smile, and keep on going. (childishdreamer) wrote in dalhousie,
smile, and keep on going.
childishdreamer
dalhousie

Some questions

Hi there, i'm interested(by that, i mean i am absolutely obsessed with the idea of going out to Dalhousie come september) in applying at Dal for social sciences, Dal offers great programs i haven't been able to find anywhere else. I just have a couple of questions i would like answered before i even go out there to visit.

1)I fell in love with Sheirrif hall, and it says that it's co-ed as well as female only. I actually would hate to be in a female-only floor, does anyone know if i can specify this when i fill out my residence application.
2)Maybe it's very cliche of me, but being a first year student i do want to party, and i do want to whole experience of res. i'm from Hamilton, and i love partying at MAC, they let you get as drunk as you can handle, as long as your not causing problems, or have open alcohol in the halls. is it like that for everyschool? All of the people i party with at Mac are underage, so i was wondering if Dal was kind of laid back about that too
3)What are the malls there? I love shopping, and i would love to know what's the shopping/restaurant scene there
4)I really want a roommate, just for the fact that it would be nice to have like an initial friend, seeing as i'm going to be more than 20 hours away from home, and going there all alone. Is it wise for me to want a roommate? Do they match us up effectively, or will i end up with my worst enemy? I normally like everysingle person i meet, which is why i think i could learn to love my roomie
5)Does the school have any deals on flights? since when i come home, i will have to fly home.
6)Most schools are now having 2 reading weeks. Does Dal have two?...or are they considering it for next year?
7)Is it realistic for me to think that i can come home once a month? All my savings i'm going to use for flying home, but is it realistic for me to have the time to come home? I wouldn't come home in september or November-so not exactly every month
8)Is frosh week a great platform to meet people? I'm extremely social, but there is still that nagging feeling that i won't meet anyone-since like i mentioned, i'm going there by myself.

Thank you, sorry that was so long
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 31 comments
01. i'm pretty sure you can specify on your application that you would prefer to NOT live on an all-girl floor. even if you ended up on an all-girl floor, the guys are one floor away. i lived in mini-res and there are times i kick myself for not living in sheriff because it's so beautiful. i am of the opinion they have the best cafeteria on campus, as well.

02. i think drinking excessively is expected in all universities, especially in first years, especially if you're underage. and dalhousie is on the east coast -- the maritimes are notorious for their alcohol consumption (or maybe that's an unfair stereotype, who knows). just as long as you're not causing trouble and drinking somewhat responsibly, i don't think dal's ra's have much of a problem with it. (i don't know what it's like in traditional residence, however; i feel like those in mini-rez got away with a little more than those in the traditional residences. i also started at dal when i was 23, so i was finished the binge drinking stage of my life and can't really speak specifically on their rules).

03. there is the halifax shopping centre, micmac mall (in dartmouth), and park lane. park lane is kind of ridiculous; it's barely a mall. there's also bayer's lake (which is an industrial park) and dartmouth crossing (i've never been). all of these are (probably) easily found on google and you should be able to see what's available that way.

04. some people end up with a roommate that becomes their best friend. some people don't. they try to match people up as best as they can. although when i went to nipissing university when i was 18, they managed to find four of my polar opposites and put us in an apartment together. so, it happens. don't stress too much about moving here and having home so far away. there is an extremely large population of ontarians here.

05. there's a travel cuts in the basement of the dalhousie student union, but i haven't used it. i check for seat sales through westjet, air canada and porter. i have even taken the train to and from toronto three times (when it was cheaper than taking a plane).

06. dal does not have two reading weeks and it fucking sucks. i do not think they are planning on adding one.

07. my initial response was, "oh my gosh, no". i mean, if you have a lot of money in savings, go for it. but flights cost, on average, $400 round trip; i wouldn't want to spend my money on that. october has thanksgiving, december has christmas break, february has reading week -- those are usually the times people go home. whether you have time depends a lot on your social life and your course load and your priorities.

