University of Prince Edward Island 411: Best cheap lunch, coolest courses, and more

A UPEI insider’s perspective on campus life


University of Prince Edward Island

Unofficial school motto:
Panther Pride!

Best place for a nap:
Dawson Lounge in the SDU Main Building (best couches) or the giant leather chairs upstairs in Don and Marion McDougall Hall (business building). This whole area has floor-to-ceiling windows and, when the afternoon sun shines in just the right spot, you stay toasty warm during your cat nap.

Taya Nabuurs.

Best cheap lunch:
The Wave

Best hangover breakfast:
Maid Marion’s Diner. Robin Hood’s Breakfast is the perfect cure.

Favourite watering hole:
Upstreet Craft Brewing—the perfect distance between campus and downtown, it offers great local brews

Perks of living in this town:
You know everybody. Living expenses are also relatively cheap compared to other cities.

Best place to study:
The big room at the top of the stairs in the Robertson Library—great natural sunlight, and it’s a yellow zone, which means it’s quiet but you don’t have to be afraid of attracting glares when you unzip your bag

Weirdest tradition:
Hobo Week, where school-newspaper staff attempt to live exclusively on campus for an entire week

Best campus event:
Beach Blast or Two Year’s Eve (both Wave events)

Best giveaway:
Trivia nights at The Wave

Best live music venue:
Fishbones Oyster Bar or Hunter’s Ale House

University Insider: Taya Nabuurs, 21, Political Science and French


Much like the province, UPEI is small but charming. Just a short bus ride from downtown, the 56-hectare campus is home to about 4,000 students; almost 19 per cent are international. While this may seem small compared to many notable Canadian universities with ten of thousands of students, its modest size is perhaps one the university’s main advantages. Small class sizes equate to excellent student-to-instructor ratios. This means one-on-one attention and guidance from professors, something all university students come to value immensely throughout their academic careers.

PROFILE: University of Prince Edward Island | Charlottetown, P.E.I. | Founded 1804

From the world-renowned Atlantic Veterinary College to the ever-popular faculty of education, UPEI offers many outstanding programs and boasts top-tier research facilities. With its mix of 150-year-old architecture and modern design, you get a real sense of the university’s prestige as well as its commitment to innovation and learning.

Aside from the aesthetic appeal of the campus, it’s the people that truly make UPEI what it is. The close-knit, welcoming atmosphere reflects that of the Island, with its familiarity and strong sense of community. By the end of your first year, you’ll have a hard time walking across campus without seeing at least a few familiar faces.

The winters can be long and cold, but they will be worth it. Pro tip: I know you are a broke student, but a good pair of winter boots is necessary when trekking between classes. There are maze-like tunnels between buildings, which you will want to use—we’re buried under five metres of snow some winters. No joke.


UPEI hosts an extremely active Student Union, which oversees campus life in great detail and with great effort. From faculty societies to Chess Club to the Panther Pantry Food Collective, there are plenty of ways to get involved and meet students with similar interests. UPEI also hosts lots of great stress-relieving activities and events during exam season, such as the famous Soup for the Soul events at the Chaplaincy Centre (who doesn’t like a free bowl of chili every now and then?). If you’re looking for other ways to unwind, UPEI’s campus pub, the Wave, offers themed trivia nights and Mario Kart tournaments. If big dance parties are more your style, the Wave hosts those, too. University is what you make of it. Get involved (trust me on this).

Local Vibe 

Charlottetown’s downtown core might be incredibly small, but it has a lot to offer within its nearly four-block radius. Chock-full of coffee shops and eclectic local stores, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Islanders are a proud people who place a strong value on arts and culture, evident in the vibrant food, music and diversity festivals held throughout the year.

The Skinny is great for getting a feel for all of the arts and culture events around town!


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