As told by Nanae Kii, BSc., Environmental Science student
1. It’s a small university with personal, interactive learning
I chose Saint Mary’s University because SMU is a small school compared to many others around the country, and especially those in my home, Japan. A small school such as this forces everyone enrolled, students and professors alike, to work together more closely. It is this concept that I think is very important in Environmental Science.
2. Interesting and engaging class discussions
With the changing world and the battle for sustainable resources and energy, one of the great challenges we face is being able to work together and communicate with the peers and public about these issues and how we may be able to fix them. A practice such as this is supported by the small class sizes and more personal interactions.
3. Knowledgable professors who are experts in their field
Leaving my family was hard, but the greater challenge was to understand my assignments in English. Everyone talked so fast, especially in class, that I had a hard time keeping up with the class discussions. I’m also very shy, so it made things especially difficult. Now things are getting much better because of the friendly nature of the students and professors, and it is much easier to learn the material. Also we have lots of class activities that push me to work harder.
4 My education will help me reach my career goals
My career aspirations are to be able to do research in renewable energy and energy storage. I learned about renewable energy in one of the classes I took last year and became interested in the field.
Also, Japan has a high population density in such a small island land mass, and finding sustainable and better energy practices are of a huge demand—I would like to contribute to the Japan that I grew up in, in some way, in the future.
5 There is a direct effect upon the topic of research
Nova Scotia is becoming a very proactive part of sustainable resources. Also Halifax is a key city in Atlantic Canada to face the realities and pressures of finding renewable energies. Nova Scotia has been a long-time dependent on coal and gas and oil fuels. There has been a more recent push towards wind power but it is still new and a minority.
Being able to take what we are learning and apply it to situations right outside our classroom only enhances our educational experience!