses are very small. All in all, university life there is very similar to former school life.
I love the city of Halifax and the country itself! Weekends are perfect for travelling, as there are usually no classes on Fridays. Renting a car is not expensive at all when traveling in a group. There are many excursion destinations, as Canada shines everywhere with its dreamlike landscape. The distances are huge due to the size of the country and should not be underestimated, but it is really worth seeing as much as possible and enjoying the natural spectacles. Halifax itself is a smaller city (approx. 300,000 inhabitants, but one wonders where they all live;) ), but quite large by Canadian standards. You will notice that when you travel and are happy to see a few houses again after 100 km. It’s very good to go out in Halifax,
Living is more expensive than in Germany, dairy products in particular are overpriced. A liter of milk costs around $2. Shopping is also possible in Halifax, there are 2 shopping malls and also in the local shopping street (Spring Garden Road) there are some smaller nice shops that you don’t notice at first glance.
In summary, I can say that I really enjoyed the months in Halifax, despite the many Germans. I had so much fun in Halifax and I am so passionate about the country that I would recommend everyone to stay there!