If you’re reading this, it’s probably that time of year again – the time where high school seniors are choosing their homes for the next four years and their paths for the future. If you are considering the University of Ottawa, I congratulate you on your excellent taste. Whether you’re choosing where to apply, still deciding between schools, or have already made up your mind, here are 7 reasons why you should be going to the University of Ottawa!
1. It’s in Ottawa!
Ottawa itself is a great city to be in. Aside from being the capital of Canada, there are fun places to shop, low crime rates, and cheaper housing than other major cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Luckily the the University of Ottawa campus is perfectly placed – it’s in a quiet and peaceful area with beautiful scenery, trails and bike paths. A quick 5 minute walk gives students easy access to the downtown core – shopping centers, restaurants and the nightlife. If you ever need a break from studying, head over to the Rideau canal with some friends! The 202 kilometer canal connects the city of Ottawa to Lake Ontario, with the Ottawa portion of the canal being open for canoeing and boat rides in the summer and skating in the winter, perfect for when you need some time away from campus.
2. Quebec is only a drive away!
Being in Ottawa has a couple more perks, like being a 15 minute drive away from Gatineau, Quebec. This is a beautiful thing for all the students who love to party or have late birthdays (like me). The laws in Quebec are a little different than Ontario’s – the legal drinking age in 18 instead of 19! Though the city is in Quebec, with it being right on the Ontario-Quebec border, there are plenty of English bars, restaurants and clubs for your amusement. Even first year students can drink legally and enjoy the nightlife.
3. The transit system actually works.
The Ottawa transit system is so beneficial to uOttawa students – whether you live on or off campus. The frequent buses that go straight from downtown to campus, as well as all around the city, make it easy for of campus students to get to school and on campus students to get to the city centre. Buses also run late and start early, so you can still go clubbing after that 10PM lab and you won’t ever be late for those 8:30AM lectures. The best part about it? All full-time uOttowa students get a bus pass with tuition, so you don’t have to pay the regular bus fare or even get a presto card. Just show the driver your UPass and ride the bus as much as you like!
4. UOttawa has one of the best co-op programs in Canada.
The opportunities and experience to be gained at the University of Ottawa are endless! UOttawa’s co-op program is ranked 2nd in the country, with a 98% placement rate and many programs beginning the work-study program in 2nd or 3rd year. University of Ottawa’s employers include big names like Health Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and L’Oreal Canada, all of which are well known companies and great places to gain experience (which seems to a requirement for getting a job these days). The University of Ottawa is also known around the world for its International Exchange Program with other universities across Europe, Asia and South America.
5. Their scholarships are unbeatable.
uOttawa offers so many amazing scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition, which can be crippling for low/middle income families or students paying their own way. Just for getting admitted, you can receive a $1000-$4000 scholarship, renewable every year! If your top 6 average is 80-84%, you will receive $1000. 85-89% is $2000, 90-94% gets you $3000 and 95%+ means $4000! After the completion of first year, the student must maintain a CGPA of 8.5 to continue to receive the full scholarship, or a CGPA of 8.0 to receive 50%.
Choosing to do the French immersion stream of your program (minimum of 2 courses per semester in French) gets you an extra $1000 every year, on top of the admission scholarship. There are also many faculty-specific and volunteer based bursaries and scholarships available to students. With the average cost of 1 year of undergraduate studies at the university being about $20,000, these scholarships are a big help. The university gives out an average of $36 million worth of scholarships every year, more than any other Ontario university.
6. It’s the only bilingual university in Canada
It seems hard to believe, but uOttawa is the only university which gives you the option to take courses in English or French. With Ottawa being right on the Ontario-Quebec border, the university and city is influenced by the French language. If you’re looking to improve your French, simply going to school in the city and being surrounded by the language can help with fluency and understanding, a huge asset in a work place. Almost all the programs at UOttawa are offered in English, French Immersion and Full French, so students will constantly hear both languages.
7. The Dining Hall is open 24 hours a day!
Which means food anytime you want! The University of Ottawa has recently opened its 24/7 all-you-can-eat dining hall! Access to the dining hall is included in all meal plans, along with dining passes for guests. The dining hall also has a special area where students are given access to a kitchen and can cook for themselves. You must pay a fee to enter the dining hall without a meal plan. Getting hungry at 2am while studying is no longer a problem! You can go in at any time, and even study in the hall while you eat. Freshman 15? More like Freshman 50.
Overall, the University of Ottawa is a great choice for any student.
UOttawa outshines her competitors by allowing young adults to experience the student life in a beautiful city, and get a great education without breaking the bank. Picking a university is a huge decision – so choose wisely.