from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
...the teachers and staff are always very friendly and happy to help you with any questions or problems you should have – don’t be shy, just go ahead and ask.
Why would you recommend going on exchange?
Going on exchange is just a great thing to do – you can improve your language, explore a new culture, and, best of all, you can not only make friends with locals, but also with people from all around the world - which again provides great opportunities for subsequent travel! And I think the Dalhousie University in Halifax is a perfect place to go on exchange.
What did you think of Halifax, Nova Scotia?
I’ve been to a lot of places in the world so far, but Halifax is definitely one of my favourites. It might not be as touristy or “exciting” as large and busy cities like Toronto or Vancouver, but believe me, it is a great place to live and study. What I love most about being here are the people and their lifestyle, and this one very true stereotype: Canadians, especially here on the East Coast, are just so friendly and welcoming that it instantly felt like a second home when I came here.
Why did you like it so much?
Everything is so close in Halifax – the waterfront, Point Pleasant Park (one of my favourite places!), the bars downtown,… You can look forward to trying out Poutine and Beaver Tails (made out of pastry! I’m a vegetarian!), to going ice skating and skiing, or moose spotting (okay, you probably won’t see a moose in the city - only raccoons, if you’re lucky - but if you go to Cape Breton, you could). That’s all so Canadian, eh?
What is the workload at Dal like?
The workload is quite high, however (at least higher than I was used to from Germany), with lots of tests, homework, and group projects. So especially if English isn’t your first language, I think it’s just natural when you feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning. Luckily, the teachers and staff are always very friendly and happy to help you with any questions or problems you should have – don’t be shy, just go ahead and ask.
One last piece of advice: As I said, studying here is hard, and (if you take it serious) you won’t have much free time. But at the same time, there should be more to your (exchange) life than university. There will come up so many amazing opportunities that you’d regret to miss out, I promise! One thing you should definitely do is travel across this beautiful country – rent a car and drive along the famous Cabot trail in Cape Breton, for example (moose spotting, remember?). If you’re afraid not to have enough time during the term, try to arrive a few weeks earlier or plan on staying longer. There’s so much to see, so much to do, you won’t be bored!
Also, to make your arrival at Dal a bit smoother (it’s the home of the tigers, after all), here is a school hymn for you to learn in advance (sung with lots of energy): “ONE, I am a tiger, TWO, a little bit louder, THREE, I still can’t hear you, FOUR, more, more, more,…” (and then it goes from the beginning again – One, I am a tiger,…). Enjoy your stay!