University

University of Prince Edward Island: Student life on campus

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

Mai Nguyen, 20
Business administration

Mai Nguyen (Courtesy of Trung Nguyen)

Why did you choose UPEI?
The biggest reason was affordability. UPEI has very reasonable tuition, and the cost of living in Charlottetown is also quite affordable. As a UPEI student, I can get a high-quality education and be debt-free when I finish my degree.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
One of my best experiences at UPEI was attending my Entrepreneurship & New Venture class. I teamed up with four other students to create a business plan and build a startup company in P.E.I. It was an exciting course, and we had an excellent professor who had lots of experience in entrepreneurship. I used to think I would never have the skills to open up my own company; this course completely changed my mind. Another great experience was student orientation, when I met and bonded with many people in a short amount of time.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
Since my first year at UPEI, I have been an adviser with UPEI’s campus life program. This program helps students connect with each other, and it has been a huge part of my university experience. I’ve also been involved in the student union and the English Language Centre.

What do you think of your professors?
I find most of my professors super helpful and resourceful. They all have many years of working in their respective fields and are able to offer students valuable practical advice. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, I did not find it difficult to reach out to my professors whenever I had questions or needed support. They replied within a day or so, and they would try to accommodate me as best they could.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Students have to strategically plan and register for classes to complete their degrees. Most required courses are available during the year, but elective classes are only offered in certain semesters. This can make it challenging to choose and sign up for the courses you want. I suggest meeting with first-year advisement counsellors or counsellors from the student affairs office when you enrol at UPEI. They can guide you to plan out your courses over your degree and recommend courses that best fit your interests.

What is off-campus life like in Charlottetown?
Charlottetown is small but also fun and friendly. It has restaurants, bars, theatres, bowling alleys and even an axe-throwing lounge.

PROFILE: University of Prince Edward Island | Charlottetown, P.E.I. | Founded 1804

Best place to live: Brown Court and downtown Charlottetown
Best place to study: The Learning Commons on the main floor of the library
Best campus events: The New Student Orientation and the Global Village Multicultural Festival (during non-COVID years)
Best campus food: Chicken tenders with sweet potato fries at the Fox & Crow
Best pizza: Dolce e Fumoso with chili oil from Piatto Pizzeria
Best place for a fancy dinner: Redwater Rustic Grille
Best giveaway: The UPEI student union has great giveaways all the time
Best bar for hanging out: Bar 1911
Best live music venue: Hopyard
Best hangover breakfast: Seafood chowder at Merchantman Fresh Seafood & Oyster Bar
Best place for a nap: On the leathered chairs in the sunroom of the library
Best weekend activity: Hanging out with friends at the Kettle Black
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The ghost stories in Dalton Hall
If I could change one thing about the school: Free parking areas for students throughout the year

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.