The application process at the SMU is relatively simple: You compile a list of the courses that are suitable for you online and email this list with the associated prerequisites to the SMU to check whether you are admitted to the corresponding courses. For me this went relatively smoothly: Of course, it is difficult to assess from Canada what you have learned here in Germany, so in case of doubt you are more likely to be admitted.
Then you wait to be able to register for the corresponding courses. First, all Canadian students can enroll, and a few days later, the internationals too. If the desired course is already full, you can try to get a place by email – but this was not necessary for me: I was able to take all the desired courses (of course only the somewhat unpopular dates were left).
There are two ways to live in Halifax: on-campus or off-campus. For various reasons I decided to live on campus. On campus, you live in the building in which the lecture halls, cafés, etc. can be found. The location is very good, it is about 10 minutes to the Atlantic Ocean and 15 minutes downtown. Living on campus is anything but cheap. The apartments are clean, but very sparse and sparsely furnished – what bothered me most was the incredibly small 75cm bed. I stated that I would like to live with Canadians, but unfortunately I was allocated a purely German flat share for 4 people. The other three were really nice people with whom you could live really well, but this also has some disadvantages. In retrospect, I can only recommend looking for a flat-share locally. It is best to arrive a week or two before the semester, settle in a hostel and then look for a flat share. This has the decisive advantage that it is easier to get to know local people and learn the language. If you live on campus, it is difficult to come into contact with Canadians – you tend to get to know other international students. I was lucky that one of my roommates played on the SMU.
Studies & courses
I took three courses at SMU: Micro Economics, Macro Economics and Marketing Management. The two economics courses were beginners’ courses, so the learning effort was almost zero. Marketing management is usually heard there in the 4th semester and you had to put in some effort to stay on the ball. At least for me, I can say that studying in Canada and Germany is not comparable. Studying at the SMU can be compared with a (good) school in Germany, but not with a (mass) university like Münster. The class size is usually less than 40 students and you work with a book for the entire semester. The professors announce before the semester which (not very cheap) book is needed and you work with this both in class and at home.
Abbreviated for Saint Mary’s University by abbreviationfinder, the SMU offers many leisure and childcare options through the International Center. In the office of the International Center you can find a solution for all problems as an international person. The weekly newsletter provides information about special activities that include bowling, information and party events.
All other local institutions are also consistently good, you can find help quickly and you can only look forward to the good student service.
The city of Halifax itself is not really big with maybe 100,000 inhabitants and due to its geographical location as a peninsula, it is not particularly suitable for traveling. Halifax itself doesn’t offer any big surprises when it comes to leisure opportunities.
Anyone interested in sports can check out semi-professional ice hockey (recommended!) In downtown Halifax. In addition, some SMU sporting events (football, soccer, basketball) are definitely recommended.
The nightlife in Halifax can perhaps be compared to that in Munster, only many times smaller. Nonetheless, it is still possible to have fun – even if the alcohol is not exactly cheap in Canada.
If you really want to experience something, you have to go on a trip. I flew to Toronto and Midland (around € 90 one way) and made a road trip (definitely book a rental car through Europe, it’s much cheaper) to New York. If you like nature, you can take the ferry to Newfoundland relatively cheaply. Montreal and Ottawa can also be reached fairly cheaply by plane. If you want to go to the west coast (e. g. Vancouver) you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket – but it’s definitely worth it.