08. i didn't go to frosh. i didn't know anyone when i was here. i am not the most social of people. i have friends! seriously, everyone is going to be in the same boat in september. no one will know anyone and therefore, everyone will be super friendly. the first month is crazy. random people will sit down with you in the cafeteria and have a conversation. you will bond with the people in your residence almost instantly. don't worry so much! if you are extremely social, you can expect to have a ton of friends, even if you don't do frosh. but if you're looking for the traditional university experience, do frosh. you'll get to know the city, the campus, and your peers a little better.

if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Oh my gosh, you have no idea how excited your reply just made me ! I am absolutely in love with Sheirref, so its nice to know people who've been there think its as beautiful as it is in pictures, I guess maybe it's my age, but i am so excited about being part of traditional res rather than the mini-res, and i think it'll be the choice for me.

In your honest opinion, what would you recommend? I have two little sisters, so i feel like while it would be such a breath of relief to live in a single, it would make it SO much of an easier transition for me to have a roommate. I mean i know i'll have all my floor friends, but i would love to have a roomie with the same interests who would kind of experience everything with me. but what is wiser? everyone i know from university(i stayed a year back to decide what i wanted to do) has a roommate, and are all in love with them. I just don't want to be the unlucky few who ends up with my worse nightmare.

oh, i had no idea that there were train routes ! didn't think of that ! but it's only 250 for the roundtrip, i mean i have to make a stop In montreal, but that's alright, i love that city. I mean, i know it may seem ridiculous, but i have my whole life here, and while i know i'll make great friends, and love every single moment of my university life, if i have the time and money i want to make the trip out as often as possible :) hopefully, it can happen,

YAY ! that's exciting, the most exciting part of starting university is frosh, so i cannot WAIT for that, and the fact that everyone is as friendly as you can get in university, how exciting.

did you go to Dalhousie for your grad studies? how are the classes? the curriculum, the actual school? I want to get into social sciences but i'm hoping to take biology as one of my electives, since there is a marine biology program thats apparantly really hands on, have you heard anything about that?

Overall, how would you describe your experience at Dalhousie and Halifax? are you from toronto? is it much different than Ontario? is it hard to adjust? It's so terrifying to make the leap from home to so far away, and i just want to be as informed as possible :)

THANKS SO MUCH
in my honest opinion, i don't know what to recommend! i know for me, i would lose my mind if i had to live with someone in such close quarters. but i'm a perfectionist, a control freak, and have pretty intense mood swings, so it's for the best that i had my own room, by myself. haha. i think you should go with your gut. it sounds like you want a roommate. unfortunately, you're not going to know what they're like until you are living with them. i think if you do choose to live with a roommate, the university gives you their contact information prior to moving in and you may have the opportunity to talk to them before you're settled. at least -- that's how it was when i was at nipissing.

yea, there's a 27 hour train ride from halifax to toronto. it's pretty grueling, but it's nice to say that you've done it.

haha, i'm not in grad studies yet. after my first year at nipissing, i took some time off and worked, went to college, and i'm now in my third year at dal. not knowing what i want to do. yikes. i've taken mostly english and french courses while here, and i have really liked them. the professors that i have had are very kind and willing to help their students succeed. i'm not sure what it's like in other departments, though. and no, i haven't heard anything about their science program at all -- all of my friends are arts kids.

i am from toronto, yes. and yes, halifax is much, much different from ontario. i personally have had a hell of a time adjusting. i'm in my third year and i'm still homesick. a lot of the people that i talk to who are from outside of nova scotia really miss being back home. but i have a friend who's from maryland who loves halifax more than anyone i've ever met, so, it really depends on the person. halifax is small and thinks that it's big -- "we're the largest city in the maritimes!" yea, doesn't mean anything. i was showing toronto to my boyfriend on google street view and he said, "wow, sometimes i forget what a non-city halifax is".

it's terrifying to make the leap to so far away, yea. when i came out here, i sold everything i owned and came with only two suitcases. it was hard. but there's no amount of information that i can give you that will tell you about what to expect from a university or a city, though -- you have to live it yourself. if this is what you want to do, don't let the distance scare you. you'll learn a lot about yourself, which is always a good thing. and if you decide dalhousie/halifax is not your thing, then at least you can say you did it, transfer back home, and know that you gave it a shot!
Yea, i really have to think long and hard about that. I mean, i have a big family so i'm used to living with a lot of people, and i'm pretty relaxed about everything, but what if my roommate isn't, you know? i dont want to end up living with my mother, ya know? haha yea, most if not all universities are like that, they let you communicate with your roommate before you meet.

yea, it's does look absolutely grueling, and i will defenetly give it a try. Maybe for thanksgiving, i'll give myself that.

