Leaving home to embark on your university career can be equally as daunting as it is exciting. For those international students who are not only leaving behind their family and friends, but the familiarity of their home country, it can come with even greater levels of anxiety.
While the concerns will almost always be there, by no means should you let that put you off! Because studying overseas will likely be the most rewarding, liberating and exciting experience of your life.
With the right support and guidance, the years you spend at university will stay with you for the rest of your life. And that’s why choosing a place that’s the right fit for you is so important.
A welcoming atmosphere in a foreign land is exactly what’s needed to reduce anxiety and feelings of reluctance, and at Mount Royal University, that’s exactly what you get.
Living by the motto “You belong here”, this Calgary-based University located in Western Canada goes out of its way to ease the transition and make sure international students feel they’ve entered a home away from home.
Calgary itself is a buzzing cosmopolitan city that looks to the future while embracing good old Canadian cowboy-country values of old. This is perfectly displayed at the annual Calgary Stampede – a massive rodeo and festival celebrating all things “Cowtown”, as Calgary is affectionately named.
On top of vibrant city-life, Mount Royal students have the exceptional privilege of being just a stone’s throw from some of the most stunning natural beauty the planet has to offer. Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, both Banff and Lake Louise are just an hour away by car and boast blue skies, rolling mountains, and crystal lakes for you to explore.
Offering 12 Bachelor degrees across the Arts, Science, Business, Communication and Health disciplines, Mount Royal combines outstanding teaching with a personal approach to well-being which is what makes their student satisfaction levels so high.
An impressive 96 percent of students at Mount Royal wholeheartedly believe they are not just a number in the crowd, but are treated as individuals, enjoying face-to-face time with professors and a strong student support system should they require it. This is compared to just an 83 percent average across all Canadian universities.
Consider this in tandem with the 98 percent of students who strongly agree the University is a respectful and inclusive space, and you start to get an idea of the friendly nature of the Mount Royal ethos.
This helpful approach starts before you even reach the campus, with the international recruitment officers assisting you with your application and ensuring all goes smoothly. When you finally land on Calgary soil, New Student Orientation will have you prepped and ready for life at Mount Royal from day one.
Current Bachelor of Nursing student, Chau Luu, admits to being scared when first deciding to move from Vietnam to Calgary to attend school, but she found that with the multi-cultural environment and welcoming embrace of her chosen institution, she quickly adapted and felt right at home at Mount Royal.
Taking advantage of the many opportunities to socialize and get involved in University life, Luu quickly found friends and began to explore the beautiful natural environment that surrounds the University.
“Calgary is amazing,” says Luu. “I love hiking with my friends. They introduced me to these new forms of recreation – like skating – that I never imagined doing.”
But it’s not only hiking that can get you out-and-about mingling with other students; the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University runs the student center – a hub of activity that provides a wide variety of student services, including hosting the many student clubs on campus. They also provide volunteer opportunities so students can give back to the community.
Believing that student success is directly linked to student involvement, Mount Royal urges students to take on the challenging and rewarding experience and make sure there’s something to suit all interests, whether that’s human rights or knitting. It’s a great way to apply your passion and skills to change your life, the lives of students around you, and to better the campus community – all while having fun. This sense of camaraderie and giving back extends to students’ academic exploits as well.
The newly-relaunched Peer Learning Program enlists Mount Royal students to support other students in a variety of subjects with course-specific knowledge, study strategies, and encouragement. So, if you ever feel that you’re struggling with a topic, or just in need of some handy study tips from someone who’s been there and done that, then help is always on-hand.
Mount Royal even goes as far as to have a wellness center on-campus, taking an innovative approach to health by integrating a broad spectrum of services that address the wellness of your body, mind, and spirit.
Whether you’re in need of a massage after a few hours in the library, or could use some counselling on your future career, your program, or any personal issues – they’ve got you covered. If this isn’t proof enough that Mount Royal cares about your well-being, then we don’t know what is!
The University wants to make sure you’re happy with your Mount Royal experience and in doing so, strives to take care of the whole person – taking into account the social, mental, and physical sides as well as the academic. This approach means Mount Royal students develop a sense of belonging, grow their confidence and eventually graduate with a sense of self that resonates throughout their lives, just as Luu found:
“I’ve made amazing friends and have had amazing mentors. This is such an amazing place to be. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.”