Where Computer Science Students Thrive
One look at Halifax, and Samara Burton, an undergraduate student in Applied Computer Science at Dalhousie University, already knew she would feel right at home.
“I was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Halifax appealed to me as a city, because being on the waterfront always felt a little closer to home! she enthuses .
Halifax – located in the province of Nova Scotia – has one of the largest and deepest natural ice-free harbors in the world, making it an important port city, much like the maritime paradises of Dominica. No wonder Burton feels comfortable there.
Genny Andrea Centeno Metri, who holds a master’s degree in applied computer science from Mexico, agrees, having previously attended language school in Toronto.
“I completely fell in love with Canada and its people. It has always been my goal to move abroad, so this experience put Canada as my first country to consider,” Metri shares.
With this singular goal, Metri set out to find a Canadian university that had a scholarship agreement with Mexico. This search led her to Dalhousie University, and the rest is history.
“I chose Dalhousie because it offered me the best of both worlds: an excellent university with a very interesting program and a beautiful city to live in and explore. Academically, I was amazed by the programs and research conducted in the computer science department,” says Metri.
Burton has a similar reason: “I chose computer science at Dalhousie because I knew I was interested in programming, but I was also interested in the ways technology can be used to improve people’s lives. . The Bachelor of Applied Computer Science allowed me to sharpen my computer skills with a focus on their real-world applications. »
Both degrees – offered at the Faculty of Computer Science – are flexible and multidisciplinary, allowing students to tailor their programs according to their personal and professional interests. In fact, such diverse research strengths in different disciplines – ranging from artificial intelligence to ocean data analytics – make this particular department the premier academic research institution in information technology in Atlantic Canada. .
At the same time, with many world-renowned researchers working in labs, studios, and respective fields, it’s no surprise that Dalhousie is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university. Dalhousie is also a member of the famous U15 group of Canadian research universities; this entire group holds no less than 81% of Canadian university patents.
Yet despite all this prestige, Dalhousie remains accessible to its students thanks to its affable faculty and staff. Metri believes that without the support of teaching assistants, professors, graduate advisors and the program director, she could not have come this far.
“It was my first time living abroad and on my own, so it was a big challenge,” says Metri, adding gratefully that the program director, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Department of student accounts have been a great help when she has experienced financial complications. .
For this reason, in addition to award-winning professors and an impressive 12th overall ranking among Canadian universities (QS World University Rankings), more than 20,000 students are proud to call Dalhousie home. Nearly a quarter are international, hailing from 115 countries – a strong indication of Dalhousie’s reputation around the world.
Keeping classes interesting and innovative is another thing Dalhousie excels at. For Metri and Burton, what stands out the most is the practical application of the concepts learned in their courses.
“I really liked the communication skills course. The professor was amazing and had a great way of giving his lectures. The biggest takeaway, which is a skill I still use today, is written communication. The course really helped me improve my written communication skills to work on my cover letters, CVs, presentations, as well as technical and professional documents, among others,” recalls Metri.
As for Burton, she took a fourth-year course in web-centric computing.
“I build web apps as part of my current job and several of the individual concepts were helpful, such as security testing websites, but it also helped show how the different aspects work together to build a great app Web,” she notes.
Experiential learning opportunities—internships and co-ops—add more value to Dalhousie degrees. Burton undertook three co-op terms. For Metri, his internship at Jazz Aviation is one of his best memories.
“I had a great time working there. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. I’m actually still friends with some of my colleagues to this day. I will always be grateful for how the team welcomed me into the group and the company,” she says.
When all of these elements – support staff, innovative education and immersive experiences – are combined, they produce well-rounded graduates ready to meet the challenges of the world.
Metri sums up her experience best: “Today I am back in Halifax, a city close to my heart, I have good friends and a job that I love to do.
If you are interested in pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science, consider Dalhousie University.
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