I know that being homesick is natural, but i'm kind of scared that my homesickness will prevent me from really enjoying my time there. I could see myself loving it, missing home, but loving it out there. But it's still such a scary transition. I'm such a City girl, i absolutely adore Toronto. But, i'm not quite sure that a Toronto school is right for me, living for students there is outtrageous when it comes to money, you know? I want to experience something new, Halifax looks like it has a city feel, with a small town look, and i kind of like that.

Your absolutely right, i mean it's terrifying but i would hate myself for not trying because i was too scared. I have to grow up a little bit and just do it.

p.s. one more question...do you know what kind of health care we get there, my dad asked me about that and he wants me to find out. Or is my health card for Ontario enough to use there because i'm not a resident there?

thanks so much
so many people are homesick in their first few months there! you can even bond with people over that, haha. it is a scary transition, but so many people do it. i haven't known anyone who has struggled over their transition more than i have, and i'm still here!

living in toronto is not any more outrageous in terms of cost of living than it is here. i found living in toronto to be cheaper, to be perfectly honest. it's a myth that everything is way more expensive there. i lived in an apartment in toronto, had the master bedroom, walk in closet, my own bathroom, etc, etc, and paid less than $500 a month while my two roommates were paying less than $400. and that was all inclusive. here, i'm paying a little less than $500, but have to pay for hydro and heat, which hikes up how much i have to pay monthly for living. i had a friend who was living in a shoebox apartment in the south end of halifax; she was paying $800 a month. and i'm not kidding about it being a shoebox. she could barely fit a loveseat in her living room and her bedroom barely had the space for a double bed. another friend of mine is paying $750/mo for a bachelor apartment. it's always cheaper to live with a roommate, but if you are living near dalhousie, i find the rent is usually more than $500/mo. food also costs more here. natural health products cost more (the deodorant and toothpaste i was using is double in price here). i'm not trying to dissuade you from coming here, i just want to provide you with a more accurate portrayal of halifax.

your ontario health card is enough for health care.

childishdreamer

6 years ago

cast_aspersions

6 years ago

i lived in sheriff my first year- i ended up in newcombe in the all-girls area. like you, i was not looking to live in an all-girls area (especially since i was studying nursing, pretty much an all-girls program). however, i ended up loving it. the co-ed areas are just down the hall and i met some pretty rad people in newcombe.

re: drinking- the drinking rules were pretty lax. i believe that you could drink as long as your cup was plastic and you weren't being too outrageous.

re: flying home- money issues aside, i don't think that i could have gone home as frequently as you hope to. there's a) too much fun to be had b) there's always exams/papers/reading to be done. i wouldn't worry too much about homesickness, either... you will not be bored or lonely first year living in residence.

re: roommate. like the previous poster said, it's certainly not for everyone. i know some people who loved it, some people who hated it. i chose the single-room route and i think that it was the right choice for me... i'm a light sleeper, a control freak, and incredibly messy. i found that i made pretty good friends with the women who lived in the same hall as i did... my neighbours were my built-in friends and i still keep in contact with them.

re: meeting people. frosh week is a good way to meet people, yes, but you won't necessarily meet all of your friends that week. i met a lot of people during frosh week, but i made more lasting friendships in societies/classes/residence etc. even if you don't make new friends during frosh, you will definitely make some throughout the rest of the year. one of the awesome things about university residence is that everyone is in the same boat as you: new to the city and needing friends (most haligonians don't stay in residence).

hope this helps at least a little bit. feel free to ask more questions about dal/halifax if you need to know anything else.

we're you able to specify that you didnt want it? i mean, i dont think my life will be over if i dont get the co-ed areas, but i still would very much not like a female-only zone.

okay, beautiful. I guess all universities sound strict in writing, but when it comes to it they do run an university, and they're pretty good with alcohol. so thats exciting !

