University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, Economics
Study type: semester abroad
When I decided that I wanted to do a semester abroad, I came across MicroEdu’s website relatively quickly. One of the few organizations that mediates for free. The information on the site helped me to quickly get an overview of the university landscape and the different study options. The telephone contact and thus the support were also great. Whether it was about student loans or registering at the university, all questions were answered competently and quickly, both on the phone and by email. Check liuxers.com to see 9 countries to travel alone in 2021.
I chose Saint Mary’s because it offered the best course match and I was also intrigued by the descriptions of the students who had already attended SMU.
After the formal postal registration, the course selection takes place shortly before the beginning of the semester. I had to really rush some of my courses (Macro Organizational Behavior, International Economics, and International Management). But even if you don’t get a place right away, it’s possible to make up for it later, since there are almost always postponements or you can also come to the course if necessary.
Otherwise it was time to book a flight and GO!
As a tip, I can only recommend booking the outward flight, as it is not exactly foreseeable when the exam dates are and you may have finished everything much earlier than expected. Therefore, you should only plan possible trips and/or book the return flight during the course of the semester. I flew with Continental Airlines and was very satisfied. Good service, endless television, good food and drinks whatever you want and as much as you want (alcohol costs).
All I can say about the accommodation is that the SMU student housing offers are very overpriced. I was stationed at the YMCA like so many. Stationed because it is already furnished very rustically with little comfort. The bathrooms are also kept very clean (slip slippers are compulsory). For some it will also be annoying that so many Germans live there. However, there are also positive sides. So it’s very cheap, you can do sports as much as you want for free (in-house fitness center with very good equipment). After I got to know the somewhat superficial nature of the Canadians, I was quite happy about the Germans, with whom one can also keep in touch later. The most important thing, however, is the central location, which is simply unbeatable. But taxis are also relatively cheaper in Canada than in Germany.
The university is very well equipped, PC’s on every corner (with Internet) and a well-equipped library with many workstations make it a real pleasure to work at the university. You quickly notice the differences to German universities, because at Saint Mary’s the library is very busy until late at night.
Except for the International Economics course, my courses were good-very good. I can recommend the Macro Organizational Behavior course, which is also available in an evening version with a slightly different curriculum, which is really very good. Otherwise, it quickly becomes apparent that many professors are Indians, which can sometimes lead to communication difficulties. All professors were very helpful and friendly. With a bit of luck, an exam can also be postponed (where is that possible in Germany please : D). The biggest difference, however, is that you have to be really constantly doing something. Read a chapter for each lecture and prepare case studies and presentations and so on. Overall, however, one can say that the 3 courses can be mastered without getting into a tailspin. You can also easily go away several times a week or do something at the weekend. What bothered me a bit were the horrendous book prices and since some courses are only offered every two semesters, the non-existent possibility to sell them all again. A new book costs an average of €100. It is therefore advisable to buy used books from students or the bookstore.
Ps. You don’t necessarily have to take part in the orientation week. I arrived two days before the start of the university and managed to do everything.
As a small tip, I can only recommend paying the tuition fees in cash if possible, since the fee for using a credit card is quite high at a few thousand dollars. You should also bring proof of international health insurance with you, so you can use the opt-out plan and save around $900.
Halifax nightlife. So, let’s start with the main problems. The province of Nova Scotia has one of the highest alcohol taxes in Canada, result?!
beer etc. is only available there, there is nothing in the supermarket).àA 0.33 beer costs 1€ at our exchange rates (in the liqueur store Here I can recommend Keith’s, it’s one of the cheapest and really tastes the best. second problem. All bars close at the latest at 2am and the clubs at 3am. This means that after that you can only go to the casino, which closes at 4 am. So forget German party escapades until 9 a.m. or something like that.
But once you get used to the times, you can have fun. I can recommend the Palace on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s student party night, which means no entry and a 4cl long drink for $2 all night long. Peddlers on Thursdays, pitcher beers for 6.50 or so.
There are several more such offers in Halifax, but you should explore them on your own, because that way you can also see something of the city;).
Also, it has to be mentioned that there are also many house parties of students and so on, so you won’t die of loneliness.
- Credit card (Here I recommend the DKB: The account is free and neither is the withdrawal. Booking back and forth between the normal account and the credit card account is a bit annoying, but that is usually not a problem and is very quick.)
- Nova Scotia ID (Makes a lot of things easier, since it is now almost impossible to get in with foreign passports in the evening and you can leave all your important travel documents at home. The ID costs $15 and you can do it in the appropriate office, which one something is behind the Halifax mall. Three pieces of proof of your data are important here. I had an ID, passport and driver’s license with me. I heard that a credit card should also work.)
Well, I hope I could be of some help to you and I wish you all the best and lots of fun for your semester.