Free rides, free spirits, and free lunches at Concordia University


If your parents are concerned about you getting enough vegetables while at university, let them know that Concordia University offers a free vegan lunch, Monday to Friday, at The People’s Potato. If that doesn’t win them over, you could talk up the plethora of interdisciplinary programs, as evident by the design of the high rise building that houses the Faculty of Engineering (17 floors) and the Faculty of Fine Arts (12 floors), or the LEED certified one that has the John Molson School of Business and the Department of Music.  There is also the Hex Lab, where technology and media arts intersect. This university is a place where flexibility is promoted in the academic requirements across the faculties. Even in the application process, students are encouraged to make three programme choices and they will be assessed by each Faculty individually. The university recognizes that students may start in one programme and then switch into something else, even one they hadn’t been admitted to originally but are now eligible for, the following year.

This seems like a university that thinks outside the box. If you want to study fine arts and be in Montreal, this is the place to do it, particularly if your focus is contemporary or visual art. For example, there is a very well regarded school of cinema, an electroacoustic music major, and a computer game design specialization. The Faculty of Engineering has the only building engineering programme in Canada, as well as a flight simulator.  There are green houses where you can soak up some vitamin D while you study for exams during the winter months, while you volunteer to tend the garden, or while you analyze something for your biology class.

The two campuses, separated by a 20 minute shuttle (that runs every 15 minutes) or a 6km bike ride, offer lots of options to the 45 000 students that choose Concordia. Services are replicated on both campuses, including housing, but the main athletic facilities are at the Loyola campus. There are only 500 beds for housing with half reserved for those with an 85% or above average, which makes it a hot commodity for first year students. However, even if you live off campus, the very active and engaged student society will draw you into the fold. The housing beds will increase to 900 in 2013 when the nuns move out of the other side of the Grey Nun residence, but they aren’t sure yet whether the crypt (and ghosts) will stay…

Feel free to ask Ms Laughlin, Ms Casey, or Ms McCallum for more information after their recent visit to the campus.


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