I really have to think long and hard about this roommate thing, i mean i would love one, but i also have to be realistic, i could end up with my polar opposite. It's just pretty much everyone i know, their roommate is like their soulmate, but i dont think everyone is that lucky

Where are you from? I'm not from a big city, but not from a little town either, and i've come to really like that. I mean my house is in the subburbs, and everyone from my high school lives pretty much in the same area...but how is life there? is the food expensive? alcohol? entertainment like the movies, or dinner? where are most people from in Dalhousie?
food is more expensive than ontario; alcohol is about the same; movies are restricted to mainstream movies; dinner is pretty amazing. most of the dal students that i have encountered are from the gta.
oh really? i didnt expect that, since I've read that halifax, NS has the best marketplace, cheapest realstate, so i expected the food to be just as cheap. Oh good, it'd be nice to have lots of people from good old Ontario
hello-

yes, i believe that i was able to specify that i did not want to be in a female-only area.

i'm from pei, so my views on halifax are probably quite different than cast_aspersions. i found food to be expensive (but not ridiculously so!). i did, however, find that i was able to buy a larger variety of food than i was used to. apart from the bigger grocery stores, there are quite a few asian/indian/mediterranean grocery stores as well (although in the south end i think there are only a few asian grocery stores... you may have to branch out a bit to find the others).

alcohol is probably on par with the rest of canada.

movies are pretty limited to the mainstream movies- the oxford theatre on quinpool (run by empire theatres) offers slightly less mainstream movies. there's also a theatre in the park lane mall on spring garden road that can be easily accessed. there's a bigger theatre in bayer's lake, but unless you have access to a car it might be a bit harder to get to. each fall the atlantic film festival is held at the park lane mall- i believe that it generally takes place in september. empire theatres offers 1/2 price movies on tuesdays. there are a million places to rent movies in the south end, and if you want to venture to quinpool road there's video difference that offers a bigger selection.

i've never had any problem finding good/cheapish food to eat at restaurants in halifax. being a student city, there are A LOT of pizza places. there are a few thai places and a few sushi places as well. there are a lot of pubs. if you're feeling adventurous, you'll find that dartmouth can offer a lot in terms of restaurants/food as well. you can visit www.thecoast.ca for restaurant listings/reviews. the coast also gives details on any festivals/going-ons in halifax, and i believe that they also publish a "back to school survival guide" each fall for new students (you can probably find these on their website as well).

music-wise, halifax can be pretty fun too (depending on what you're into). the halifax pop explosion happens each fall. there are usually a few bigger concerts each year that appeal to a larger crowd. once again, the coast is usually pretty good at listing/advertising for these things.

i found that most of the people i met at dal were from the atlantic provinces. there were also a large amount of people from ontario. i didn't really meet a lot of people from the west coast/prairies at all.

transportation in halifax as a student can kind of be a pain in the bum. you'll get a bus pass included with your school fees- this will be good for the entire year, so it's a pretty good deal (ferries are included). for bus schedules you can go to: http://www.halifax.ca/metrotransit/Schedules/index.asp. to get to the halifax shopping centre you can take the #1, #14, and #20 all go to the shopping centre via the south end. the #10 is the only bus that will take you directly to the shopping centre in dartmouth from the south end of halifax. to figure out bus numbers (if you don't already know this!), just go to google maps and search for directions- it'll give you the choice of walking there, taking public transit, or driving and will tell you what bus numbers to get on. it might also be convenient to know that any buses in the 00's, 10's, or 20's service halifax, any buses in the 50's, 60's, or 70's service dartmouth, and any buses in the 40's service dalhousie. anyway, i know that you didn't ask about the bus system, but it was something that i had a really hard time with when i first moved to halifax so i thought it might be good to know.

cheers! let me know if there's anything else.
also, two more quick tidbits:

1) when possible, it's worth it to buy used books. dal bookstores do offer these, but they're in short supply. if/when you apply to dalhousie, they'll give you a username/password for your e-mail. once you get these, you can login and you'll see a bunch of tabs- click "classifieds" and you can search for whatever you're looking for. in general, previous editions of a book are a-okay to use and a million times cheaper- ask your professor if you have any concerns. i've also found a few good finds on kijiji.ca.

