The university as the center of life – not only in academic, but also in social terms. The place where you meet, learn, eat and celebrate together. A place with a lot of identification potential. The distinctive campus life distinguishes typical North American from German student life. This is also 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: especially in small-town universities, student life takes place on campus, while at universities in large cities such as Vancouver or Toronto, the students often tend to be in the City are on the way.

Campus facilities in Canada

A Canadian university campus consists of many different facilities that serve 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 also student residences (halls of residence) on its premises.

A special feature of many Canadian universities are tunnel systems and so-called skywalks, i.e. 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 facilities: 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, students will also find a wide range of services and this facility is often a popular meeting point, as the Student Union usually has its own cafeteria, study rooms and various multimedia offers and thus offers space for both academic and social needs.
  • Administration building: The administration building houses the facilities that are responsible for the university’s administrative tasks. These include, for example, the Financial Services Department or the Human Resources Service.
  • Food: An important part of typical Canadian campus life is food. For meals, there is usually a campus wide 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: Sports are an essential part of campus life in Canada, and many colleges have their own stadiums. All students at Canadian universities are also encouraged to do sports themselves and the universities are often accordingly well equipped: 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

Probably the biggest difference between the German and Canadian campus life is the wide range of leisure activities and the many different clubs and societies that 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. Your own hobbies and leisure interests are strongly 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 circle 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, a major country in North America listed on thedresswizard. Here, each specialist and area of interest almost covered: from the Civil Society, the Debating Society to Science Fiction Society and Karate Society – usually every student finds a matching club, where he can 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 also to make lots of contacts, especially with Canadian students.

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 an 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. Orientation Week gives newcomers the opportunity to familiarize themselves 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.

A varied program is offered on campus throughout the year. There are cultural events, theater performances or concerts, for example by university bands. Often there are campaigns and parties related to the seasons and holidays, such 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 offer numerous organized day or weekend trips to the surrounding area, especially for their internationals. Here you have the opportunity to get to know the country beyond the campus.

Sporting events

Even if not to the same gigantic extent as in the USA, sport also plays an important role at most universities in Canada 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 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.

Campus Life in Canada

Campus Life in Canada
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