University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
The semester abroad was mandatory for me due to my study program at my home university. I decided to stay in Canada because I found the country very interesting, it is a prestigious place to study and my company, which I work for as part of my dual studies, has a location in Canada. Check liuxers.com to see how to interpret your GMAT score.
With the semester abroad in Halifax, four special months are behind me. At the beginning of my time in Halifax, it was admittedly still relatively difficult. Another language, another country I’ve never visited before, new people and a completely different environment. I lived in the Loyola Residence at Saint Mary’s University. The rooms are very small and with a bit of luck you can get an apartment in Loyola where at least you have your own bathroom, which was the case for me.
Since I didn’t have any facilities in the “kitchen” apart from a microwave, fridge and sink, I booked the “Full Meal Plan”. At first you think the food on offer is okay, but after five days it felt like I was in a hotel that serves the same food every few days. This mostly consists of fast food and if you went to eat too late in the evening, for example at 6: 45 p.m., it could happen that you didn’t have much choice because the quantities were very poorly calculated. The Dockside canteen was open until 7: 30 p.m. in the evening.
Let’s get to the positive part: After the initial adjustment and the first time at the university, my English improved quickly.
I chose four courses in the area of human resource management, marketing and management, all of which were highly recommended and can also be passed with very good results if you don’t speak perfect English. There are a lot of international students, so the professors are very happy to help and support you.
Excursion to Cape Breton
At the end of February, the midterms and the subsequent winter break followed. In this I went on a trip to Cape Breton with some friends from the university. The nature there was just amazing, this excursion was one of the highlights of the whole stay. Although we were initially concerned that it might not be worth it as we were there in winter and the scenery could be nicer in summer, we have no regrets. The scenery looked stunning and the time of year had the advantage that there were few tourists. Admittedly, we were lucky with the weather and it didn’t snow during those days.
College town Halifax
After the winter break, I made more friends and got to know more and more of the nightlife in Halifax. Those who like to go out will certainly get their money’s worth in Halifax. Due to the huge universities with countless students, Halifax is a real student city. You can also see that in the nightlife, where the clubs and bars are very busy in the evenings and you can have a lot of fun. A highlight here is definitely Saint-Patrick’s Day, which has a bit of carnival in green with Irish music.
After initially being homesick, I didn’t want to leave Halifax at all in the end. This was mainly due to the many great people I met and the fact that I would have liked to see a lot more of this huge and beautiful country. In hindsight I am very happy to have had this experience. In addition to the many friends, I got to know a beautiful country and was able to improve my English a lot.
I would have loved to have seen Halifax in the summer, there is an incredible amount of nature in the entire region. From time to time it was up to -17 degrees in winter but just too cold to explore them and even in April it was still only around 3-8 degrees on average and there was still snow.
Unfortunately, I often caught cold (perhaps because of the cold). Unfortunately, I have to criticize that neither the SMU nor Nova Scotia are particularly well organized when it comes to health.
When I was ill and went to the SMU health center, I needed an appointment despite the three doctors at the health center. I got this too, but only a week later, which is of little use if you are currently ill and have a fever. A Nova-Scotia Health Card is required to visit public doctors. However, you only get this as a resident and not as a four-month guest student.
The only alternative would be a hospital visit, where it takes up to 12 hours to get to the emergency room.
Supervision by MicroEdu
A big thanks also goes to Collage-Contact. When I started thinking about the semester abroad in January in September, I didn’t really know how to organize the whole thing. Here I was very well looked after step by step by MicroEdu and so the entire organization was relatively easy for me.