2) it's a $50 flat rate to take a cab from the airport to downtown halifax. the shuttle costs significantly less (but can take a lot more time). the address is www.airporter.biz.

wow thanks so much ! this was all information i needed. and i had no idea about ferries being included, thats awesome since i have a friend going to Memorial, so it's nice to know that while it's far away i can go visit her for free :)

I love that you told me about the food ! I dont eat pizza, but i love love sushi and i'm sure they have plenty of seafood over there.

oh also, i had no idea that a cab would be that much ! seems kind of outtrageous.

If i think of any more questions, i'll let you know ! thanks again
hey!

just a head's up- i meant intercity ferries, the ones to dartmouth, not the ones to nfld. sorry for the confusion.

childishdreamer

6 years ago

bone_china

6 years ago

cast_aspersions

6 years ago

i've refrained from commenting because i will come off as a pessimistic downer whiney complainer snooty city girl...but i thought you could use the perspective. so that's my disclaimer!
i'm from vancouver and can tell you that many people in my program (from various parts of Canada) share these views:
- eating out is terrible for the price you pay for it. ethnic food is even worse. sushi is awful. i don't eat raw fish here because it's just not as fresh and it's easily 50% more expensive. with that said, you should probably still have it at least once so you know :) there are only a few decent restaurants that my friends and i are willing to go to. having said THAT, i should also say that we pretty much stay in the south end and never venture up to the north end or over to dartmouth (both of which i hear has better cheap food)
- grocery shopping isn't cheap. groceries are easily as expensive as in vancouver with a slimmer selection.
- shopping is a joke. halifax shopping centre and micmac are pretty much full of your typical chain stores. if you're looking for something different, the downtown shops have cool stuff but they take some hunting for. if you're looking for high-end, selection is also limited.
- rent, i have found to be reasonable compared to vancouver

HAVING SAID ALL OF THIS: i love halifax and am super glad i came here for school. i am enjoying my time here and will continue to do so until i'm done!
No, thanks ! i need all the honest replies i can get !
Vancouver is also pretty far ! how often do you go home? i think maybe i need to start realistically seeing how often people come home.
oh no, i hope a find a sushi place i like ! :)

Vancouver is a big city, was it a hard transition?

thanks so much for your opinions btw
my FAVOURITE sushi place is here. i won't eat sushi anywhere else because everything else sucks. and, just for more input, i live in the north end and absolutely love the food up here! dartmouth has an amazing cafe called "two if by sea" -- i have never had croissants so good in my entire life.
your so helpful its ridiculous ! :)

the sushi looks AMAAAZING, when i'm in town in April to look at Dal, i'm defenetly gonna eat some of that.

I know i'm swamping you with questions but there is a lot of talk of Dartmouth, north end? what are the differences...and where is the school located at?



The school is considered to be in the south end of Halifax (so the south side of the city if you will) closer to the mouth of the harbour, where the north end is further inland from the mouth of the harbour.

Dartmouth is the city on the other side of the harbour (there are two large bridges spanning the harbour that you take to get across, or hop one of the two ferries). Dartmouth is a little smaller than Halifax, a little quieter, and many people feel it's not quite as safe at night although during the day there's nothing wrong with it. The Micmac Mall (the bigger of the two malls) is on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, so you'll likely go there at one point or another.

Both Halifax and Dartmouth have a 'North End', but typically if you hear someone use that term they'll be referring to the Halifax one, it's just the north side of the city. It's a little run down and not as safe as the south end, my local friends refer to it as the 'ghetto area' of the city. Everyone in their right mind avoids walking through it alone at night.

Ironically Doraku and Sushi Nami Royale (which I recommended as my fav place) are a half block apart on the same street, you can see one from the other. Check em both out!

cast_aspersions

6 years ago

I go home for Christmas and the summer. Reading break I usually go somewhere with friends (last year we did New York, this year might be Chicago or Florida) closer to this side of the coast.
Air Canada has flight passes that you might want to look into but I have a friend at Windsor from Vancouver who got good use out of one - it isn't worth it for me because I just don't use it enough (the travel time to Vancouver takes so long that I can't just go for long weekends or anything)

I didn't find it to be a hard transition - having said that, my program is super intense and I don't really have much time to notice significant differences in the cities :) I imagine if i had time to immerse myself in the city a bit more, it would hit me harder... It's kinna sad. Heh!

