Unofficial school motto:
‘The little university that could’
Best place for a nap:
The comfortable sectional couch in the student café, le Castelet
Best cheap lunch:
Really yummy paninis at the Lisa T. Café on campus. It’s run by a local non-profit.
Best hangover breakfast:
Lobster poutine at the Chez l’ami takeout place across the street. Order often enough and its workers will soon have your favourites memorized.
Favourite watering hole:
Le Château, the campus bar
Perks of living in this town:
When a deer jumped in front of my car, strangers called the tow truck, comforted me, drove me home and still ask me how I’m doing. That’s cool (the people, not the accident).
Best place to study:
The Café Bric-à-Brac, located in the ‘Bozo’ residence. It has board games, too.
‘Poissondredi’ (Fish Fridays) when locals come to the cafeteria to eat fish
Best campus event:
The annual drag competition called Sweet Mademoiselle that’s been going for 30-plus years
During exam week, lots of free snacks and hot drinks for the people studying in le Castelet
Best live-music venue:
The Théâtre Marc-Lescarbot features all kinds of artists, from traditional African drummers and Acadian fiddle players to Québécois pop singers and even student talent shows
University Insider: Karolyn Aucoin, 21, Business Administration Co-op
Like many high school students, I had no idea what to look for in a university. I thought my best option would be to go to a big school in the city to expand my horizons, and all that jazz. However, my parents preferred Université Sainte-Anne. I promised them a year.
Three years later, I’m still here. I’ve fallen in love with the tiny seaside school. My mom never loses an opportunity to say, “I told you so!” There are about 500 students, and a third of them aren’t even at my campus. At first I thought the small student population would be suffocating, but I was so wrong.
Still, it’s not for everyone. But trust me—if you like being a big fish in a small pond (or just want to get to know a lot of fish), then this is the place for you. Everyone parties together and studies together. It’s easy to make friends from different groups. The biggest classes max out at around 60 students, and it seems like every prof knows you by name. Not only will they stop you in the hall to chat about your weekend, but the president of the university regularly eats with students in the cafeteria.
An important aspect of Sainte-Anne is that it’s the only francophone university in Nova Scotia, with a 127-year history. The French immersion program is known as one of the best in the country. Don’t worry if you can’t speak a word of French upon arriving, you’ll be fluent in a few months.
The cool thing about such a small campus is that there are many ways to get engaged in student life. I’ve never heard of a society or activity turning people away. There are sports and free fitness classes for every level, whether you’re a serious badminton player or want to play pick-up basketball with some friends. For those with a hankering to act or dance, the annual musical is a huge production, and everyone can find a role. There are theme nights at the bar, all kinds of dance classes, even a choir, you name it. If something you want doesn’t exist, then create it with the help of the student affairs department.
Sainte-Anne is surrounded by forests and walking trails affectionately named le petit bois (the little woods), and is less than a five-minute walk from the ocean and its beautiful sunsets. Chickadees and squirrels are known to eat out of peoples’ hands, and there’s a friendly grouse that follows students walking on the paths. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise.
Venturing off-campus can be a shock to the senses—sometimes it smells of fish (it is a fishing town, after all). But the local Acadian food is yummy and the locals are kind to students. Be sure to investigate the fascinating history of the region, from rum smugglers to tales of mysterious men washing up ashore. This is a place full of surprises.
The school’s blog and news site is USainteAnne.ca/nouvelles; students also check out ClareShopper.com for classified ads in the region.