University

Brock University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Noah Nickel, 23
Political science

Noah Nickel (Courtesy of Mackenzie Gerry)

Why did you choose Brock?
The main reason I chose to go to Brock was its closeness to home. Going to school in or near your hometown is a great way to save money. I had also heard great things about Brock’s co-op programs.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
My first lecture at Brock is one experience that still stands out. Right from the outset, that class helped calm all my nerves about university. It was a history course, and the lecture was in a massive hall with more than 200 people who were about the same age as me. The professor was very intelligent and passionate. It was all so foreign and somehow, at the same time, so comforting. Another great experience has been running Brock’s independent student news outlet, the Brock Press, over the past year. It’s been such an amazing learning experience, and I am incredibly proud of all the business and journalistic work I’ve done.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
Before the pandemic, I was a part of the Brock New Democrats and was also involved with some non-partisan groups. If you have the opportunity to be part of a club or go to an event that interests you, you should definitely do it. It’s a great way to meet new people, let off some steam and become more involved in your school’s community.

What do you think of your professors?
Brock’s political science program is relatively small. I think its size was a huge advantage when I wanted to get to know my professors. Though my first-year courses were big, the classes afterward were much smaller and more intimate. It was easy to build relationships with my profs. I always felt comfortable reaching out and asking them questions.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Signing up for classes and paying tuition are not difficult to do, but it’s a good idea to learn how to use the systems ahead of time. Reach out with questions if you have them, and make sure you feel confident doing everything. If you leave it all until the last minute, the systems can be intimidating and you might make mistakes.

What is off-campus life like in St. Catharines?
The city is spread out, which can make it difficult to get around without a car, though the local buses aren’t hard to figure out. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants in town, and there is tons to do and see around St. Catharines, which is in the heart of wine country.

PROFILE: Brock University | St. Catharines, Ont. | Founded 1964

If I wrote the school motto: Nothing beats staying at home. It definitely helped me save a lot of money.
Best place to study: The Cairns’ Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex
Weirdest tradition: The Grape Stomp
Best campus food: The deli in the Guernsey Market
Best cheap lunch: The poutine at the Harvey’s on campus is around $5 and always fills me up
Best pizza: Pie Guys Pizzeria
Best place for a fancy dinner: Café Amoré is a great local spot with better-than-average food
Best giveaway: Brock University Students’ Union always gives away great stuff; for Christmas this year they gave away a PS5
Best bar for hanging out: Cat’s Caboose and Cracker Jacks
Best live music venue: Warehouse Concert Hall
Best weekend activity: There are a lot of great places to walk or hike in Niagara. The Old Town in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a great place to spend an afternoon.
The thing that surprised me most about the school: It still amazes me just how big it really is
If I could change one thing about the school: I’d require every class to have only a couple of assignments so students don’t have to do a bunch of assignments that are worth less than 10 per cent of their grade

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