Doraku is also my place of choice for Japanese - I really enjoy their Nabeyaki Udon.
Thanks so much on the info about the flight passes. If i decide to go to Dal, and i decide to purchase it, it's actually really inexpensive for all the fliying i could do ! thanks so much

i'm kind of hoping that if i choose Dal, i just dive right into everything. i dont want time to miss home !

looks like an amazing place too ! cannot wait for all this sushi
I'm from the burbs in Ontario as well, so I can shed a bit of light too. I've been here 4.5 years now, so it's really become home to me.

As far as res, I lived in Risley for two years, no roommate. My first year was great, second year not so much after most of my friends had moved out.
As for friends who had roommates, I don't know any of them who still talk, but it's really hit or miss. Some of the rooms they expect you to share are tiny!

Foodwise... You can get almost anything here you can find at your typical grocery store back in Ontario. If you want specialty foods, it takes a little more hunting but it's certainly not impossible. I've found everything I've ever needed between Sobeys, Superstore, and Pete's Frootique (amazing store, I insist you check it out!!! The thing I miss most when I'm back in Ontario), and I do like some out there foods.
Seafood... Yes there is a lot of it, but it's honestly fresher/better in New Brunswick, PEI, or basically anywhere in Nova Scotia outside of HRM, haha. I can't comment on it's freshness compared to BC, but it's 100x fresher and better and cheaper than anything you can get in Ontario. If you want slightly cheaper foods, there are a few farmers markets in town (two run on Saturday, at the Keith's Brewery and Pier 22, one runs Friday in the Victoria General hospital, just down the street from Sheriff).

For sushi I absolutely insist upon Sushi Nami Royal! Convieniently the closest sushi restaurant to the school too, (2 minute bus ride, 12 minute walk). It's by far my favourite of the 7 different sushi places I've tried out here. I second 'two if by sea'. Don't let Dartmouth intimidate you, despite the stories you'll undoubtedly hear!

Shopping... The malls have your typical chain stores. If you're a total Torontonian you'll be decently happy. I go for a slightly less mainstream look, but there are enough small boutiques around downtown that I'm usually able to find what I want in clothing, although I do have to pay more than I would in Toronto. The two big malls, The Halifax Shopping Centre and the Micmac mall are a little out of the way, 20, and 40 minutes by bus (longer during rush hour).

Halifax doesn't feel like a large city like Toronto. It kind of feels like a really dense suburbia to me.

(my post is too long so I'm cutting it in half)
the farmers market has new hours -- they're open saturday, friday, and they're going to be open wednesday.

also, don't forget planet organic for groceries! i have found stuff there that i haven't found anywhere else in halifax.
There are a lot of people from Ontario here, but if you really want to make friends I wouldn't advertise where you're from or walk around constantly comparing the two, saying things like Toronto is so much better than Halifax. I had a hard time blending in my first year as I'm the only person in my program (engineering) to come from Ontario, and there's a bit of a stigma against us. If you're only looking to make Ontario friends it should be easy for you, especially in res, but you'll miss out on the more awesome people at the school in my opinion. For me it's been meeting people from all over the maritimes and getting to see the East Coast through their eyes that's made me fall in love with this place so much.

When I first moved here the hardest part was knowing my group of friends had all gone to Queens and Western together, and I was left out of their loop. It's still really my friends that I miss the most, but I only feel homesick when I get too bored (not very often at all!), but I also miss Toronto's many festivals, events, and concerts.

For your question on Newfoundland ferries... in Halifax you're a solid 5 hour drive from the ferry, and by the sounds of it you won't have a car while you're here. Can't comment on the price I'm afraid, but I think it's $40 to enter/leave PEI (only three hours away from Halifax).

