Université Sainte-Anne: student tips for surviving life on campus

Where to live, the best bar, ideal place for a nap and more

Hannah Sutherland
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(Dave Reyno/Universite Sainte-Anne)

University Insider: Hannah Sutherland, 20, Science and Education

Best place for a nap: If you can sleep with background noise, the couch in the Castelet is pretty comfy
Best hangover breakfast: Chez L’Ami, across the street, offers the perfect amount of grease to get you back on your feet—the couple of months that it’s closed during the winter are pretty rough
Favourite watering hole: Le Château, the campus bar. Although, if you’re feeling adventurous (and willing to make the walk), the CPC (Church Point Club) just up the street provides another hour of entertainment after the Château closes.
Where to live: On campus is probably your best bet—especially if you don’t have a car—as there’s not too much within walking distance of the university
Best place to study: The library is usually pretty quiet, and the Castelet or the student café Bric-à-brac (in the Beauséjour residence) are great spots to do group projects
Best giveaway: The coupon in your frosh week package for Chez L’Ami
Weirdest tradition: Poissondredi (Fish Friday) at the cafeteria attracts students, staff and locals alike
Best live music venue: About twice a year, local cover band the Radiaters come to play at the Château and it’s always one of the best nights out of the year
Most notorious bus route: Does the school’s bus travelling to Halifax and back on Reading Week count?
Most original social event: Caper-Newfie definitely wins points for originality—get ready to sport your tartans and drink your Keith’s!

PROFILE: Université Sainte-Anne | Church Point, N.S. | Founded 1890

When I told people I was applying to a francophone university, their first question was often: “Why would you do that?!”
My default response quickly became: “Why not?”

Coming from a high school where the average class had upwards of 30 students, the small lecture sizes and personable atmosphere at Sainte-Anne were both big draws for me. I liked the opportunities that would come from continuing my French education, especially as a future teacher. Three years later, I’m still here and still finding out the ways that Sainte-Anne will benefit me.

The vast majority of the profs are welcoming and will stop in the hallway to chat with you about how your semester is going. The (extremely) small and diverse student population allows you to know everyone by name—my largest class had 37 students, and that was first year! However, this can make scheduling difficult. Not every class is offered every year, and mandatory classes can sometimes be at the same time. My biggest piece of advice is to take classes when they’re offered. If there is a conflict, talk with all the necessary department heads—they are willing to help you find solutions, but they need to be made aware of the problem first.

Université Sainte-Anne provides a unique experience to its students. As an anglophone, it was intimidating at first, but being surround-sounded by the language at all times was what helped me to progress. Like any university, Sainte-Anne takes time to adjust to, but its tininess means that opportunities quickly pop up.

Sainte-Anne provides an immediate connection with nature that many universities simply can’t. If you enjoy the stage, a part in the annual musical will be waiting for you. The university also offers free exercise classes to students. The rink and the pool also have hours devoted to students—sometimes I’ve been the only person on the ice!

Local Vibe
Be warned: Sainte-Anne is not for those who love the city life. It will be hard for anyone who’s used to having all amenities within walking distance to adjust. The school’s bus does run to Yarmouth (40 minutes away) once a week, so it’s possible to get off campus, but it may take more planning than you’re used to. That said, the locals are very kind to the students and the campus offers its own seaside charm—it looks out onto St. Mary’s Bay, showcasing stunning sunsets, and has walking trails all throughout le petit bois (the wooded area surrounding the campus).

The Skinny
Poke around the school’s website (usainteanne.ca) for information regarding programs and the school itself. Once you’ve been accepted, ask to join the Activités socioculturelles et sportives de l’Université Sainte-Anne Facebook page to keep up on all the campus activities and events.

(Dave Reyno/Universite Sainte-Anne)