Sainte-Anne: An insider look at life on a rural campus

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University of Sainte Anne

Katherine Pettipas, 21
Business Administration

I never thought I would spend four years pursuing an undergraduate degree at a university in an ultra-rural Acadian community. However, now that I’m well on my way to graduating, I can say it was one of the better choices I’ve made. Université Sainte-Anne may be a 20-minute drive from the nearest Tim Hortons, but you definitely don’t feel alone on the vibrant campus. With a student body of fewer than 500, you get to know everyone, and Sainte-Anne really becomes your home away from home. You live together, eat together, party together and learn together. The atmosphere is laid-back and extremely conducive for developing both your studies and lifelong friendships. The coastal campus boasts both unbeatable sunsets and 10 km of trails through the woods. If you aren’t a nature enthusiast before going to Sainte-Anne, I can guarantee you’ll gain an appreciation for it during your time here.

Transitioning from high school to university at Sainte-Anne was a piece of cake; the class sizes are small and the professors are down-to-earth and always willing to lend a helping hand. Although Sainte-Anne doesn’t have as many programs as larger universities, those on offer are of the highest quality. The campus is also surprisingly multicultural; myriad languages are spoken by students, yet the common tongue is French. Being exposed to so many accents in a non-intimidating environment is what makes Sainte-Anne such a great place to come to and learn the language. Once the immersion program is completed, many students choose to stay at Sainte-Anne and pursue a degree.

The Sainte-Anne experience is 100 per cent what you make of it. From school ski trips and whale-watching to overnight camping on pristine lakes, your inner outdoorsy self comes alive here. There are also multicultural nights showcasing music, art and food from all over the world. If you’re looking to get involved on campus, there are plenty of options. With pride in its “green” reputation, the unversity’s “Green Team” organizes cleanups and other projects to make a durable impact. If social enterprising is your thing, the local ENACTUS (“Entreprenurial Action Us”) team will be right up your alley. Also, a year-round intramural league between residences adds a little fun competition. From theatre and chorus-singing to dance lessons and yoga, the trouble at Sainte-Anne isn’t finding things to do, but finding time to do it all.

City Vibe
Life is good in Church Point, N.S.: The locals are friendly, the weather is temperate and the landscapes are beautiful. All basic needs can be found on campus: good food, good coffee, even an Acadian museum exhibit. However, venturing off campus is a must. Being in a town that relies heavily on the fishing industry has its perks, notably, fantastic seafood restaurants (the seafood lasagna from La Cuisine Robichaud is absolutely delightful). The entire county also has fascinating natural sights worth seeking out; it’s a wonderful area to observe wildlife and explore the outdoors. However, if you’re looking for a movie theatre or shopping mall, you’ll need to drive 40 minutes to the town of Yarmouth. Church Point may be small, but it’s also comfortable and welcoming.

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