I would recommend flying over the train personally, especially Thanksgiving weekend. The train will eat up alllllll of your time at home. However I have no idea why you think the flight is 250 roundtrip? It usually averages 450-500 if I get tickets during a seat sale (taxes and additional unlisted costs are a pain). Also factor in it's $22 one way to catch the airporter bus to the airport or $50 for a cab one way. I tend to go home at Christmas and for a week or so over the summer. It's possible to go more often, but my program is so busy, and it's so pricy that I just don't bother. If you did want to go home however, thanksgiving is an option, the east coasts gets Rememberance day off, so depending on when that falls you'll usually get a long weekend (it was on a Thursday this year, so the school was closed Friday as well giving us a 4 day weekend), Dal gets the first Friday in February off (Munroe day, in honour of some really rich lord who bailed Dalhousie out a long time ago), so again that's a three day weekend. Reading week a lot of people do go away, often to resorts as there's some really good deals on (900 for round trip airfare and a week at an all inclusive resort). Depending on how the days off fall Dal also sometimes gives us the last Friday of September off (we had the 4 day Rememberance day weekend this year instead). If you have lots of cash it's doable.

Rent is... well it depends on how close you are to the school. If you get a place right on campus you're looking at a tiny room for an average of $550 rent, plus power, internet, tv, phone, etc. If you don't mind a half hour bus ride in everyday you can get a whole flat/townhouse for less than that.

Also of note, winters here are kind of crappy. It's too mild for snow to stick, so we usually get snow followed immediately by rain, resulting in a lot of dirty slush and ice. I miss Ontario snow.

Not sure if you're a gym bunny, but I'll say now the Dal gym is terrible (we get free membership with our tuition). Some of the fitness classes are fun to go to (especially zumba and aquazumba), but the actual equipment is limited unless you want to pay extra for access to the cardio room, and the entire building is very depressing and dull and run down. If you don't mind buying your own gym memberships there are a couple of super nice Goodlife Nubodies within a 5-10 minute walk (5 minute bus ride) of the school that I recommend looking into.

wow you covered just about everything for me ! thank youuu !

i defenetly dont have a preference about where the people i meet are from. It'd be nice to know some people from Ontario, but i want to meet people from all over ! it's sad we dont have the nicest rep though, i have heard from lots of people.

Defenetly the fact that my friends are all here, and off together will defenetly hit me hard, and i'm a big family person, so i dont know what i'll do without them either.

I meant 250 for the train, which isnt bad, but it must be absolutely exhausting ! I defenetly wanna give it a try, but it wont become my permanent source of transportation

I hate slush, but hopefully i'll enjoy the milder winters, thats a plus.

i am defenetly gym obsessed ! and that makes me kinda sad to know that the gym is shitty. So what equipment IS open to students that is included in our membership? thanks so much for the heads up on that ! how much is a gym membership to the Goodlife there?
The goodlife gym I was at I paid about $170 for a three month pass (good any any Nova Scotia Goodlife/Nubodies), but the longer your pass the better the value (I think for a 1 year membership it worked out to be between $8.50 and $11 a week, billed every other week). They were also in the process of changing around how they organize that stuff (i.e. they were thinking about making the passes gym specific), so that very well may have changed too. Nubodies here offers you a free week long trial (go to their website to get the coupon, or just walk in and ask about it), so you can test it out before you sign your life away. You have to explain to them that your a student in order to get a shorter membership (i.e. a 3 month membership), they prefer longer ones for obvious reasons.

The dal gym has a lot of weights and machines... theres one smaller room with a few machines and 4 stationary bikes, and another larger sectioned off area of the larger gym that's exclusively weights. There's a running/walking track around the gym. Usually if I go there it's for the fitness classes (they are actually worth going to, a lot of fun, and all or mostly students), so I havn't explored too much to see if I'm just missing other rooms of equipment. The pool/sauna is free for us. It's $30 for a pass to the cardio room with all the bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, etc. I'm not sure how long the pass is good for but they'd have it listed on their website I'm sure (google Dalplex).

By the time second semester rolls around, usually people have realized that us Ontario kids aren't as bad as they presumed we'd be, and it gets a lot better. Just have to tough out the first month or two, the initial transition period is the hardest part, but living in res definately helps. After 4.5 years I've amassed some good friends from all over Canada now.