Winnipeg: The inside scoop

Anatomy & Physiology students take DNA samples at the University of Winnipeg. Photos taken Friday, September 23, 2011. Photograph by Marianne Helm

Photograph by Marianne Helm

Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell, 22

Winnipeg is known mostly for its mosquitoes and harsh winters. Although you won’t be dealing with mosquitoes over the fall and winter semesters, there’s no escaping the brutal reality that, here in Winnipeg, it’s cold. The University of Winnipeg is located in the middle of our city, which makes it easy to get to wherever you might live, which is good, because, on top of our typical -40° C day, our transit system is far from reliable. Being a small university of merely 10,000 students, with all buildings within a couple of blocks’ radius, it’s actually common to bump into the same people regularly, and it makes for a very comfortable environment. The U of W is a very accepting place for all minorities. With students hailing from all over the world, there’s no lack of culture, and it is made abundantly clear that all ages, races and sexual orientations are welcome. Academics are only a fraction of the daily life experiences you get by hanging around campus. Electing our students’ association, banning plastic water bottles and tuition-hike protests are what make the U of W an active and engaged community.

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association is a huge part of the U of W life. It provides services, such as the Safewalk program and the practical UWSA Handbook, and promotes student groups and societies. With 78 student groups on campus, including the Education Students’ Association, the Theatre & Film Students’ Association and the Snowboard Association, there are non-stop events and ways to get involved and simply have fun. We are known as the “hippie” school of Winnipeg. With compost bins at every corner and a bike lab, the U of W strives for sustainability. Whether philosophy, atheism, Christianity or photography tickles your fancy, there’s a room full of like-minded others waiting to hang out with you until that next class starts.

City Vibe
I can’t stress this enough: It’s cold. But, on the plus side, Winnipeg is one of the cheapest cities in Canada in which to live. That means you can work less and study more. Or work less and party more, whichever you prefer. During the winter months, the streets are dark and deserted. But Winnipeg’s music and art scene is constantly thriving. It’s a great city to explore, because there’s always something or someone neat hiding out in a pub or studio somewhere.

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