University of Ottawa: student life on campus

An insider's guide to the best place to live, place to study and more

The 411

Best place for a nap:
The Learning Crossroads library
Best cheap lunch:
Première Moisson
Best pizza:
Score Pizza Rideau
Favourite campus food:
Best place for a fancy meal:
Favourite campus events:
International Week, Black History Month, Arab Gala
Best place to study:
On campus: the Law Library. Off campus: Black Squirrel Books.
Best place to live:
Sandy Hill
Best live music venue:
Café Nostalgica
Best giveaway:
Free Beaver Tails at the Snow Festival
If I wrote the school motto:
“Defying the conventional”
The thing that surprised me most about the school:
How bilingual it is
If I could change one thing about the school:
More underground tunnels connecting buildings

PROFILE: University of Ottawa | Ottawa, Ont. | Founded 1848

Ottawa is a rare gem—it’s not so big that it overwhelms newcomers, but not so small that it’s boring. Sure, it isn’t as big and glamorous as Toronto or Vancouver, but we have heart and soul!
What attracted me to the university is that, much like the city, it’s connected to history. In addition to its older structures, students also enjoy the luxury of newer facilities such as the social science building and its 14-storey living wall.

When moving so far away from home, it’s comforting to come to campus and connect with people from your background, while also meeting people from all walks of life. Diversity is key.

There are immense opportunities for students. The U of O provides one of the largest French-immersion programs in the world. It also offers work-study programs and co-op placements that allow you to gain useful experience. Looking to sharpen up your resumé? The career development centre has the right people to help, and to ease your nerves about interviews.

Knowing what I know now, I’ve learned that university is not about putting your head down and surviving the struggle of student life. Although the university years may bring hardships, it’s important to remind yourself to just ride the wave. There is no rewinding these remarkable moments from your twenties.

After Class
U of O has more than 200 clubs on campus. Make incredible connections that will last you a lifetime by joining an arts and culture club or a social justice club. If you toured the campus, you’ll have noticed that there is a lot of construction. That only means new facilities are on the way. An example is the Learning Crossroads building, which has spacious study areas and a food court.

The Ottawa Art Gallery is right across the street from us and holds incredible contemporary and modern art exhibits. If you love supporting your fellow art students, there are always plays, musicals and art exhibits done by students.

Local Vibe
Ottawa gives you a taste of culture. You can enjoy places like the ByTowne Cinema, which has been around since the ’40s, but also the modernity of areas like Lansdowne with its big stadiums and lavish restaurants.

Ottawa is one of the coldest cities, and so we bask in winter activities. The best ski places are in Gatineau, a mere bridge away. If you are a daredevil, Gatineau in summer also has a 200-foot bungee jump with a spectacular view. Moving to Ottawa, you’ll notice how the city embraces bilingualism. What better time to improve your French?

More Info
Follow the Fulcrum, the student newspaper on campus, for all the latest drama, a good laugh and to stay informed.

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