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Saint Mary's University

Program Overview 

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Culture: Innovative, supportive
Neighborhood: Oceanside, active
Housing: Homestay
English level: Intermediate - advanced 

With one of the most international student populations, Saint Mary’s University (Saint Mary’s) boasts a vibrant campus filled with individuals from more than 117 countries. This unique diversity helps faculty and staff assist students in their educational pursuits in a supportive and personalized way. This contributes to the university’s values, which recognizes the importance and contribution of each student.

The university is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Students take advantage of its location – it is less than a few miles from the ocean, so many outdoor opportunities exist for students. The campus is a short drive to other outdoor adventures in the area, from kayaking, skiing and hiking – just to name a few.

Halifax resides in Nova Scotia, an eastern Canadian province. The ocean is ever-present in the lives of citizens and students alike. Indeed, no one is ever more than 50 kilometers from the ocean! The city itself is home to numerous businesses, restaurants, galleries, and live music and sporting events.

Student Profile

SAF Scholars who enjoy the close proximity to lakes, rivers, and oceans would be greatly suited for life at Saint Mary’s. The right-fit student is one who wants an undergraduate study abroad experience, but is flexible with their registered courses and open to many options.

Other Programs at University

St. Mary’s also offers a Language Program to SAF Scholars.

Other Comparable Programs

University of Limerick

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (August - December)
Academic Year (August - May)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

Scholars taking the concurrent option will be enrolled in the University Bridging Program (UBP). These programs are intensive and will include tutorials and placement into the Conversation Partner Program. This program will give scholars frequent access to native English speakers to better their speaking, reading, listening, and writing abilities.

This concurrent programs allows English language learners to take one or two academic courses for credit at the university alongside their English language courses. SAF Scholars will study 15 hours per week of English and supplement with 3 or 6 hours of academic coursework per week. The academic coursework equates to 3 or 6 credits per term. Academic subjects are chosen in consultation with an advisor in the Office of Admissions and New Students. The concurrent program is a 16-week session spanning the full academic semester.

Students are only able to participate in UBP for one semester. They are eligible to progress to taking all academic courses the next semester by receiving a grade of a B+ or higher.

Program Strengths

The concurrent option at Saint Mary’s is unique, and allows SAF Scholars the opportunity to continue strengthening their English skills while undertaking an academic course at the university level.

# of Credits (per term)

Scholars may not enroll in more than 30 credit hours per semester.

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

SAF scholars must register for courses prior to their arrival at the university.

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Some courses and departments have limited access:
  • Architecture
  • Genetics
  • Horticulture & Landscape Architecture 
  • Statistics
  • Urban Studies

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses are not available.

Housing Type



Homestays provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. SAF Scholars will be able to explore on-campus and local community dining facilities at their leisure.

Type of Room

Homestay room
Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have the opportunity to join numerous clubs and social organizations that exist on campus, from Gaming Society to Habitat for Humanity. The Saint Mary’s University Student Association (SMUSA) officially represents the student body and helps to organize numerous social and recreational events that happen on campus.

Life on Campus

Saint Mary’s is a vital member of the Halifax community and students take advantage of the close proximity of the scenic neighborhoods and trails around the area. The university has an active student body, so it is common to see students engaging in varsity and club sports on campus and recreational activities off campus. Students integrate themselves with the outer community with ease, either by the nearby bus stop or on foot.
Last Updated: 1/9/19