Dalhousie

Exploring the international centre

It's a helpful aid for any student going to or coming from abroad

Exploring the international centre photo by : Alexandra Sweny
Located in the LeMarchant Place building on campus, theInternational Centre features books, computers, study space and a piano to make students feel at home.
written by Qi Chen
October 9, 2017 3:28 pm

If you’re considering doing an exchange overseas, are an international student or inbound student to Dal: the international student centre has you covered. Doing an exchange in a foreign country can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Students get to immerse themselves in a new culture while receiving credit for their academic pursuits.

The International Centre offers over 90 international exchange options: study nursing in The Gambia, pursue computer science in Hong Kong, or learn the art of theatre in Prague – the world is your oyster.

The wonderful team at the centre also help international students acquire their study permits, temporary resident visa extension and more.

Exchange students at Dal, there are valuable resources for you too: such as information about campus life and a new student checklist to prepare you for your stay.

The International Centre’s website is an excellent tool to use!

Before embarking on an exciting adventure to study abroad, the International Centre is here to support students throughout the entire process; from helping with preparation for departure and assisting in case of an emergency while in Halifax, to providing financial assistance for those who are eligible and helping reintegrate once students get back to Canada.

It may seem daunting to spend a semester or more aboard.

Study Abroad and Exchange Advisor, Gillian MacDonald-Petty shed light on the incredible experiences that students gain from doing an exchange, which may ease any apprehension.

Studying abroad enables students to learn a new language, try new foods and learn about different cultures through activities, such as visiting the local market or joining a local sports team. MacDonald-Petty also encourages students to attend information sessions in order to develop a nuanced understanding about what options are available to students.

Information sessions are Tuesdays from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. and Fridays from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the International Centre located in LeMarchant Place building on Dal’s main campus.

As international students, it can be difficult and overwhelming to adjust to the Canadian academic system while simultaneously facing language and cultural barriers.

International student advisor, Qiuling Wu, strongly recommends students be mindful of their study permits expiration dates.

He advises students to apply three months early and never let study permits expire. This is valuable information since international students need their study permits in order to study in Canada; international students wouldn’t be able to work on or off campus if their study permits expire.

Beyond managing essential documents, Wu encourages students to reach out, to network, and to make friends from different countries in order to improve their English and adapt to the Canadian culture.

He says it’s critical for students to establish networks if they’re thinking about extending their stay to work in Canada after they graduate. Networking increases the likelihood of securing a job.

For students who are new to Dal, there are many overlooked gems in and around the city that are worth exploring. MacDonald-Petty has lived in Nova Scotia for quite a while and says the Halifax Public Gardens and the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail are two places students might not know about, but are fantastic hidden gems.

The Public Gardens are nestled in the city on Spring Gaden Road. Filled with lush plants, beautiful flowers, and many benches to sit and enjoy the view it’s a great spot to eat your lunch and get your readings done between classes.

The Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail offers breath-taking views of Halifax. A walk along the trail provides multiple opportunities to soak in these views and take pictures to share with family and friends back home. Take the ferry to get to Dartmouth – another great adventure in it of itself.

University life is an exciting and fulfilling chapter in your life – let the International Centre be part of the myriad of resources on campus that helps to enrich that post-secondary experience.