One of the best things about going to a new country is discovering its traditions and learning about the culture. When you come to study at the University of Alberta, you’ll be able to have a great Canadian experience!
Here are 6 places in and around Edmonton where you can learn more about Canada and Canadian culture:
1. Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum is a great place to learn about Canadian and Albertan natural history, aboriginal culture, and wildlife. You can get a close-up look at dinosaur bones and other fossils, enter an authentic tipi, check out live fish in an aquarium, and more.
Special exhibits are always being featured at the Museum. Past exhibits include “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” and “Worn to be wild” (about the history of the leather jacket).
Everyone is excited about the new location for the Museum - it's going to move to a brand new building in downtown Edmonton in 2018.
2. Fort Edmonton Park
1885 Street at Fort Edmonton Park photo credit: City of Edmonton
Get ready to take a step back into Canadian history! Fort Edmonton Park is an outdoor theme park that lets you imagine that you are back in the 1800 – 1920s. You can explore genuine, historic buildings and chat with historic characters (played by live actors). It's a great way to get a feel for Canadian history – you can get an inside look at what it was like to be a fur trader, take a ride on a 1920s street car, and even go the original Al-Rashid Mosque, the first mosque in Canada!
3. Rocky Mountains
Boating in the Alberta Rockies photo credit: Travel Alberta
Edmonton is about a 4-hour drive from the Rocky Mountains (the Rockies), one of the most beautiful places in the world. You will see amazing scenery and also a lot of fantastic Canadian wildlife. Moose, deer, mountain goats, bears, big horn sheep, owls, wolves are all common sights in the Rockies (and it’s perfectly safe, as long as you obey park rules and stay a safe distance from the animals). And of course, during the winter, you'll have to try snowboarding and skiing on the amazing mountains.
4. UAlberta campus!
Canadians are known for their friendly and welcoming attitude. One of the best ways to really experience Canadian culture is to spend time with Canadian friends, especially the ones you meet at UAlberta. Ask them what they like best about Canada and they will be happy to share their thoughts with you!
People in Edmonton come from all over the world and all of them have a story to share. They will probably also ask you about your country and culture as well, so we hope that you will have a great time sharing your story.
Get your poutine here! La Poutine restaurant photo credit: eating is the hard part
When you want to try some well-known Canadian specialties like delicious poutine (a dish with French fries, gravy, and cheese curds), butter tarts, or Alberta beef, there are tons of great local restaurants to choose from. Remember to be adventurous! After all, it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, right?
These days, it's actually hard to pinpoint "Canadian cuisine" because the food scene in Edmonton is so diverse and is always evolving. Edmonton is full of restaurants that serve every kind of food you can imagine from all over the world. You can also find many restaurants that serve Halal food, kosher food, vegan, gluten-free, etc.
6. A hockey game
UAlberta Golden Bears hockey game photo credit: Don Voaklander on Flickr
Hockey is VERY popular in Canada! During hockey season, you will often hear people talking about the most recent game and discussing the teams. Many restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs show the hockey games when they are on television so that customers can watch. Also, you will see many Canadians proudly wearing shirts or jerseys to support their favourite teams.
Edmonton has a professional NHL Team called the Edmonton Oilers, as well as a major junior ice hockey team called the Oil Kings. UAlberta has two hockey teams: The Golden Bears (men’s) and the Pandas (women’s).
It’s not just about watching hockey – you should also try playing hockey! You can play with friends at a local rink or join a community hockey league. If you don’t own skates, then Hawrelak Park, which is just a few minutes away from UAlberta, rents them out for $7 an hour.
Have a great Canadian experience when you come to study at the University of Alberta! Get more information on our academic programs and how to apply.
Article by Julia Jones-Bourque