Nova Scotia universities beckon

The province is often overlooked in favour of varsities in bigger cities, however several quality options are available says a student counsellor As Rema Menon, of Counselling Point, UAE writes for Gulf News.

This summer I saw more classrooms, libraries, labs, gymnasiums, swimming pools, auditoriums and residence halls than I have seen in my entire life when I joined 16 other education counsellors on a trip to Nova Scotia. Last year 104 students from the UAE were enrolled in Nova Scotia institutions according to Edu Nova, the regions education body. Students tend to look at options in Ontario but there are many other provinces in Canada to choose from.

Clear blue skies, long, winding and well-maintained roads, lush greenery, beautiful campuses, glimpses of the sea, lighthouses and maritime life, warm hospitality and friendly faces greeted us everywhere we went, not just at the campuses we visited.

Application Process

The university year usually runs from September to April with intakes in September and January. As the application process is competitive and the deadlines vary, it is best if you apply six to eight months before the start date of your programme. Most students apply to multiple institutions. American curriculum students will need to send a SAT score. For students from other curricula, although SAT is not mandatory, some institutions may require it. It is best to check admission requirements of individual institutional websites. Academic records from Grade 9 to the most recent will be reviewed as part of the admissions process.
Prospective international students should demonstrate proficiency in English or French as per the language of instruction in the institution(s) being considered. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Test de Francais International (TFI) are the tests necessary. Preparatory courses before the start of the programme may be needed for those with inadequate scores.

Study Permit

Once accepted at a college or university, in order to study in Canada for a period of six months or more you need to apply for a study permit from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). To study in Quebec you must also secure a Certificate of Acceptance from the province of Quebec. For the study permit, apart from your acceptance letter, you would need to show you have adequate funds to support you during your period of stay in Canada. In some cases, medical and security checks may also be required. In many cases Study Abroad counsellors in your own country will advise you with this.

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie is on the east coast of Canada in Halifax, and along with the prestige of being a big-name school; students enjoy one of the lowest student-professor ratios in Canada (15:1). Its sandstone, ivy-covered building and green campus offers a wealth of flexible programme options — 3,700 courses in 180 degree programmes.
Undergraduates pursue studies in the faculties of arts and social sciences, science, management, computer science, engineering, architecture and planning, and the health professions. They also offer 90 masters degrees and 40 PhD programmes, as well as professional degrees in medicine, dentistry, and law. Biology, commerce, engineering, management and nursing are its most popular majors. At Dalhousie, you will join nearly 1,200 international students from more than 110 countries.

Application Deadlines•

March 15 to be considered for entrance scholarships•
April 1 for international students for the September intake; and• September 15 for international students for the January intake.
Scholarships International high school applicants entering first-year studies are automatically considered for scholarships if they apply by March 15.

King’s University
The University of King’s College, Canada’s oldest chartered university is a small but extraordinarily lively academic community in Halifax. They have shared a campus with Dalhousie for 85 years.
The college is known for its interdisciplinary programmes in humanities and journalism. King’s has a total student population of about 1,100. King’s students can also pursue their academic interests through the campus’ partnership with Dalhousie University. Joint faculties of arts and social sciences and science allow students to easily select from thousands of classes and a myriad programme options. For students in their highly regarded four-year Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) programme, a combined honours degree in journalism and a second subject from these joint faculties yields a discovery in what it means to be reflective journalists who can provide context for the stories they tell. They also offer a one-year Bachelor of Journalism programme for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree.
Entrance Scholarships and Bursaries: Merit-based entrance scholarships congratulate academic achievement and provide financial assistance, while bursaries are based on financial need and internal awards are a combination of the two.

St Francis Xavier university

Situated in Antigonish, St Francis Xavier (St FX) University has classic stone architecture, and well-appointed residences. The campus community is vibrant and the people are very friendly.
It offers a high quality education, focused principally on the undergraduate, in a lively residential setting. Their programmes are diverse — from aquatic resources, to international development, to jazz — and provide students with a firm grounding in the fundamentals while also addressing the critical issues of today. Majors and honours programmes in 40 departments in the faculties of arts, science, business and education are on offer. Most popular majors include business administration, education, human kinetics, psychology and nursing.
Admission: All university programme applications are handled by the admission office, please click here for more information or email
Scholarships: St FX offers over C$2m annually in scholarships based on merit, and financial aid to its new and current undergraduates.

Coady International Institute

The Coady Institute was founded by St Francis Xavier University in 1959 and named after Reverend Dr Moses Coady. It works with innovative people and organisations to create effective and practical solutions to reduce global poverty and injustice. Coady accomplishes this through education, action partnerships, and initiatives to help young Canadians become active global citizens. The staff at Coady actively engages in research which they publish in journal articles, and present at national and international conferences.

Acadia University

Located in Wolfville, this picturesque campus has beautiful green lawns, ivy-covered halls, tall trees and flowers in profusion. Founded in 1838, Acadia is a small institution committed to personalised attention in 200 areas of study at the undergraduate level. Most popular majors include biology, business administration, kinesiology, psychology and sociology. Among other faculties, they also offer professional courses at the masters level in Education with various specialisations including counselling, inclusive education, curriculum studies.
Tuition fees: C$13,000 to C$15,000 and the room-and-board options are many. Costs vary from $4,000 to $7,500 annually. There are single rooms, double rooms and apartment style.
Scholarships: Based on your admission average, students with a minimum 80 per cent average or higher are considered for the Acadia Excellence Scholarship Programme. Notifications of these renewable scholarships are sent out after the mid- year/semester one grades are received and they have received an offer of admission. Acadia awards more than $3 million (Dh10.6 million) annually in scholarships, scholar bursaries, and bursaries awards and prizes.

Mount St Vincent university
The Mount is just minutes from downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia and is recognised for its small class sizes and personalised approach to learning. A diverse mix of more than 4,000 women and men from across Canada and from more than 60 countries take advantage of the Mount’s programmes. The programmes are in areas of study within arts, sciences, education and professional studies. One of the newest programmes is the four-year Bachelor of Science (Science Communication). Other professional programmes offered include: applied human nutrition, business administration, tourism and hospitality management, child and youth studies and public relations. There are also 14 graduate programmes that build on and enhance undergraduate programme strengths, including the newly developed Master of Public Relations Programme, which is the only one of its kind in Canada.
Scholarships: Prospective students do not require a separate scholarship application form, but should include a résumé of experience or letter of explanation to further indicate their suitability. Entrance awards are made for one year only and are not automatically renewable. Students are evaluated annually and scholarship decisions are made according to their most recent academic results.

Rema Menon, Gulf News

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