How is university life in Canada

Campus life in Canada

The University as the center of life - not only academically but also socially. The place where you meet, learn, eat and celebrate together. A place with a lot Identification potential. The distinctive campus life distinguishes typical North American from German student life. This is an important reason for many international students to go to Canada for one or two semesters abroad or for a complete degree.

Unlike in this country, most universities in the land of the maple leaf are campus universities. How lively campus life is at a university in Canada depends not least on the location: In the small town universities in particular, student life takes place on campus, while at universities in large cities such as Vancouver or Toronto, the students are often more likely to be in the city.

Campus facilities in Canada

© Victoria Island University

Sport is part of campus life in Canada and the universities here are consistently very well equipped.

The campus of a Canadian university consists of many different facilitiesthat fulfill different functions. On the one hand there are very compact campuses, but on the other hand there are also very extensive facilities. Of course, that also depends on the size of the university and whether there are student dormitories (Halls of Residence) are located.

A A special feature of many Canadian universities are tunnel systems and so-called skywalks, that is, covered bridges. This enables students to get from one campus building to another with dry feet even during the long and cold winters. The proximity to all the facilities that you visit more or less regularly during your studies is what defines campus life in Canada. It is not uncommon for the campus of a Canadian university to be reminiscent of a small town.

The "typical" Canadian campus usually consists of the following facilities:

  • Teaching and research institutions: This includes all buildings in which the various courses take place, such as the seminar rooms, lecture halls as well as labs and studios. The larger research universities usually also have special research centers or observatories on campus.
  • Library: The library is often the Center of the campus. After all, this is where the students spend a lot of time due to the high workload. In addition to a wide range of specialist literature, the students will usually also find computer rooms and various quiet areas here. A cafeteria is also usually part of the "basic equipment" of a Canadian library.
  • Student Union Building (SUB): The Student Union Building, often also called SUB, houses the Student Union, also known as the Students ‘Association depending on the university. Most colleges have at least one Student Union Building on campus. In rare cases the Student Union is housed in a different building. The Canadian Student Union / Student Association roughly corresponds to the AStA in Germany. In the Student Union Building, the students will find in addition, a wide range of services and this facility is often also a popular meeting place, as the Student Union mostly has its own cafeteria, study rooms and various multimedia offers and thus offers space for both academic and social needs.
  • Administration building: The facilities that are responsible for the university's administrative tasks are located in the administration buildings. These include, for example, the Financial Services Department or the Human Resources Service.
  • Catering: An important part of typical Canadian campus life is food. For food there is usually one on campus Wide product range. This includes one or more Dining halls, Cafes, pubs, supermarkets etc.
  • Bookstore: Students can find at least one bookstore on the campus of a Canadian university. Here you can find the books you need for your courses and of course a lot of other literature.
  • Accommodation for students: Living on campus, in dormitories or apartment blocks, is particularly widespread among bachelor students and contributes a lot to a lively campus life.
  • Sports facilities: Sport is an essential part of campus life in Canada, and many colleges have their own stadiums. All students at Canadian universities are also encouraged to participate in and exercise themselves Universities are often well equipped here: The campus includes a recreation center, fitness center, swimming pool, playing fields and a range of sports courses.
  • Cinema / theater: A stage belongs to every Canadian university offering courses in the performing arts. And even having your own campus cinema is not uncommon in Canada.
  • Service facilities: The campus facilities also include various services for students such as the Health Center, International Student Center, IT Support, Writing Center or Career Center.

Leisure opportunities on campus

© Martina G.

Concerts, parties, barbecues - campus life at Capilano University is also lots of fun.

Probably the biggest difference between German and Canadian campus life is that diverse range of leisure activities and the many different Clubs and Societiesthat students can join. In general, Canadian students like to spend their free time at the university often and often, while in Germany free time and everyday university life are usually separated from each other. The own Hobbies and leisure interests are heavily integrated into campus life in Canada - at least this is the case during the bachelor's degree.

Masters and doctoral students usually spend less time on campus and pursue their interests more off-campus. This is often due to the fact that the vast majority of postgraduate students no longer live on campus, but in private accommodation. In addition, they now have a solid group of friends and are no longer so eager to make new contacts. And her mostly research-intensive studies also take up a lot of her time.

Clubs and Societies

The many different clubs and societies are an important part of campus life in Canada. Here will almost every subject and area of ​​interest covered: Of the Civil Society, the Debating Society to Science Fiction Society and Karate Society - As a rule, every student can find a suitable club to join. The individual clubs are usually located in the Student Union Building on campus. For international students, joining a society is not only a great opportunity to pursue one's interests while studying abroad, but a lot Contacts, especially with the Canadian studentsto knot.

Events on campus

During the academic year in Canada, countless events take place on campus, which ultimately make campus life there so unique. The new semester usually starts with a Orientation / Welcome Week, in which the Canadian freshmen, the freshmen, and of course the new international students are welcomed. Often there is a separate event for the international students. During Orientation Week, newcomers will have the opportunity to meet familiarize yourself with campus life in Canada and get to know the other students. During this first week, for example, barbecues, introductory games, parties, campus tours and many other individual events take place. This is where the various clubs and societies of the university introduce themselves and try to “recruit” new members.

Spread over the entire year, a colorful program commanded. There are cultural events, theater performances or concerts, for example by university bands. Often there are Actions and parties related to the seasons and holidayssuch as Halloween or Thanksgiving. Many Canadian campuses also have a pub or club where various parties take place - the program here ranges from karaoke evenings to costume parties.

Many universities and colleges in Canada are just catering for their Internationals numerous organized day or weekend trips in the surrounding area. Here you have the opportunity to get to know the country beyond the campus.

Sporting events

If not to the same gigantic extent as in the USA, it also plays in Canada's sport plays an important role in most universities and contributes significantly to the special campus life. Many universities have their own stadium in which the university teams hold their competitions. It is a matter of honor to loudly support and cheer your own team at their games. In addition to the Canadian National sport of ice hockey Lacrosse, football, basketball, and soccer (soccer) are very popular sports; Not to be forgotten are winter sports in Canada, such as skiing, snowboarding and figure skating.