Université Laval: student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to study, live music venue and more
Catherine Marceau
Université Laval campus

The 411

If I wrote the school motto:
“Despite the harsh weather conditions, Université Laval will not be closed today”
Best place for a nap:
The basement of the Ferdinand-Vandry Pavillon, unless you think that sleeping on an unused stretcher is bad luck
Best cheap lunch:
Le Bureau de Poste, where everything is $6
Best pizza:
Normandin is a classic amongst students because of their deal on four personal pizzas
Best hangover breakfast:
Ben & Florentine or Cora
Best bar for hanging out:
The MacFly Bar Arcade is a lot of fun
Best place for a fancy meal:
Le Champlain, inside the famous Château Frontenac
Best place to study:
The Louis-Jacques-Casault Pavillon. No one will ever find you in that maze.
Weirdest tradition:
“La Fête de l’Université” on Dec. 8, a holiday to mark the university’s date of foundation
Best campus event:
The “Show de la rentrée” at the beginning of every semester
Best campus food:
Pastries from any pavilion’s cafeteria
The thing that surprised me most about the school:
The tunnel system. Also, the electric carts for employees in the tunnel system.
Best live music venue:
L’Anti Bar & Spectacles for great shows at a small venue
If I could change one thing about the school:
More power outlets in the classrooms, although the situation is slowly improving

PROFILE: Université Laval | Quebec City, Que. | Founded 1663

Université Laval is both the oldest Canadian university and the first francophone university founded in North America. Currently, more than 40,000 students are enrolled at ULaval. Class sizes vary greatly depending on the program you choose, but our professors are generally very supportive and accessible, even for larger cohorts.

The campus offers a great contrast to the urban settings of some schools because of its parklike atmosphere. It’s particularly beautiful in the summertime due to its abundant flora and fauna—mostly squirrels and marmots. But ULaval doesn’t only look good: it’s also environmentally conscious. In fact, it scored higher than any other Canadian university in the STARS program, which measures sustainability at schools around the world.

Because Quebec City is predominantly French-speaking, Laval is perfect for Franco-Canadians who want to complete their studies and feel at home. Laval is a sound choice for anyone who would like to be immersed in a French environment for a few years. A few programs even reserve places for young Ontarians and Maritimers who wish to study in French. Another option is to attend one or two semesters as part of an exchange program with other Canadian universities. Finally, it’s important to mention that many courses are taught in English, mostly at the Faculty of Business Administration and (of course) in the English literature and linguistics programs.

After Class
Our school is a great place for athletes, considering its 14 teams, all known as the Rouge et Or. The campus’s modern sports complex provides plenty of workout space, specialized classes and intramural leagues for more casual physical activity.

Many students opt for language courses as electives, as there are 11 options taught at the university’s École des Langues. Additionally, ULaval offers many opportunities for you to study abroad during your degree.
Each program has its own student association, but more than 200 other non-academic associations exist for specific hobbies and activities.

Local Vibe
Our province’s capital is a perfect balance between an urban atmosphere and historic architecture. It’s reminiscent of the prettiest European cities while remaining close to nature. One of Quebec City’s best qualities is its cost of living, which is lower than in many other Canadian cities. Finally, you don’t have to worry about finding an apartment by yourself, as it’s possible to live on campus in the school’s residences—which is an excellent idea if you want to meet other students quickly.

More Info
For future students: and for campus sights: