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    Volume 6 | Issue 37 | September 16, 2012 |


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A favourite choice for Bangladeshi students

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, one-fifth of SMU's entire student body population currently comes from overseas. For those newcomers, Halifax quickly proves itself as a welcoming introduction to Canada.

A top choice
Farhana Ali, counselor at the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), has been helping international students choose and apply for Canadian universities for several years. According to her, 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! Every 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 why many Bangladeshi students choose SMU.

“SMU's Sobey School of Business has AACSB accreditation,” explains Shafkat Chowdhury, the CUAC's Director in Bangladesh. “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 low cost of this internationally accredited program. The value for money is incredible.”

A welcoming community
International students arriving to Saint Mary's are also quick to remark how welcoming and friendly they find their new surroundings. It's friendly and full of fun things to do.

“Everyone on campus is very active as students, we never get bored,” explains Bangladeshi Commerce scholar, Ashreen Ahmed. “There are a number of events for students living in residence, as well as clubs and societies you can join, such as the South Asian Society. Also, the gym offers a number of classes including zumba, yoga, and aerobics.”

For new students, Ashreen adds, SMU's International Centre is another good place to gather, and/or to go for help with anything you might need including assistance with visas, or any immigration issues that might come up.

“Everyone at SMU tries their best to make you feel at home,” she says, “right from day one.”

A great starting place
Meanwhile, for those interested in gaining hands-on work experience during their studies, many of SMU's academic programs also offer work-study or Co-op options. Co-op, short for 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!

Some students, like recent Bachelor of Commerce graduate Sidarth Tikoo, even use their SMU experience to kick-start their own business ventures post-graduation.

Originally from New Delhi, India, Sidarth is now the proud co-founder and CEO of his own successful outdoor yoga business, located right in downtown Halifax. He says he credits much of his success to his Saint Mary's education.

“SMU provided me a platform from which I could launch into the business world,” explains the Bachelor of Commerce graduate. “I got opportunities there to enhance my leadership and communication skills, creativity and team work. Courses like New Venture Opportunities taught me how to write a business plan and present it in front of business leaders and venture capitalists which really motivated me and gave me the confidence to start my own business. I feel the entire curriculum in the business program prepares you for the real world, and the faculty and staff are really supportive.”

Find out more
Interested in learning more about studying in Canada? Be sure to visit www.canada123.org. Even better, come and meet us in person either by dropping by our Dhaka-based Canadian University Application Centre (or 'CUAC') office on Gulshan, or by attending the Third Annual CUAC Canadian Education Fair in Dhaka. Many Canadian representatives will be in attendance, and more than happy to help you in person.

WHEN: Friday, 12th October - 12 noon to 8 pm
WHERE: The Westin Hotel, Gulshan 2, Dhaka
*** BY INVITATION ONLY. Contact us today (via email at dhaka@canada123.org or by phone at 02.8826445) to book your place!

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