University: Saint Mary’s University
Continent: North America
Study type: semester abroad
Above all, I have found that you can get used to the different climate and lots of snow relatively quickly. Check existingcountries.com to see 6 best countries to exchange in English.
Halifax is a beautiful place, referred to by some as the “San Francisco of Canada”. You have to overcome inclines and declines and you can see the sea very quickly. Along the coast and the harbor there are many opportunities to take a break from everyday learning. There are numerous bars, cafés and restaurants on the waterfront in Halifax and on the main street “Barrington Street”. On the “Spring Garden Road” there are also many possibilities to spend a nice evening as well as “Public Gardens” which is unfortunately closed in the winter months. In addition to “Starbucks” and “Tim Horton’s” you will of course also find “Second Cup” there, where you should enjoy a “White Hot Chocolate”. Ice hockey can also be seen in Halifax at the stadium and Halifax Mooseheads play quite well too.
Every Saturday morning you can stock up on fruit and vegetables for the weekend at the Farmer’s Market. Many farmers from Halifax and the surrounding area come there and offer their goods. You can find everything there, fresh fish, meat, cheese, apple juice, jams, maple syrup, fresh pastries and much more. I can recommend trying a fresh, still warm cinnamon roll from the bakery there.
In Halifax, there is a well-developed bus schedule that you can use to do your weekly shopping and get to leisure activities. You can use the bus pass at the SMU at a low student rate and should always have it with you, otherwise you are not allowed to get on the bus.
In Halifax and the surrounding area you can make many excursions into Canada’s nature and you can also go shopping in one of the many shopping centers/malls. Renting a car and driving to Montréal or Québec City is also not a problem. A trip to Cape Breton to the Cabot Trail is also recommended.
Many international students study at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and many students from different countries take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for one or two semesters at this university. Of course, there were also many Germans on site. For this reason and also for reasons of cleanliness, I would recommend living “off campus”. You can find accommodation in Halifax on the Dalhousie University website and thus also get together with students from other universities or also from Canadian professional life that I have no regrets!
I really enjoyed studying at the SMU. There is a lot of work to be done, as a subject-related book is to be read in each subject throughout the semester and, depending on the case studies, assignments have to be written – usually weekly. However, since the work is spread over the entire semester, the final exam at the end of the semester usually counts for less than 100%. In other subjects there is even no final exam but a lecture. In many subjects offered at the SMU, the tasks have to be solved in groups. Here, care is taken to ensure that the nationalities are mixed and that not only pure Canadian or German teams are created.
SMU also has a good gym that students can use free of charge and as often as they find time. You can also have a card printed out, which you can use to get discounted prices for your meals in the university canteen, which saves you tax. The bar, the “Gorsebrooke”, is also a nice place to end a strenuous day of lectures with fellow students. Every Wednesday evening there is an open mic evening.
I have never seen so much concentrated friendliness as can be found in Halifax. If you hold a map in your hand, passing pedestrians will immediately offer their help, and even motorists will stop and ask if you need help.
Anyone traveling to Canada in the winter semester should dress warmly, but then nothing stands in the way of a good time. There is a lot on offer for all fans of winter sports, the SMU also organizes trips to go skiing together etc. Depending on the circumstances, trips to visit the extraction of maple syrup are also offered, where you can also try the delicious syrup.
If a big city like Montréal or Toronto is not expected and/or preferred, then I would recommend everyone to spend their semester abroad here, since Halifax is a relatively large city in Nova Scotia and at the same time Canada’s nature can also be found.