Laval: An insider look at Canada's oldest university



Alex Beaudoin, 22

Your first contact with Université Laval will probably be frustrating. For years now, Capsule, the website where you enrol for courses, has been the laughingstock of university students who can’t believe how ridiculously unclear it is. In fact, the site has caused so much pain, a student decided to develop his own and got a lot of members before long. While this is only an anecdote, it is representative of how the university functions on a bigger scale. Very often, your comrades will be of great help in finding your way out of the labyrinth of the administration. However, fear not, because one of Laval’s main assets is its energetic community. As a general rule, programs have a student organization that helps to create an enriching social life in which it is easy to get involved. Once integrated into your program, you will find plenty of happenings to go to and connect with other people, be it one of the seemingly endless parties, such as the show de la rentrée, or a game of the popular football team, the Rouge et Or. If you prefer something more intellectual, do not worry: Your email box will be bombarded with advertisements for conferences covering issues of all domains. In brief, the social life you will develop will provide you with an undergraduate experience that will largely compensate for the occasional troubles you may have with the administration.

If you are not already too busy trying to study between events organized by your program and activities proposed to you by the university, you will have a wide range of extracurricular activities to choose from. The always covered bulletin boards scattered here and there in university buildings will present you with an impressive mosaic of activities, ranging from Latin dance clubs and poetry recitals to group discussions on political issues.

City Vibe
The university is close to three colleges and surrounded by apartment blocks. This makes the Sainte-Foy district almost exclusively populated by students. This uniformity of the population, combined with Quebecers’ renowned friendliness, accounts for the pleasant atmosphere, which is far from what one expects to find in an urban area. In fact, many say Quebec is more of a big village than a city. However, the real charm of the city is not in Sainte-Foy, but in the Vieux Québec, with its impressive architecture and history. Culture is alive at the numerous music shows and on the stages of the various theatres in the city.

The Skinny
Here is a website that offers a detailed list of the activities going on in Quebec: I also suggest downloading the ULaval app to follow news and activities on campus.