Best place for a nap:
I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never fallen asleep at the library, but if you can doze off amid the murmur of students, 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.
Best bar for hanging out:
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.
Best place 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 dead silent (and now has more comfy chairs), while the Castelet or the student café Bric-à-brac (in the Beauséjour residence) are great spots for group projects
When your friend is working the door at the Château and they let you in for free
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
If I could change one thing about the school:
Some new residences would be greatly appreciated
“Why would you do that?!” was often the first question people asked when I told them that I was applying to a francophone university. “Why not?” quickly became my default response. Coming from a high school where the average class had upwards of 30 students, the small class sizes and personable atmosphere at Sainte-Anne were big draws for me. I liked the possibilities made possible by continuing my education in French, especially as a future teacher. Four years later, I’m still here and still discovering the ways that Sainte-Anne will benefit me.
The vast majority of the profs are welcoming, willing to help you, and will stop in the hallway to chat about how your semester is going. The (extremely) small but diverse student population means that you soon know everyone by name; my largest class had 37 students, and that was in my first year! However, this can make scheduling difficult: not every class is offered every year, and two mandatory classes can sometimes take place at the same time. Take classes when they’re offered and, if there’s a conflict, talk to 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 for its students; as an anglophone, it was intimidating at first, but being surrounded by the language helped me make progress. Like any university, Sainte-Anne takes time to adjust to, but its tininess means that opportunities quickly pop up.
There is the opportunity to attain a DELF diploma, which certifies a student’s French competency level. Many student jobs, with flexible schedules, are available on campus. There are also free exercise classes for students, intramurals and pick-up sports. The gym facilities have been newly renovated and are popular with students, as are the rink and the pool. Keep an eye on the bulletin boards and the Facebook page for the full range of activities offered.
Be warned: Sainte-Anne is not for those who love the city life. The school’s bus does run to Yarmouth (40 minutes away) once every two weeks, so it’s possible to get off campus, but it may take more planning than you’re used to. That said, the locals in Clare are welcoming and the campus offers its own seaside charm—it looks out onto Saint Mary’s Bay, the stage for stunning sunsets each evening, and has walking trails throughout le petit bois (the wooded area surrounding the campus).
Poke around the school’s website for information. Once you’ve been accepted, ask to join the Facebook page Activités socioculturelles et sportives de l’Université Sainte-Anne to keep up on all the campus activities.