First of all, I have to say that I had a really good time in Halifax and that I really took the country and its people into my heart. It will certainly not be the last time I have been to Canada!
Step by step, the documents sent explained how to proceed (with regard to course selection, for example).
So there were really no problems and if questions arose, a phone call was enough.
Postcolonial Literature: Canada, Australia, NewZealand (Dr Hlongwane)
I enjoyed this course the most. We read interesting literature, including Canadian Native. The workload was significantly higher than in Germany – but good grades were easy to get.
Human Resource Management (Campbell)
I was surprised at how practical the content was. Various media, such as videos and articles, brought the material closer to you in a practical way. Role plays, case studies and lots of group work also made the content practical and understandable. In general, the following also applies here: high workload at a low level (compare with Germany).
International Business Management (Dr Das)
Above all, the course requires teamwork and a little more investment of time. In terms of content, it can be said that there is a lot of gossip, but still very interesting. In my opinion, this course should not be taken too seriously, but rather as a practical language exercise (many presentations). It is helpful insofar as future international managers become aware that there are cultural peculiarities in every country and that this can lead to misunderstandings in international negotiations and business processes.
I only got to Halifax about a week before Orientation Week started. The hostels were fully booked and I also had no firm accommodation. With a bit of luck, I was able to spend a week with a Canadian I came across on www.couchsurfing.com. Couchsurfing is a great thing if you want to get to know locals and local life. So I immediately received an invitation to a weekend trip to a house by a fjord on Cape Breton Island. For this reason I skipped the orientation week. Kayaking, exploring the national park, swimming in lakes and getting to know Canadians was simply much more tempting than get-to-know games and information events. That wasn’t a problem and I later found my way around the (small) campus.
My host then also helped me find an apartment. There were plenty of good offers on www.kijiji.ca (you can also find mountain bikes, books and furniture there). I finally found a room because it was posted on a garage. I lived with a nice couple and had the ground floor available (large room, washing machine, terrace and guest toilet). I shared the kitchen and shower with them. We got on really well and cooked or watched TV together. I lived in the North End, which is about 20 minutes from the university. The bus connections are very good and I also had a bike. I picked up furniture from the street. Not bad at all and there are plenty of in September.
I can also recommend the dormitory of the Atlantic School of Theology as accommodation because I checked it out. It is close to the SMU and directly on the sea (!). The rooms are not too small, furnished and clean. There are communal kitchens and bathrooms. The rent is more than fair (around $ 400) – and significantly cheaper than in the overpriced accommodations of the SMU. It is best to apply there early on via their homepage!
According to Top-Medical-Schools.com, Halifax is a quite alternative and cute student city with colorful wooden houses and “old” buildings in the city center. Downtown there are many cafes, pubs and bars. The nightlife is surprisingly varied for the small town and you can go somewhere else every night of the week.
Do not miss:
- Fresh crepes, delicious bread (Mary’s Bread Basket), local fruit, vegetables and jewelry at the Farmer’s Brewery Market (Hollis Street), every Saturday until around 2pm
- Try the carrot loaf (carrot bread / cake) in the Wired Monk café (Hollis St)!
- The Mellotones live (Charles Brown-style music) at Seahorse (Argyle St) – Thursdays until 2am
- A multi-day excursion to hike, relax and discover Cape Breton Island (especially during the Indian Summer in October!)
- Fancy 2nd hand and rummage shops on Queens St and Argyle St
- Wednesdays karaoke night at Bearley’s (Barrington St)
And then there are so many other things to see … The best thing is to just go on a discovery tour!
Anyone looking for the classic Canadian with a checked shirt, ax, beard and guitar will not be disappointed. Because: some prejudices can actually be confirmed. Basically, I can only think of positive things: Canadians are relaxed, open, easy-going, musical, sociable, humorous, liberal and sporty.
The bus driver wishes you a nice day, if you look, you are asked if you have lost your way; Canadians hold the door open and look out for one another so much more than we are used to in Germany. All in all, they are actually friendlier and more helpful.
They should never be lumped together with the Americans. Not only because they don’t like it, but also because they are actually a little different. A Canadian said to me: “We dress like Americans, we speak like Americans – but we don’t think like Americans!”
I flew to Toronto in August and traveled from there through beautiful Québec, i.e. the French-Canadian part. I liked Toronto very much, as well as Québec City and the landscape around Tadoussac, a small coastal town further north (good for whale-watching tours).
Cape Breton with the Highlands National Park, Kejimkujik National Park and Nova Scotia’s south and west coast including Peggy’s Cove are the best excursion destinations in the area. The two of us shared a rental car (and even stayed in it). The cheapest way to book a rental car is via the Internet: e.g. www.holidayauto.com or www.holidaycar.com
Don’t get a Nova Scotia ID (only costs). A driver’s license plus ID are enough to get into clubs! In addition, you can rent a car with a normal German driver’s license and no international driver’s license is required. After one semester you can have your Metropass removed and get around $ 50 back (it is best to apply for a good week before departure).
Laws etc .:
Drinking alcohol on the street is forbidden, you have to carry wine bottles in your pocket (you can carry a sealed beer like that), riding without a bicycle helmet and getting caught costs $ 300. The smell of cannabis gets up your nose more often – is, just like in Germany, actually illegal, but is mostly tolerated. ID checks in clubs, bars and liquor shops are common and very strict. We recommend the SMU pass for discounts (e.g. Wednesdays in the Dome or Fridays in the Reflections).