Aug. 23, 2022

Our advice for new students

Looking for some recommendations for your first year? Check out these tips from current students

Moving from your home country to Canada can be challenging if you’re a new-to-Calgary student. In addition to questions about campus life, you might also be curious about ways to spend your time in and around Calgary. In this article, three current UCalgary students share their experiences on the UCalgary campus, things to do in the community and more.

Photo of Nour against a red background

Nour (she/they) is a fourth-year law and society student with a minor in sociology.

What’s your favourite place to hang out on campus and why?

Nour: My favourite place to hang out on campus is the Atrium in the Administration building. As someone who enjoys nature, I enjoy the Atrium’s quiet scenery and the trees and plants surrounding it. The comfortable couches are also a nice bonus!

Peggy: I like hanging out with friends at the TFDL Quad! TFDL Quad is a lawn outside of the library and in front of the MacEwan Student Centre (MSC). It’s a great place to sit down and enjoy the sunlight in summer while having lunch and chatting with friends! Sometimes you’ll see other students playing spike ball or other fun games as well.

Fabrizio: When I'm on campus, I love participating in open-gym sports in the Red, Gold and Jack Simpson gymnasiums. Active Living access is included in your student fees, so all you need is your Unicard. When they’re not being booked for other purposes, Gold and Red Gym in the Kinesiology Complex are available for anyone with an active-living membership to use. You can usually find people playing basketball, badminton and even volleyball, so if you see people playing a sport that interests you, don’t hesitate to ask if you can join in!

Photo of Peggy against a red background

Peggy (she/her) is a fourth-year psychology student.

How do you like to spend your weekend in Calgary?

Nour: On the weekends, I usually enjoy going shopping with my friends at Market Mall or CrossIron Mills. When the weather is great, we also like to walk around Stephen Avenue and grab a bite at one of the restaurants along Stephen Avenue – my personal favourite is Milestones!

Peggy: Kensington is my favourite place! It’s within distance from Sunnyside LRT station, it offers a unique, inner-city experience. I love to grab a bite to eat at Kim’s Katsu, where you can get authentic Japanese food. Walking down the street, you can take pictures on the Peace Bridge and walk around the Bow River!

Fabrizio: If you have just arrived in Calgary, I recommend taking a walk by the Bow River and Peace Bridge area near downtown Calgary. Despite the cold winters, Calgary is a very beautiful city in the warmer months of the year, and this area especially has great ambience and scenic views. If you’re craving adventure, you can even try rafting down the Bow River!

Photo of Fabrizio against a red background

Fabrizio (he/him) is a fourth-year international relations student.

What is the best piece of advice you have for incoming students?

Nour: The best advice I can give to incoming students is to get involved! Subscribe to campus newsletters, attend campus-wide events and join clubs that interest you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things – you’ll likely find a new hobby and meet new friends along the way!

Peggy: I recommend joining on-campus programs and opportunities to get involved in the community! The GPS Mentorship with International Student Services (ISS) for international students is really helpful; I was connected with a friendly mentor to aid in my transition to Calgary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – UCalgary is here to support you along with your journey!

Fabrizio: My single best piece of advice for incoming students is, don’t be shy about getting involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. In my experience, forming friendships with people in large lectures can be difficult. Student clubs and other activities like intramural sports are a great way to meet new friends.

If you’re interested in getting help for living on campus and in Calgary, don’t forget to visit the Welcome Centre between Aug. 18 – Sept. 2, 2022. Visit them Monday through Friday from 9 – 4 p.m. MT.