Unofficial school motto:
“Fifth year? No fear.”
Best place for a nap:
A secluded couch in the Human and Social Development building
Best cheap lunch:
La Taqueria. The best tacos in town for only $3.
Best hangover breakfast:
Best bar for hanging out:
Best campus food:
Anything at the Grad House, or the waffles at Mystic Market
Best place to study:
The third floor balcony in the library, or the SUB Upper Lounge if you’re studying with friends
The week of Pi Day (March 14), a group of engineers called the Order of Pi throw pies at students and faculty
Best place to live:
The Craigdarroch buildings in residence, and the Fernwood or Hillside neighbourhoods off campus
Best campus event:
Movie in the Quad, during Campus Kick-Off
Free pizza at most campus events
What surprised me most about campus:
How laid back everyone is—except about Starbucks coming to campus
Best live music venue:
The one thing I’d change about the school:
Better-quality university food options
Nestled at the bottom of Vancouver Island, the University of Victoria has a small community feel with an abundance of opportunities. Class sizes—especially in higher level courses—allow you to really get to know professors and peers. Trust me, this is a huge asset. It will help with finding support or learning about, for example, a cool field school in Greece. The university’s co-op program can help land you a job even after graduation.
The campus is a comfortable size. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other, with all the main buildings centred on and around Ring Road. Both in terms of its natural spaces and eco-friendly practices, UVic is very green. It was also the first university in British Columbia to have an asteroid named after it.
Just a five-minute walk from campus is the beach at Cadboro Bay, a great place to study or de-stress on sunny days. If the ocean’s not your thing, there are plenty of other green spaces on campus to explore between classes: walk among plants from around the world at the Finnerty Gardens, slackline in the quad or get lost in Mystic Vale ravine.
UVic has a reputation for being home to hippies and hipsters. And yes, most of us have our fair share of Blundstones and enjoy kombucha. But it’s mostly a place where people work toward their passions among like-minded individuals.
There’s no shortage of cool stuff to enjoy at UVic. I’d recommend joining one of 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including Vikes Improv, the campus radio station, the Quidditch club, Pride, and the caving club. Course unions for departments at UVic are also pretty active, hosting events like movie nights, pub crawls and readings throughout the semester. The campus movie theatre shows independent and blockbuster films for way cheaper than every other cinema in town. Stop by CARSA gym for the annual yoga rave, or to take on the 17-m climbing wall.
Named Canada’s brunch capital by the Food Network, Victoria has tons of funky restaurants, stores and bars to discover over the course of your degree. There’s no shortage of beautiful hikes: Mount Tolmie is a few blocks from campus, with Mount Douglas, Lone Tree Hill and the ever-Instagrammable Goldstream Trestle nearby. The city has a great music scene, and hosts the Rifflandia music festival every September. You’re never more than a few minutes from the ocean; a walk along the nearest beach is the best cure for stressful day.
Check out the Martlet, UVic’s independent newspaper, for the latest on what’s happening around campus and Greater Victoria. If you’re looking for hot takes on current events, consider joining the UVic Memes group on Facebook.