University of Northern British Columbia: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more
Colton Savage
(Courtesy of UNBC)
Students at work at UNBC. (Courtesy of UNBC)

Colton Savage, 21

Colton Savage (Courtesy of UNBC)

Why did you choose UNBC?
The two primary reasons for my decision to come to UNBC were the location—the Prince George campus is close to home—and a scholarship. I received a UNBC Scholars award for my academic performance in high school. I am incredibly grateful to attend an institution that recognizes my academic achievements.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
I actually found studying online over the pandemic very inspiring. As we navigated one of the most significant changes in modern education, I was struck by the resilience of my peers and professors. Through my own hard work, I earned membership in the Golden Key Honour Society, an international group that students at member universities qualify for by placing within the top 15 per cent of their program.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
My favourite extracurricular activities on campus are events organized by Student Life and by the First Nations Centre. UNBC Student Life is responsible for the yearly orientation, and the First Nations Centre has many events throughout the year related to Indigenous culture. For the 1,000 Ravens for Reconciliation project, UNBC students, staff and faculty folded 1,000 origami ravens to symbolize a university-wide wish for reconciliation. The First Nations Centre now proudly displays the origami ravens in their office.

What do you think of your professors?
One of the best parts of studying at UNBC is the chance to develop personal relationships with professors. One time, I told my professor I would meet her during office hours after I had stopped at the coffee shop, and she asked me if I could grab her a bagel. I love having these kinds of moments with my professors because they remind me of the humanity in each of us.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Prospective students should plan ahead and know what they need from administration staff. It’s a good idea to meet with your academic adviser at the beginning of the year to discuss which classes you need to take.

What is off-campus life like in Prince George?
Prince George is a relatively small community and is perfect for people who love outdoor recreation. One of my favourite places in PG is the Forests for the World, a beautiful setting with walking trails, lakes and picnic areas directly adjacent to the UNBC campus. We also have a humble nightlife scene with local restaurants and bars, sufficient for enjoying a night out with friends.

PROFILE: University of Northern British Columbia | Prince George, B.C. | Founded 1994

If I wrote the school motto: I probably wouldn’t have created one as perfect as ‘ ’En cha huná,’ a Dakelh (Carrier) phrase that roughly means ‘That person also lives’
Best place to live: I prefer to live on campus in the UNBC dorms for convenience
Best place to study: Study rooms in the library
Best campus events: New Year’s at the Thirsty Moose Pub; student orientation in September; anything from the First Nations Centre
Weirdest tradition: Presidential Cup Pong
Best campus food: A Timmies’ everything bagel and a hot chocolate with an espresso shot
Best cheap lunch: A bagged lunch from home
Best pizza: Freshslice Pizza or Domino’s Pizza
Best place for a fancy dinner: Northern Lights Winery
Best bar for hanging out: The Black Clover or the Thirsty Moose Pub
Best live music venue: Trench Brewhouse, the Prince George Playhouse, and the CN Centre
Best hangover breakfast: Denny’s
Best place for a nap: The Northern Pride Centre, the couches in the NUSC space and the fourth floor of the library
Best weekend activity: Sleeping or hiking
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The tight-knit community of students
If I could change one thing about the school: The mandatory meal plan in residence (for the first two years)