The Saint Mary’s University (in short: SMU) is located in Halifax, in the east of Canada . The SMU offers a broad study program (with something for everyone); especially the “Business Program” has been accredited with one of the highest rankings in Canada. The care of the host institution was very good overall: A free airport pick-up service was offered for the “Internationals”, which you should definitely take advantage of. In addition, the International Student Center offers an orientation week with free excursions to Peggy’s Cove, for example (should not be missed). Other activities during the semester, such as apple picking, bowling evenings and many other activities, are also organized by the International Student Center. The university offers a semester ticket for C $ 73. The Canadian public transport network, like buses, is pretty good (on time, relatively many bus routes).
Since most health insurances outside the EU do not have coverage, additional health insurance is necessary. On the one hand, there is the option of taking out health insurance through Saint Mary’s or, on the other hand, German health insurance. Since Saint Mary’s health insurance is usually more expensive, I chose the latter, which I can only recommend.
In Canada, a visa is only required after a six-month stay abroad .
I studied business with a focus on management and marketing . The courses were chosen online. A course catalog is available online, then you have to be activated for the courses and can choose courses . The courses consisted of small groups of around 20 to 40 students.
I chose the following courses :
- Marketing Management
- International business
- Small Consultancy Business
- Brand management
Overall, all courses are quite labor intensive. There is oral participation, a lot of group work and assignments in addition to the exams that are outstanding in some courses. Overall, I would recommend any course , as the content of the lessons is very practical.
Saint Mary’s does not have a set program for international students. For this reason, I studied with local students, which was very beneficial for language skills. There were an estimated 30% foreign students and 70% local students. Due to the many group work and the cultural diversity, it was easy to make contacts. Generally speaking, Canadians are very open-minded and helpful.
Overall, all courses were held in English. There are tutoring and language courses for international students that I did not take advantage of. For this reason I have no further information on this.
Due to a number of negative testimonials regarding the student dormitories on the campus of Saint Mary’s University, two friends and I decided to research an apartment on the Internet on our own in advance . Via Moore Student Living (http://universityapartmentshalifax.com/) we found an apartment (3 minutes walk to the SMU), which I can recommend to everyone. The rental costs are on the same level as the student dormitories.
Leisure / fun
Since Halifax is a student city , there are many pubs there that are very lively all week long. There are many different student groups offering different programs. Above all, the sports offer (free membership in the gym, volleyball, basketball, football) is very extensive.
I have summarized the following “insider tips” for you:
- You shouldn’t live on campus (risk of mice).
- Buy Britta filters because the tap water contains a lot of chlorine.
- The Atlantic Superstore is recommended as a shopping station.
- Celebrating in the Dome on Thursday is recommended.
- The lobster at Murphy’s is a must-have for fish lovers.
- Don’t buy books before using it in class.
- Halifax wasn’t as cold as expected.
- Alcohol is pretty expensive.
- Family atmosphere, relatively small courses and lots of active class discussions
The cost of living in Canada is quite high and well above the German standard as there are no local discount stores. At the “Farmers Market” you can buy fruit and vegetables at a good price-performance ratio. For the cost of living, € 500 – € 600 should be included. In addition, tuition fees are charged at Saint Mary’s University , which are based on the number of courses taken and the bachelor’s focus (http://www.smu.ca/academics/undergraduate-tuition-and-fees.html). Overall, the tuition fees, including fees, bus ticket and exchange rate fluctuations, amounted to almost € 4,000.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience that I can recommend to everyone . Canada is a multi-faceted country; National parks and culturally there is also a lot to discover. The workload is higher compared to Germany. (see above) A study visit at the SMU is highly recommended due to the familiar working atmosphere and the practical relevance .