Saint Mary’s University Student Review
The SMU is very small compared to many German universities and so I was able to find my way around quickly. You can reach all destinations on campus in a few meters. Most of the time you don’t even have to leave the building because everyone is connected. Only the student pub, a few administrative facilities and the sports complex with a free fitness center can only be reached with fresh air.
I stayed in a senior suite at the Loyola Residence, which I can absolutely recommend. Unfortunately, these are in great demand and I was lucky to get a place there. Even if not all on-campus rooms offer this standard, I would generally prefer living on campus again. You can be in the course rooms within 2-3 minutes (and even in winter with shorts), as these are mostly on the ground floor of the Loyola Residence.
The workload during the semester is very high compared to Germany, which is why you should definitely not choose more than 3 courses. Because a semester abroad has more to offer than just stewing in the library. I took the following 3 courses:
- Managing Information Technology (MBA), Dr. Kimery: A very high amount of work that is not in fair relation to the grading. For example, you are busy with group assignments at least one day a week, which later only make up 20% of the grade. Tasks are mostly ABM measures and hardly instructive. The lecturer is nice and helpful, but her lessons are sleepy. Recommended only if you are very interested in the topic!
- New Venture Opportunities (MBA), Dr. Farell: As a result of the course, you create a business plan in group work and present it to a “large audience” at the end of the semester. The workload is permanently high due to graded interim reports, but there is no written exam at the end. The grading is very strict, but it can be continuously improved by submitting it repeatedly. The lecturer takes a lot of getting used to and rarely prepares for her lessons. So she usually has to read through her slides for minutes and ends the lesson depending on her mood. Not really recommended!
- Project Management Basics (IDST), Dr. Woodhouse: Even if the course level in the MBA program is below the German level, the requirements in this IDST course are even lower. The workload was fair and the lecturer very helpful. Presentations and assignments were more reminiscent of presentations and homework from school. With punctual and thorough work you have your A safe here. Highly Recommended!
If the lecturers aren’t annoying with their sometimes outrageous assignments, then the fun factor in Halifax is guaranteed to be high. The International Center is very committed and always organizes great activities. Especially the International Week at the beginning is a great offer and you shouldn’t miss any of the events on offer! Friendships are formed here for the entire semester (or beyond) and even those who travel alone can quickly make friends.
As a German, you feel very comfortable in the city’s distinctive European nightlife. Only the strict Canadian laws on handling alcohol are annoying. Drinking outdoors is impossible and you cannot enter a pub or the like without an accepted photo ID (sometimes even two). Therefore, you should definitely get the Novia Scotia ID, otherwise you will need your passport yourself for an evening visit to a restaurant.
You should definitely use your free time to explore the incredibly beautiful Canadian landscape. In the fall semester, you can enjoy the Indian summer and, for example, set off with a rental car to Cape Breton or Prince Edward Island.
Like many others, I preferred this university, among other things, because no language certificate was required. My English skills were correspondingly low or “unclear”. But despite initial concerns, this was never a problem.
However, you shouldn’t hope for an unbelievable improvement in your language skills here, because you will be surprised how many Germans can be found here. In my opinion, contact with Germans is therefore inevitable and you will spend many hours in your mother tongue. I can therefore recommend exchanging ideas above all with the group partners and participating in the communication in the courses again and again. As a German, one experiences mostly sympathetic interest and can thus establish contact quickly.
I will rave about my stay at SMU for a long time, because it was simply unforgettable and I would make this decision again and again. I hope with my report I can make your decision a little easier, you should definitely not miss this experience!