York University: Student life on campus


An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Jeanette Williams, 28
Film and English studies

Jeanette Williams (Courtesy of Jeanette Williams)

Why did you choose York?
I wanted to study cinema and English. I chose York University because it offers both theoretical and practical courses, providing a comprehensive training that is also applicable in the field.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
Currently, I’m the health and science editor at York’s student newspaper, Excalibur. Some of my best experiences have been related to working there. I am glad to have gained experience in writing and have especially enjoyed interviewing university staff about the groundbreaking research they are conducting. Another highlight was taking electives at the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design, including one called Making Media, which led me to interesting assignments such as map making sounds and single photo stories.

Do you participate in extracurricular activities?
I would love to be involved in more extracurricular activities, but the pandemic has moved all operations online, and I find the experience of participating in clubs virtually less desirable than being on campus and in person.

What do you think of your teachers?
The teachers are generally approachable, but they can take a long time to respond when you have questions. Sometimes they redirect you to their teaching assistants.

What do you think of the school administration?
Although I found the school administrative staff to be friendly and helpful, students need to take the time and show initiative to ensure documents are processed correctly and on time. It is best to apply for things such as program or course changes as soon as possible as there are often specific processes to complete. The waitlist and permissions processes are time-consuming and cumbersome and require too much correspondence.

What is off-campus life like in Toronto?
The subway takes you directly from campus to downtown Toronto, which is bustling and fun. There are all sorts of things to do in the city: shopping, eating at just about every type of restaurant you can think of, going to the theater and nightclubs and, of course, visiting tourist attractions. campy (there, CN Tower). Because Toronto is a major connecting city, getting out of town is also easy. You can take a three-hour bus for a weekend in Niagara Falls or hop on a plane home for winter break.

PROFILE: York University | Toronto, Ont. | Founded in 1959

Best place to live: On campus, Calumet and Bethune are the preferred residences of most students; however, I think it is better to live closer to the city center to fully enjoy the city
Best place to study: Upper floors of the Scott Library
The best events on campus: YorkFest
Best kitchen on campus: Pretty much anything in York Lanes
Best cheap lunch: Live Well Express
Best Pizza: Pizzeria
Best place for a fancy dinner: Yu Seafood in Yorkdale
Best gift: Free tuition competition, open only to freshmen
The best bar to go out: The Absinthe Pub and Coffee Shop or Timbers Lodge Social Grill
Best Live Music Venue: nuvo Toronto or the metro
Best breakfast for hangovers: Hello friends or berries and flowers
Best activity of the weekend: Exploring downtown on the weekend
The thing that surprised me the most about the school: Courses such as Sex, Drugs and Drama and Extraterrestrial Life
If I could change one thing about school: Update course registration system

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