Memorial University of Newfoundland: student life on campus

An insider's guide to the best campus food, weirdest tradition and more

The 411

Best place for a nap:
The library, fourth floor
Best cheap lunch:
Mustang Sally’s
Best hangover breakfast:
The dining hall actually has really good breakfast options
Favourite campus food:
Smoke’s poutine
Best bar for hanging out:
Bitters Pub
Weirdest tradition:
Getting “screeched in” (google it)
Where to live:
Paton College
Best place to study:
The library, fourth floor
Best giveaway:
You can get free sunglasses during frosh week
Best pizza:
Best campus events:
Winter Carnival, Welcome Week, Queer Prom
If I wrote the school motto:
“Don’t feel pressured into getting screeched in”
If I could change one thing about the school:
I would make it warmer

PROFILE: Memorial University of Newfoundland | St. John’s, N.L. | Founded 1925

Memorial’s primary campus in St. John’s is a cluster of utilitarian, beige structures with a highway running through their centre. The city itself is quiet, homey and comfortable; life in and around campus is busy and exciting. People from all across the world come to Memorial to study (primarily in STEM fields like engineering), and there are all sorts of communities and events to engage with.

If you like to lift weights, the gym complex (called “the Works”) is pretty comprehensive and available to all students for free. The library has a ton of resources ranging from camera rentals to seminar rooms to VR sessions to assistive technology resources. Although the eating options at the University Centre are pretty limited, St. John’s is actually a really great city for food (especially if that food comes from the ocean).

Life in residence is fun, but be mindful when choosing which building to live in. Although the newer Macpherson College buildings may allure you with their single rooms and free cable television, the camaraderie of the cheaper Paton College dorms is key to meeting new people and enjoying yourself.

Don’t let Memorial’s lower price tag fool you into believing that the education is less legitimate here. The courses here are just as difficult and extensive as other Canadian universities. If you don’t mind the cold and the rain, it is a no-brainer of a deal to study here.

After Class
You can get between just about any two points on campus by using the tunnels that snake their way throughout Memorial (called “munnels”). Although this can make a trip slightly longer than walking outside, the tunnels are a necessity in the winter when the wind can blow off your hat and glasses. The library at MUN also has some really great features. There are collections of ancient manuscripts dating back to the medieval era and a team of library employees in red vests who can help with any technical problems.

Local Vibe
Newfoundland has a distinct cultural identity. You may want to brush up on the local slang if you want to communicate with cab drivers and locals. Knowing the difference between “what’re ya at” and “where’re ya to” is crucial, for instance.

Downtown St. John’s is a 40-minute walk from campus, but be sure to make the trek. George Street (a street filled almost entirely with bars) is an infamous weekend spot for students, and there are really great local businesses downtown like Fred’s Record Store and the Rocket Café.

More Info
The student union organization, MUNSU, puts out a ton of information that can be found on their website and on their Twitter account. The Muse is our campus paper.