University

University of Calgary: Student life on campus

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

Cristina Paolozzi, 24
Concurrent education and history

Cristina Paolozzi (Courtesy of Franca Paolozzi)

Why did you choose the University of Calgary?
I chose to attend the University of Calgary largely because of its programs. The university’s concurrent education program allowed me to move seamlessly from my arts degree into my education degree without having to reapply.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
I am enrolled in the Arts and Science Honours Academy (ASHA), a program that focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to academia and explores the connection between the arts and sciences. You apply for it in your last year of high school. Through the ASHA, I have made friends for life. I’ve also had some incredible practicum experiences during my education degree. I’ve worked with wonderful students in schools across Calgary and received helpful support and training from my field professors.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
I currently work for the University of Calgary’s independent student newspaper, the Gauntlet, which has connected students and faculty all across campus and navigated the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic. I have also been involved in clubs such as the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association and the History Students’ Association.

What do you think of your professors?
My history professors were knowledgeable, kind and hard working. Their passion for the discipline made me excited to go to class every day. I never hesitated to send them an email if I was feeling confused or needed a last-minute extension.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Course sign-up usually happens in late March, and students use a program called Schedule Builder to create their timetables. This program gives you the ability to view all class times available during the semester. It’s relatively easy to navigate and is great for visual planners.

What is off-campus life like in Calgary?
During the pandemic, my off-campus life has been pretty quiet, though I do enjoy exploring new cafés in neighbourhoods such as Inglewood and Kensington or along 17th Avenue. There are also plenty of bubble tea places along Centre Street, and Calgary’s Central Library is one of the most beautiful places to study off-campus. About an hour’s drive away, the Rocky Mountain town of Banff is the perfect weekend or day-trip place to explore some of the most incredible landscapes the country has to offer. Banff suits both the outdoorsy explorers and the indoor cats.

PROFILE: University of Calgary | Calgary, Alta. | Founded 1966

Best place to study: Calgary’s Central Library in the East Village is big, and there’s natural light on every floor. On campus, the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) is a hot spot for students, and the Gallagher Library in Earth Sciences is seriously underrated.
Weirdest tradition: Although it hasn’t happened for the past two years because of COVID, Bermuda Shorts Day is the ultimate end-of-classes celebration, when students wear Bermuda shorts and let loose with their friends
Best campus food: Bake Chef is a Vietnamese place in MacEwan Hall that makes insane subs and
is always open late for all your after-hours cravings
Best hangover breakfast: The Holy Grill on 10th Avenue. They have a super simple menu and a feel-good environment that doesn’t break the bank.
Best place for a nap: Perhaps a bit unconventional, but the Engineering Student Lounge has a lot of comfy furniture with enough space to shove chairs together and take a quick snooze
Best campus events: Outside of pandemic regulations, the university’s sporting events are fun, even if you aren’t into the athletic scene. The Crowchild Classic is an epic battle between the U of C Dinos and the Mount Royal University Cougars hockey teams. The Dinos football team begins their season with an annual kickoff event.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for daily stories and analysis.