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Myhalifaxexperience-NOVEMBER

Faces of Halifax

Every fall, Halifax’s universities welcome students from around the globe. For each student, Halifax offers a different experience. In this issue, our writer talks with seven about what brought them here, and what their futures might hold.

ali-bala

ALI BALA

Libya

Mount Saint Vincent University

Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Why Halifax? I applied to many universities in Canada and at first I was looking at something in applied linguistics, but I found it too broad for teaching. There was someone here [at MSVU] who helped me a lot. He gave me some information and said the best program that fit my experience was TESL [Teaching English as a Second Language].

How long have you been here? I’ve been in Canada for two years, but in Halifax for a month.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? The biggest challenge is the city is different because I used to live in a big city like Montreal. There were many choices there regarding, for example, my culture of friends and culture of food. Here’s it less… for some situations, and that brings stress because you don’t have to a place to go to.

What do you like best about Halifax? The people here are so lovely, friendly, and openminded.

What are your post-graduation plans? I’d like to enhance my knowledge first and will go back my country and contribute to the education system there. The education system [in Libya] still has some negative sides, so that’s why I chose to study here; the education system is strong in Canada. After I graduate I will have more opportunities to contribute to my country.

ibrahim-alghorabi
IBRAHIM ALGHORABI

Saudi Arabia

Saint Mary’s University

Commerce

Why Halifax? I was not searching to go to Canada. Halifax brought me here [on a scholarship].

How long have you been here? Since 2011.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? I come from a country that is completely different and that is really challenging.

What do you like best about Halifax? Halifax helped me a lot; I came here to learn and once I find the element that I want to reach, I can help other people.

What are your post-graduation plans? I would like to find work, but I cannot decide if I will stay in Halifax or not until I graduate and I see the opportunities.

amaan-kazmi
AMAAN KAZMI

India

Dalhousie University

History

Why Halifax? I was thinking of going to Ireland, to Dublin, but I got a better scholarship at Dalhousie so I came here.

How long have you been here? Since September 2015.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? It’s very hard for an international student to integrate into Canadian society. I have to make a special effort just to make friends, which is frustrating at times. It’s not with everybody, but it is with most.

What do you like best about Halifax? It’s an amazing city. I love the ocean and like fishing.

What are your post-graduation plans? I plan to do law, maybe go out West or to Toronto or Vancouver. Maybe I’ll stay in Halifax. I’m not really sure.

sophie-froud
SOPHIE FROUD

Bermuda

Dalhousie University

Kinesiology

Why Halifax? My school did a Canadian university tour and we went to bunch of schools around the country. I love the city, it reminds me of home and made me feel more comfortable. Dal is also really good for kinesiology, which is my program.

How long have you been here? Since 2014.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? The culture is slightly different, so it took a while to get used to some of the slang terms. I also had to get use to the change of currency and the value of stuff. Back home, things aren’t really taxed as much, in a sense, because we import things so the tax is already on it. Here when you see a price, there’s tax on top of that.

What do you like best about Halifax? The people here are so nice and helpful. I like the city itself and how it’s right on the waterfront.

What are your post-graduation plans? I know I have to take my masters, but I’m not sure what’s happening with that yet.

didem-sahin
DIDEM SAHIN

Turkey

Mount Saint Vincent University

Nutrition

Why Halifax? Mount Saint Vincent University is a well-known university for nutrition and I love small cities.

How long have you been here? Since September.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? The weather. Also, there are not many Turkish people here. It’s nice to have international friends, but sometimes I would like to speak my own language with someone face to face, but it’s not always possible in Halifax.

What do you like best about Halifax? I lived in London, Ontario for six months [and] Halifax is less international than Ontario. It has some advantages for us; we came here to study, but we need to be involved in the community and be involved in Canadian culture, so if you are in Halifax it’s easy to learn about Canadian culture because there are more Canadians here.

What are your post-graduation plans? I would like to do a PhD, but unfortunately there is no PhD at the Mount. Maybe before I graduate they can open one.

su-dongqing
SU “HOLLY” DONGQING

China

Mount Saint Vincent University

Nutrition

Why Halifax? I chose the university because I wanted to study nutrition and this nutrition program is considered the best.

How long have you been here? Since September.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? The first one is the language and the second one is the culture.

What do you like best about Halifax? I really like the sky; it’s blue and clear. In China, in my city, I can hardly see a blue sky; it’s grey.

What are your post-graduation plans? I think I want to find a job here and get some work experience. My first degree is medicine and I want to combine medicine and nutrition, but I have to get some experience first.

sumia-duehlmeyer
SUMIA DUEHLMEYER

Germany

Saint Mary’s University

Finance and Accounting

Why Halifax? I wanted to improve my English. I had a couple of other opportunities to go to England or the U.S.A., but I chose Canada because everyone was recommending Canada. I looked up a few places and this school was the best offer from a course perspective.

How long have you been here? I arrived on the third of September.

What are the biggest challenges in Halifax? I’m not facing too many challenges because the people are so friendly and helpful.

What do you like best about Halifax? It’s not too small; it’s not too big. It’s a nice size. I really like the people here, they are so friendly. When you get off the bus you say thank you and when you bump into someone you say excuse me.

What are your post-graduation plans? I would like to stay here if I find a job. I would like to first get experience and then do my PhD, maybe also here. I will see.

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