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Moncton: An insider look at New Brunswick’s French-speaking university


 
U de Moncton.  Photograph by Roger LeMoyne

Université de Moncton. Photograph by Roger LeMoyne

Matthew Cormier, 24
Canadian Comparative Literature

I like to think of Moncton as emblematic of Canada. Its bilingual identity (it’s the country’s largest French-language university outside Quebec), plus the diversity of cultures on campus, perfectly embodies this country and its possibilities. Everyone is friendly, in true Maritime fashion, and everyone, from the professors to the department secretaries to the janitors, seems to want you to fulfill your potential as a student. These factors, as well as smaller classrooms and closer student-professor relationships, sealed the deal for me. Being from a smaller, rural community, I was also glad I could avoid the hectic lifestyles of bigger cities in Quebec and Ontario.

The university may be smaller and younger than many of its Canadian counterparts, but it uses these realities to its advantage: The smaller classrooms allow for more in-depth learning, the professorial corps is pedagogically progressive, and the bilingual focus will augment students’ potential for career opportunities anywhere in Canada, especially with its “Groupe-pont” project, tailored for students with French as a second language.

As at most universities, the sporting events and end-of-term parties are always the biggest hits with students, but other events throughout the school year—such as jam nights, poetry readings and an international student week—allow students to fully profit from U of Moncton’s cultural experience.

Extras
Activities include leagues for sports ranging from hockey to ultimate Frisbee, music gigs put on by students, and Acadian drama, among many others. Poetry nights are hosted by the English department, while intramural sports are organized by the university’s recreational activities services, and extracurricular activities are well-advertised and accessible to all interested students.

City Vibe
The university is centrally located and, therefore, close to most of the city’s hot spots, the majority being on or around Main Street. From there, you can swing by the farmers’ market, stop in at a coffee shop, check out the Champlain Place shopping centre, or kick back in the various bars and restaurants in the area. If you’re more in touch with nature, take a hike in the trails scattered throughout the city, have a skate in Centennial Park, or check out the Trites Family Sugar Bush come spring.

The Skinny
The calendar on the University of Moncton’s home page (UMoncton.ca) for major event happenings. Each department and club has either its own Facebook page or a dedicated page on the university website (or both), which makes finding information quick and painless.


 

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