University

Royal Roads University: Student life on campus

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

Sarah B Groot
Professional communications

Sarah Groot (Courtesy of Sarah Groot)

Why did you choose Royal Roads?
I chose to attend Royal Roads University after an information night at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) where I learned about the bridge program offered between the two schools. I was able to transfer my diploma in photojournalism from SAIT into a third-year equivalency in the bachelor of arts in professional communications (BAPC) program at RRU.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
Many of the assignments in the BAPC program are based on collaboration. I’ve had the chance to work with classmates who are diverse in thought, origin and gender, and within our small cohort we’ve built trust and respect. Because of the pandemic, our program was moved online and a WhatsApp chat was created for us to share course information, memes, jokes and questions. The chat has provided comic relief and solidarity during times of intense school deadlines and challenging world news.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
I haven’t had many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities at RRU because my program is currently online. Recently, I’ve become aware of opportunities to get involved online with the school’s community service leadership program (CSLP) through the student engagement department.

What do you think of your professors?
The instructors in the BAPC program take time to get to know us individually and to offer personalized support based on where we are at. The associate faculty-practitioner instructors bring real-world experience, relevance and authenticity to our learning experience.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Administrative staff are helpful. I have never had to wait more than 24 hours for a response. One glitch: even though my program is being offered online, I’ve had to fill out a new exemption form for U-Pass (a transit pass) each semester because this fee is still included in tuition. Just a minor inconvenience and the only red tape I have encountered.

What is off-campus life like in Victoria?
The RRU campus is located on the coast of the Salish Sea, on the land of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) near Victoria, where you’ll find great food, entertainment and endless outdoor adventures: surfing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking and exploring. A fun fact: Hatley Castle, which is part of Royal Roads University campus, doubles as Xavier’s School for the Gifted in the X-Men film series.

PROFILE: Royal Roads University | Victoria, B.C. | Founded 1995

If I wrote the school motto: ‘A place to learn, grow and evolve’
Best place to live: On Gorge Road or downtown in Victoria condos
Best place to study: Greater Victoria Public Library–Central Branch
Weirdest tradition: Not a tradition, but you’ll see peacocks roaming freely on the university grounds
Best campus food: The Habitat Café
Best cheap lunch: El Furniture Warehouse
Best pizza: Top Dog Pizza & Donairs
Best place for a fancy dinner: Bard & Banker
Best giveaway: Campus Connect events
Best bar for hanging out: Big Bad John’s in Victoria; they give you peanuts!
Best live music venue: Drag queen shows at Friends of Dorothy or the Vicious Poodle
Best hangover breakfast: Floyd’s Diner
Best place for a nap: Spiral Beach
Best weekend activity: Hiking and beach hopping in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
The thing that surprised me most about the school: How quiet it is with COVID and how many bunnies and peacocks are out chilling everywhere
If I could change one thing about the school: The Wi-Fi connection. I’d also like more in-person programs.

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