In the spring of last year, after a long search, I made the spontaneous decision to apply to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada through your website. I chose Saint Mary’s because I am studying International Business Administration and that university’s Sobey School of Business has good reviews and a good reputation .
The application about your website turned out to be easier than expected . I didn’t apply until April and feared I’d be too late for the coming winter semester, but that wasn’t the case.
Your website was able to answer all my questions quickly and easily and supported me successfully with the application, so that only two weeks later I had the confirmation from the university in my email inbox.
The next step was to find accommodation . Since I had read time and time again that most landlords find it difficult to award contracts for only 4 months, I opted for the more secure option. Instead of searching on site, I applied for a place in the dormitory and received one. It was said that the university was also reluctant to give rooms for only 4 months, but I had no problems whatsoever. There is not much to be said about the room itself. It was about 8m ² and equipped with a bed, desk and a closet. But I had to take care of everything myself. Completely sufficient for 4 months. I was also lucky enough to get a room in Loyola on the 22nd floor. The view was very nice. However, if you go there in winter, you definitely have to be prepared for mice.
In addition, since I was given a single room, I was tied to the meal plan. If you want to go to the dormitory, it is best to apply only for the Senior Apartments or for the Rice Residence. The food in the cafeteria was better than expected. There was a fresh salad counter and a sandwich station. Otherwise, of course, a lot of fast food, but since you can use the university’s gym free of charge, that was fine too.
The course selection was not a problem for me. My university here is very open-minded because our semester abroad is compulsory. In the end, I only took three courses : Investments , Ethical Responsibility of Organizations, and International Business Management . In general, I liked the fact that a lot of emphasis was placed on group work. So you could get to know each other better, but you had to be lucky with your group. The workload was perfectly fine and in my case definitely less than that of many other students. In terms of content, however, I have to say that nothing new was taught to me during my studies. Rather, I was able to apply the theories I had learned to case studies.
The introductory week was varied . For example, we took a trip to Peggy’s Cove and got information about the various societys at the university. However, most of the events were aimed at the new, young students living and living alone for the first time. Then, for example, you were told how best to react in an unpleasant situation and how to say “No!”. The supervisors of these events and the International Office really tried very hard to make you feel welcome and were available to answer any questions.
There are of course plenty of opportunities for excursions and since renting cars and fuel are very cheap, you can easily afford them without a guilty conscience. For example, we went to Cape Breton for a weekend and rented a nice house there. It’s really beautiful there and we were lucky enough to go there in the Indian Summer. I will definitely never forget this blaze of color . We recommend. There was also a beautiful national park in the area, but unfortunately I only know it from stories.
Since the distances in Canada are of course definitely different than here in Europe , you definitely have to plan flights . Unfortunately, these are expensive compared to renting a car. It is best to drive in groups and then take turns driving.
In Halifax there is on the one hand a very nice water front and behind the university there is a small park right on the water. Great for short Sunday walks. I would also recommend a trip to MacNap Island.
All in all, I definitely enjoyed my semester abroad in Halifax . We also had pure pleasant and sunny weather until October , which meant that you could really enjoy nature. Only the snow actually stayed away, which I think is a shame. I was really looking forward to a snowy winter.
The only thing I would do differently is to try to find a room with a kitchen, because not only is the room itself more expensive than looking for something off campus, but the meal plan is just fine, but not outstanding.
- rely on the punctuality of the buses. They come very irregularly and basically always too late, except late in the evening.
- forget the tip. The waiters are dependent on it and react accordingly negatively.
- contact the professors if you have any questions. They are happy about it.