Université du Québec à Montréal: student tips for surviving life on campus

The best bar, cheap lunch, place to nap and more
Julie Côté
UQAM. Photograph by Roger LeMoyne

Unofficial school motto: ‘L’école du fun’ (School of fun)
Best place for a nap: Probably a video editing room, but if you’re not a communications or film student, you need some good contacts to benefit from it
Best cheap lunch: Vua Sandwiches by far! $3.75 for an authentic seven-inch banh mi.
Best hangover breakfast: L’Oeufrier on Mont-Royal for breakfast poutines
Favourite campus food: The surf and turf burger from Cinko
Favourite watering hole: Pub Sainte-Élisabeth for the $4.50 pints of beer
Perks of living in this town: Always something happening at every corner. Montreal is an amazing city.
Where to live: The eastern residence. Same building as the gym, no transportation required and the best way to make friends.
Coolest electives: Japanese through manga, sign language, video game industry
Best giveaway: The collective Ras-le-bol gives free food to students
Best live music venue: For smaller shows, l’Escogriffe is amazing
Weirdest tradition: Initiations. Two years later, my green jumpsuit still smells like beer.
Best campus events: Monday trivia nights at Ginkgo, the bar in the DeSève pavilion and improv games from the LicUQAM on Friday nights for the best laugh
Best cultural event: Hispanic Week in the fall semester—the main hallway to your classes suddenly becomes another country

PROFILE: Université du Québec à Montréal | Montreal, Que. | Founded 1969

University Insider: Julie Côté, 23, Journalism

Located in the heart of Montreal’s Latin Quarter, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM, for the locals) is probably the liveliest university you can find. Whether it’s an on-campus event or a protest outside, there is always something happening. Though this sometimes creates frustration, I never get bored of going to school.

A multitude of students cross the globe to study in one of our wonderful programs, from Martinique, Belgium, France and many other francophone parts of the world. Whether you’re studying communications or psychology, this makes a more enriching experience for the local student.
To release some energy after a stressful exam, UQAM has a very well-equipped gym—free for all students—with a pool, a running course, a weight room and even a climbing wall. For a small fee, you can also take a variety of classes like kick-boxing, power yoga and water trampoline classes (I’m not joking).
Even though Montreal hosts most of its festivals in the summer, there are still a bunch of concerts and events going on during the school year. In April, for example, the Dr. Mobilo Aquafest will feature the best of Montreal’s underground comedy scene.

Finally, for the nature lovers, you don’t have to travel far to find your peace. Mount Royal Park is always a good choice for a short jog, and a nap in Parc Lafontaine on a sunny afternoon is always the best.

The main pavilion, Judith-Jasmin, is a beautiful piece of architecture. In the 1960s, the construction of this building forced the St. Jacques church to close. But the architect Dimitri Dimakopoulos decided to integrate the building into campus. The result is classified as a historic monument by Quebec’s government.
CHOQ, the school radio station, hosts more than 60 shows made by students and non-students. Le défini, L’animal politique and Sans Dentelle are some good shows made by students.

Local Vibe
Having a car in Montreal’s downtown is pointless, given everything is a 10-minute metro ride away.
Our sports teams—the Alouettes, Impact and the Canadiens—always offer a good show (even if they all struggled this year). Speaking of shows, the Bell Centre, Metropolis, Club Soda and St-Denis always attract tons of great international performers.

The Skinny
For a good list on Montreal events and activities, try For campus events, take a look at