Semester Abroad in SMU


In all honesty, when I first heard about Halifax, I didn’t really know much about the city. After almost four months I can say: You can really live there very well! For me, Halifax was neither too big nor too small, in the city center everything can be easily reached on foot in an emergency, there are many restaurants and cafés and many more pubs and bars. In addition to the SMU, the city has a few other universities (especially the DAL University, which is in the immediate vicinity of the SMU). There are correspondingly many students in the city – so you definitely won’t get bored that easily. Other highlights include Point Pleasant Park (overlooking the Atlantic Ocean) and a great public library. That The absolute highlight for me personally were the people. Nova Scotia is known as the “friendliest” state in Canada – and that’s really no exaggeration. Oh yes – and the weather: better than expected. I even had a month of summer – but you should still pack a very sturdy umbrella. According to AbbreviationFinder, SMU is the abbreviation of Saint Mary’s University.

Nova Scotia

As the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, Halifax is very suitable for exploring the Atlantic region of Canada. In addition to “Peggy’s Cove” and Lunenburg, I can highly recommend the National Park on Cape Breton. In addition to “whale watching”, hiking trails and the world-famous Cabot Trail, you can – with luck – also watch moose and bears in the wild. Just 30 minutes from Halifax is Lawrence Beach – a great beach for surfing, among other places. Overall, it is a good idea to rent a car with a few friends and explore this beautiful state in this way.

The accommodation

Like many other exchange students, I have chosen accommodation “Off-campus” decided. Personally, I found a small apartment on in advance. If you arrive a few days before the start, in my opinion you usually have no problems finding a room on site, as the fluctuation of students in the city is very high. In my opinion, the only thing that speaks for a room in the “Residence” is the proximity to the university. Everything I heard from friends who lived there wasn’t really positive: The price was relatively high, the rooms were small and if you don’t get an apartment with a kitchen, you have to buy the room (expensive & not really varied ) Buy Meal Plan. In addition, the rental period is limited to 24 hours after the last university exam – so if you do not want to leave immediately after the end of the semester,

The University

The SMU is generally a rather small university – but the typical North American “college feeling” can also be found there on every corner. Personally, I particularly liked university sports. Whether it’s hockey, basketball or football – almost every day you can watch a university team there as a spectator. There are also endless possibilities to become active yourself – for example in a sports club, with the “intramurals” or – apart from sports – in another club or a “society”. There are also plenty of catering options (including Tim Hortons’ own) and a large library. MBA students also have access to their own graduate lounge.

The courses

I took three master’s level courses at the Sobey School of Business. The business programs enjoy a good reputation in Canada – and I can only confirm that. All of my courses were terrific and I felt like I was really taking something with me. In the MBA program, all courses are basically based on small classes divided up. The workload is very concentrated during the semester – in fact, I only had a final exam in one course. A lot goes through (weekly) assignments, group projects and presentations. That also means: Even if the attendance time was limited in three courses, I spent a lot of time in the library to cope with the workload. Overall, it worked out very well for me – but if you didn’t just want to spend your semester abroad there, I would n’t take more than three courses at Master’s level. Here is a brief outline of the individual events:

  1. People in Organizations (Wendy Caroll)
    Actually an HR course, but one that focuses heavily on the subject of “evidence-based management”. Very interesting (especially for “critical thinking”), very useful in terms of the master’s thesis, outstanding professor and: no text book!
  2. Brand Management (Ramesh Venkat)
    The course is divided into a theoretical and practical part. The latter is based on case discussions. A lot of work (especially since a case has to be worked on and submitted every week), but also very relevant and interesting.
  3. The Negotiation Process (Terry Wagar)
    In addition to theory, a case is negotiated in teams or individually in every event – usually between the union and the employer. Overall very exciting, varied and helpful.

Semester Abroad in Saint Mary's University