Information on the application process
Canada was ideal as a location for my semester abroad in two ways . Firstly, I wanted to specifically improve my English skills in English-speaking countries , and secondly, I already knew the country from my previous stay in western Canada. For this reason, Eastern Canada was determined as a destination early on. The Saint Mary’s University also convinced me because of its multicultural diversity , the respected Sobey Business School and the extremely low student-teacher ratio.
Studies and courses taken at the host university
I initially took care of the application for foreign student loans , for which I could always turn to TOP-MBA-UNIVERSITIES with any questions .
To course selection itself I can advance recommend selecting only three courses. On the one hand you get the status of a full-time student (requirement for foreign student loans) and on the other hand you still have some free time to fill the semester with other activities. In particular, due to the more school-based teaching system of the Canadian universities , with assignments, small quizzes and mid-terms, you have a lot more to do during the semester than at a German university.
Almost all courses offered were described with an effort of 3 credit hours. These were credited to me with 6 credit points after my return .
Since I am in a master’s degree , the course selection was somewhat different compared to the bachelor’s degree:
On the basis of my Letter of Permission, which was enclosed in the application documents, the SMU had a clue as to which courses were of interest to me. I then received an e-mail from Katharina with a selection of courses for which I basically received approval. From these approved courses, I chose three and emailed Leah Ray requesting that the selected courses be activated. After a while I received confirmation from Ms. Ray and was finally able to register for the courses via the SMU self-service banner.
The courses I selected were:
- Accounting for Decision-Making (ACCT 6548)
- This course was new to the university’s master’s program. The focus was on financial and management accounting, with the analysis and interpretation of balance sheets in the annual financial statements in the foreground. I found the course very interesting , and Professor Thomas Kozloski was very friendly to the students. The workload was still limited with three individual assignments, a group assessment, mid-term and final exam.
- Financial Management (FINA 6663)
- Although the course is considered extremely demanding among the students, I was very happy to attend this course . On the one hand, this was due to the topics covered (analysis of financial planning, investment planning and capital costs) and, on the other hand, to Professor Mahmoud Moh’d, who attached great importance to practical relevance. The workload was relatively low with the mid-term and final exam, but was compensated for by the high degree of difficulty of the course.
- International Business Management (MGMT 6681)
- This course examined the effects of globalization on different areas of corporate governance. Various case studies from the Harvard Business School were analyzed and discussed on a weekly basis. In addition to participation in classes, the overall grade consisted of a presentation, mid-term and final exam. The highly communicative course was designed by the personable and nice professor Alireza Ahmadsimab, relaxed and interesting .
The university itself was shaped by a large number of international students . You not only notice this in the courses you attend, but also on the university campus. While walking around the campus , one hears many different languages or reads something about the numerous cultural events on the university’s notice boards.
The campus of Saint Mary’s University can be described as manageable and cozy . The tall buildings of the residences, the Loyola Academic Complex (where my lectures took place), the McNally Building (location of the university administration), the Patrick Power Library and the Student Center (where the International Center helpful for foreign students is located). There is also a pub (Gorsebrook Lounge), a Tim Hortons (the popular Canadian fast food restaurant), and a fitness center (free for students) on campus.
The on-site support was excellent . The professors were very happy to answer any questions about the course. The International Center mentioned above offers help with visas, airport pickup, excursions to attractions in the region, themed evenings and much more. The staff in the university administration were just as friendly (as is generally the case for Canada) and ready to provide information.
As accommodation for my stay abroad, I rented a furnished apartment on Church Street in advance . This was located between the SMU (20 minutes ‘walk away) and the lively Spring Garden Road (5 minutes’ walk away). The waterfront and downtown were also just a few minutes’ walk away.
I decided against the residence made available by the SMU, as the accommodation was relatively expensive and, moreover, did not have its own kitchen. Students in the residence are therefore bound by the meal plan of the cafeteria. In addition to having my own kitchen, I also benefited from a quiet environment that I couldn’t imagine in a student dormitory. On the other hand, closer contact with fellow students and international students from all over the world speak in favor of accommodation in the residence. Here everyone has to know for themselves what they prefer .
Leisure and excursion possibilities
Halifax, Nova Scotia and Canada offer extremely great and interesting leisure and excursion opportunities . In Halifax, for example, it is advisable to take a walk along the waterfront. You can also visit the Citadel, the old Town Clock (Halifax’s landmark), Point Pleasant Park and a game by the Halifax Mooseheads. A lobster dinner in one of the many restaurants on the waterfront is also one of the city’s must-see highlights.
In the immediate vicinity of Halifax there is also the well-known fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, the oldest German settlement in Canada and at the same time UNESCO World Heritage Site Lunenburg and the nice little town of Mahone Bay.
Also worth a visit were Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy with a whale watching tour, Cape Breton Highlands with the breathtaking view of the Skyline Trail and the fortress town of Louisbourg, which was reconstructed from the 18th century. Of course, depending on time and budget, a visit to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and / or Quebec is also a good option. You can also take a detour to the USA from Halifax Stanfield Airport, which is just outside.