Hi, my name is Samia and I am originally from Colombia. I am currently a third year mechanical engineering student at the University of Alberta.
A day in my life starts by taking the bus and the train to Uni. I go to classes in the morning and meet with friends for lunch. For lunch we mostly bring food from home and microwave it at the Mechanical Engineering lodge where they have microwaves and utensils for students to use. If we don’t bring food from home we go to SUB (Student Union Building) or CAB or HUB Mall where you can find lots of different food vendors to fit all your cravings.
My program is a bit demanding so I am doing homework most of my time; therefore I have made close friendships with my classmates. After lunch, my friends and I go to ETLC (Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex) where there are lots of tables to sit and study, or we find a classroom that is not being used in any building we feel like exploring and we study and do homework there. This picture was taken at ETLC (one of the main engineering buildings). As you can see we also order pizza sometimes - they deliver straight to the building you are in :)
Later in the day, it is time for food again. After a productive, or not so productive, day of studying I go out with my friends to some restaurants and enjoy a meal. Other times I just go back home to get ready for the next day. That’s a day in my life. Oh but wait, there is more.
When Friday comes around I go out with friends to dine, party or play board games. Most of the time there is also many activities happening at Uni where you can get involved. In engineering specifically there is an event called Gear Week, where the different engineering disciplines participate on competitions. There is also a lot of free food! At the beginning of each year, as a welcome back to Uni, different student groups offer free food to students, and all the annual general meetings of each discipline are happening and there you also get free food ;)
Academically speaking, UAlberta has great professor, which you can approach in their office hours. They are very helpful. One of the classes I have enjoyed the most was Mec E 260, in which I got to make a pick up car to compete with my classmate’s designs. The class provided me with hands on experience that allowed me to understand much better what I was learning in my lectured classes.
In my experience, I would say to avoid 8 am classes, because it is very hard to make those, especially in the winter months, which is mostly all the time you are in class. Also, I would recommend to test how well you feel with the amount of work you have, I have changed my schedule so I only take 5 classes maximum per term since taking 7 classes (regular engineering schedule) was too much and as a ESL student getting to familiarize with the system was too much and my performance wasn’t the best. So don’t stress out, and do it at your pace, you will get much better results and enjoy more your learning experience.
Thanks to my very busy academic life, I have made some very good friends with whom I spent most of my time daily. With them, I had the pleasure to go on a road trip to USA, a trip we planned out of nowhere while… guess what? Studying!, This summer I also had the opportunity to go on an internship program to study French at the University of Montreal. I studied there for a month, and met new people and enjoyed the many festivals Montreal had that month.
In Edmonton there is also lots to do whether it is winter or summer. In winter I go to the movies, bowling, to the ‘Ice on Whyte’ festival (an ice carving show), visit Candy Caine Lane (a street with lots of Christmas decorations), snowboarding or to WEM Mall (one of the largest in the world and where you can do almost anything, there is a water park, a movie theatre, a mini golf area, bowling, restaurants, bars, clubs, an attractions park, an aquarium and Seal lions show and off course lots of stores to shop.). In the summer there are lots of festivals happening outdoors like the Heritage Festival where you can go and try the different typical foods from many different countries (Canada is very multicultural), this is one of my favorite festivals because I can have some of my own country food. There is also K-Days, the folk music festival, the fringe festival and much more!
At Uni you can also work and volunteer. I have volunteered for the Specialized Support and Disability center as a Note-taker. Due to my busy schedule, this volunteer opportunity was perfect since I would only have to share my class notes online for people that couldn’t come to class due to disabilities. There is something for everyone to take part of Uni life.
Well now you know that a day in my life is like, and my experience so far at UAlberta. I have enjoyed my time here and hope you decide to come and have your own enjoyable experience too.