The usually bustling UAlberta campus, while still occupied by hoards of studying students, is quitter than it regularly is. Exam season has started, and students are buried deep in their books and hunched over their laptops trying to fill their brains with the material they will need to ace their exams. For some students this will be the last exam season they experience at UAlberta – and their studying experience is mixed with sadness over the end of their incredible time here. This blog post is inspired by those students who are now leaving and saying goodbye to UAlberta. We have complied a list of 7 things every international student must experience while studying here – too make sure you also make the best of your own UAlbereta experience when you get here.
1) West Edmonton Mall
From the world’s largest indoor triple loop roller coster, to the world’s second largest indoor waterpark, and hundreds and hundreds of stores – there is always something to do an experience at WEM. It’s also the place to go to see wildlife such as sea lions and various other aquatic life such as turtles, penguins, and more than 100 species of fish – making it the perfect place to visit if you need a study break. So make sure to experience more than just shopping when you visit West Edmonton Mall.
2) Farmer’s Market
Edmonton is home to at least 3 major farmer’s markets and many other smaller, but equally popular markets scattered throughout the city. One that is open year round and very close to the UAlberta main North Campus is the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market that is open every Saturday, right off Edmonton’s famous Whyte Ave. Farmer’s Markets are not only great because they support local business, but their healthy too as the food that you buy tends to be fresh and locally made or grown – and let’s be honest: it just makes grocery shopping so much more fun!
3) Road Trip Alberta
Alberta is such a beautiful province. From the amazing rocky mountains to the endless golden plains you cannot help but feel inspired when you are surrounded by Alberta’s nature. Check out our blog post on 5 UAlberta weekend road trips to get some inspiration for your own Alberta road trip when you get here!
4) See an Oiler’s Game
In Canada hockey is almost a religion. We love our hockey stars, and when it’s hockey season almost every restaurant has at least one television screen dedicated to a hockey game. Edmonton is no different than any other Canadian city in that it’s almost taken for granted that every citizen is an Oilers fan. Even though the Edmonton Oilers ( Edmonton’t NHL team) haven’t won a Stanley Cup (the championship trophy awarded annually to the NHL winner) in over 20 years, that still doesn’t deter the hockey mania that hits the city every start of the NHL season. So make sure to attend a game and get swept up into the action!
5) Experience Festival City
As discussed in other blog posts before Edmonton is often referred to as Festival City for it’s many different festivals held throughout the year. From K-Days to the Edmonton International Fringe Theater Festival to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, there literally is a festival for everyone! Make sure to attend as many as you can while your studying here at UAlberta.
6) Embrace Winter
When people think Canada they sometimes think cold, cold winters, and while it does get chilly here in the winter Edmonton is still a bustling place to be. Because Edmonton is so close to the world famous Rocky Mountains you can often find the international centre and vairous student groups at UAlberta planning skiing and snowboarding trips up the mountains for international students. Along with skiing and snowboarding many UAlberta like to take study breaks by taking winter nature walks or taboggining. Check out the video below for some more winter activates you can do!
7) Get Involved!
One of the advantages of UAlberta being located in Festival City Edmonton is that there is never a shortage of activities students can be a part of. You love fashion? The volunteer for Western Canada Fashion Week. Or you have a passion for art? Then become a gallery attendant or assistant art teacher at the Art Gallery of Alberta – located 5 min walking distance from UAlberta Downtown Campus or about a 10 min train ride from UAlberta’s North Campus. Whatever your passion you are bound to find groups of like-minded people here – so make sure to get out there and volunteer or attend as many wonderful and inspiring Edmonton events as you can!
By: Nathalie Batres