University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
First, after I received the documents and thus the confirmation of my stay from the university in Halifax, I joined several groups in the Studi-VZ on Halifax and the SMU. There was a heated discussion about the expensive housing situation and the possibilities of accommodation. That’s when I first became aware of the YMCA. The stay is really nothing more than a “stay”, but in the end it really turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. Not only is it cheap, the people there are also a very special experience. Nowhere else do so many different cultures meet with just one goal: to spend a great semester in Halifax. I can really only recommend everyone to live there. It’s not only cheap but also has the best location ever – between the university and downtown! However, one should not go to Halifax expecting to find a big city there. Almost 300,000 people live there, but it’s basically a small town. The party life is there but still in abundance. Incidentally, my initial disappointment soon subsided… When you are in Halifax for the first day and see the shopping street with its few and basically not really good shops, you quickly lower your expectations. So, interested students: Halifax is not a shopping paradise. But what I really appreciated about the city are the many small, nice cafés. In Germany the cities are overrun with café chains, in Halifax they are small, cosy, individually designed cafes offering your homemade treats – to die for!!! And also for the evening, there are many nice pubs. Most of them offer live music without having to pay a lot of admission. Some clubs even have live bands playing. So shopping aside, Halifax is a very high quality city! Especially for young people there is a lot on offer! Check jibin123.com to see best cities to study in Denmark.
The cost of living in Canada, i.e. food and accommodation, is by the way a lot higher than here (even if you live frugally), and that even with a good exchange rate. So if you decide to spend a semester abroad, you should definitely have enough money available for this time. Because: you have to savor the time there and shouldn’t turn over every dollar twice, at least you shouldn’t have to limit yourself in many things.
The university is very nice, the lectures more like school. In general, the professors are very nice and helpful. Most of the subjects are time consuming but quite easy. Basically, the credits are very easy to earn. Otherwise, the university also offers a number of options to improve the English language, such as the Writing Centre, where assignments and the like (which you have to do in almost every subject) can be discussed. Here one is made aware of sentence structures, better choice of words, etc. It helped me a lot in that regard! Otherwise, campus life is to be enjoyed. Most students really stay at the university all day, surfing the internet, going out for coffee (they have something similar to Starbucks) or just sitting in the chill-out lounge and chatting. Canadians are generally much more relaxed than Europeans anyway. There is never really any stress here. I also noticed this when traveling through Nova Scotia. In addition, people everywhere are just incredibly nice and loving.
You can also travel very well in the province. I can only advise everyone to rent a car several times and do different tours. Nova Scotia has a lot to offer if you are a nature lover. Traveling is particularly impressive in autumn, when Indian Summer is here.
What I can also highly recommend is to start and end your semester abroad in New York. On the one hand, the flights there are much cheaper (e.g. Air India) and on the other hand, New York is always worth a visit. Many other foreign students do the same and you meet up there again at the end before heading back home. Of course, this is particularly great in the fall semester, as you experience the pre-Christmas time in NYC.
My semester was really great!!! I met so many great people and made new friends for life. The people you meet abroad are usually much more open-minded anyway and the friendships are much deeper. I have already met many Germans again since my 1 ½ months of my return. And many more meetings are planned for the coming months!
While this isn’t cheap fun, it’s worth every penny!!!
If you decide/have decided in favor of Halifax, then I hope that you have at least as great a time there as I did and I wish you lots of fun!