Located in the friendly, bustling seaside capital of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Saint Mary's University (or SMU) is known as a top choice for international students especially those coming from Bangladesh.
Established in 1802, the university hosts hundreds of international students each year. In fact, 20% of SMU's entire student body population currently comes from overseas. And for those newcomers, Halifax quickly proves itself as a welcoming introduction to Canada.
Khadija Rehma, senior counselor at the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), has been helping international students choose and apply for Canadian universities for years. According to Ms. Rehma, SMU is currently one of the application centre's most common destinations for Bangladeshi students.
“SMU students are very happy,” she explains, “with the campus, the city, the climate, the people, the programs and good news travels fast! Eery year the crowd gets bigger for SMU.”
Along with its low tuition costs and great location, the quality of SMU's academic programs is another of the university's major drawing points. With a wide range of undergraduate and graduate-level majors available within the faculties of Science and Arts alone, students have access to many degree options. For example: Chemistry, Computing Science, Geology, Forensic Sciences, Criminology, Economics, International Development, and Anthropology are just a few of the Majors students can pursue.
Engineering, as well, offers a long list of options just within the one academic area including focuses in Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, Mechanical, Bio Systems, Chemical and/or Metallurgical Engineering.
And then there are the university's business options another major reason to choose SMU.
“SMU's Sobey School of Business has AACSB accreditation,” explains Khadija Rehma. “This, in itself, speaks volumes for the quality and prospects of its program and graduates. For BComm [or Bachelor of Commerce] students, the best part is the cost of this internationally accredited program. The value for money is incredible.”
Also offered through many of SMU's academic programs are work-study/Co-op options. Co-op, or Co-operative Education, is a
program in which students can earn academic credits and salaries, by completing work internships with real companies related to their field of study preparing them and building up references for exciting careers ahead!
For those interested in learning more about attending Saint Mary's University or another Canadian institution a good place to start is www.canada123.org. Students and families can also visit the Canadian University Application Centre (or 'CUAC') office located on Gulshan Road, and on Friday, October 28th, SMU will present along with other Canadian university representatives, a special Canadian University Education Fair, at The Westin Dhaka. SMU will have one staff and one professor in Dhaka, both ready to answer all your questions with typical Canadian helpfulness. This event, however, is by INVITATION ONLY. For those interested, please email email@example.com , or phone at 02.8826445.
WHEN: Friday, 28th October - 12 noon to 7 pm
WHERE: The Westin Hotel, Gulshan 2, Dhaka
PARTICIPATING UNIVERSITIES: Victoria, Winnipeg, Algoma, Guelph, Windsor & SMU.
*** BY INVITATION ONLY. Contact us today to attend!
PROFILE In Her Own Words
STUDENT PROFILE: ASHREEN AHMED
ORIGIN: DHAKA, BANGLADESH
PROGRAM: BACHELOR OF COMMERCE
MAJOR: MARKETING, 4th YEAR
“I always wanted to go to Canada for higher studies,” says fourth year SMU student, Ashreen Ahmed, who began her university career at Dhaka's Independent University, Bangladesh, or IUB. “After a year in IUB, I heard about SMU from one of my friends, who was planning to transfer his credits there. After talking to him, and discussing it with my parents, I went to the CUAC Centre to find out more. There, I learnt that the business program at SMU is quite meritorious, and the tuition also seemed reasonable. Overall, SMU seemed like the right school for me and on top of that, they accepted all my credits from IUB!”
On first impressions:
“I reached Halifax in January, 2010, in the middle of winter. As my first time in Canada, it was a big change for me, but my enthusiasm and excitement made the transition very easy. Everyone was very welcoming, friendly and helpful. Although I was initially homesick, my roommate and friends made me feel very comfortable. Even in winter, Halifax is a beautiful place especially with all the wonderful people around me!”
On campus life:
“Everyone on campus is very active as students, we never get bored. There are a number of events for students living in residence, as well as clubs and societies you can join, including the South Asian Society. Also, the gym offers a number of classes such as zumba, yoga, and aerobics for students, who can attend these various lessons according to their interests. The International Centre is another place for students to gather and get help on anything they need. Everyone tries their best to make you feel at home, right from day one.”
Advice for other international students:
“As for myself, I was a very shy person, but I realized that there is no need to be shy and quiet, because at [Canadian universities], everyone is there to help each other out and learn from one another. So just be yourself, share your knowledge, learn from your peers, and make the most out of your time. Also, remember that classes, books and exams are not everything. Make sure to meet new people and make new friends, because university is a combination of in-class learning, socializing and experiences in the real world.”
SAINT MARY'S AT A GLANCE
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia population 396,000
Student Body Population: Approximately 8,800
Percentage of International Students: 20%
Undergrad Faculty to Student Ratio: 1:19